Last year when I was still pregnant with Noah, Ryan called with some great news! He had won an incentive bonus at work, which meant that he won a $3,000 travel voucher to anywhere in the world. We were pumped! Since I was in my third trimester at the time, we knew we would have to wait to travel. Nearly 8 months passed by, and we decided it was time to get serious and decide where we wanted to go on vacation. We threw out ideas like Hawaii, Europe, a cruise, etc., and although we loved the idea of having some one-on-one time, we knew that it would just be too hard to leave Noah behind. Ryan really wanted to get a beach house somewhere, as his family did that all the time when he was growing up, and he really wanted Kya to come with us. My only thought was that we go somewhere neither of us had been before.
We checked out beach houses here, here, and here, searching for pet friendly houses. We kept running across the city Cape San Blas, FL, finding that it had the largest variety of pet friendly beach homes. Finally, we came across No Worries and fell in love! It was perfect. It was located in a community with five other houses, and the description said that we would often have the beach and pool to ourselves. They were right! Here is a picture of the community pool below. The ocean is just beyond the pool!
Before I get too far ahead of myself, I should back up a bit. After we first booked the trip, we invited some friends to come along. They coudn't make it, so Ryan and I thought we would just go down by ourselves and have an Abell Family vacation. As the date of our departure got closer and closer, I just felt like we needed to invite another family to come along. I mean, we had been given this HUGE blessing...a free vacation (the house cost less than $3,000, and we were able to put the remainder on a Visa gift card and use it for gas, groceries, going out to eat, etc. )...and it was such an awesome opportunity to bless another family. So, when Jill Irwin, Jake, Noah, and I were at the zoo, Jill mentioned that she was sad that her family did not have a vacation planned for the summer, and the school year was rapidly approaching. The light bulb turned on...this was just the situation I was waiting for! I talked to Ryan, and he agreed that it was a great idea to invite Jill (who works with me), Aaron (who went to Hanover with us), and their son Jake (who was born a few hours after Noah). I called Jill that afternoon to invite them, and after Jill checked with Aaron, she called back to say they were able to go!
Ryan, Noah, Kya, and I left our house around 7:30 p.m. Friday night in an attempt to drive all night while Noah slept. It is a 12 hour trip by car, so not too bad. I took the first shift, driving from 7:30-12:30 a.m., Ryan took the second shift from 12:30 a.m. - 5:30 a.m., and I drove the last two hours so that Ryan could catch a nap before breakfast. Noah stayed awake in the car until about 10:15 p.m. and slept until about 2:30 a.m. I gave him some milk and Cheerios, and he fell back to slept until we arrive in Port St. Joe at 8 a.m. Port St. Joe (above) reminded me of Zionsville, as it had little shops and cute restaurants along the main street. We had breakfast at McDonald's as the rain came pouring down! We attempted to go to this pavilion (below) to stretch our legs because we couldn't check into our house until 4 p.m. However, the lightning started striking around us, so we got back in the car.
We walked along the main strip of Port St. Joe, visited a book store and a dog store for awhile. Then, I was getting really sleepy, so Ryan took Noah into CVS and the Dollar Store while I slept in the parking lot for about 45 minutes. We then decided it was time for Noah's first nap, and parked in a different parking lot by the ocean, and we all slept for about an hour and a half. It was glorious! We were so tired after a full night of driving.
When we woke up, we decided to grab a bite to eat at Joe Mamma's Wood Fired Pizza. It was DELICIOUS! Yes, we were starving. Yes, we were killing time. But seriously, this pizza was fabulous, and so was their Caprese Salad and Clam Chowder. I don't even like Clam Chowder, but their's was delicious. Below is a picture of Noah and me at lunch...we hadn't had showers, brushed our teeth (which were buried in our suitcases), etc. We were so thankful for time out from the rain and for some delicious food!
After lunch we went to visit the Port. St. Joe Public Library. We had a few more hours to kill, and since it was still raining, it seemed like a good idea. You can tell from the picture below that Noah was NOT very excited about the library. He has the attention span of a fly right now, so sitting down to listen to a book after being in a car seat for 12 hours was NOT going to happen. This is a great picture of Noah protesting his time in the library. Meanwhile, Ryan was taking Kya on a walk so that she could stretch her legs. By the way, she was awesome in the car!
After our time at the library, Noah was ready for another nap. We drove around Port St. Joe and out to Cape San Blas to check out our house. He fell asleep in the car for about an hour while waiting to check into our final destination. We woke him up at about 3:15 p.m. in order to go get some groceries at the local Piggly Wiggly. Imagine how difficult it was for me to pay full price for groceries...no coupons, no grocery game, no nothing! I paid like $8 a pound for lunchmeat. GEEZE! I just kept reminding myself that it was being paid with the gift card so not to worry! :)
Next up...our Cape San Blas vacation begins!