(I am going to do this first post with the story, and then another post of just pictures!)
This past September we FINALLY were able to take a family vacation. (yes it is January, and I am just now posting about it, I know, I suck at this, but better late than never right?? Right!!
We included my mom on the mini vacation to #1 get a break from her crazy schedule, and #2 help us out with 4 kids who love water, well 2 that love water, and 2 whom we found out not so much!
After schedule conflicts and getting everyone off work at same time, we ended up choosing to go for a long weekend, Labor Day weekend! And after lots of researching, we decided to go with what we know best, Gulf Shores. Since it was a mini vacation I didn't want to waste it going somewhere we wouldn't have time time to do everything we wanted. This go round we just wanted a relaxing weekend on the beach!!! Well God had other plans for us. We just didn't know it yet!
We were up bright and early Thursday September 1st! Loaded up my moms van. When say it was full I mean seriously you couldn't fit another thing in it!!
We left out and headed to the beach!!
The ride there was okay for the first half. However not so much fun the 2nd half. Maggie and Madison at the time were 23 months. They wanted out of the car seats, screamed and cried for everything imaginable. I brought books, toys, lollipops, snacks, juice but nothing was helping. I was SO happy to see that sign pointing to beaches!! I knew we were close!
When we arrived we were a little worried, the sky was gray, and ocean was SO rough, and it was starting to rain. However the condo was BEAUTIFUL and we were hopeful that the storm would pass. WE WERE WRONG.
The storm was actually a little hurricane coming towards the gulf coast. Lovely, just lovely. Most people might have packed up and headed home, NOT US, we were determined to enjoy the weekend rain and all!
Once we unloaded we re loaded everyone and went out to the Shrimp Basket for a late lunch, early dinner! It was pretty delicious, but not as great as I heard it was. Then after we left we figured out why, the all you can eat shrimp night was Friday! Oops.
That night while everyone was at condo going to bed, I headed to Walmart to load up on groceries for breakfast's, lunches, and hopefully beach snacks!
The next day was still kind of yucky! So we hit the shops!
First stop was the surf shop to find hoodies for us all since shorts, tanks, and sandals aren't very pouring rain friendly!! Not to mention when it rains on the ocean, the breeze and winds are pretty chilly! So seeing that they were hurricane winds, we were cold!!!
But we didn't let it hold us back!! We got some souvenirs, picture frames, toys for kids, shirts, and the little things we needed that we didn't bring!!
It rained most of the day, but we did get brave and hit the indoor pools and outdoor hot tub!
That night we went to Lambert's Cafe! Home of the thrown rolls! Tradition, if you ever go to Gulf Shores, or Orange beach, you have to eat there it's so delicious! And fun!! They come out like every 10 min and yell hot rolls! You put up your hand if you want one and they throw them to you! Normally this would be awesome. However it's not so awesome when they miss you and the roll lands in your plate of gravy and splatters brown gravy all over your new gray Gulf Shores sweatshirt, like it did to Michael!! He wasn't so happy, but was a good sport about it!
Saturday morning we got up and made pancakes, sausage and bacon for breakfast! I loved the kitchen in condo!!!
Saturday started out not so bad, still cloudy, but we did manage to get some time on the beach! A morning walk turned into a pouring rain!! We ran inside!! Then came back out when it cleared up! Girls got to play in ocean a little and M&M were able to try and play in sand. The wind was so strong though. It was hard to really to do anything!
That night was supposed to be date night for Michael and I. When I planned that night, I pictured us going to dinner somewhere nice, and maybe strolling on the beach for a little while. Enjoying it!! Well we got the dinner part, Long Horns never fails!! But it was POURING RAIN, I mean pouring like holy lord we are going to drown if we get bout of car. So we did what we though to be best option! Hit the bar!! I have no idea where we were. We could barely read sign. But it was a cute hole in the wall bar, where we partook in a few lovely cocktails before heading back to condo!
Sunday morning we all went for a walk on the beach, there was sunshine!!! Of course bc of the previous few days we assumed it was temporary. WE WERE WRONG!!
After walk we went back up to room, glanced off balcony and saw the beach was full of people, and there were very few clouds in the sky. Within 10 min we are all in bathing suits, beach stuff packed and back downstairs! We stayed on the beach ALL day. We ate, drank, and napped there!
It was SO awesome! Bc of the hurricane like winds, the ocean was still kind of rough. Which makes for GREAT fun playing in it! Michael went across street to buy girls boogy boards. Or whatever they are called. Best $20 spent!! We had a blast on them!! I have never had so much fun, EVER.. then what we had that day in the ocean! M&M eventually took a nap and we rigged up some shade. Then we made sand castles, mom and I had a pina coloda or two ;) Girls were in love with the ocean. It was the perfect of perfect days.
While in the excitement of hitting the beach, and trying to enjoy every second of it before the rain came back, which it did!, I eventually managed to spray sunscreen on the girls as we ran out of elevator, but I did not put a drop on myself or my mom on her. lol in those few hours, we got cooked! By about 4pm that day the clouds appeared out of no where, and it started pouring out of no where, and the winds picked up tremidously! We gathered up everything as quickly as we could and ran to shelter. The winds were so strong Maggie and Madison couldnt walk. They were literally stuck. lol. The wind was stirrinig up sand that hurt like hell when it hit your face! So we ended up BACK in the room for the rest of the day!
That was our last night there. Which was when we were supposed to having our family photo shoot. But due to current tropical storm going on outside, beach pictures werent going to happen. I scoped out the place and we eventually ended up doing pictures in the gym room of the condo, in front on the windows facing the ocean! They actually turned out pretty awesome! Then once back up in the room we got a few more off the balcony.
That night Michael and I picked up take out and we had a delicious seafood dinner in the condo as we prepared to pack and leave!
The next day we managed to get another walk in on the beach, and a delicious breakfast on the patio before the rain started again! By the time we were loaded and ready to leave the real tropical storm was in full effect!!
While I was totally disappointed in the weather. We still managed to have a really great vacation. We got to spend 4 awesome days together, and those come few and far in between. Everyone enjoyed themselves! So I still say it was a success and that ONE perfect day with awesome weather, I know I will never forget!!
I cant wait to plan our week long vacation this year!!!
*Up next Vacation pictures!!