Tuesday, August 31, 2010

4th Time is a Charm!

We have taken several beach vacations with Molly and each one has been a disaster not quite lived up to expectations.

First was Myrtle Beach. Didn’t care for the hotel, didn’t care for the crowds. Didn’t care for the town. Did care for our truck having an up-close-and-personal moment with a pole in the parking garage. Oh, and Molly was 2 1/2. Enough said.

Then there was the Outer Banks. We stayed in the absolute worst pig sty on the entire beach less than adequate accommodations. The storm that hit the day we arrived washed the entire beach about 200 yards out in the Atlantic Ocean. The riptides were so bad that they closed the beach to swimming almost daily. And did I mention the jellyfish?

Finally, there was the winter vacation to Naples, Florida--our all time favorite spot. Except for this time. We arrived on the first day of a cold spell and checked out the day it broke. I had to buy a parka. It was that cold. Don’t believe me? One morning it was 29 degrees. At the beach. In Southern Florida. Not fair, I say!

But this time, we finally got it right! IMG_01 On the recommendation of a good friend (thanks Stacy!) we booked a place in St. Augustine Florida, and it was a little slice of heaven.

First, the townhouse (it was on the beach—why wasn’t it called a beachhouse?). It was decorated with such style. It had everything we could need right down to sun visors, good beach reads, DVDs, laundry detergent and extra batteries. Totally equipped. And the shower was so incredible that we are considering redoing our own bathroom so that we can duplicate it at home. It was that good.

The view wasn’t too shabby either. This was what we looked at from our balcony each and every glorious day.IMG_1If you looked left, this is what you saw: IMG_2 If you looked right, you saw this. Yes, surprisingly similar to the view left, but my point is, we were in paradise.IMG_3 In case you are interested, here is a shot of our condo from the beach. Not nearly as breathtaking, I know. We were on the second and third floor (two-story townhouse), third balcony from the right.IMG_5

We hit the Publix Market on Day 1, loaded up with groceries and never left the townhouse again. Well, we did go out to dinner once. Tony told me that it was okay, but that I could cook better than any restaurant. Now, I know that this was just a transparent ploy to save money by getting me to do all of the cooking. But it worked and so we just stayed at the condo the.rest.of.the.vacation. Never left again.

How did we spend our days? Here of course! IMG_4We would get up at the crack of mid-morning, put on our bathing suits, eat breakfast (which I loving made for my family) then hit the beach.

Molly was the boogie boarding champion of the entire beach. Really. She was so light that the waves carried her all the way to shore each and every time. The girl knows no fear so she was a natural.

Getting ready to hit the surf…IMG_6Heading out…IMG_7 Waiting for the perfect wave…IMG_8 Boogie boarding to shore….IMG_9 (2) Success!IMG_9Now if you are the kind that likes a more action packed version of the exact same thing, click on the video link below:

And if you are the kind that can’t get enough of a good thing (Hi, Mom and Dad!) here is another video that bears a remarkable resemblance to the first.

When we weren’t on the boards, Molly enjoyed shelling.IMG_10 She still needs to learn the fine art of being a discriminating sheller. For Molly, it’s all about quantity, not quality…much to my chagrin! IMG_11Molly also became quite adept at swimming in the ocean.IMG_12IMG_13 And through the magic of video, you can be part of the experience! Unfortunately, I panned the camera as she swam. It appears as though she is swimming in place. Trust me, she is moving forward. Guess I ought to think about perspective as I run the camcorder!

It is H.O.T. hot in Florida in mid-August. Even my sun-loving self sought a reprieve under the umbrella. Not Molly. She was all about the sun. Thank goodness for 100+ SPF sunscreen! IMG_14 We also did a bunch of eating on the beach:IMG_15 We decorated the umbrella pole with seashells:IMG_16 And posed for a lot of pictures: IMG_17IMG_18 Now it is time for the Sports Illustrated (conservative) Bathing Suit (for kids) Edition!

Here, Molly is sporting a pink tank suit with a daisy side cutout. What  a cuite!IMG_19Now Molly makes a splash is an athletic floral Speedo. You go, girl! IMG_20Finally, the delicate ballerina tutu suit. So sweet! IMG_21“ Enough of the modeling. I going to the pool!”IMG_22

The pool was another daily destination for us. Molly pretty much had the pool to herself during our stay, and made the most of her good fortune. Most days we had to pull her pruney little body out of the pool for dinner (which I lovingly cooked for my family).

Practicing gymnastics at the pool:IMG_23 Practicing pole dancing at the pool? Better have a talk with her about this!IMG_24 And the underwater handstand:IMG_25One final video of Molly swimming. This time I did less panning. I guess you can teach an old dog new tricks!

From what I hear, St. Augustine is a beautiful  and historic town. I wouldn’t really know because as I said, we NEVER left the beach. I did manage to click a few pictures out of the car window as we drove out of town.

Here are what appear to be some important buildings (you may want to Google St. Augustine to find out more information because I really have no clue what they are).IMG_26I think this is a fort of some kind. Google that too, while you’re at it.IMG_27And a pretty light house in back of a not-so-pretty pottery store:IMG_28

I do know that Ponce de Leon was said to have discovered the Fountain of Youth in St. Augustine. I tried to get a picture of the sign that said so, but the car was moving too fast. In any case, we skipped that tourist attraction, as well. Because, as I said, we were just having too much stinkin’ fun at the beach.

And yes, we have the same townhouse unit booked for next summer. Yahoo!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

What’s on my memory card this week?

Precious little.

It’s not that we’ve done precious little. Quite the opposite, in fact. It’s just that I didn’t whip out a camera to photograph each and every second. *Gasp!*

I know! That is so unlike me, the mom who has a photo archive bigger than the Library of Congress.

But, it’s true. I don’t know how, I don’t know why, but I was not inspired to document every single moment of Molly’s life this week.

Don’t worry, I am sure that the feeling will pass. After all, we do have a vacation on the horizon.

So here is the entire extent of what is on my memory card since my last blog post. Each and every picture. Enjoy.

Molly found my lipstick…IMG_3142Which, of course, inspired this princess pose.IMG_3147

Later that day I told her she was Cinderella and sent her up stairs to scrub the bathroom floor.IMG_3148Before I catch any flack for making my 4-year-old scrub floors, let me just say that she enjoys it. Seriously. She even asks for more chores. And she is actually good at them. So who am I to squash her desire to clean the entire house while I sit on the recliner, sipping coffee and watching HGTV help?IMG_3152Don't starting feeling sorry for yourself, wishing that your 4-year-old would do housework. Let me just remind you that with my little perk comes packaged with a whole lot of severe stranger anxiety, separation anxiety, not-getting-her-own-way 24/7 anxiety, and meltdowns issues.

Molly and Mattie at the parkIMG_3159

Puzzle timeIMG_3162Molly’s strategy for puzzle assembly: She lets me find the piece, decide where it goes, attempt to place it and then rips it from my hands and places the piece herself.IMG_3161

Molly went to get her haircut with her friends Megan and Mia at the local kid spa. A kid spa—what’s up with that? The world is going crazy. I mean seriously, does a kid really need to go to a spa? I’m thinkin’ “no,” but off to the kid spa we went anyway.

I thought that having two good role models for Molly would help assuage her anxiety about having her haircut by a stranger. Um, that didn’t work so well but she finally did get her haircut and the three girls all looked beautiful.

Front view of girls before haircut…        IMG_2157 Front view of girls after haircut.IMG_2160 Back view of girls before haircut…   IMG_2158 Back view of girls after haircut.IMG_2161

Yes, I am so desperate for things to blog about that I am showing you pictures of the back of people’s heads.

I’ll take more pictures next week. Promise.