Kevin, Kate, and I had our "big" summer vacation at my parent's lake house earlier this summer. Because of our adoption, we wanted to keep our vacation options open, and honestly had hoped we would have another baby by this point, so our vacation would have been more of a stay-cation.
Regardless, after the lake trip, we started discussing taking a few days off of work and having a long weekend to make a beach trip. Kate hadn't been to the beach since she was 10 months old so we knew we were due. After my September 15th deadline seemed like the perfect time to go, and it was! We like September beach trips for lots of reasons, the main ones being that kids are back in school, so it is less crowded, and the temperatures are much better. The reduced rates aren't too bad either!
So, on Wednesday, I wrapped up some things at work and then left after lunch to meet Kevin and Kate at home. We quickly packed up the car and hit the road by 2.
We had to make a gas/bathroom stop and Kevin chose to stop at a gas station that had a Dunkin' Donuts (not on purpose, I am sure). I let Kate pick out her doughnut, and had no doubt which one she was going to pick - pink, with sprinkles, of course!!
We checked into our hotel around 7pm and then hit up a local seafood restaurant for dinner. The next morning, Kate was SO ready to get out to the beach.
(And this is the point where I over share a ton of pictures. Remember, she hasn't been to the beach since 10 months so this was pretty much a "new" experience for her at age 3!!)
We couldn't have asked for better weather. It was warm, but not hot, and there was a cool breeze. An umbrella wasn't even necessary. We stayed out on the beach from about 9am until 1ish before we went back to our room so Kate could get in a nap. Needless to say, she had a blast all morning and slept WELL for her nap.
Because I love this picture so much, I'm sharing it again. We ate dinner at Barefoot Landing, because there was an Alligator Adventures place there that we wanted to take Kate too. Unluckily, I didn't realize what time you had to purchase tickets by, so though we made it there before their 7pm closing time, they actually stopped selling tickets at 6pm. I snapped this as we were walking back to the car.
Day 2 was more of the same. Kate woke up extra early to let us know that the "sunshine was up" and she was ready to go to the beach. The weather wasn't as great as the day before, but we couldn't complain too much. It was overcast, almost too-cool, and very windy. But that didn't bother this 3 year old at all!
Kate LOVED the beach. She loved the waves. She loved the sand. She loved the people.
In typical Kate fashion, our always outgoing little girl made friends with an elderly woman who was tanning by the edge of the ocean. Kevin and I were standing about 20 ft away when they struck up a conversation. They talked for a few minutes and Kevin and I were about to go over to rescue the lady from Kate. As we started walking that way Kate took the lady's hands in her own to help her out of her chair and started saying "let's go run in the waves!" I am so thankful that Kate can make friends (of any age) anywhere.
We packed up early Saturday morning and loaded up the car to head home. Kate was so disappointed. She kept saying "We're going back to the beach, right??" When we assured her that we would, eventually, be back, she started pouting and answering us with "No, we need to go back TODAY."
And then, she started pouting that she didn't get to go swimming today. After a few minutes of quiet, she started saying "Mommy! The blue says go back! It says turn around and go back!" Kevin and I were pretty confused about what she meant until we saw where she was pointing and realized she was talking about the blue line on the GPS. Smart girl tried to "trick" us into thinking that the GPS was directing us back to the beach!
Needless to say, we're pretty sure she enjoyed her beach vacation. And so did we.