Our Maple Tree

Keeping up with The Maples

First Family Vacation

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Last week we took our very first family vacation. We rented a beach front condo off the gulf of Florida with our dear friends and had an absolute blast! This was the first beach experience for Ada and it was so precious to watch. She loved the beach! She couldn’t get enough of the water and loved chasing the waves. Every morning she would wake up saying, “Ocean girl! I ocean girl!” Which she then preceded to bring us her bathing suit saying, “Baby soup, baby soup.” Yeah, it was pretty darn cute, even though it was usually before sunrise.

We started every day chasing toddlers around the condo with sunscreen & swim diapers and at the beach by 8:30 am. We spent our mornings playing in the sand and our afternoons in the ocean.

Ada’s favorite thing to do at the beach was for us to hold her, walk about waist deep in the ocean, and jump the waves. She would scream in delight every time a wave hit us. It was so much fun! And being the klutz that I am, face planted the ocean from a surprisingly large wave in the back. Luckily, I wasn’t holding Ada and I didn’t lose my hat & sunglasses (silver lining). After that, I didn’t hold Ada in the ocean any more or venture in waist deep. 😉

The Gathre leather mat was great for the beach, because the sand just falls right off it and there was no need to wash it. It just wipes clean! Great for toddlers & all their little adventures, fyi!

After nap time (for all of us), we would go back out and do all over again. We stayed out until sunset just about every day. It was so great to just unplug from everything, play outside all day, and enjoy the majestic display of God’s creation from morning to night.

We did, of course, leave the beach and explore Destin & Rosemary Beach. The Merchants of Rosemary Beach is so beautiful and I just loved the shops & restaurants. The green space is so beautifully manicured and the architecture is really unique with an old world vibe. My favorite was lunch (shocker!) at Wild Olives where we enjoyed a wonderful cheese platter & wine. But I believe Ada’s favorite was the ice cream shop, Sugar Shak. And just a little note, the people were not friendly and store was not kid friendly. There were all kinds of signs and rules against children in their shop (I mean, it is an ice cream and candy shop. There are going to be kids in there!) and the people were just happy to be alive (insert sarcasm here). But Ada was happy with the end result which was an ice cream cone. 

Taking a trip with your best friends is the greatest thing ever, especially when you have littles. Not only do the adults have fun together, but so do the little ones. And having four adults keeping an eye on the kids at the beach makes the day go so much smoother. Plus, you can trade off date nights! Which is what we did to celebrate our 8 year anniversary! We went to the sweetest, most romantic little restaurant ever! It was called, Beach Walk Cafe. We had dinner outside on their porch by candle light and listened to the waves crash in the distance. I felt like I was in a movie, more specifically, A Walk to Remember. The scene where he takes her out to dinner and they are eating outside by the beach… yeah, it was that romantic! I would love the chance to stay at their B&B for a romantic weekend away someday.

Overall, we had a fantastic time with our friends at the beach and can’t wait to go on another adventure with them. But I believe my most favorite thing on this trip was watching the wonder and excitement of my daughter meeting the beach for the first time. This trip will definitely be one that I will always remember. Thank you Florida for an awesome time… until next time.

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