Sunday, August 7, 2011

Vacation 2011

Mid July we took our first family vacation with Elijah (out of the womb). We had a couple vacations with Eli in utero. We spent a long weekend in Philly on our way home from Africa. We took an anniversary trip to New York - where I was sure everyone was being nice to me out of the kindness of their hearts. They couldn't possibly tell I was pregnant in my heavy overcoat (I was 32 weeks! - denial!)

But, this was our first real vacation as a family. And, not just our little family, but we join Rob's parents and brother's family as well. It was a special vacation place too. Pensacola Beach, where we were married 4.5 years ago.

Pensacola here we come! We flew from Knoxville, TN to Gulf Breeze, FL direct! I had nightmares about flying with Elijah (and stuff) for weeks ahead of time. How are we going to carry everything and keep tabs on Eli AND manage boarding passes and IDs. I contemplated buying one of those kid leashes (and, you're welcome Eli - I did not.) However, both the Knoxville and Gulf Breeze airports were super tiny (duh) and really friendly. They even had amazingly clean bathrooms! (two thumbs up from this pregger.) We made it on board with no issues. Even while carrying all that you see below. Can you believe ALL THIS we carried on for free? Even the sleeping kid. 2 carry-ons, 2 personal items, 1 carseat, 1 jogging stroller, 1 child and a hat....and a monkey...and a sippy cup.

Eli did amazing all through the flight. Mostly because we brought the Wonder Pets DVD along with us. A few cookies, a little TV who wouldn't be happy?

Eli LOVED the beach and reverted to crawling. He loved to "splash" up the sand and must have liked the way it felt. The little crab crawled backward, forward and sideways in it. He wallowed in it like a little pig.

We tried our hand at sand castles and wading pools under the big umbrella. I think he liked the sand more than the water.

We took some walks on the beach. And, a couple days we even went out on the bikes - though it was really too hot to go too far or for too long. (note Rumble's pudge in the bike picture!)

Me and my babies. At this stage of pregnancy, I think most people gave me a double take wondering if the belly was old or new baby weight. I did have a good cover to indulge in more eating - too bad it couldn't be more seafood.

We spent more time on the Sound than the Gulf. The waves were fairly non-existent (great for Eli) and there were activities! Rob and his family spent a lot of time out on the water in Jet Skis, paddle boats, the obstacle course, and more. Preggo's aren't allowed on Jet Skis (according to Rob) so he took me out on a consolation Sailing trip. It was really cool and our first activity with only Rumble. We even saw a dolphin. We also took a Blue Angels' Cruise. I've always wanted to see them (well, always as in since we've been going to Pensacola) And I finally did! We went out on a pontoon boat early one morning and watched them practice. They were too fast for my camera!

Well, that was pretty much it, besides a lot of eating, some board game playing, a night of fireworks and daily naps.

All that fun gets you One Happy Hartley Family!

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