I love vacations for so many reasons. There's the obvious...being away from home. It seems like there is never a single worry or stress while doing nothing but having a good time for an entire week. For us, vacation usually brings the great joys in life like staying up late and watching great movies, sleeping in until we can't sleep anymore (usually an hour past normal time, sheesh!), enjoying fun activities together as a family, great food, tons of laughs.
This vacation was no exception. Everything we planned went perfectly! We started with a 15 hour drive from our home in Houston to the Wyndham Resort in Daytona Florida. Sounds nightmarish for most people with small children. But let me just do a little bragging for a second and say how wonderful and amazing ALL 3 of my "googies" were! Now, they did sleep the first 8 hours or so of the trip. Still, never a complaint! We stopped and got some yummy breakfast things, they watched a movie and...it was naptime!
Enough bragging. Once we got to the resort and got checked in and *finally* caught an elevator to the 14th floor, the kids went crazy. Not really crazy, just that fun excited energy where they race from room to room checking everything out and counting the television sets. Jumping on the beds, looking for the hidden bed (always a fun time) and marking their territories (with toys, not the way dogs do!) We didn't do much the first day besides checking out the pool and the resort grounds and ordering some pizza. Afterall, Mom and Dad had been up all night long. Ugh. So it was an early bedtime to get ready for Day 2 and the surprise we'd been keeping for months!
The next morning we got to the airport to pick up my brother, also known as Uncle Scott. The kids love him. They knew he was coming and they were excited to play, and hear stories about when we were kids. The surprise was that we were also picking up Grandma and Grandpa (Nolan's parents). Calvin has subtly renamed them "Maa-Maw" and "Man-Paw". We think its darling. Anyway, they were all beside themselves to see them. They've been asking for them since we moved to Texas, so its been nearly 6 months since they last saw them. Here's a picture of Calvin when he first saw his maa-maw.
Calvin, catching a ride from ManPaw!
Here's Wyatt and I. After a few rounds of this game, he was ready to tackle the little waves all on his own, and he did really well!
Rylee worked very hard all week on her castle creations. You can see it just barely in the bottom right corner. In the background, you can see Wyatt going out to catch waves, and me sitting patiently while Calvin dumped water on my head. Over and Over and Over again!
My favorite of myself, on the boogie board. Nice photography moment for my sweet husband, who rarely picks up the camera!
From this point on, the days run together. There was lots of body-surfing, boogie-boarding, lazy river, water slides, splash pool, naps, movies, popcorn, minigolf, karaoke (Nolan can really sing, I'm there to be entertained), great meals and a general sense of togetherness and happiness. That is what I particularly love about vacation.
Now my brother, being a huge Daytona 500 fan, had himself a little dream. Its the sort of dream where you gear up and ride in a racecar around the Daytona track. *Snap* Dream come true. And it was the coolest thing ever! Just watching it was cool, but I'm sure he'd use different words to describe zooming around at 170mph! And he got this cool picture on a plaque when he was all finished. Really sealed the deal, that picture. The kids loved seeing him in the car, they're pretty sure he's an official race car driver! I'm not telling them anything different.
Lap 3, probably close to that 170 mark!
Climbing out of the car, which he did mention was pretty warm inside!
After taking everyone back to the airport waaaay to early on Sunday morning (I'm talking a departure of 4 am), we had a loungy family morning of napping. When I say napping, I mean I took the kids down to the kid pool so Nolan could sleep. Then while I "slept" they ran screaming through the room for an hour. After my crankies wore off, we had a lovely day at the beach. We built some interesting castles, I got buried again, I got pummeled by more waves and Calvin ate more sand. The next day was more of the same. By the end of it we were ready to say goodbye Daytona, hello open rode!
The drive home was uneventful. A little rainy. Lots of movies. The kids were awake for more of it, but they were still amazing little travelers. They're already asking when we can go back!
And just to toss in one more of Calvin, who is so photogenic and ended up in most of these vacation pictures. I just love the way he sticks his tounge out when he's watching daddy on the waves!