(Note -- a little lengthy for our memories.....but great pictures at the end!)
We got home from our first family vacation yesterday and as we were leaving the resort where we stayed, I said to D, "Usually - I go on vacation, I have a fantastic time, and I'm ready to go home. This time, I've had a fantastic time and I'm so not ready to go home." We needed another week!!
The week ended with beautiful weather, lots of beach time and relaxation. We spent much of Thursday and Friday on the beach - we had a sun tent for the girls and we rented an umbrella and beach chairs for us. I'll tell you - it was quite a feat getting the girls down to the beach......we used the carriers for the girls so we could have our hands free and we still had tons of stuff - at least for the first day. The second day we figured out what we could live without and left it behind.
The girls were great for their first time on the beach. We sat them down on a towel and Sofia immediately found the sand. And the sand immediately found her mouth. I'm not kidding - within 5 minutes of getting on the beach, that kid had sand in her mouth. I don't know which was funnier -- watching her eat sand like it was applesauce or watching Daddy's reaction to one of his daughters eating sand. We knew it was going to happen, but he still wasn't prepared. We tried as hard as we could to keep her from eating it, but sometimes it was a lost cause.
Olivia, at first, had no interest in the sand. She was more interested in the water bottle I had given her to play with (which led to bringing far less toys the next day, but making sure we had another water bottle!). When we sat the girls on the beach to take pictures, D showed her the sand and there was no looking back. Amazing how fast they "get" the hand-eye coordination when they have something they're not supposed to!
We took them to the very edge of where the tide was coming in to get some pictures with the ocean in the background and they weren't deterred by the wet sand -- it still made it to the mouth! The waves weren't making it up to where they were sitting until this one wave crashed a good distance behind them but it was enough to just reach where they were sitting so water swirled around them. They both looked up when the water touched them and Sofia went right back to her fists full of sand......Olivia didn't like that at all! She cried and that was it for those pictures.
Rain would come and go - so we spent the mornings on the beach, including feeding the girls lunch, and then we either had lunch at the beach restaurant or we went to a local restaurant off the resort. By the time D and I had eaten lunch, the sun was back out and D was more than happy to take a nap with the girls while I went back out for some quiet time on the beach to read and people watch. It was heaven.
The girls also got their first dip in a swimming pool. The hotel had a really nice indoor (heated!) pool which was perfect for them. We had floats for them to sit in and on Thursday we took them swimming. Olivia took to it pretty quickly - she was kicking her legs from the time we put her in the float. Sofia was a little more cautious. At one point her legs and feet floated behind her so that, had she not been in the float, she would have been floating on her stomach, and she just looked like she didn't know what to think about being buoyant. She got used to it, though, and both girls had a good time. I took turns with each of them taking them out of the float and letting them "swim" with me and that's when Sofia really warmed up to it.
We talked to so many people we met during our stay. The girls are great conversation starters - haha. They were a favorite of the gentlemen who worked at the hotel entrance (the bellmen, etc.) and whenever they would see us coming with the double stroller, they would hurry to hit the button that opened both doors followed by "There's my favorite girls!".
Oh oh oh. Here's something funny. On one of the days early in the week - Tuesday, I think - D and I put the girls in the carriers and walked around the resort to check everything out (it was a Marriott property and it was really nice) and when we came back in, D wanted a drink. Of the adult kind. So we stopped and he ordered his drink and we decided to sit and rest (those carriers are nice, but it's still 17 and 18 pounds of baby!). We were chatting away and I finally realized where we were. I looked at D and said "We have our babies in a bar!!" Nice! It was in the middle of the afternoon (before happy hour - ha!) and there was no one else around - so it's not like it was a "bar" bar, if you know what I mean, but it was still hilarious.
Our drive home was a little more eventful than the drive down........we fed the girls breakfast and decided to hit the road, planning to stop half way to feed them lunch. We stopped at a rest area and sat at a picnic table to feed them lunch, fully expecting them to go back to sleep for the rest of the ride home. Yeah. Right. After about 45 minutes (and still over an hour away from home) Olivia had enough and started to cry. And I mean cry. No whining this time. All out crying. And there was nothing we could do so we tried to tune her out (after making sure she was okay, of course). She was nod off to sleep and then wake up 5 minutes later and start all over. When she finally went to sleep, Sofia woke up and cried here and there. They were both ready to be out of the car. I think our ears were ringing when we got home! They had an early bed time last night......well -- our intention was an early bed time because they were over tired, but they screamed their cute little heads off so we brought them back downstairs. Call it giving in if you want, but after riding with Olivia crying forever, we were in no condition to let them cry it out. Thankfully after about 10 minutes they were out.
So! Overall the first family vacation was a smashing hit. The week started out a little dreary, both in the weather and with sick girls, but ended on a great note that left us talking about when and where our next trip would be!!
Below are some of my favorite pictures from our trip and I've also added a slide show of more pictures from our trip on the sidebar to the right. Enjoy!