Beach Baby 2013

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Ahoy, maties! Lucy (and her parentals) just spent the week at the beach! After a trip to Montana with Pap and Bebe Sellers unfortunately fell through (see their adventures here), Whit and I decided to head south, just the three of us. We found an adorable town about an hour east of Panama City called Port St. Joe. I’d never heard of the place but what it lacked in chain restaurants, mini golf, and airbrushed tshirt stores, it more than made up for in small-town charm, friendly locals, and beautiful beaches.

Lucy is at a great age for a beach trip. On the back end of 19 months, she is not keen on getting in the ocean yet (or even letting the waves touch her feet – no worries about her running off into the surf!), but my cautious girl is all too happy to stay on the sand side and play, play, play. Collecting seashells in her bucket, digging with her shovel and rake, running after ghost crabs, and squealing with delight when a seagull lands close by were all the activities on heavy rotation this week. Oh, she also loved destroying any sand castle attempted by her daddy!

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We did hit some rain while we were there. 4 days of rain, actually. Ok, so we spent a lot of time cooped up in our condo. The cool thing, though, was Lucy didn’t care! She is still at the age where playing with blocks with daddy is just as cool as anything else. Don’t get me wrong, she asked probably twice an hour when we could go to the “pool? pool? pool? pool?” but she handled it well when we would go to the window, peek outside at the rain, and explain that we can’t swim when it’s “wet” outside. We did manage to take some rainy walks, looking for frogs and other “bic-a-bugs” (Lucy’s term for any crawling creature).

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And even though it rained the ENTIRE fourth of July (even the fireworks were canceled), Lucy enjoyed a patriotic bowl of chocolate ice cream. Not a bad way to celebrate when you have never been given a whole bowl of ice cream all to yourself!

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On one of the few sunny days, we did venture out to Panama City, where Lucy got to go putt-putting for the first time. I wasn’t sure if taking a 19-month-old golfing would be a delight or a trainwreck, but we gave it a go! Not surprisingly, when we put the ball and mini putter in Lucy’s hands, she approached the whole activity with the seriousness of a surgeon. I’m not sure she smiled the entire time, as is typical of her, we are learning, when she’s focusing on a new skill. But she was obviously having a good time. This was actually a great way to practice turn-taking and other “game rules” (waiting your turn, only touching your own golf ball, etc.). We will definitely look for some putt putt around Nashville, too. She loved it!

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The other great thing about our vacation was that Lucy, in between storms, could maximize on pool time. She LOVES the pool. Every morning, it was the first thing she asked for (after “eat”). She loves to sway in my arms in the water, and for me to sing “Ring Around the Rosy” and dunk her at the end (a swimming lesson memory). She also discovered that she could be more independent (“self, mommy, self!”) on the steps. She would walk up and down the steps in the water all on her own, in complete bliss. We also invested in (for $2.99) a beloved noodle. Who knew it could bring a kid so much joy? It was honestly really cool to see how, at the beginning of the week, she was less sure of herself in the water, not wanting me to let her float or do anything on her own, and by the end of the week, she barely wanted me to touch her! My little fishy is coming right along! ImageImage

All in all, we had a wonderful trip. Family time, regardless of weather, is irreplaceable. Whit and I also had a great vacation together, drinking a beer on our screened-in porch after Lucy was asleep, and I actually got to read a book! When the laundry, housecleaning, work pressures, and other home jobs aren’t calling you, it’s nice to relax and read a book while your little one naps. I highly recommend this to all parents out there, regardless of geography. Ahhhhhh… We all came back well-rested. Happy, happy times.

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