Our Escape to the Beach
After assuming a vacation wasn’t in the cards this year (it’s going to be a busy summer!) my mom called with an idea. She and my dad would be in Florida visiting my grandparents, why don’t we join them?!
So we made a list of all the reasons we couldn’t go, threw it away, and booked flights. Last week we headed down to Treasure Island, FL for a few days of sun, water, sand, food, family, and fun. We wore shorts every day, spent almost every minute outside, and even got a little tan!
All four generations were together for the first time in almost a year. Ethan was thrilled with all the attention pouring over him. Great-grandma Vi (the foxy blonde above, AKA “GG”) was so happy when Ethan went right to her, no hesitation. He’s a pretty social guy like that. He loved that GG’s living room opened out on a big lanai, allowing him to go from inside to outside at will. Everything was picked up out of Little Man’s reach, with the exception of the almost-full bottle of RED wine he sent crashing onto the tile floor. Somehow it didn’t stain a single thing. Whew!
Grandpa was always willing to share his food…oatmeal with dried fruit was a delightful new adventure for The Peanut. The pair also spent lots of time rolling balls and walking.
We spent a day at the beach, introducing Ethan to the ocean. Technically this was his second visit (we took a day trip to Rehoboth Beach in Delware last Labor Day), but he experienced it all with older eyes. He got really scared when Grandpa and I initially walked him over to the water, but after a while he came around.
He thought building sand castles was amazing. If you built one, he was right on top of knocking it down.
How beautiful is that ocean? It was clear and calm, as was the beach…there was hardly anyone on it! The water was surprisingly warm and felt great after we spent a few minutes in the HOT sun. It further instilled in me that end of March/beginning of April is the best time to visit Florida’s Gulf Coast.
We made a visit to the pool every day too. Ethan wasn’t really interested in swimming, he mostly like to crawl along the gutter (good thing it was nice and wide! And clean!) and fling water with his favorite orange ice cream scoop. Stu and I were poolside during E’s afternoon naps…it was heaven.
We discovered a quirky little town called Gulfport. Right on the water, just 10 minutes from Treasure Island, this little gem of a community is chock full of artsy shops and restaurants as well as plenty of good people watching. My mom, grandma, Ethan, and I headed there to browse around and I fell in love, immediately making dinner reservations (for two) at a quaint little place called Pia’s. After being tipped off about an art fair slated for the next day, we all returned for booth browsing and some lunch at the phenomenal Peg’s, complete with one of their yummy house brews.
Showing off my very-out-of-character jewelry purchase—a very simple leather and pearl necklace from the Gulfport Outpost.
My parents were constantly urging us out of the house. It’s weird how you get used to not being able to go out on your own once a baby arrives! Other then our “date” at Pia’s, we hit the Cuban sandwich joint for a long lunch followed by a long drive down the coast in my grandma’s convertible. We also hit a couple local hangouts, Ricky T’s and Caddy’s. The former had an incredible guitar player who we could have listened too all night long.
We may just be making this an annual trip. A common question during the week was “Why don’t we come here more often?!” It was nice to be somewhere familiar but we still had fun exploring. And everyone in Florida is so nice! Albeit interesting—a woman asked me if I was Canadian when I inquired about a local coffee shop (or lack there of). “Oh you Canadians and your fancy coffee!” Huh?
I’ve never appreciated a few days away so much. I can’t help but feel so lucky to have family to visit and travel with.
Thanks GG Vi and Dick for letting us invade your home! And thanks mom (grandma) and dad (grandpa) for urging us to take the much needed break.