Florida Vacay 2013

We're back from an amazing trip to Florida's gulf coast!  I've been dreaming about taking kiddos to the beach since...well...before said kiddo even existed.  And I will say, the trip was everything I ever dreamt of, and more.  Our days were pretty low-key.  Wake up, Craig went for a run while I made breakfast, beach, lunch, pool, dinner, bed.  Repeat.  Times five days.  It was glorious.  We didn't even alter our plans for naps...lucky for us, Brantley is the most amazing kid ever and will sleep anywhere.  Beach, pool chair, Daddy's chest.  I don't think he took one nap in his Pack 'n Play the entire time!  Since our days were pretty low-key, I'm not going to write a play-by-play of our trip.  Instead, I think some bullet points of what I'd like to remember will sum it up!  And pictures, of course.  Lots and lots and lots of pictures.  I took nearly 200.  What do you expect for our first family trip to the beach?!

  • We stayed at the amazing Waterscape Resort on Okaloosa Island in Ft. Walton.  The pictures I posted in April were spot-on.  This place had two pools, two hot tubs, a kiddie pool (6 inches deep), a lazy river, a tiki bar, and multiple gas grills for use around the pool area.  Best pool area of any place I've ever been.  The only downfall?  Drinks had to be 4 feet from the water.

  • The resort was also right on the beach.  Included every day were two beach chairs and an umbrella.   

  • Our condo was a 1-bedroom 2-bathroom unit.  We may or may not have put Brantley's Pack 'n Play in the second bathroom.  He didn't mind and we didn't have to worry about waking him up when we went to bed!

  • The drive was close to 16 hours.  On the way there, we went 12 hours, stayed in Meridian, Mississippi, and finished the following day.  On the way home, we drove four hours to Eclectic, Alabama, stayed overnight to visit Craig's extended family, 14 hours to Wichita to get our dog, another overnight stay, and finally the 2 1/2 more back to KC on Sunday morning.  Whew! 

  • Brantley was the most amazing traveler ever!  Slept about 1/2 of the trip.  Was a perfect 1-year old the rest.  

  • We broke the rules and moved Brantley to a forward-facing carseat pre-road trip.  Though weirded out at first, he seemed to really enjoy it!  (Technically, we didn't break the rules...he meets the requirements, just not the "recommendation".) 

  • In Florida, we went to dinner three nights - Louisiana Lagniappe, McGuire's Irish Pub, and Crab Cantina.  I had the most amazing meal at Louisiana Lagniappe - some sort of spicy shrimp in pineapple sauce.  Craig didn't love his as much as mine...turns out, ordering food near the beach isn't easy with a shellfish allergy.

  • We cooked meals in our condo the other two nights.  Dining out in a touristy town, with a picky toddler, gets expensive! 

  • One day, we drove about 40 minutes to Seaside - a cute, little beach town with pastel houses and white picket fences where everyone gets around on a Mary Poppins bike.  Of course, we rented some and joined in on the fun.  It was hot, but probably our favorite day of the trip.  We even rode from Seaside to Seagrove Beach - the town my family has vacationed to a couple of times!

  • It was both Craig and Brantley's first trip to Florida! 

  • Brantley loved the ocean waves.  At one point, he laughed at them. 

  • He also loves air puppets.  Lots and lots of belly laughs.  Google it if you don't know what I'm talking about. 

  • It only rained once while we were there (on our last day).  The weather was near perfect otherwise.  Humid, but that was to be expected!

  • We met quite a few people from KC at our resort!  One family from the next subdivision over.  Small world... (Same thing happened in Hawaii two years ago!) 

  • Brantley's most recent favorite thing to do is to wave at people.  He waved at anyone and everyone at our resort.  By the week's end, people were referring to him as the "baby who waves".  No joke.

  • On the way home, we drove through a tiny Alabama town called Brantley!  Coincidentally, Brantley woke up as we were driving through!  We stopped for lunch about 10 minutes away in the next biggest town and felt really weird calling him by name!

And now for the pictures.  I tried tried to pick my favorites...


An amazing trip, it was, full of memories to cherish!  Part of the reason I had dreamt of going to the beach were the pictures that would come of the ordeal.  (Why yes, that is how my momarazzi bran works.)  Clearly, there were plenty!  But never did I imagine they would be my favorite pictures of the little man to date.  Minus the editing, slight blurriness, and people in the background, our professional pictures don't even compare to these in my mind.

Until next time, Florida!  Thanks for a great time!


  1. Great pictures! Looks like so much fun! :)

  2. Looks like a great place! Looks like you guys had a ton of fun!