Sunday, July 10, 2011

Addicted to the Beach

Ok you can say it...our family is addicted to the beach. For the past 2 summers we have gotten to visit our cousins in Louisiana at the beach and we have the best time. This year we turned it into our Big Family Vacation.

After a long 14 hour drive (2 of which were spent on the bridge because of the Blue Angel show-I have never seen SO MANY BOATS) we finally arrived at our AMAZING Beach house.

I took this picture from the 3rd story. This is our back dock. The house sits right on the Sabine. We could fish right out the back door or go to the beach right out the front door. It was perfect.

Here is our CUTE house. 3 bedroom and 2 fold out couches...that is just perfect for the 11 of us. Good thing it had a good washer and dryer...we put it through the ringer with towels, towels, and more towels.

Our days consisted of fishing, breakfast, beach, nap, beach, dinner, and more fishing through out the day. Henry really enjoyed this little boat and DeDe floated with him in it for quite a while...then later Alex claimed it as her's...She had a little trouble making it out past the surf and we all got a real kick out of watching her try over and over again. She finally made it and we would let her float for a while but when the current carried her too far she would have to come in, walk back to us, and start all over.

Alex also really enjoyed snorkeling and looking for shells.. We found TONS...and lots of sand dollar pieces.

This was our first year to boogie board. Gracie had so been looking forward to it for months. The girls took to it in no time and loved "catching the waves" Emma was amazing. I couldn't believe how well she did and never once complained about salt water in her eyes...she is way tougher than her mama.

Check her OUT!!!

All the daddy's got in on the action too...even Big Daddy. Now that was fun to watch!!! Even Henry got his turn.

DeDe spent alot of time in the water floating with the boat and giving boogie board between fishing. This is a great pic of Big Daddy and his boogie board trip.

Henry of course enjoyed warming up and cuddling with his JoJo on the beach.

Oh and did I mention that our cousins the Musclemans came along on our trip. They stayed really close to us and we got to spend alot of fun time together.

I love this picture!!!

After spending much time fishing and playing on the beach we ALL needed baths and showers to shake off the sand!!! Then we cuddled and loved in our great beach house.

One evening we all ventured out on a Dolphin Cruse. We didn't have much luck with the Dolphins but the boat ride was alot of fun...(except for Belle) Emma and Grace even got to drive the boat during our ride. And although we didn't see dolphins on the cruse we saw them in front of our beach house almost every day.

Another afternoon we visited Fort Pickens. It was a neat and educational place to take the kids. I know Mom you were so proud!!!

Now on to the fishing. This family LOVES to fish...all of us. We would gently tell the girls that we were going to leave at about 5:00am and UP they SPRANG with swim suits on in minutes. They weren't going to miss out.

We caught 1 Red, 1 Mackerel, 2 Sharks, 1 Manta Ray, and countless Croackers and Lady Fish.

There was also alot of jelly fish in the water. Belle got stung 2 times and so did shad. Emma and I got stung once. We learned that we need to carry baby wipes and a bottle of white vinegar with us.

After Belle got stung she and Henry were playing around and she got hit...she said.."Right in the Jelly Fish arm" it was so funny!!!

Emma caught a Manta Ray the first morning and a shark the second morning. She was SO excited. That is until the waves washed the Ray up onto the beach...when that happened she threw the pole at me and ran. Once Big Daddy and Shad reached me...they just looked at each other and said..."so who is getting the hook" Thanks Big did great!!!

Oh and Shad got the hook out of both his and Emma's sharks.

From the dock in the back we fished and caught blue crabs. The kids all enjoyed getting down into the water when the tide was out to find crabs and snails. Can you find the blue crab in the picture above? Shad had a great kung fu fight with him.

We also saw more wild life than you can imagine. This crane was right on our dock and Big Daddy fed him one of our bait fish we had caught. We also saw sand pipers, pelicans, sea gulls, a bird that looked like a toucan but with a smaller bill. We learned alot about ospry and their nests. The kids loved seeing who could find the biggest nest when we were driving out to Fort Pickins.

Big Daddy's Big Catch, Alex and Belle were the bravest down in the Sabine and Henry LOVED fishing with his daddy. By the time we left he could cast his own pole.

Most evening we ate out. Pensacola had a wonderful selection of local restaurants. Although there was always a wait the food was always good. This is Peg Leg Pete's

Crabs was good too!

And we had alot of fun at Flounders!!

Each place was unique and offered a great atmosphere. We don't need much we can make our own fun!!!

Back to the beach for MORE FUN in the SUN!!!

Henry liked picking up the shells the best!!

He also had to sleep with his stuffed Monkey (Snuffy TT) every night. He slept in JoJo and Big Daddy's "Big Bed"

One night he had a nite mare about running down the beach and falling. A turtle spit on his finger and then the turtle blew up like a balloon and popped. He told us about it for days.

We played in the sand alot. One evening DeDe built us a replica of the "sea monster" he saw in the Sabine.

We played and played!!!

And played some more!!!

We also found out what an expert Sand Castle builder Shad is. He built 3 really cool sand castles with the kids while we were there.

There was a neat place called Radical Rides that rented Seadoo's by the 1/2 hour. We knew that was for us. Stephanie took Emma and Belle, David took Grace, Carter took Alex, and Shad took Henry or rather Henry took Shad.

Henry was pretty silly before he got to go ride his Seadoo!!

Emma loved being with her Steph!

After the success with the Seadoo's we decided to try para sailing. It was so much FUN!!! I went with Alex and Emma and David took Belle and Grace. We all loved it. While we were para sailing Shad took Henry back out on a Seadoo. He REALLY LIKE IT ALOT!!!

Our trip could not have been better. I have never had a trip go by that fast. We were there for 7 days and just didn't want to leave. We cooked, played, fished, swam, and enjoyed every minute. Wonderful lifelong memories were made by all of us.

On our trip home we took a small detour to Vicksburg. My parents did the same thing with Laurie and me when we were small. We ate a yummy lunch and toured the Coca Cola Museum.

We even had a Chocolate Coke Float...just like I did years ago. It was a nice break from the trip. Then we drove on to Shreiveport were we spent the evening at the Boardwalk shops. The kids made Build A Bear Smurfs and we rested before the rest of the drive home.

It was a WONDERFUL vacation!!!

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