Sunday, June 20, 2010

Beach Fun!

Our long awaited Douglas Florida beach trip finally came and all in the family were so excited and ready for a break. Back in the early days of our family, even back into the dating pre-marriage days, an almost yearly trip to the Florida beaches had been a Douglas family tradition. We did go down the first summer we moved to Georgia, but have not been back since (over three years). This year, Nikki was not going to let it pass again and decided early on that this was a return to the beach year! She rallied the family (now almost twice the size as previous trips) around a week and a beach house in June (best water conditions) and it was planned. Then the Oil Spill Fiasco in the Gulf threatened plans, but in the end the beaches could not have been any more beautiful and we all had a wonderful time in Paradise! This was our home away from home for the week- the Cracker Jack. It was big enough for the crew, and just a block from the beach! It really made the week enjoyable and so much fun!

Beach Party Central!

Colorful front room painted in fun beach colors.

Club Cracker on the third floor was the bunk spot for the kids and the Wii arcade and movie theater. The house was kinda themed around some old Cracker Jack paraphernalia- hence the cracker names. Very clever.
This was the pool from the balcony and where the kids spent all their "wet" time when not at the beach. The kids were addicted to the water.
One of the first home cooked meals- Fresh Gulf Shrimp!

First Day at Santa Rosa Beach. Although Daddy would tire of the beach over the next seven days, the kids would not! This day Mia attempted a "Sand Angel" that was very cute, but on second observation of the picture, it showed a bit to much for the blogging world and was deleted. =) Yikes! We will save that picture for her future husband!

Beach Sunset with Mimi and Granddaddy.

The next day, and the first of many sandcastles to come.

Brenner and Cayden with Sand Fins.

Beach Boys on their Bogey Boards! They would play in the surf for so long, that they would have sand and sea weed just about everywhere when they were through.

Grilled Cheese "Sand"wiches.

Beach Feet.

The first nights stroll along the beach we learned from some locals that with a net and a strong flashlight, crabs are only a few feet from the breaking surf at low tide. After a trip to Wal-mart, we were ready the next night and this became one of the kids (and adults) favorite activities.


As you can only imagine from the above picture, Mermaid Mia stuck to finding sea shells with her flashlight. She wanted nothing to do with those crabbies!

Dinner is served!
Day three's Sandcastle, and I think the best!

Mia and Madelyn in their Watermelon swim suits. So sweet, could just eat em' up!

The Douglas kid Beach Crew!

This shark was line caught the night before by a guy on the beach and let go, but it washed up on the beach the next morning for a picture. Not slippery like a dolphin or ray, but very sandpaper course to the touch. Kinda sad it died, and kinda scary that they are out there in the water we played in all week!

Big brother's helping hand to the beach. Too cute!

Family pictures on the beach. Everyone else taking pictures were also in khaki and white, must be the uniform for 2010 family pictures!

The most Beautiful girls in the world!

Mommy and Mia.

Plastic Great White Attack!

Big Catches in Destin! Swordfish anyone? Or Mia is offering Dolphin!?!?! =)
On the pier with the fishing boats in Destin and a stop for some more seafood at AJ's. Great seafood but that close to the marina we learned that the water that goes with the syrup and carbonation can make a Coke taste like a mouth full of sea water- Nothing to drink please! We also ate at Landry's while in Florida, a place I had always wanted to try (one of McGrath's biggest competitors) and as all the reviews have said- it was wonderful!
This is the one day away from the beach, but not water! We went to Ponce De Leon Springs for a day and had a great, but cold time. 14 million balmy 68 degree gallons a day gush from this crystal clear spring. It was quite amazing to see and experience.

About half of the spring has been swimming poolalized by the forest service with concrete walls, dive platforms and steps and the rest was left all natural. In the picture below, you can see one of the very turquoise blue holes that feed the spring. They go down 25 to 30 feet into the limestone that you can see, and can feel the water current pushing past you. One of those things you have to see to believe.

Brenner jumps into a pool of "Aquafina"! =)

Jimmy Buffets Cheese Burger in Paradise!
This is one of the kids favorite Jimmy songs, so we just had to stop here and make up to them for all the Seafood restaurants that the adults stopped at.
I like mine with lettuce and tomato, Hinze 57 and french fried potatoes, big kosher pickle and a cold root bear, well good gosh almighty which way to I steer for my- CHEESE BURGER IN PARADISE!!!

Just a side note. On the way out of town we passed the Destin outlet stores and Nikki just had to stop and feed her latest addiction. I have always said that one (of the many) things that I loved about Nikki from the very beginning was that she never carried a purse full of junk around with her every place she went. Chap-stick and her I.D's in her pocket and she was off! Well, call it a mid-life crisis or whatever (I think a past friend at the hospital brain washed her), She has been buying purse after purse over the last 6 to 8 months and filling them with all kinds of crap! I am trying to be understanding and kind, and she has not asked me to carry it for her yet. So as you can see, she was very excited about her new find, and in no time flat, she had it so full, that she could barely fit her Nook in it! (I will admit that things like hand wipes and gum are very nice to have at an arms length, but I am not sure what else needs to be packed around like this! What ever makes her happy!
The kids all tan, water logged, souvenired and relaxed! What a trip! Thanks Florida- Hope to be back very soon!


John and Alisa said...

How fun! We'd love to come catch some of those BIG old crabbies with you guys some time. The boys DYE to catch anything...and something that large, that involves using a flashlight to help catch it would be that much better!

The Taylor Family said...

how fun!! what an awesome trip! that beach house is so cute!! glad you had a good trip.. and no shark bites!!

Kenzy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kenzy said...

Sorry I didn't mean to delete my last post.

Anyway, your trip looked fantastic. That beach house was AWESOME! I wouldn't want to come home if I vacationed there. So Fun!

dtbjacobson said...

WOW! What fun! I agree with you, that shark picture is kind of freaky! It sure looks like you all had a fun time! I'm with the kids... I'd rather eat at cheeseburger paradise than a fish house too! Love you all!

The Kipper Family said...

We had such a great time at the beach with you guys! It was so much fun! Thanks for letting us be a part of the Cracker Jack for the week. Great pictures!

Julianna said...

Looks like you had a great time! I never use to carry a purse. Now I do... and Craig makes fun of me for having more than 1. There are plenty of things that need to be carried around...especially when you have kids!

Donna Parsley said...

They sure love playing on water, given that they still play in the pool when they're not at the beach! Also, I liked your accommodation there, such a spacious place with a lot of room and an outdoor pool to boot. By the way, I hope you have that kind of fun again on your next summer trip.