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Special thanks to Elizabeth helping me out while Cade and I were vacationing on Ono Island in Alabama! My girlfriend, Jodi, had mentioned on her facebook a couple of months ago about being excited to head to the beach. Jokingly I wrote back - "Take me with you". That joke turned into some serious thought and then planning out a besties trip with our kids. Her parents own a beach house on Ono Island in Alabama (right on the border of Florida - literally like 3 houses down was Florida) but are temporarily in Sweden for work. So, Jodi needed to check in on it and see how it was doing - plus enjoy a little beach time in the process.
Now, this was the first time that Cade had ever traveled this far in a car so I was a little nervous but nevertheless that wasn't going to stop us from being beach bound! We started out on Friday driving 4 hours to Houston. We met up with Jodi and her daughter Emma there and then the next morning headed out for Alabama. We started off with Dora, Diego, and Nemo. However, Cade hasn't yet gotten into a lot of these shows so he was only interested in Wonder Pets and Jungle Book. Poor Emma would never again see "her" shows the rest of the trip. The last couple of hours was pure torture. A screaming almost 2 year old with Emma chiming in when she'd see him get attention so I finally crawled in back and decided to play entertainer for awhile. Luckily that helped and we finally made it in 1 piece to Mobile. (her parents regular home is there which is about an hour from their beach house) Cade was still saying "beach mommy - beach" but yet we still weren't there yet. Finally on Sunday we made the last 1 hour leg to Ono Island and we were there!
This home was beautiful! A four bedroom 3 bath home that was just finished being remodeled. All the furniture still had tags on it! There was only 1 TV and it didn't have any cable hooked up so it was nice to know the kids wouldn't be able to watch much. The floors were all wood and every room had a color theme. Truly a beach home out of a movie! The back patio overlooked the saltwater pool below and that was right infront of the "soon to be" beach with a boat dock. Most of the homes had their own personal private beaches but they were still working on theirs.
Cade was super excited to get his "suit suit" on and check out the beach! We went a few doors down where we would be at the islands canal so the waves aren't as big and we are still on the private beach. I took Cade's shoes off and he was totally upset with the sand on his feet. Although he has a sandbox, he never really plays inside it. Just outside of it playing in the sand. So he complained and whined for quite a bit. I put his crocs back on and that seemed to help him a bit but it definitely was taking a little for him to get used to. He finally got in the water and got used to it hitting his feet. He then let me hold him and take him out in the water. He wasn't sure about the waves hitting him but luckily these weren't too big.
That night once we did a little grocery shopping (my child acted like an untamed animal in the grocery store - never happens at home but I guess he knew we were on vacation) and got the kids to bed, Jodi and I decided to stay up and talk and drink some wine. We sat out on the back patio listening to our Pandora talking about everything under the sun. We hadn't done this in YEARS! We really enjoyed it! We actually enjoyed it so much that we didn't notice that it was FOUR O'CLOCK in the MORNING!! Lord help us - as we knew that morning would come bright and early with two little kids. And the shutter blinds hadn't been put up on the doors to our bedrooms yet.
6:15am came nice and early the next day. Cade usually sleeps till 7:30 or 8:00 but not that morning! The sun was shining brightly and they were both super excited to get up and play with each other! It was a VERY long day for Jodi and I. Luckily we were just hanging out on the beach all day! We went to the big beach the next two days. The waves were bigger so Cade was a little more apprehensive but after he'd warm up to it - he'd finally go look for seashells or get in the water. Emma was a little beach bum! She was in the water, swimming like a fish, digging in the sand, she was having a blast! The last day, Cade was chasing all the seagulls down the beach. I had to chase him nearly a 1/2 mile! A couple of guys who were a little down the way from us, brought over some chips or something and started feeding the birds. Next thing you know - there was literally like 30 birds hovering over us. I was freaking out! I was a little concerned that we were going to get pecked or something. But Cade was LOVING it!! He kept waving and saying "Hi Birdie!".
Anyways, we enjoyed our trip and headed back to Houston. We arrived late and after a whining child that would only watch Wonder Pets for hours on end - I decided that maybe we should finish the trip while he was sleeping. I made it in that night (peacefully and quietly) around 1:30 in the morning.
I was glad that I was able to be a little spontaneous and just plan and make it happen. I hadn't been with my best friend for that many days in a row since we were 23 years old. Our kids hadn't ever spent that much time together either. It was really nice to just "do it!" I am usually the planner, the OCD one that has to have everything all lined up. I have been contracting and I knew that I had the ability to up and go when I wanted so I just decided to do it!
Boy was I glad. I am usually going 150 miles an hour between my own business consulting for advertising and marketing, contracting, teaching classes, Pass It On, Baby! and then just being a mother and wife. But I like it that way! This trip though truly reminded me that I need to slow down, stop working so hard, and just enjoy this life! It truly can be a beach life any time I choose if I would just make it a priority. I get all caught up in getting the never-ending "to do" list finished and always working in my off time but I can't really enjoy all those things if I don't have some down time to reflect.
This was a wonderful trip and I hope that I can take this renewed energy and zest for life into all areas in my life and remember that "Life's a beach!"
Much love to you all!
In love and kindness,
Email Elizabeth & Heather
How we work
We are an online community of kind-hearted individuals who directly donate gently loved children's clothes to mothers who could use a little kindness. The wonderful donating mothers lovingly box up the clothes that they once loved their own kiddos in and send them for another mother to love on her children via the US Mail - Parcel Post. If you are in need, know someone in need or want to help by donating, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If you can't do any of these but would like to spread our message - thank you kindly! ~ Elizabeth & Heather