At this moment, I'm cruising in the dark, in the passenger seat of our version of the family truckster - Brian's 2012 Dodge Charger Blacktop edition. Our beautiful 8-months-old-today baby is sleeping in the back. We're on our way home from our big summer vacation in Pensacola, Florida. Of course, this phase of the trip is quite bittersweet - it's hard to leave sun-drenched days at the pool, the beach, antiquing, exploring, eating amazing food, and relaxing. Days that were all our own, leisurely, full of freedom and possibility.
"Sharknado" may have entered the mix, a surprise late contender for Most Regrettable Vacation Decision 2013. But that's the beauty of vacation - anything's fair game, and 'guilt' is thrown off of our borrowed 10th floor condo balcony (thanks so much, FIL). You see, carpe diem only goes so far on vacation - for sure, I want to fully enjoy every day, and fit in plenty of fun activities, but perhaps just as important is the down time. The relaxation, the kicking back. One might say, why did I drive 12 hours to lounge on the couch (sort of) watching Sharknado? And the answer to that is, because I CAN. Because obviously. Because I don't want to be completely exhausted by my vacation. So that being said, I think we struck a very good balance of filling our days with activity and rest. Especially with Calvin in tow now, we did take breaks now and then to catch our breath, even if only to figure out what we'd do next.
And oh, what fun we had! We took our water baby to the pool and the beach several times (Calvin enjoyed the beach quite a bit for being so young), and tried to drink the water at both places. We did some shopping, ate delicious food we couldn't get back home, we took pictures... The quality family time was through the roof. Brian and I also had the pleasure of celebrating our ninth wedding anniversary with a movie and very special dinner date (thanks to the FIL for watching Calvin!). We drank a heroic amount of beer, and I found a new affinity with a blueberry-flavored brew (thanks again FIL for watching Cal). Meals were memorable - they were events. I love that about vacation.
Something that definitely ranked way up there for me during our trip was watching Cal interact with the many people we encountered during our various adventures. He definitely continued to be a little ham, eating up all the attention lavished on him. Though he's still working on crawling forward (he can scoot backward with the best of them), Calvin did accomplish a few developmental milestones while we were on vacation. Now and then, he'll, adorably, wave, and occasionally he'll give out high fives like it's his job. It's so awesome. And during our trip, he cut his second bottom tooth. Pensacola claims it as its own.
All in all, it was an amazing vacation. I feel incredibly grateful that we have the ability, the means and the opportunity to to make it happen, and for the hand Brian's dad had in making it possible and privileged for us. It was truly wonderful.