We did have moments on that trip that were fun, but the trip as a whole was taxing, at least for us parents. We made numerous rookie-parent mistakes and the challenge of having to figure out how to not tick off our two year old seemed to suck all of the fun out of many activities. Ironically, we were planned our next beach vacation as we drove home from that trip. Sick.
A few weeks ago, we finally got to take that beach vacation: Two weeks in sunny Naples, Florida. Aaah. Surprisingly this trip was a joy, start to finish. We never thought of coming home early. Not even once!
I must say that having the terrible twos behind us was the biggest help. Molly was pleasant, adaptable, excited and agreeable to just about everything. We also learned from our Myrtle Beach mistakes.
For example, when going to Myrtle Beach we left the house at 4 am. We figured that Molly would sleep a good portion of the way. Yea, right. She woke up at 4 am and didn’t sleep a wink in the car for 14 hours! We paid dearly for it the next day. That's when we almost packed up and came home.
For the trip to Naples, we had Molly skip her nap and put her in the car at bedtime. We drove through the night and much of the next day. Molly slept like a champ both a night and at nap time. And no nasty attitude the next day either. Score one for the parents!
In Myrtle Beach we had an 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. In Naples, we had a well rested, well fed toddler that thrived on all of the stimulation of the trip. And we had no meltdowns. What a difference six months and some life lessons made.
Now on to the pictures; that’s what you really came here for, right? I have to warn you, we basically hung out at the beach and the pool, so lots of photos of those moments…kind of redundant, but cute, nonetheless.
This is something I NEVER see in the winter where I live...blue sky. Just seeing the sunshine and bly skies everyday made every minute of this trip worthwhile. And made me a lot less crabby than I have been in a long time.
Molly gets reacclimated to the sand and surf.
"So may shells, so little time. C'mon Mom, we'd better get shelling."
Heading home with my haul.
Another thing Molly's never got tired of doing: wearing our flip flops. I don't think that she'll ever grow into these.
One of Molly's classic camera poses: the crossed leg, little lady pose.
Day 4: The Everglades
"There's one over there, Daddy!"
This big guy was about 12-15 feet long. All of the alligators we saw were in the wild. We'd just pulled the car off of the road and looked over the guard rail. Voila, alligators. Surprisingly, Molly thought this was great.
Day 5 : The Pool
Day 7: The Beach
A rare family shot, thanks to a passing beachcomber who volunteered to take our picture.
"The water is too cold. You fill up the watering can, Daddy."
"Yep, I have him wrapped around my little finger."
Day 9: J. N. "Ding" Darling National Wildlife Refuge, Sanibel Island