Saturday, September 7, 2013

Gulf Shores 2013

We are back from Gulf Shores and I've had time to soak it all in, and let me just say- traveling with a toddler, while as FUN and ENTERTAINING as it is, is a UTTER shit show. And I really do mean that in the best way. We had so much fun showing Jacob new things, like sand and ocean and seagulls, but it was completely exhausting! My God! We probably will not be traveling to the beach or 12-hours anywhere for a few more years. Let's just put it that way.

I'll give you a quick run down, with pictures to document it all...

Josh and I woke up at 2am, packed up the last bit of junk and the coolers, woke Jacob up around 3am and threw him in his carseat and hit the road. Thankfully, Jacob fell back asleep quickly and ended up sleeping until 7am, or until Monroe, LA (about a 1/4 of the way through the drive). That worked out SO WELL. We stopped in Monroe and ate breakfast, changed Jacob's diaper and clothes and then hit the road again with me in the backseat entertaining the little nugget.

Here's Jacob as we traveling over the Mississippi River- he was watching Mickey Mouse

We stopped again in Hattiesburg, MS around noon and ate lunch. After that, we switched drivers and Josh sat in the back with Jacob. He took about an hour-long nap after lunch and was awake the entire time. Joy. He was actually quite good until the last 30 minutes. I don't blame him one bit! That's a long ass time in the car!

We stayed at the Phoenix East in Orange Beach and it was absolutely wonderful! We opted for a 2 bedroom, so Jacob had a room to himself. Our condo had a full kitchen, 2 bathrooms, washer/dryer, and awesome balcony overlooking the gulf. B-e-a-u-tiful! I took many pictures of the view, which will come up here soon....

Quickly after dropping our stuff off in the room, we threw on our bathing suits and hit the beach! I was beyond excited to see Jacob's reaction to the sand. Unfortunately, my excitement was short-lived, as he absolutely HATED the sand. Like total meltdown. Ughhhhh!!!!! Here's a few cute pictures of Jacob's first few minutes on the beach. LOL! How is this our child???



He literally didn't even want to sit on the towels on the beach blanket. By the end of the trip, he warmed up to sitting on the towels, but he still wouldn't really move around much. Too funny! And sad.

We ate dinner in our condo that night (hot dogs in the microwave and beans...gourmet, for sure) and quickly put Jacob to bed. We were exhausted after being awake for 18 hours! Josh and I drank a few glasses of wine on the patio and called it a night.

The next day was Labor Day and we spent a little bit of the morning on the beach, and then moved to the pool.

Jacob enjoyed my water and backwashing his goldfish into it...yuck!
During nap time every afternoon, I went down to the pool or beach and laid out, while Josh chilled on the couch in the condo and watched SportsCenter. Worked out perfect for us! I love these leg/beach shots. So relaxing...if only for those 2 glorious hours!
 


 
After Jacob woke up, we spent a little more time down by the pool before cleaning up and heading out to dinner.

Jacob and daddy enjoying a pouch
We went to dinner at The Hangout that evening. This place is really cool- right on the public beach, great food and really fun atmosphere! Plus they have these cute humongous chairs out back for picture opts! (and apparently they have concerts there, not like we would know though)



Tuesday morning it rained a little bit, so we spent the morning watching cartoons and watching the storm roll in. We got to enjoy our coffee on the balcony (for about 5 minutes) before Jacob decided it was time to go in.  I think I made a yummy breakfast scramble that morning too.



After the storm passed, we went down to the beach and pitched our awesome umbrella. How badass is that thing?!?! It worked soooo well. I also really loved the beach blanket that I bought- it had little corner pockets to put sand in, so it wouldn't blow away. Both items were definitely worth the money. And we'll use them for years to come.


watermelon on the beach? yes, please!
During nap time this day, I decided to stay up and hangout with Josh for a bit and drink a glass of wine. Heavenly, for sure.


Wednesday was our last full day, so we were determined to get Jacob to like the sand. Mother Nature had other plans. There was NO WIND whatsoever on the beach that day and it was hotter than hell down there. We stayed long enough to take this adorable picture of Jacob.


During nap time on our last day, I went down tot he pool and was the only one there for a good amount of it. So relaxing! I had my iPhone jamming some good tunes, a few cold brews in my bag and enough tanning oil to grease an elephant. Holler!


Before bed that night, we watched the sunset with the nugget (and Boo) and drank a celebratory glass of wine. Celebrating Jacob's 15-month birthday, of course.



The last morning Jacob decided to wake up at 5:30, so we got a pretty early start. We left the condo at 8am. This proved to be one of the biggest mistakes I've ever made. Jacob fell asleep three separate times for about 30 minutes to an hour each time, but that's it! 12 hours in the car with about 2.5 hours of quiet? Hells no. We stopped in Hattiesburg, Monroe and Marshall on the way home.
While in Monroe, we swung by the Duck Commander headquarters and bought J-bird a t-shirt and got this awesome family picture. I'd probably do the drive again just to get this badass picture. Not.


This was a random cute picture one of us took of Jacob in the backseat with all his buddies. We still have him rear-facing, so we setup the iPad on the headrest so he could watch Mickey Mouse and Doc McStuffins. That was a real lifesaver. He was pretty content with watching cartoons and eating snacks, but by the end of the trip he was SO READY to get out of the car (and so was I).

 
We got home around 9pm and swiftly went to bed. I spent most of Friday doing laundry and unpacking. Josh drove down to his mom's house to get the dogs (whom I missed terribly!!!) while I wrangled our crazy toddler.
 
Here are a few more of my favorite pictures from the trip...Non-iPhone pictures, that is.
 




 
We're all glad to be home now, and will probably stay local for upcoming summer vacations. Until all our kids are at least 20 5.
 
The saying "there's no place like home" really holds true now.
 
Cheers!
Kate

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