We decided to leave around 8 p.m. on a Friday after Ryan got off work in order to drive the bulk of our trip during the night while Noah was sleeping - or so we thought. Thanks to our friends Jackie and Danny, we were able to borrow their DVD player so that Noah could watch Mickey Mouse, Winnie the Pooh, and other random movies I picked up at the library. I took the first leg of driving, and after we set Noah up with a movie, we were on our way!
Finally at about 11 p.m., Noah fell asleep. Traffic moved pretty smoothly, and I was wide awake. I ended up driving for about 8 hours, something I've never done before, and I felt great about it! I think Ryan took over somewhere between Athens and Birmingham, Alabama. It never fails, though. Every time we stop in Alabama, something a bit scary or uncomfortable happens. This time, Ryan was filling up my CR-V when some girl, who was definitely intoxicated/on drugs, stumbled up to him and tried to strike up a conversation. This is something that you just don't feel like doing with a sleeping toddler in the back of your car at 4:00 a.m. He hurried back into the car, and I don't think we stopped again until we were almost into Florida. :)
Noah had woken up around 2:30 a.m. and stayed awake until 5:30 a.m. All in all, I think he slept for about 4 hours total in the car. He did really well considering!
Once we arrived in Cape San Blas, we had some time to kill before checking into the house. We went to the pier, a farmer's market, and then had lunch at one of our favorite pizza places, Joe Mama's Wood Fired Pizza. It was as delicious as I remembered! We walked around Port St. Joe after lunch, shopping at some of the stores and eventually made our way to the grocery store. By this time, I think we were all tired of being in the car, and it was roasty toasty outside. The kids were ready to swim, and the adults were ready for bed!
We checked into our house late that afternoon and unpacked out things. The house was BEAUTIFUL! It was truly the nicest house I have ever stayed in over vacation - or any other time for that matter. We had our own private walkway to the beach, and the pool was a hop, skip, and jump away. Ryan, Noah, and I had the master suite on the bottom floor, while John and Gloria took the "in laws quarters" at the back of the house. Kelli and the kids had the upstairs bedrooms. The set up was perfect! We even had an elevator in the house.
Most every day, we would wake up, eat breakfast, and go to the beach. We would play in the sand and in the ocean for a couple hours before going back inside for lunch. Noah would take a nice nap, and in the meantime, Ryan and I would read, sleep, go to the pool, etc. It was HEAVEN! When Noah woke up from his nap, we would go to the pool or just play inside. We all took turns making dinner each night, which is always fun! The kids even made dinner for us one night with recipes from their special kids cookbook. It was cute!
One day Ryan and I decided to go check out Apalachicola, which is located just east of Cape San Blas. It ended up being a really cute little town with lots of fun shops and unique restaurants. Our favorite place that day was the Apalachicola Chocolate Company. They make their own fudge there, but the best part was the homemade gelato!! It was probably the BEST gelato I have ever had in my life. Noah wanted chocolate, Ryan got strawberry, and I wanted lemon. YUM!!! We had a really nice time together that day!
Ryan's parents not only spoiled us rotten by treating us to this wonderful vacation, but they also took us horseback riding on the beach. Gloria had never ridden a horse before, and she, Ryan, and I had a great time! It was so peaceful listening to the waves and just riding up and down the beach. John, Kelli, and the kids went after we got back. The kids did great!! We didn't let Noah go this year - an hour is just too long for a 2 year old to stay still. The last thing I wanted was to have to dive off the horse in order to soften his fall. Maybe in a couple years!
We all went out to eat at a delicious restaurant called Provisions. It was their opening night, and I thoroughly enjoyed my Manhattan Mac & Cheese. We ordered Noah the Octo-dog, which was super cute!
By the end of the week, I was sad that vacation was over. The only silver lining is knowing that you get to sleep in your own bed and be home again. We had a great trip with our family! I loved playing board games every night, even if Ryan and I did fight during Ticket to Ride. :) :) :) I loved every second of this vacation (minus getting chased by killer bees and having to use the bee-buster to protect ourselves), and look forward to many more in the future!