Thursday, April 10, 2008

Destination Destin (Part Four)

We arrived about two hours later than we had planned due to traffic, stops, etc. The on-site “owner’s representative” was expecting us closer to 3 or 4. I called her when we got there and she was rather crabby saying she got tired of waiting and went on to do some errands. Oh, really—tired of waiting?!? Lady, I just rode in a car for 8 hours with three children ages seven and under. Whatever. She said she would stop by the next day to pick up the check.

We went to the store and loaded up on food. One reason when we travel renting a house is the best option for us is the kitchen. Our kids never eat a restaurants and it is almost always a guaranteed way to flush $50 down the drain. We need a kitchen to be able to cook—it ensures everyone actually eats and saves us a ton of money, and stress. Did I mention how terrible our kids are in restaurants? No doubt the result of never taking them to restaurants, so the blame is on us. At any rate, we went to the store and vacation freedom was in full force—they could get whatever they wanted, but even with that, I was so pleased with their choices. Phillip brought several things to me and asked for help reading the label and on a few, once I read it, he put it back—even though he had the freedom to get it. Back to the house to put the groceries up, unpack, eat dinner (which consisted of everyone's favorite item they just bought at the grocery store--lots of cereal for dinner that night) and get to bed.

The days that followed were relatively calm. The weather was cool and very windy. But, the sun was out in full force almost every day. The cool temperatures didn’t really bother me, I was just glad to see the sun. After four-plus months of no more than a few hours of sunshine, it does the soul good to see blue skies day after day after day. Ideally it would have been warmer so we could enjoy the beach more, sit on the porch in the evenings, etc. But, it was too chilly. In fact, each morning we would turn the heat on in the house because it had gotten so cold over night; it was dropping to the high 30s low 40s each night.

There was a beautiful pool and hot tub in the complex where we spent most of our time in the sun. The kids played and we relaxed, reading magazines. Andrew spent the first few days watching from the sidelines, but by the last day was being so brave in the water he was making me nervous. There were other kids there and they made friends, playing for hours on end with the toys I brought for the pool or beach, but figured mostly pool.

We went to the beach several times, but often it was too cold or windy to really enjoy it. The kids did still get in the ocean some, but it was freezing and even they shied away from it (except a few brave attempts). But, we did build sand castles, play football, take walks, put our feet in the sand and relax. Phillip loves the ocean, always has. Sam I think, despite how brave and fearless he is, senses the enormity of it and approaches it with a bit of caution. The last day, we were able to spend a good several hours at the beach in the sun—and were warm enough to just be in our bathing suites.

Our first full day there--Easter Sunday--we stopped by the beach in the morning. The gulf was calm, water was clear and the beach was empty. It was cool, but the boys couldn't resist playing in the sand and water.

The mornings were naturally the coldest part of the day, we would usually have a very slow start to the day, lounging around home. Then, we would do something other than the beach/pool, saving that for the warmer part of the day. We really couldn’t handle much more than a few hours of total sun exposure a day, so it worked out nice. No matter how much sunscreen I put on Phillip and what level, he still gets too much sun. I applied 40 three times in a period of about five hours and he still got burned. I moved to the 50 for the kids and it seemed to do the trick. Phillip has Jeff’s skin tones and Sam definitely has mine—Andrew is somewhere in between.

Every day we went to the beach, the flag warnings were the same. Purple was for sea life alert. There were many dead jellyfish washed up on the shore to prove the warning was necessary.

Andrew played delivery man for hours. He would load the wagon with all the beach toys and then take a little walk on the beach. He would return by announcing, "Delivery man" and ask what each of us needed. I might say a blue shovel, he would hand it to me and move on to the next person. Then, come and collect what he delivered and start all over again.

I dug a big hole in the sand and the boys jumped in. While standing, we burried their legs and then they would pop out. I used to LOVE being burried in the sand when I was little.

Sam was practicing writing his name in teh sand over and over--S-A-M he would tell me and then we would watch it wash away.


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Anonymous said...

We need more Parmelee adventure reports!