Sunday, August 17, 2014

Our Beach Staycation

A few months ago we decided to take advantage of the beautiful beaches in our backyard and book a beach vacation over the 4th of July. We found a cute little condo with a gorgeous view right on the gulf side of the island. We checked in Tuesday evening for the week. It was so nice being away from the daily grind, but still being local. Tuesday night we went out to dinner at the Sandbar. We realized that we hadn't been there in almost 3 years!

Wednesday morning Brian went to work (he's taking off next week for me to go to El Salvador and didn't want to take off an entire week again) and the kids and I headed down to the beach. It was slightly overcast and pretty windy which made the temperature really comfortable. We played in the sand for a few hours, then headed back in for a snack. Good thing we did, because a storm rolled in and blew everything and everyone off the beach! After a Publix run, lunch, and naps we decided to venture out to the library to get some entertainment for the week. Thankfully when Brian got home the weather cleared up, so after a quick dinner in the condo we rode our bikes down to the city pier and got some ice cream.

Thursday Brian headed to work again, and of course we went back down to the beach! The kids did a great job playing together and we had wonderful weather again. We have this funny trend where we coincidentally plan vacations to the same place at the same time as the Johnsons, so of course they were staying out on the island this week too! After lunch the kids and I headed over there to swim for the afternoon. When Brian got home went back out to the beach again. The kids got to fly their kites and Brian spent some time in the kayak. Unfortunately he couldn't convince any of them to go with him! We had another dinner at home and put the kids to bed early since the night before there was lots of crying and not much sleeping. Then Emily and Dave came over and we hung out for a few hours.

Friday was July 4th, and filled our day with fun! In the morning we got donuts from Anna Maria Island donuts. They were as amazing as we heard they were! Then we spent the morning on the beach with the Johnsons. We came back up for lunch and to rest before an evening full of fun! We invited friends out to the condo to watch fireworks and to eat some delicious Hickory Hollow BBQ. We definitely fit a lot of people into a tiny space! When it was time for fireworks we went back to the beach. We enjoyed some small fireworks and sparklers while waiting for it to get dark. We were surprised by how many people were setting off legit fireworks up and down the beach. We were just planning on watching the ones put on by the Sandbar, but were thrilled with the extra bonus! Caroline wasn't quite thrilled though. As soon as a loud one went off she got scared and started crying. Brian had to take her back inside.

Saturday morning we woke up and opted for a change of scenery. So we decided to take a bike ride! But after discovering how hot it was and how much traffic was still on the island we only made it to the library. The kids had a great time climbing on the stuffed animals, doing puzzles, and listening to stories. Then we hit the beach again in the afternoon. We spent a lot of time finding coquinas!

Saturday was also our 11 year anniversary, and Emily was super awesome in finding a babysitter that could come to the condo so Brian and I could go out for dinner! Brian made reservations at Beach Bistro, and since it was only a few blocks away we were able to walk down the beach to get there. We enjoyed a delicious dinner and some dessert, then walked back on the beach while the sun was setting.

After a little more beach time Sunday morning we got ready to go out for lunch. The weather was looking questionable, so we opted for the car instead of bikes and headed to Rod 'n' Reel pier. Then Sunday evening we invited our church small group out to the beach. We enjoyed some frisbee, kayaking, and chatting on the beach until the sun went down.

Monday was our last day at the beach, and unfortunately it was really rainy. It rained pretty much all morning and wasn't supposed to stop so we decided that if we were going to be stuck inside we'd rather be stuck in our house. So we packed everything up and checked out a day early. But before we left the island we stopped at Poppo's Tacos for a delicious lunch.

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