Forced Family Fun in Florida

Hi there folks!

Hope your summer is going great so far.  We are on our first family beach vacation with the little one and it has been quite a ride!  The drive down was actually pretty good.  We made it to Conway, Arkansas and with the exception of a 45 minute bout of unhappiness we all seemed to survive unscathed.

Conway, ArkansasThe next day the drive was quite a bit longer and Baby M got to visit her 4th, 5th, 6th and 7th states (TN, MS, AL, and FL).  We determined that she doesn’t like to be in the car right around sundown (we had another screaming fit at almost the exact same time as the night before), but she was a trooper and we arrived safe and sound in Florida.  Will and I were really excited to take her in the tunnel in Mobile, but she didn’t even notice – guess we’ll have to come back when she is older.

The next day we decided that Baby M needed to see the ocean.  Will and I both envisioned a magical moment where we walked to the shore as a family and she would feel the waves hit her toes and squeal with joy – you know something like this. Will described it like this: “let me explain about a baby and big firsts. I am super into making sure that baby M has positive firsts and I want to be there to see it through her eyes. So I was very excited to be there and take her to the beach. I wanted to hold her in the water and watch her face as the water hits her and she would smile and there would be cute pics.” But…it didn’t quite work that way for us. 😁 So here’s the story of our first family trip to the beach.

First there’s the problem of getting to the beach. We have never been to this particular spot in Florida and we really need beach access with relatively close parking since we have Baby M and all her stuff. Unfortunately all we can find is public beach access on one side of the road with parking a ways down and across a busy street. So I have the brilliant idea of trying the state park. It will be pretty and quiet and just the right setting for our first beach experience. We pull in, pay our $4 and so far so good. There’s parking in the shade and a path to the beach. 👍 Our car doesn’t really have a trunk and the diaper bag kind of looks like a purse, so I better take it with us. Better to carry it than worry about somebody breaking a window, right? But we are just gonna run down to the water real quick so we don’t really need to reapply sunscreen before we head out… We’ll just leave the sunscreen in the car. I mean we can practically see the beach from here. ☀️

So we start off down the path and realize that it isn’t exactly a direct route to the beach. It turns away from the water and winds between some sand dunes and then heads back toward the water. Well, it can’t be that far, and we already paid our $4…👣👣👣…Hmmm… I am not really liking baby M being in the sun this much, but we are almost there. Let’s try covering her up with her nursing cover. Man it is starting to get hot! Ok let’s uncover her because we don’t want her to overheat! Better a little sunburn than heat exhaustion, right? We’re pretty sure at this point that we are out of the running for any parent awards… But she is gonna LOVE the ocean! 🌊

Oh and did I mention that this path to the beach is sand? In Will’s words: “This is a terrible walk. It is all sand. I hate sand, every step I kick up sand on my legs. It is getting warm and we are walking into the sun.” So Will is miserable because he hates sand and is kicking it up the back of his legs with every step and then… my flip flop breaks! 😂 So now I am dragging this huge diaper bag with one flip flop down this sandy path with no shade in sight and Will is carrying Baby M and still kicking sand up his shorts and trying his best to keep her comfortable. But I promise we are almost there! 😳

We must have walked half a mile by now but we have finally made it to the beach! 🙌🙌 And it’s beautiful! This is a real photo that I took when we arrived. In the meantime Baby M has fallen asleep, but that’s ok. We can just wake her up for this…

 So here we are… Beautiful blue ocean, white sandy beach, adorable baby, and two very relieved parents. Better take a video to document this moment:

 So instead of squealing with joy when the waves touch her toes she breaks down crying… Not quite what we had in mind. Well, not much else to do but start the trek back and laugh all the way. Me in my one flip flop trying to go as fast as I can with the giant diaper bag and the sand hot as heck on my foot, Will using his body to shade Baby M from the sun, both of us laughing at the whole situation… And then a big cloud moves in and it looks like it might start pouring ☔️☔️☔️ This just couldn’t get any better 😜

Luckily, it didn’t start to rain and the cloud helped cool the sand and us off a little bit. We make it back and notice a sign: “Path to beach 0.6 miles, approximately 20 minute walk.” Oops!

I don’t look warm or worn out in this pic, do I? 😉 Will and I were pretty sweaty and somewhat covered in sand, but I am happy to report that Baby M was totally fine and didn’t even get any sunburn ☺️ And hopefully you got a good laugh out of our silliness!

Stay tuned for more adventures 😁

Xoxo,

M

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