This year, we managed to work out one big road trip to see all three sets of families, though none of them were in the home territory. It was quite a feat, and I'm still marveling that it all worked out.
About a week and a half ago, we set off from St. Louis, bound for the Alabama coastline. We met up with my dad, step-mom, step-brothers, sister, and brother-in-law for several days in Orange Beach, and it was lovely. We survived the 14-hour drive (the longest we've ever done with little B), and it was remarkably smooth. This kid is a road trip pro.
I grew up going to the beaches in Texas and Florida, but somehow we'd always skipped over Alabama. Big mistake. The white sand was clean and cool, and the water was about as clear as you could reasonably hope for on the Gulf Coast.
Each stop on the road trip has been mostly about just hanging out with family, so we haven't tried to do too many crazy activities, which means, despite all the driving and jumping around, it's still been a pretty relaxing trip thus far.
The beach was all about sand, waves, sunning, and playing corn hole and board games (ahem, Ticket to Ride). Just as it should be.
B kept saying he wanted to "splash and jump" in the water and definitely preferred the water to the sand (though he loved it when we buried his feet, and he was really into looking for shells — what kid isn't right?). Toddler quote: one morning, we went down to the beach, and there were almost no waves. After playing for a few minutes, B declared the ocean was "broken." Thankfully, the waves had picked up when we went back down to the beach after his nap, and he declared the ocean was "fixed."
Ah, I can still feel the sun on my skin (no really, I did get a little pink). Stop two, coming up.