Helloooooo, lil' ol' blog o' mine. I've been gone but for good reason: I'm returning here after the loveliest beach week with our Luton "side" of the family. This year, we headed to Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida. And we just had such an awesome time! We hit the jackpot with the weather - we basically had sunshine during the mornings and afternoons and an occasional summer storm (one BIG one) some evenings. The house we stayed in was right on the beach, and the sunrises were breathtaking! And the beaches - wow! I swear, it felt like our own private beach most days! The sand was so smooth and long and flat, offering plenty of space for kiddo (and adult!) play during our MANY hours on the beach. The waves were awesome, too - they were small enough for the kids to boogy board on but big enough to get some good speed while riding those waves, too! The only downside would be the distance. With potty break/lunch stops, it probably took us about 7 hours to drive. So, it was far, but we definitely made the most of it once we arrived!
Instead of recapping every.single.moment., I thought I'd list out 10 of my favorite memories from the week, in no particular order. So, here I go!:
(1) Hitting the ground running. Literally. As soon as we arrived, the kids (our three and my niece/nephew) couldn't get their swimsuits on fast enough. And that's pretty much how it went all week. Wake up, eat breakfast, make the kids lounge for a bit, get on the beach by 10:00 am and stay out until 4:00 pm or so. Because the house was on the beach, it made for very easy potty, nap, food, etc., breaks.
(2) Family walks. One of my favorite things to do at the beach is take a walk as a family, in the evening. This year was no different, and it was a perfect way to cap off our first night.
(3) Sunrises. Like I said, we got to view some beautiful sunrises. God was definitely showing off His skillz. ;)
(4) Morning walks. Not to be outdone by our evening walks, I loved taking all five kiddos out for morning walks two different days. The second time, we stumbled upon the literal "Turtle Patrol" who was marking off a brand new turtle nest! He taught us all about the turtle tracks coming in and out of the water, showed how he knew where to dig to confirm the eggs, and answered all 5,697 of Banks' questions. :) It really was an awesome experience!
(5) Playtime with my littles. I so enjoy spending time with my kiddos at the beach. While I certainly sneak in some tanning time, beach napping time, cornhole playing time, grown-up chatting time, etc., my favorite times are getting to play with my littles, both individually and together. It may be boogy boarding over and over and over again, or building castles, or hunting minnows, or getting beat in cornhole, or playing beach baseball - it's all fun to me!
(6) Seeing them in their elements. I've said it before, but my Lu Crew is an active bunch. We love being outside and getting exercise and playing and getting out our energy. And at the beach, this comes in all forms and fashions. :)
(7) Momma shopping trip. Every year, we mommas take a morning to spend time together and do a little shopping. And this year was no different! We hit up some local outlets, scored some great deals, and had great conversation along the way. AND we were home in time to enjoy the rest of the afternoon on the beach. Win-win!
(8) Niece/nephew/uncle/aunt/Nana/Pop/cousin time. I LOVE being an aunt, and I love spending time playing with my nieces and nephews. And then seeing my kiddos play with their uncles and aunts and grandparents and each other! Nothing sweeter. <3
(9) Celebrating our anniversary. Our 13th wedding anniversary fell on Monday of last week, and my "in laws" were so kind to offer to watch our kiddos so my hub and I could go out to eat. We ate at a yummy waterside restaurant and made it back to the car in time RIGHT before a HUGE storm hit. So. We drove back to the beach house but couldn't get out of the car because it was monsooning and their was lightening striking literally right in front of us. Once there was a brief stop in the rain, we ran to the first floor rec room of the beach house and played ping pong for a bit before re-joining the fam upstairs. :)
(10) My people. My favorite part of the trip is just being with family. Now more than ever in my life, I know that family is everything. These beach trips are so important because we are creating beautiful family memories that I will hold on to forever and rely on when I need them most. I know we are incredibly blessed to have amazing people on both "sides" of our family, and I definitely don't take it for granted. So, I cherish our time away, and I cherish our people, and I look forward to it each year. <3
And that's a wrap on our Ponte Vedra trip! We squeezed in equal parts fun and relaxation, and I enjoyed every minute. Now, the planning for next summer's beach trip begins!