Since this blog is mainly to serve as a journal about our the life of our family, bear with me as I relay the details of our vacation.
Saturday, June 3~After a morning birthday party for a friend, we met my parents half-way between here & Atlanta and let Gracie go with them. She attended their VBS and enjoyed some "Grammer, Pappy & Gracie time."
Tuesday, June 6~After Chris got home from work, we (Chris, Katie & myself) drove to Atlanta and reunited with Gracie and spent the night with my parents.
Wednesday, June 7~We left for Gulf Shores, AL! More specifically, Orange Beach, AL. Chris' parents and his brother & family were joining us on this vacation. We tried to pick somewhere "in the middle" for us to meet. Certainly, even with a 9 hour drive for us, we lucked out as having the least to drive. For Mike & Erin, it was about 12 hours and Chris' parents live in New Mexico so it was even farther for them! We didn't want to go much farther West because Texas beaches aren't known as being the best, so we opted for AL.
We arrived in the afternoon, probably about 3:00 AL time. Chris' parents and Erin & Sara Jane (who had ridden with Howard & Mary since Mike had to work that day) had gotten there just a little bit before us. Mary, Erin & I went to the grocery store to pick up food. We then ate & spent time at the outdoor & indoor pool & hot tub before winding down for the evening. Mike, my brother-in-law, got there around 10 or 11.
Thursday, June 8~Beach! We loaded everyone up and hit the beach! When I was describing all the stuff we had to take (umbrella, chairs, buckets, shovels, cover ups, drinks, snack, sunscreen, etc.) my mom asked if we looked like the opening scene on "Yes, Dear" when they're trying to run across the street. Exactly! It was fun though!
After we went home and bathed and ate lunch and let everyone rest, we headed to 'Souvenir City.' We just had to walk through the shark's mouth! We had also bribed Gracie to jump to her daddy in the pool the day before so she got to pick out a prize~a kite. We're working on her bravery in the water. Of course, I'm a chicken myself so it's kind of hard. She is signed up for swimming lessons next week; we'll see how those go!
We then waited about an hour & a half to eat at "The Original Oyster House." Fried Shrimp.....yum, yum, yum!
Friday, June 9~Chris' mom and our immediate family went back to the beach that morning. Sara Jane, my 16 month old niece, hadn't exactly loved the beach the day before, so they opted to stay near the condo and enjoy the pool. She didn't love the pool that much either, unfortunately (until the last day, then she loved it!)
After we came back from the beach and cleaned up & ate, we left for the outlet mall! That was fun. We came back to the condo and Chris' mom cooked dinner for us. Mike, Erin & Sara Jane and our family went to the beach to take beach photos of each family & the girls. We used these as anniversary gifts for Chris' parents.
I think that was the night we went out to the pool and Mike got in only to wonder what that "thing" at the bottom of the pool was. For some reason, even though the pool was open until 10:00, there were no lights, so it was pitch dark. The "thing" looked mysteriously like a baby shark. Of course, we knew it couldn't live in the pool, but still it was creepy~and dark, so we went to the indoor pool.
Saturday, June 10~Chris, his mom and the girls went to the pool that morning. (The baby shark was a shark~a toy one!) Someone had played a good joke! Erin & I headed to Wal Mart to get copies made of some of beach pictures and pick out frames. Thanks to the Kodak Picture Maker, we were able to give Howard & Mary their gift before we all went back home. Chris & Mike went to play golf while Howard rode along in the cart with them. Mary babysat the grandbabies.
On the way back to the condo, Erin & stopped at this hole-in-wall place and bought a pound of shrimp that they seasoned & steamed right then & there along with some steamed red potatoes & corn. Oh my goodness! That shrimp was absolutely incredible ! I seriously think it was the best shrimp I have ever had in my whole life ! So good! It was just a take-out place that sold live bait right alongside the shrimp.
Mary & I took the girls to a local playground but it was way too hot to stay very long. We went back to the condo and went to the pool. It was a very good day to go to the pool as it was so hot. We tried to get Gracie to jump in to Chris. She was really resisting and he told her if she didn't, he was going to throw her in. Finally, he reached up and pulled her in then threw her over into another part of the pool! She was not happy! She did admit that it didn't hurt and that Daddy was right there to help her. Like I said, we'll see how those swimming lessons go!
At one point, Gracie had to go the bathroom. Well, she waited until the last minute (as usual!) and was jumping up & down while she tried to get her bathing suit off. She slipped and hit her chin on the floor and cut it really bad. It was deep & bleeding and we debated taking her to get stitches. Well, Uncle Mike came & looked it and said he felt that they probably would put 2 or 3 stitches in it but did we really want to go sit around an emergency room waiting for it? We really didn't, but we wanted to do what we needed to do. He suggested we try this stuff called "New Skin(?)" and see what happened. It had stopped bleeding pretty much but he was afraid because of where it was that it might start bleeding again when she talked & ate. We tried the New Skin stuff and it seemed to work. I'm sure she'll have a scar, but it could have been worse. I could tell many more stories about Gracie & the water and having to go the bathroom, but I think I'll not right now! (*Uncle Mike is a Dr. To clarify, he is an optometrist which has nothing to do with chin injuries but there's just something about having that title "Dr." which makes someone seem like they know what they're talking about!)
Mary & Howard babysat that night so Mike & Erin and Chris & I could go on a date! We ate the best dinner! Of course, I had more shrimp! It was basically the same thing I'd eaten for lunch and so, so, so good! After we ate, we drove over into Florida then came back & just visited. It was nice to have a night out. We don't do that too often.
Sunday, June 11~Mike, Erin & Sara Jane had to leave that day since Mike had to work on Monday. After they left, we started getting ready for church. After church, we came back & ate leftovers of things we'd cooked/bought throughout the week. Then, we went to the beach again. One last time! It was fun again! I did get my worst sunburn that day, though. I think I forgot to put sunscreen on one arm!
We left the beach and headed back to clean up. We then went back to the outlet mall and did a little more shopping. After that, we ate at "Lambert's~Home of the Throwed Rolls." If you ever get a chance to go to one, I'd suggest it. They really do come around and throw rolls to you. Lots of fun.
I was tired and feeling the effects of too much sun, so I stayed at the condo to read while Mary, Chris & the girls hit the indoor pool one last time. Chris said Gracie started blowing bubbles in the water so that's good!
Monday, June 12~We packed up, straightened up, said our good-byes and hit the road for South Carolina. We stopped and ate in Atlanta with my mom because she had to bring us some stuff of Gracie's that we'd forgotten at her house.
We were happy to get home! It was a good vacation and I'm glad we were able to do it. I'm glad the girls got to play with their cousin, and I always enjoy hanging out with Erin, my sister-in-law.
JettyBetty asked me to let her know about my friend's dad that I wrote about right before we left. We talked a couple of times Tuesday & Wednesday then she called Wednesday night to let me know that her father-in-law had passed away about an hour earlier. I was very sad about the pain they were feeling.
JettyBetty also asked about my cousin's husband. Here is what my dad emailed yesterday: They did surgery last night, he broke the 3rd vertebrae, but they did fuse it back and did not have to put him in a halo. They will do surgery on his two wrists today where he broke them trying to catch himself. He did have a little feeling in his stomach and left arm so they say that is good. In two or three days they will do an MRI to look for other injuries. Please continue to keep Micheal & Jenny in your prayers.