We Need a Vacation!

Like yesterday.

We weren’t able to make a beach day trip before Porter was born, so it’s been FOR. EV. EERRR (say it like Squints, ok?) since we’ve smelled the salty air and been able to feed the ducks in our favorite spot.

We’ve got a trip planned for July, but it won’t be to our usual stomping grounds.  I’m not complaining a single bit about that, but I am looking forward to October for a proper Ferrell adbenture.  That is the absolute best time to be in the Destin/South Walton area in my opinion.  The crowds are gone, the weather is still hot, Hurricane Season is petering out, and of course it’s cheaper!

Yes, please.

Because we can’t drench Porter in sunscreen and induct him into the Holiday Isle Club just yet, I thought I’d share some of my favorite pictures from past trips.

I need the visual reminder that we’ll be back to our usual Sandpiper Cove and Blue Mountain jaunts in no time.  Otherwise I might cry.

I’m pretty envious of all these day trips I keep seeing on Facebook from friends who are living it up this summer.  I mean, don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t trade all these naked kids running around the patio and sweet newborn kisses for the world, but I can get huffy for a quick sec over a late afternoon spent at the Commons Fountain or a good sale at the Vera Bradley Outlet.

And before you get too into this post, know it’s heavy on the pictures today.  Because, it’s a rule, when you’re at the beach, you take 11 bazillon pictures no matter what.

Hank’s actual 1st trip to the beach was in January of 2011.  We went to Destin for some after Christmas shopping and dinner, and a quick stop to say hello to the waves was all we managed.  We so made up for it during an unseasonably warm February and March. We made 3 trips over those months, and Hank ate a lot more sand than anything else.  We spent a few more weekends at Baytowne and Blue Mountain teaching him how to be those annoying people who sit as close to the water as possible. #sorrynotsorry  #noshame

I was teaching in 2012, and because I think taking mental health days are all that kept me going that year, we spent A LOT of time in the sand that year.  Being pregnant with Margaret Hannah didn’t slow me down, either.

Matter of fact, she made her first trip in October of that year.  She enjoyed lots of time in her stroller at the Harbor, dodging overpriced toys on the sidewalk, and watching the boats come in.  She also witnessed one heck of a bar fight at Rum Runners in Baytowne.  Our room looked right out onto their front door, and what started out as a bachelorette party turned into tazers drawn and glasses thrown.  Excitement all ’round.

We were able to make a spring break trip, several summer trips, and a few more fall trips in 2013.  We fed a lot of ducks, ate a lot of ice cream at Blue Mountain Creamery, and waved at as many people as we could at Destin Commons.  My sweet college roommate even managed to come stay with us for a few days on the spring break trip.  We need more of these trips, Nanny Peeps!

We finished up 2013 with the best day EVER in Blue Mountain.  The water was so calm, there were tons of little pools the perfect depth for Hank to splash and swim in, and sand bars all over in November, of all times!  We even set up shop on one for a good bit of the afternoon with some girls who were practicing their cheer competition dance.  It was cute the first few times, but after the 80th, we packed up for dinner in Seaside.

My mother is that crazy lady feeding the seagulls on the balcony above yours.  The one who’s causing all the bird poop to accumulate on the towels you hung out to dry.  She made sure she passed on that trait to Hank in 2014.  We took a short break from the beach life when I had Amos, but when he was 5 weeks old, we packed up for a few days at Sandpiper.  That really is our favorite place to be.  When we’re rolling in all that money from our student loan payments, we’ll be buying a place here, for sure.  We’ll name it American Education Services instead of something catchy and fitting for the beach.

We also had a Brown family reunion that year.  The first one since 1994, I think.  It was only slightly awkward meeting people we didn’t know.  The upside was getting to spend a few days with my cousin and his family.  We let them play in our Harbor Pool (it’s practically ours, I mean) and spent the rest of the time convincing Margaret Hannah we were not driving Anthony’s Suburban since he sat next to her in ours at some point.

From Gulf Shores for a ball tournament to Blue Mountain for another perfect day of shallow water, 2015 wasted no time showing us another perfect beach season.  We caught up with Nanny Peeps on that Gulf Shores trip, spent way too much money on Creme Brule and muffins at Fresh Market, and had to buy MORE beach chairs since Pat seems to break ours a lot.  They’re beach chairs, buddy, not recliners.

2015 was also when we got to share our favorite spot with our good friends, the Bartons.  That’s Brad and Mary Kate, and Pat and Amos getting in that good sleep.  I will never apologize for sitting in the water, even if it means you have to walk around me.  Get over it.

In October, Porter made his first official trip down to the Isle, too.  I’d known I was pregnant for a few months at that point, but we’d kept it totally quiet from the kids.  I asked them one night before we went to dinner what they thought about if we had another baby, and Hank immediately said he already knew I’d been growing a baby in my tummy.  I was in the middle of asking him how did he know that, and Margaret Hannah jumped right in with “Well, it better not be no sister!”

She’s very happy we followed through on that.

And now, I can’t wait to add the next group of pictures for all the fun times we’ll be having in 2016.

What are some of your favorite spots to vacation?  Or even some of your favorite spots in Destin?  I’d love to hear about your favorite places to stay, play, and eat!!!

PS Blake, I’m very happy you’ve been promoted but please know I’m super sad you aren’t booking things anymore.  Holiday Isle won’t be the same without you.

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