Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Tiny Takes the Beach

The morning Tiny left the beach to head to Louisiana, we had a little beach walk because you have to take beach pics with an adorable little subject. Particularly when you KNOW your teen isn't gonna cooperate for a little photo shoot. It's a rule, right? :)

She explored and I snapped. And she was adorable.

And needed a hand at times to navigate the thick sand.

But mostly was super independent. And precious.

She may be tiny. And have tiny footprints. But she's left huge marks on this big ol' world since coming into our lives.

And I wouldn't want it any other way.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Last Days in Paradise

Our last couple of days at the beach were bittersweet. Tiny was gone with Nana and Boppy so we headed to the lake for some kayaking with the older girls. Love the workout of kayaking. Not gonna lie. :)

Then we spent the afternoon hanging out in the waves...

...and walking the beach. We found a starfish and also had a close encounter with a 4-foot shark that we didn't even realize until a fellow beachgoer alerted us. Fun times.

That night we headed out to dinner and finally took a few pics...

...on the beach for posterity.

We ate dinner at a super fun restaurant, hit the mini golf course again and even went to one last souvenir shop. Because these girls because one can never have too many t-shirts.

The next morning we bid adieu to the beautiful beach and picked Tiny up at Maw Maw's a few hours later.

And we made quite a fun detour... West Monroe!

And we even ate at Willie's restaurant, which may have been the best food we had on the entire trip. No lie.

Many, many moons later (or so it seemed), we finally made it home. And jumped right into back to school preparations as my girl started 10th grade two days later. It was such a fun trip and I'm so glad we decided to drive a little farther for vacation this time.

Next year, though...I imagine we won't venture quite as far. :)

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Surfside and Sleepy

We made good on our decision to spend vacation Wednesday being lazy, no doubt.

Exhibit A.

Exhibit B.

Exhibit C.

Exhibit D. And I'm pretty sure the older girls only made it downstairs to sit on the side of the pool on this day. Didn't even get in the water. :)

It was a good day indeed.

 On Thursday, we drove to Pensacola Beach and had a belated birthday lunch for Tonto at Flounder's. Taylor, Dave and I ate there years ago on our way back from Disney World. And it's still just as good today as it was then. After lunch we headed over to the souvenir store next door (Tiny had to walk herself, clearly) so the teenagers could get a t-shirt to prove they had been in Pensacola.

My parents decided to hang out in Pensacola for a while and I'm pretty sure they even drove on to Destin at some point but the girls, Dave and I went back to Alabama and hung out here (view from the pool).

Tiny spend this day eating ice. Which she's done every day since, I'm almost certain. She looooooves it.

It was a beautiful afternoon...

...that we enjoyed immensely...

...before heading over to Gulf Shores for a little mini golfing. It's just kind of our thing.

Tiny really wanted to play. But it was soooooo hot outside that she and Dad went back to the arcade where we learned the girl is a GAMER.

After the teens and I finished golf and some go-carting, they got in a few games of shuffleboard before we had dinner at Zaxby's. We tried it because we always hear about it and, yes, their chicken is good. But we're so spoiled by Bush's and Cane's because their chicken was TINY. But, still, good.

We ended another fun day with a beautiful sunset. And some Rita's custard.

But we were also a little sad because Tiny was leaving the following morning with Nana and Boppy. They were going back to Maw Maw's for an extra night and we had a great time with the older girls but it's always hard to see her go. Was a super fun evening, though. :)

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo

So, yeah, last week was insane. And this week probably will be too - but hopefully slightly less so. All that to say I'm finally making it back to talking about vacation. And, at this point, reminiscing about those slower, relaxing days is comforting. Not gonna lie.

So Tuesday of vacay began like this...

...morphed into this...

...and turned into absolute gloriousness. 

But there was also a short trip on the itinerary - one that I had been super excited about for weeks. We headed to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo - The Little Zoo That Could - over in Gulf Shores. They weren't kidding about it being a small zoo but it was super fun, mostly because they offer some encounters that we'd never experienced before.

Like interacting with and holding baby joeys!!!

I could you not love this? And, of course, Tiny was enthralled and may have tried to play chase with them. It's just who she is.

They also allowed you to purchase food and feed the animals (sans, you know, lions, tigers and such) throughout the experience. Tiny loooooved feeding them but preferred to do with Taylor. Sissy is pretty much the bomb and the babe will do anything Taylor will. 

If Taylor likes it? Sold! If Taylor eats it? Give me some. It's amusing. And adorable.

This zoo had a ton of goats. It was sort of a strange conglomeration of animals but it was still a fun little outing. :)

Playing peek a boo with Mr. Alligator.

After sweating our way through seeing all of the animals - seriously, it was SOOOOOO humid - we headed to our second encounter. This time we were hanging with lemurs.

They were even more fun than the kangaroos and we could've hung out with them for hours. Such sweethearts and their paws are like tiny hands. We may have held hands and this guy may have groomed the heck out of my hat.

Taylor also wanted to take one home with her.

We headed home right as it started raining - perfect timing - and after a quick lunch, we hit the pool. On this day, Tiny saw her sister in the pool and refused to go to the beach. She was alllll about Taylor. She loved the pool on this day and jumped off the side to all of us. Repeatedly. Which was absolutely a first.

Nana and Boppy made their bacon wrapped, cheese stuffed chicken for dinner that night and it was amazing. The older girls have decided "it's a vacation necessity." And I totally agree. Sooooo good. 

And at this point we were all so stinkin' tired that we deemed Wednesday the "lazy day." Sometimes you have to take a break from all the fun of the first half of vacation and recharge for the second half. :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Beachin' & Shoppin'

Our beach adventures took a somewhat different turn on Monday as we headed out to do some shopping at the outlet mall in Foley. Before we headed there, though, we did some early morning beach walking.

The sky that morning was absolutely stunning.

And, honestly, one of my favorite things to do at the beach is watch the sky - particularly at sunrise and sunset. Which is amusing because I pretty much ONLY do this while at the beach.

This was also the day Tiny discovered the chairs lining the beach in front of our condo. She climbed on these pretty much every day after and it may have been her very favorite part of the trip.

After a trip to Lambert's (where they actually throw food at you) for lunch and a pretty successful trip to the outlet mall, we came back to the condo and hit the beach. Again.

And while many children like the water and hate the sand, Tiny was the exact opposite. She loved the sand more this day than any other, though, and really enjoyed us burying her legs. Over and over and over again. happy place.

And two of the three girlies who make my heart happy on a consistent basis.

We ordered pizza this night while Nana and Boppy went out to dinner. One of our takeaways from this trip is that Alabama cannot compare to Texas when it comes to pizza. There are a lot of positives to this particular area of the Gulf Coast but homemade, mom and pop pizza is not one of those things.

We were all in bed early because the next morning was to be one of the highlights of our vacation - a trip to the Alabama Gulf Coast Zoo! :)