We love the beach. Tony had been working like a mad man all summer long, so when vacation time was approved it was a no-brainer...we were going to the beach. We walked into our local AAA and walked out about 20 minutes later with a nine day itinerary in hand. Yep, we were going to the beach. Couldn't wait! Just love those long relaxing days, kicking back, watching the waves, reading stacks of books, hunting for seashells.
This is actually the picture I had in my head until about 2 days before we departed for the coast. It was then that it dawned on me: we are bringing a 2 year old. Duh! Hello! There is going to be no time for relaxing with a book or kicking back. This was going to be a full on, play-until-you-drop vacation. I quickly adjusted the picture in my head and packed.
About the same time that I had the 2-year-old-at-the-beach epiphany, it also occurred to me that we are bringing a child who hates sand to a place that was knee deep in the stuff. When I say that Molly hates sand, I don't mean that she would rather not play in the sand box at the park. I mean that she practically levitates about the stuff . She won't touch it, doesn't want to look at it, and lets out a shill scream that makes all of the neighborhood dogs howl in the event that sand touches her. And who knows how she'll react to salt water and waves. Yea, this was going to be a great vacation!
Luckily, as you can see, Molly quickly got over her issues once she hit the beach. She adjusted to the water immediately and she made friends with sand shortly after.
I guess she figured there was no escaping the stuff so she might as well accept that sand was going to be a part of her life. Of course a little immersion therapy didn't hurt either!
In no time at all, Molly was running through the sand and playing in the surf like an old pro, as witnessed by the following photographs:
The take off...
A minor mid-air adjustment...
and she sticks the landing.
When I say that Molly took to the water like a fish, I mean it. From day one she wanted to be out in the surf. Way out in the surf. A lot further out in the surf than Mommy would like to see her baby! That's why Daddy was the captain of all ocean excursions. Actually, Molly was good at giving the orders, so maybe she was the captain and Tony was the first mate.
Hang Ten Dude!
Get that board in the water, Daddy!
This is kid stuff. go further out, man!
Now we're talking. I want to catch a monster wave!
Now that's what I am talking about!
Hey Mommy...the wave was thiiiis big!
Our entire vacation revolved around 2 things: the beach and the pool. We were total beach bums. Woke up in the morning, put on our swim suits and we were gone for the day.
We didn't go out sightseeing, shopping or hang around in the hotel room. In fact the only time we put on clothes was to go out to dinner. Since we bought beach chairs and an umbrella once we arrived, I could have fit what we needed for the trip in a carry on. Hmmm....I guess the six pieces of luggage that we brought with us was a little bit of over-kill.
Here are some random cute shots for your viewing pleasure:
Hunting for sea shells. That's Momma's girl!
Sweet talking Daddy into a boogie board ride.
Molly cracks herself up when she wears Daddy's flip-flops. I am still at a loss as to why that was so funny to her. I guess it's a two thing.
Taking a rest on Mommy's leg.
Before you get the idea that the entire trip was sunshine and puppy dogs, let me tell you about a few rookie parent mistakes we made.
Mistake #1: The drive down to the coast was about 14 hours. We thought that we’d leave about 4 am and Molly would sleep until 8 or 9 and then take her 3 hour afternoon nap. Yea, right. She woke up at 4 am and didn’t sleep a wink in the car for 14 hours! She didn’t cry or complain the entire way so we thought we were good to go. We paid dearly for it the next day. We almost packed up and came home.
Mistake #2: I decided not to bring the pack and play. There were 2 beds, Molly would be fine....I guess you don’t transition a sleep deprived child from a crib to a bed while on vacation. Bedtime was an “adventure.”
Mistake #3: I also decided not to take the travel high chair. I figured we were on vacation. We'd eat out most of the time. As it turned out, we had a full kitchen in our room and ate in a lot of the time. I spent most of my mealtimes trying to corral a child who thought practicing her sprinting and hurding was much more fun that sitting at the table in a big girl chair. Let's jsut say most of her calories were consumed on the fly.
Now I had a over stimulated, underfed, sleep deprived toddler who was totally off of her daily routine. That could only mean one thing: MELTDOWN. Yep, we had our share of those. Luckily, a few minutes out on the balcony in a mommy or daddy time out helped to ease the pain. At least for us. The balcony was magical. Nothing like this view to destress a person:
In the end, we made it home with all body parts intact. The good memories are taking root and the bad memories are fading fast, In fact, we have another beach vacation in the works for the not-to-distant future. Yes, we ware that stupid, er, I mean brave. Stay tuned!