I should've called this vacation The One with all the Beaches. Haha :)
To see part 1, click here and for part 2, click here. Today's post is the final installment of this fun beachy vacation.
We woke up early again on Wednesday and went to one of our favorite spots, Boca Grande.
We set up on the beach and got busy relaxing, playing, and enjoying the sun, sand and sea. Aiden and Anders became experts at beach days. Swim trunks & shirt - check, hat - check, beach toys - check.
Grandma spent a good twenty minutes loading the plane onto the spring. Thanks, Mom!
Seriously, could you ask for anything better? We had lots of room to spread out and it's a lot easier to watch the boys like this. The boys love Boca Grande. The waves wash up pretty far so they have lots of surf to play in, they can run pretty far back and forth, and there's lots of shells to pick.
I'll cherish this picture forever. They won't be so small, able to share a beach chair for much longer.
This shirt of his is my favorite on him. Add the hat, and I can't stop giving him tons of kisses and taking tons of pictures. My sweet, sweet baby!
I don't have many pictures of Loretta from this day because some of her friends who were down the beach came and found her. Lucky! :) She got to take a break from Aiden & Anders to hang out with friends her age.
If you turned into a street and saw this view, would you walk down the path? Boca Grande is dreamy!
See? Can't stop taking pictures! (The hat was $3 at Target and the shirt is fromTarget, too. $4 I think.)
We backed up, turned the van around, and I looked back there. Sleeping already! That's what a busy beach day will do for you.
When we got back home to Grandma and Grandpa's, the boys ran around outside for awhile. A few days before this, a mama armadillo and her four babies were hanging out in the yard. Those things are fierce and transmit leprosy, so we didn't want to have the kids outside a lot. My mom called local wildlife biologists and they came and set traps but at this point they hadn't caught all of them yet.
Thursday was our last day down there and when I woke up I was finally feeling better! Yay! Of course we woke up early and this time we headed back to Fort Muers Beach. This time we parked a couple blocks from the beach in the $5 lot. The boys walked so I could push all of the beach stuff in the stroller.
Lucky me, I had some big helpers along. Cousins!
More cousins. :)
Aiden looks up to Wesley so much. Wesley is the oldest grandchild on my side of the family so he's kind of everyone's buddy. It's fun to watch him grow up and I just love that Aiden adores him so much. We'll be at home and he'll say something about Wesley. Anytime I tell Aiden he's getting big, he'll say "I'm getting so big like Wesley!" It's the cutest thing. I'm glad Wesley is okay with a three year old being so pumped on him. ;)
We sure took advantage of our last day and our last chance to soak in all this Vitamin D goodness. I'm glad I have so many pictures of my boys at this age because I know every stage is so fleeting.
I'm getting all teary thinking about how big they're going to be when they get back into all their swim gear this summer.
I spot some familiar faces! These kids got to go for a walk to the pier with Grandma and Auntie Heidi. Lucky!
We ate LOTS of p and j sandwiches on this trip. (Ask Loretta how many she made!)
Oh my sweet, sweet Anders. You honestly couldn't be cuter.
Aiden got brave! He came all the way into the water with me and he was so so proud! Look at that smile!
He would be good for about a minute, then turn around and run as fast as he could for the safety of the shore.
While Anders slept, Heidi, Loretta, Wesley, Aiden and I went for lunch at one of the Times Square restaurants.
Aiden was so excited to be out with the big kids. He wanted pizza, a hot dog, french fries, and some ice cream. I made a deal with him. If he could finish his hot dog and french fries and still wanted pizza, I'd get him some. He finished his hot dog and fries and decided to skip the pizza and go straight for the ice cream. Good call, Aiden!
Back on the beach, we played and swam for a little longer before packing up. It was so bittersweet because I knew it would be close to a year before I'd be back.
One last picture of Anders lounging in that wonderful Florida air before we packed up (for real) and headed north.
We left my mom and dad's, intending on making it to Lake City that night. Dave tried finding us a room and the whole city was sold out. So was Gainesville. And Valdosta, Georgia. What?!!! I was starting to panic, thinking I was going to have to drive four extra hours and get to Atlanta at 2 or 3am. I was so tired already, recovering from the strep throat. Lucky for us, Dave found the last room in Ocala. That meant we only drove three hours instead of four or five (our original plan), so I knew the next day was going to be loooooong for us. We got on the road around 8:00 the next morning and proceeded to hit major traffic in Atlanta, Marietta, Chattanooga, and north and south of Nashville. Needless to say, we were thrilled to make it home and get out of the van. Loretta had to get back in a van the next day and spent a whole extra day traveling. What a long trip!