Wow, what a trip! We were only on the island for 1 day, but we did so much it seems like we were there for a week! We picked up some good tips for our Germany trip (gotta remember to bring trashbags and laxatives....no relation to each other...) and increased our confidence in the girls' ability to do long trips well.
The drive down was surprisingly very pleasant! We started off really early in the morning, and the trip ended up taking about 12hrs, but we made sure at each stop (3 total) that the kids really ran around and got their wiggles out. It got really rainy and cooler than expected; however the kids did great watching movies and sleeping the whole time! Mickey Mouse is the new favorite movie (Winnie the Pooh and Veggie Tales are a close 2nd and 3rd.)
I made a picnic lunch, but got worried if we would be able to enjoy it with all the rain. We finally found a rest stop during a short break in the rain and grabbed the opportunity. Madelynn loved running around ("mommy, I'm exercising!") and picking the wildflowers.
Once we got there, we went to the rehearsal dinner (for Aunt Rachel's wedding) at the Shrimp Haus in Schlitterbahn Park. It was really good food, and the views of the ocean were great! I loved the centerpieces: they were little buckets of crayons and beach toys. Maddie is still holding onto her "crab balloon" and water gun. Madelynn also loved playing with her cousin Ian! He is such an adorable and sweet boy!
The next day (Saturday,) we got to eat breakfast with Grandma and Grandpa before heading out to see the sights.
Of course, before we could actually hit the road Madelynn had to stop and try out the "sand box, sand box!" (we worked on saying beach, but she loves "sand box!" instead- lol!)
Her comment was "kinda like mud, momma!" haha!
So first we headed to the Bird Reserve with Grandpa and Cody (Jake's cousin.) Funny how you see no birds in the photos.....I think they were all still in hibernation. Needless to say, Maddie and Annie were not amused.....it was a quick trip.
Next was Sea Turtles, Inc. where they find and rehabilitate injured sea turtles. They have a one legged turtle that they have attached a prosthetic 'rudder' to to help it to swim. Very interesting. Madelynn loved looking at all the turtles, and even Annie seemed interested in watching them swim around.
Next, we went to Pirates Landing for lunch. It's a restaurant where everything is pirate related. At first, Maddie was unsure of the pirates. But she warmed up quickly, and soon got into the pirate spirit.
Where do pirates go to school? At the arrrrrrrt institute! Sorry, I couldn't help myself- lol!
Then we were off to the touch pools. Madelynn got to feed the hermit crabs (shrimp bits) and touch some starfish. She didn't want to leave.
Right outside, there was a man with some birds. We got the unexpected opportunity to play with them. Madelynn was in heaven! Cindy (the bird) was great with Maddie!
Whew! We were pooped by then! Well, I guess I should say Mommy and Daddy were pooped! Annie was asleep by now, and Madelynn was.....well rearing to go swimming! So, off to the beach we went. I have never heard so much excited screaming from Madelynn. She had a blast!
The water was freezing, but we were running around so much that we didn't even notice after a while. Grandma and I took turns with Maddie's high energy- lol!
Then it was off to the wedding! What a beautiful wedding, and an absolutely gorgeous bride! We got a great surprise, and got to see Ian get baptized as well!
The reception was held at The Pelican Station. It had fantastic views of the ocean and the food and music was wonderful! We had a great time! As you can see, Madelynn and Annie promptly fell asleep, and Jake and I got to fit in one dance together before crashing back at the hotel.
The ride back was alittle more difficult than the drive down. Madelynn and Annabelle had tasted freedom, and were not so willing to be strapped down for another 12 hrs. We made it unscathed though (except for Maddie who decided to draw on her arms with a pen- lol!) It was cool and rainy on the way back as well, but again we found a quick stop in between showers for a picnic lunch and to run around some.
So today is lazy Monday for sure! It's always more fun to pack, than to unpack from a vacation......so I'll just procrastinate on that- hehe! I have more pictures uploaded on Facebook, but these were my favorites (then cut in half so the blog wouldn't take 2 pages.) I'm sure I'll have to tell our Germany story in several parts ;) Well, here's to many more great vacations! Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Brand and great job on the fantastic celebration!