A Sunny Spot Amidst the Chaos

Man, this year has been a doozy. From a pandemic to social injustices to super vocal differing opinions about EVERYTHING, this world feels overwhelming and stressful. When my mom called and invited us to a week at the beach on a pretty low-key island in the middle of October, we said YES. Would we have to miss work and school? Who cares. We were ALL IN. So that’s exactly what we did a couple weeks ago and it was pretty much the best decision of all 2020.

This guy couldn’t have possibly been more excited about an early morning wake up call at the airport. We had two flights ahead of us but one included COUSINS!

We arrived in Panama City with 4 crazy kiddos and a whole bunch of luggage! There was a 2 hour car ride between us & the beach (and Nanan & Pops!).

We had arrived to our home for the week and all the rejoicing ensued! Just in time for some seafood for dinner. The travel may seem intense for little ones but believe me when I say that it was WORTH IT.

The next morning, we were up & ready for the beach!

Floppy hats were a must!
Safe to say everyone was a fan!
A lot of sand castles were made during this week!
It’s a Luke in a hole!

We took a break around lunch time to head back to the house to eat & rest. This became our routine everyday. Beach, lunch, rest, pool. Now that’s a schedule I love! Lounging around on our back deck was pretty much incredible too. I would happily just move in to that deck.

We had bikes for the week so an afternoon bike ride usually got fit in there too.

That evening, we decided to walk down the long pier on the bay side. Four small little ones walking down a pier with no railings is a bit ambitious but no one landed in the water so all was good.

We allowed them to take a picture at the very beginning where there was a railing. However, Luke was still required to stay in his stroller because homeboy is unpredictable.

The next day we did it all over again!

Can you spot a Lukey Bear & his daddy?

Back for lunch, rest, & then pool!

The pool view wasn’t too shabby either!

Don’t forget our bike ride! This one wasn’t quite as leisurely due to some wind but we powered through. Biking to town and back on an island just makes me feel like I’m straight in an Elin Hildebrand book.

We rested in the ginormous beach chair in town before heading back!

This guy also loved him the back deck too!

Day 3 began a little differently! The men left to go golf for Chris’ birthday while Ash & I went for some yoga at the beach. Grandparents for the win!

I love me some yoga but I REALLY love me some yoga with this view!

But don’t worry, we still made it to the beach with the crew!

Luke’s favorite activity was having someone fill his pails with water to then use it to fill up a bucket. Back & forth all day long.
Luke & his pails!
It’s important to make sure these ‘Colorado boys’ love the beach!

This was the calmest day on the water. It almost felt like a lake with how still it was which made for great paddle boarding!

Yay Pops for making it all happen!
How many kiddos can you fit on a paddle board?
We even got Mom out there!
Pops got in on the sandcastle action!

After resting, it was pool time! It’s funny how quick the kids learned the ‘new’ routine. If only life could be as easy as deciding between the pool and beach everyday.

Luke definitely thought being in a boat was hilarious!
This picture depicts their personalities nicely.
Do you spot his pails? His activity knew no bounds between the beach & the pool.

We decided to venture out into public for dinner that evening to celebrate Chris’ birthday! We even went off the island to the nearest town to hit up a restaurant there.

Shrimp & Grits served to me by a girl with a southern accent made me feel like home!
I finally got a picture with this stud!
My two favorite girls.
Nanan & Pops and all the little crazies!

Can you guess what we did on Friday?!

These two have been besties since day one!
I read all of the books & he ate all of the snacks. This is how we vacation.

Nick & I actually snuck in a bike ride on this day! At one point, I thought he was going to have to tow me back because of the wind but I’m happy to report that I did it all on my own.

Don’t let my smile fool ya.

Pool time was a little shorter that afternoon because we also had to get ready for family pictures on the beach.

Hey girl, how you doin’?

Family picture time! Can you hear all the kids groaning from there?! Ashley came armed with gummy bears to try and ‘encourage’ the children.

We are full of squinty eyes & love!
The whole fam!
My two little studs posing on the beach looking like little kid models.
Since Maddie is the only girl cousin, she gets to be in the big girl pic!
Behind the scenes with these crazy boys!
And all the children were rewarded nicely with J Rae’s cookies packed in a suitcase from Texas! Because my sister is awesome.

Saturday was our last full day and we were definitely feeling the sadness. I think God knew that we were going to need some help leaving, so he made it a little chilly and windy. This led us to start off with a walk instead, all decked out in tie dye. Because if you go to the beach and not wear tie dye, did you even go to the beach?

Some of us decided to ride more than walk..

It warmed up a bit and we made it to the beach!

Cheese puff hands + sand = only kids
I think all 5 of them were in their happy place!
Think they’ll still let us match them in high school?

We decided to explore the little town that afternoon, especially the lighthouse. When we were there two years ago, Dylan was too little to go up and I was too pregnant. Now he had made the cut and Luke watched from below!

We ate at a restaurant right on the water which is something I miss in Colorado! Seafood while staring at the ocean makes my heart so happy. If you’ve seen Facebook, our oldest even got bribed to try an oyster. He conquered so he’s now the proud owner of a new hot wheels track. I’m pretty sure he will never eat an oyster again, but I guess both boys got what they wanted.

D-Mac had nothing to do with the oysters!
…but this is who we really are!

And that’s it! If anyone has made it thru this massive trip recap besides my mom, job well done! We got up the next morning and made the road trip and two flights home back to reality. And this is how I felt about it…

This is how the boys handled it…

And yes, this does mean that I was across the aisle in a row all. by. myself.

This trip really was the brightest spot of this whole year. A whole week dedicated to rest and fun, without having to worry about any single thing. Obviously that’s what is always so great about a vacation, but it felt like an actual gift during this crazy year. So thank you to Nanan & Pops and thank you to the precious Saint George Island!

Published by Raven Jones

I love Jesus. My husband and my sons are the best ever. I'm a Texas girl living in a Colorado world. Coffee makes everything better.

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