Thursday, August 27, 2015

St. Augustine Vacation - Day 1

At the beginning of the summer, Matt and I made a list of things that we wanted to make sure that we did.  One of the things that was on our list was to take the kids to the beach.  While we love the beach, it isn't something that we necessarily do every summer.  In fact, we haven't been since we went to Tybee Island with my sister for Ben's birthday 2 years ago.  

St. Augustine has always been one of our favorite places, so that's where we decided that we wanted to go this year.  We decided to go for just a quick weekend in July.  We left on a Friday and came home on a Sunday.  It was a quick trip, but we all had a blast. 

Headed out for our beach vacation!

When we got there, it wasn't time for us to check in to our hotel yet, so we headed straight for Old Town to walk around for a little bit.  We walked around just enough to get ice cream (it was so hot outside) and then we headed for the water/fort area.

Cooper was such a trooper.  He didn't sleep in the car for a nap, and we were walking around Old Town during when he should be sleeping.  So to be missing a nap and to be so hot, he did a fantastic job.

Finally, we all were just too hot to walk any more.  We headed back to the car and then drove to the hotel to see if we could go ahead and check in.  As soon as we got in the car, Cooper was out.  He didn't get much of a nap, but he did fit in about 30 minutes.

The hotel was ready for us to check-in, so we cooled off in our room and just relaxed for about an hour and a half.  We headed out early to go get dinner (and hopefully beat the crowds).  Before we left for our vacation, I asked friends on facebook for recommendations on places to eat in St. Augustine.  One of the places that was recommended was Salt Life, so we decided to go there our first night.  We opted to sit outside because it was no wait (vs. like 45 minutes to sit inside).  It was pretty warm, but not unbearable.  It's also easier for us to eat outside with our kids.  There's generally more for them to look at, and we don't have to worry as much about how loud they are and if they get up and walk around a little bit.  I will say this - for the most part, the kids did great at dinner.  Cooper is at a hard age to eat out with, but he wasn't terrible at all.  We also sat next to a table full of people who were deaf.  It was so neat to see them carrying on complete conversations using sign language!  

My men!!  Gosh I love these two so much!  And they both are just so stinkin' handsome.  My heart just overflows.

We ordered some calarmari for an appetizer, and I was so proud of both kids.  They both tried it and loved it.  I think they ate more than Matt and I did!  LL has really been branching out foods lately (she's even been eating sushi!) and I have been so proud of her for a least trying new things (whether she likes them or not).

Me and my best girl!

While I am not a super picky eater, I for sure like to stick with things that I like.  Especially on vacation.  I have a very fickle stomach, and sometimes trying new things is hard because I don't know how it will react.  I did try some pineapple teriyaki shrimp and rice at dinner, and it was decently good!  I don't know if I would order it again, but I'm glad I tried it!

Matt is a very adventurous eater.  As in, there's pretty much nothing that he won't try.  Seriously.  And he has a stomach of steal.  I'm pretty jealous.  He got a tuna sashimi bowl with avocado and loved it.

After dinner, we headed over to Fiesta Falls mini golf!  Since we went after dinner, it did start out hot but started cooling off after we played for a little while.  We decided that Matt and the kids would play, and I would just help out the kids and take pictures.  It was a perfect scenario!  This was Cooper's first time every playing putt-putt (or pup-pup as he called it), and he looooooved it.

Ready to go!  I'm so surprised that I got such a good picture on the first one of the two of them that I took!

On the first hole he let Daddy help him out.  After this, he wanted nothing to do with help and wanted to do it all on his own!

LL is a mini-golf pro!

Cooper's favorite part?  Chasing his shadow and running up the hills.  

LL loved the water fall tunnel!

Cooper was not one for sticking to the standard technique.  In fact, I'm pretty sure he used everything but his club most of the time.

Hole in one!

After mini-golf, we went back to the hotel for bath and bed.  We had a suite, and it had a big whirlpool tub right in the middle of the room.  The kids loved bath time!

There was a pull-out couch in the living room, and the kids did decently well sleeping with each other (especially considering they rarely do.  They haven't since our Disney trip in January).  I loved how they fell asleep in almost the same position.  

We all got a great night's rest and were ready for a fun day at the beach!


Friday, August 21, 2015

Summer Movies

Every year in the summer, our local movie theatre does kids movies for only $1 twice a week.  The movies are at 10:00 am, and even the popcorn and drinks are pretty cheap.  I've taken LL several times before in summers past, but Cooper has never been.  Now that he's 3, I thought it would be a good chance to let him give it a try!  

We went three times this summer.  The first time, we met up with Meghan and Luke to see Peabody and Sherman.

Cooper wasn't quite sure yet what was going on!

My precious babies.

Cooper did so good!  He got up quite a bit, but that's to be expected at 3 years old.  That's the great thing about the summer movies, they're full of kids, so nothing really stands out!

The second time we went, we went with Grammy to see Penguins of Madagascar.  I'll be honest, the second time Cooper did not do great.  He was up a lot, pretty loud, and just generally uninterested (hence why I did not take any pictures).

The third time, I decided to let Cooper go to play with grandparents while I took LL.  After the second time, I figured that the newness had worn off and he would be happier running around and getting some one-on-one attention.  The third time we went, we met Meghan, Luke, Emily, Kye, and Britt to see Rio 2.  This is one of LL's favorite movies, so she was very excited!

This is such a fun thing to do in the mornings during the summer.  I always love having this as a fun, cheap option!


Thursday, August 20, 2015

4th of July 2015

Last year, we had so much fun at our 4th of July party at Gigi and Poppy's house.  This year - we wanted to do the same thing!!  Ben was in town this year, so that means Aunt Laura and Uncle Gino were here to celebrate too!  We also had Kayla, Andrew, Grammy, and Pop come.  It was a full house and a lot of fun!  

LL spent the night with Ben at Gigi's house the night before.  That morning, we got up and headed over with our patriotic boy!  Matt tried to get a few pictures of me and Cooper before we left, and Cooper was making the funniest faces.  It was cracking all of us up!

So silly!

Ready for a fun day!

Laura and I snuck out for a little while to go get a pedicure!  She had never had one before!!  It was fun to get in a little girl time!

Laura's first pedicure!

After naps, everyone (almost) hit the pool.  Gigi had a bunch of water balloons that she filled up and everyone had a blast with them.  Hands down, my favorite moment of the day was when Grammy (Matt's mom) tried to throw a balloon at Kayla and missed and hit Gigi (my mom).  So funny!

We opted for staying out of the pool and taking pictures.  :)

This cracks me up that it only focused on Laura's face.

Cooper loves it when Daddy throws him.

LL is a little too big for Daddy to throw her straight up - but not for him to throw her backwards!

After swimming, everyone got changed for dinner and then (early) fireworks.  We had to take a few family pictures with everyone in their red, white, and blue.

I am so happy that Kayla and Andrew were in town this year!

The kids were set up and ready for a fireworks show!!

First up was the easy part - sparklers.

Andrew, Matt, and Aaron (Kayla's brother) were the fireworks crew!

This is what happens when your bff ends up with your phone for a little while.

This is what happens when your husband ends up with your phone for a little while.

Our last 7 years celebrating the 4th of July!
We ended up going home and shooting off some bigger fireworks (since there aren't many trees).  The kids loved it!

You can see our past 4th celebrations here:
2014 (pool party at Gigi's)
2013 (celebrating at Oma and Opa's)
2012 (small celebration at home because we had a newborn)
2011 (fireworks at Gigi's)
2010 (celebrating at Grammy and Pop's)
2009 (our first 4th as parents!)