Mainly, it's the packing of 'what is needed'.
As a mom, this is my role--and I would not trust it to my husband.
Do I love my husband and trust him in everything?
Of course I do.
But, if it was left to him to pack for the two kids...
well, they'd probably have an outfit or two, one pair of pjs and some diapers...
and he would call it a day.
True, I could travel lighter...
a lot lighter.
But, would I be prepared if Kix blew out a diaper and his current outfit?
Would I have just the right snack at the right time when needed?
Would I have toys I packed away months back (to make them seem like new) ready to entertain two boys in the backseat BEFORE the fussing ensues?
Would I have countless blankets and swimsuits in case any get buried and disappear in the sand?
Traveling light has it's advantages...
but, if you're doing a road trip---
packing-Griswold-style means you usually have one of everything.....for everyone ;)
Mostly though, PACKING and vacationing with kids--means preparation.
It's all about being prepared and organized.
I'm pretty good about the latter....for the most part.
One week at the beach meant we needed a lot.
Of course, NOT all items were utilized but most were.
The major obstacle is the 12 hour drive across 5 state lines.
We cross -Texas- state line,
and then lastly, Florida!
*It's kinda cool to past through all the many states so quickly! Plus, it means that Kix has many 'firsts' in a span of a few hours ;)
It's an easy enough drive--
if the traffic isn't bad and it's not raining too much.
But, the closer you get to the coast---the weather gets weirder (raining and sun shining?) and the traffic starts to thicken once you hit the coastal towns.
All in all---the drive down wasn't bad.
I had put away a few of Kie's favorite DVDs and toys to make them feel new--and even surprised him with a small new toy (car) to keep the drive interesting.
Kie was a champ!
I was worried about Kix, but since we had two dvd/movie screens--it seemed to help and thank goodness for Kie,
He always entertained his little brother!
We would just ask Kie to sing to Kix and soon Kix's little whimpers turned into laughs!
I really couldn't ask for better kids on the way down.
We drove close to 9hours the first day--and stayed in our reserved room in Gulfport.
We had every intention that first day to see the beach in Gulflport/Biloxi but with the dreary, rainy weather---we decided to stay in!
We ended up swimming at the hotel, had a early dinner and turned in so we could wake with the sunrise to head into Florida.
That night, I even escaped to the gym's hotel and did a good few miles on the treadmill and elliptical.
It felt good to stretch my legs after being in the car for awhile.
The next morning, J and I got an early start on the road.
We knew the weather was suppose to be bad so we got our coffees and got on the road to Pensacola.
The weather cleared right as we crossed over the last bridge into the 'island'.
Pensacola is such a beautiful little beach town.
It's big enough with enough to do--and see, but it's not overly touristy like Destin.
Like I mentioned, we did dinners hosted by the different families every night.
The night I had to cook, my sweet cousin, Erika and I cooked together.
Our generous dads went out to Joe Patti's (where they have all the fresh seafood that comes straight off the fisherman's boats) and they got us nearly 20lbs of shrimp.
We did boiled shrimp, tons of fresh French bread, a colorful-veggie filled salad and some cream cheese iced chocolate brownies.
Every night at the beach--we feasted like kings!
I think I gained nearly 7lbs of shrimp, po-boys and baguettes.
However, I did try to counteract SOME of my food by taking a daily walk on the beach in the ams.
I would feel like I had walked thousands of miles, then I'd check my walking app to realize I'd only gone 2 miles lol.
Also, one of the days--Justin got to go outscuba diving.
It was a really neat experience because he got to dive on a World War I boat, The USS Massachusetts! Here's the boat!
Justin is such an adventuring kind of man!
I love that about him.
One day, my plan is to get my scuba diving license to join him for some short dives.
All in all...it was probably one of the best beach trips we've had.
The kids were great! (all 5 of the kiddos!)
The food and family time was amazing!
And I'm forever grateful to my merciful and loving Savior that I have such a great family!
So very blessed.
We may not be perfect, we may be a little eccentric and quirky---but regardless, I'd have it no other way ;)
|Kix getting comfy|
|Me and Captain Cutie|
|Two of my three handsome guys!|
|Uncle J, Amelia Jane and Kie playing|
|Little kid at heart!|
|Kix loved the ocean! lol|
|Ellis, Papa and Granny|
|Kie and Adler|
|kisses for Adler|
|beautiful Aunt Amanda|
|Kie and his two kites|
|RuthEllen doing a victory dance on the volleyball court lol|