Monday, June 27, 2016

Cast Off Vacation

With Allyn's new twelve weeks in and one week out casting schedule, we get four opportunities for water and messy play a year.  It's getting trickier since both kids are in school and we have to schedule echocardiograms when she is out too.  But we were successful in making a fun family trip to the beach.

Historically we have gone to the Alabama Gulf Coast.  We have been going there or the Florida Panhandle our entire lives.  But after last year, I feel pretty confident in saying I will not be going to Orange Beach in peak season ever again.  Too many people; too many umbrellas.  I like to see the beach and see my child.  So this year, we hopped on a plane for a quick trip to Sarasota.  We left after Nolan was dismissed from summer school on a Friday.  A quick plane ride down and car ride (while watching a beautiful sunset) had us to the hotel just in time for bed.

The next day we were ready to hit the beach.  We arrived a few days after a big storm or tropical depression passed through, but the water was warm and the sun was shining.  And little girl was CAST FREE for the first time since March.

 There was a lot of holding for the first hour.  It took about an hour to get her on the sand.
 And another thirty minutes after that to get her in the water.
 Nolan was happy to be there.
 The first night we headed to St Armand's Circle for dinner and ice cream.  Love these two cutie pies.
 Post ice cream we walked around and looked for lizards.
 Then we headed back to our hotel for a little fun.  On the lowest level they had all kinds of board games and table games.  The kids loved the idea of playing pool.  But we were all terrible.  It was a short-lived game.
On Day 2, we headed out early to eat breakfast and buy Ben a rash guard.  (He has a very fair complexion and got a "little" red on his back the day before).  More of the same. Beach and pool.  I have to hand it to Ben; he is more of a mountain trip vacation guy and likes to do stuff.  The beach is kind of the opposite of that (why I love it so).  He hung with us and entertained the kids.  And played with Nolan in the water for HOURS.





On night two, we walked from our hotel into downtown Sarasota and had a nice dinner.  Proof of a nice dinner.  Pinkies up.


After dinner was a stroll through downtown and some ice cream.  Allyn just wanted a cone with sprinkles.  No ice cream.



We headed back to our hotel.  It was so hot outside.  But we like hot when we are cast free



 (Real life:  Nolan being a ham, Ben loving on his babies, and Allyn wanting mommy).
 Side note:  A year ago, she wasn't walking.  So when I see pictures like this, I tear up just a little bit.
Day 3 at the beach.  MORE BEACH!!!!  What can I say, we like to do the beach when we are at the beach.



 I was trying take a sweet picture and he was treating me like the Pillsbury Dough Boy.
Later in the day, little girl and I were spent.  We enjoyed about 80 oz of water under some umbrellas by the pool.  We were both sweating buckets.  A thunderstorm came through right before we headed to dinner.

 Me and my guy!


On Tuesday morning we got ready to head home.  (I should have a picture of me in tears because that's how I felt about leaving such a fun trip with my people....and a warm, sandy, saltwatery beach).  He wanted his picture with this "tractor."


Please tell me I'm not the only person who hates planes with rows of three.  Because when you have a party of four, well......



Our cab ride home was the longest it has ever taken us.  Ben tried to make the most of it.  Selfie time.

We got home and Allyn didn't want to put the travel car seat away.  We left it out for an extra day.

She had a cardiology follow-up.  Her echocardiogram still shows some mitral valve regurgitation.  But it is the same or slightly better than it was in late-January and she is no longer on Captropril.

We definitely made it a great week without the cast!