Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Our Destin, Florida Vacation

Yes, we are back from Florida, and I'm finally getting a chance to upload some more photos. (Adam's babysitter had to close today because her son has strep, so I am home w/ Adam today).
Anyway, the vacation itself was fun, but kind-of a bummer too. The first couple days were good, but the last half we were hit with thunderstorms, tornado warnings, lightning, etc and couldn’t go on the beach or in the water, and even the indoor pool had to close due to the storms. We tried to make the best of it, and found a couple things to go to inside. It certainly was not the beach and sun vacation we had hoped for though.

On Monday, the day we actually did go to the beach, it was sunny but red flag was flying (meaning don't go in the water), so we played on the beach in the sand. And, we got lucky for an hour or so they changed the flag to yellow so we could get in the ocean for a little bit. But that was the only time it wasn’t red the whole vacation.

Some beach fun pics...
(the boys thought it was fun to bury Daddy- you can barely see his head in this pic)

(Brendan as a stick-figure in the sand)

(Adam as a sea turtle in the sand)

(Joe and the boys playing in the waves for the brief time we were allowed in the water)

We tried fishing off the pier that evening...

Tuesday we went to Panama City Beach (about an hour from Destin) to the Sea Dragon Pirate Ship cruise, which the boys had a lot of fun on!

It was great! The crew of the ship entertained the kids the whole time with fun pirate activities, face painting, sword fights, dance party, etc and ended with having the kids pull a treasure chest onboard out of the water. It was filled with play money and toys. The parents could sit back and have snacks and drinks while the kids were being entertained. And we saw a couple dolphins while we were on the pirate cruise too.

(the boys try to give their "mean pirate look", but they are too cute to look mean)

Wednesday we went to “Fudpuckers” which is a bar/grill type place, but they also have “Gator Beach” there, where there are a bunch of small alligators and such, and we got our picture taken holding one of the alligators. (and then we had an alligator tail appetizer in the restaurant, which was yummy).

On the way back to the hotel, we stopped by a different part of the beach that was really nice (more of a natural area), and no one else was there! So we enjoyed walking along the beach, finding seashells, and we saw a lot of jelly fish that had washed up on the beach.

(It was SO windy, thus the funky blown-over high hairdo of mine! haha)

(I love this pic- Brendan just looks like he's having so much carefree and happy!)

After that we went to another nature area and went on a nature trail through a wooded area that ended up at a lake. Definitely no swimming there either, but for different reasons...

On one of the rainy days we went by a place called the Gulfarium. It was kind-of expensive, but really neat! They had dolphin and sea lion shows, and the building wrapped around the dolphin pool, and there were windows all around so that you could see the dolphins swimming under water.

They also had many tanks/aquarium type stuff, and outdoor places with sharks, turtles, gators, etc. The dolphin and sea lion shows were outside, but the seating was somewhat covered, and luckily it wasn’t raining too hard at that point. So, while it was chilly and wet, at least it wasn’t storming during the time we were at the Gulfarium.

Here's a little video clip of a part of the dolphin show...

We also went to the Emerald Coast children’s science center one of the rainy days, and it was pretty neat…especially for the price- only $3.95 for kids and $5 for adults (way cheaper than other attractions in the area).

We also had a lot of really good food while we were there. One restaurant, called McGuire's, had hundreds of thousands of dollars hanging from the ceiling and all over the walls! Their food was super yummy too!

On our last day even though it was windy and rainy, we were determined to go to the beach no matter what. So we put on ponchos for some rainy day beach pictures, walking in the sand and seashell searching.

(The boys had so much fun chasing after the seagulls and making them fly up in the air)

So, while we were bummed out by the weather and water conditions/red flags, we did manage to still have a lot of fun too!

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