Well, I was so excited to splash beach pictures across the rest of the web, that I forgot to share here. The horror.
We had a great week in Anna Maria Island, Florida (you can see my past recaps here (baby Harper!), here (Beach Week - aka Courtney's wedding there!), and here).
Anna Maria is a small town just south of Tampa that offers "old Florida charm" (as they say) with pretty beaches, clear water, and enough restaurants and ice cream shops to keep you happy. There are only a few hotels and very little touristy stuff, so it's basically like renting a house in a neighborhood that happens to be steps from the beach. Not too shabby.
I was a little nervous about Harper - afraid she would scream the entire 7 hours there and back, would eat the sand, would not sleep, etc. There were hiccups, but she did great overall. I can't wait until next year when she's walking (running!).
I slathered her with sunscreen and we hit the beach. She loved the ocean, as I knew she would.
And once I let her down onto the sand, sure enough, she took a big ol mouthful of sand and ate it before I could stop here.
But I think, for once in her life, she learned her lesson and never tried it again.
We tried a few Pinterest tips, like using a Dollar Store shower curtain liner to make a little pool in the sand to keep her contained and cool.
Yeah, well, that lasted about five seconds. She pulled at the liner, started trying to get to the sand, stood up and crawled out of it. Oh well. Pinterest lies again.
Then we discovered there was a mini pack and play at the rental house. That sucker saved us for a few days at the beach! She only lasted twenty minutes or so in there, but those twenty were great! We also brought the jogging stroller with us down to the beach - 1. it helped us carry more stuff, including baby 2. she napped in it 3. it pushed really easily over the sand. Yay!
Also, I swear she had a bathing suit on that first day. After that, I didn't bother. I mean, really, it's too much hassle. She was never in the sun long, so I didn't worry about it. Also, she has daddy's dark skin that doesn't burn easily.
Oh and yes, if you were wondering, there were people there besides Harper. Like, my awesome family. I loved getting to spend long, quality time with them. Weekend trips home are always too short.
|Is Lyla cute, or what??|
The only person missing was my brother-in-law Byron, who was traveling for work. Luckily, his wife brought along someone...
The weather was decent. We got sunny mornings, but thunderstorms and rain every.single.evening.
Yikes, that's a dark sky.
Not one sunset to be seen. (That's my favorite part of beaching, so I was sad!).
But we made do.
But what we missed in sunsets we gained in pretty mornings. Tony and I love getting up early (ok, well, the kid wakes us up anyway) and going for walks.
Luckily, we could walk both on the beach...
....and down the sidewalk through the town, stopping at a cute little coffee shop on the way to the bay-side pier.
|The local chapel bathed in morning light.|
The early sunlight is just perfect. And the fish are out in the zillions, making it a perfect spot to watch the birds catch their breakfast.
While we caught our own...
The only thing I regret is not getting a proper group shot. :( It's funny too, to think about how this trip has changed each year. The first year was a big party, the second one was a chance to spend time with baby Lyla, the third was Courtney and Bryon's wedding!, and the past two trips have been the most different for us as we experience beach-as-parents. Each trip has been different, but they all share the same undertones of love and family.