Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Florida Part 1

After driving another 8 hours through Mississippi and Alabama, we were finally in Florida

We arrived in Rosemary Beach a little after 2pm. The house we were renting for the week was not ready yet so we drove around and explored for a little bit. This area is so beautiful. I was really surprised at how nice the beaches are. The beaches were similar to those in Cancun - soft white sand with beautiful turquoise waters. We were off to a good start!

We drove by the house and to the beach to see how far our walk to the beach would be. We were happy that it looked like a short walk. Then we parked the car and did a test run. The walk was so easy. When we got to the beach, the boys were excited so I let them go in the water with their clothes.

My friend and her family met us at the beach a couple of hours later and then we all headed up to the house when we got a a text saying it was ready for us.

We settled in, unpacked and then drove to The Hub for dinner. This place was so nice. It was like a fancy food court with a central area with tables and chairs - except it was much better. The boys decided to have pizza and I had a sausage sandwich from a BBQ place. I loved the atmosphere of the whole place.

There was also a lawn area with a stage and lots of chairs to sit in and enjoy live music.

The next day, Michael and Tucker went down to the beach early and snagged us our favorite beach spot. After breakfast, the kids went out in the front of the house and played in then courtyard for a little bit until it was time to head on out to check out the Farmers' Market.

This washed these two cuties got around.

These two loved checking out samples.

After the Farmers' Market, it was time to hit the beach!

Michael always seems to find some sort of creature anywhere we are. This time, it was a hermit crab.

All the kiddos playing together. Love it.

After the beach, the kids got changed and went to play out in the courtyard while we made dinner. They made new friends. Mark learned to play kickball and got really good at it.

That's pretty much how we spent the rest of our vacation - hang out at the house until lunch, beach, courtyard, repeat.

On Wednesday night, the big boys babysat the little kiddos so we can squeeze in an adults only dinner at Paradis which was a 3-minute walk from the house. This is one of the things I loved about Rosemary Beach--nothing was more then a 10-minute walk away.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

New Orleans

On Thursday morning, we packed up our rental van and started off on our Florida vacation. Since the drive to Florida was almost 13 hours, we decided to stop in New Orleans for a couple of days and make it a part of our vacation. I'm so glad we did. The kids had a lot of fun and got the chance to see another city they've never seen.

This was our ride for the next week and a half. We rented this van and I'm so glad because we had 4 kids, 2 adults and loads of stuff. We wanted to be comfortable and not be crammed into my SUV.

And away we go!

We made it to New Orleans at about 3, checked into our hotel, got settled, rested and then headed out to dinner. We tried boudin sausage balls and it was yummy. We've never had boudin before.

After that, we decided to walk around Bourbon Street. We had to get some beads of course!

The kids really enjoyed the experience, I think. They liked watching the street performers. Mark was surprised to see kids out there trying to make money. I couldn't believe he picked up on that. He also didn't enjoy the smells of New Orleans. Haha. He kept telling us that it smelled horrible and when we left New Orleans he said that he was glad to be getting out because he couldn't stand the smell.

The next morning, we went to Cafe Beignet for breakfast. It took a lot of goading to get this picture. Michael was upset about something, but I don't remember what. UPDATE: I remember. He got his device taken away for lying about brushing his teeth. Matthew got his taken away too, but he took it better than Michael (totally normal).

This little guy enjoyed his beignet...

Michael was still upset so he refused to be in this picture.

After breakfast, we walked over to the St. Louis Cemetery but couldn't get in without a tour. Boo. So we headed out to visit the Aquarium which was next on our agenda.

We hung out by the waters for a little bit until the Aquarium opened.

We had a lot of fun exploring. I still think that nothing beats the Monterey Bay Aquarium, but we really enjoyed it here.

This boy loves his Daddy.

After the aquarium, we headed out to get some lunch. Michael made a  friend on the way there. A dragonfly landed on him.

Fried chicken for lunch.

Next on our list? The Insectarium. Not something I was looking forward to, but the boys wanted to go. I would have preferred the zoo.

I actually enjoyed it! My favorite was watching the leaf cutter ants work. It was like watching a very efficient assembly line - there were cutters and carriers. So cool.

The kids loved the butterfly garden. They spent most of the time in there trying to get the butterflies to land on them. We left when they started to get a little rowdy.

We walked back to our hotel and got ready to go to dinner. We had dinner at one of Emeril Lagasse's restaurant. It was nice and the boys behaved (mostly).

We walked over to get treats after dinner and that was a perfect end to our day in New Orleans.