Tuesday, August 15, 2017

A Week in the Life: Beach Edition. {Days 4 & 5}

Welcome back, friends!  I hope you enjoyed Part 1 (Days 1-3) of our vacation yesterday!  For the record, there will be 3 parts because we crammed in a lot on our trip!  I know it was a bit of a marathon post yesterday but I wanted to make sure to include as much as I could!  This one should be shorter. ;)

In case you missed it, you can check it out here.  Now on to...

Day 4.

Day 4 started with lots of sunshine!  I tried to take a picture of the view from the left, center and right every morning.

Our morning started out with lots of silliness and giggles with this one...

He was trying to hide from me in the blankets because I wanted to "sniggle" and he was trying to get away from me.  Love that look of pure, sweet joy!

After breakfast, we got ready for another day on the beach!  Which brings me to a bit of a sidebar.  This swimsuit is now one of my all time favorites.  I ordered it right before we left thinking it would be a great option for the waterpark I knew we were going to go to.  There is nothing worse for a curvy mama than having to worry about things falling out (or creeping up) when you're trying to have major fun on some waterslides with your fam.

I ordered a size down from my normal bra size and it fit perfectly.  It kept everything snug, lifted and secure while also allowing me to eat french fries at lunch without worrying that my tummy was poking out afterward.  ;)  And to make it even better, it is ON SALE for 60% off right now (less than $35)!  I love end of summer swimsuit sales!

When we went to the waterpark the next day, I pulled these cute little swim shorts on over my bikini bottoms for added coverage too and yes, I may have felt like such a MOM but I also felt so much more comfortable...especially at the ends of those waterslides when my bikini bottoms under my shorts were in all kinds of disarray!  I am way too old for people to be seeing too much tushie #thankyouverymuch. ;)

These shorts are soft and easy to slip on and off and have a foldover waistband...so no tight elastic on your hips.  You will want these, ladies!!!  And they look really cute with a bikini top too.

But enough about my swimsuit rave. :)

Back to the beach.

The boys buried their boogie board and somehow that transformed into a turtle!  Sort of.

We played.  We dug.  We swam.  We boogie boarded.  We ate Cheetos.  We (I) read.

We went back up to the condo for lunch.  I ate outside on the balcony again and then read my book until everyone was ready to go back down.

Then it was back to the beach for awhile!

Isn't he a cutie??  hahahaha

Lazy lazy days.

We had decided earlier that day that for dinner we wanted to go to The Hangout and then hit up The Track!

If you have been to Gulf Shores then I'm sure you are very familiar with The Hangout.  It's a restaurant on the beach with live music, bouncy trampoline stuff, a big sand pit, foam parties, and other random stuff.  It's always one of the most packed places on any given night during the summer.

We went fairly early (6ish maybe?) to try and avoid a long wait and we were told an hour wait.  It was no big deal since there was plenty to keep us occupied!  The boys ran straight to the bungee trampoline things (I have no idea what their actual name is) and got in a short line for those.

My little daredevil, Mason, got to go first and he immediately started trying to do tricks.  He kept trying to do a front flip because they are harder than backflips on these things.  And he wanted to challenge himself, I guess.  He is soooooo his father's son!  Craig loves to do everything the hard way!

Matthew got strapped in while Mason was jumping on another one and as soon as I started to video him, our buzzer vibrated letting me know our table was ready!  It had only been about 20 minutes so I wasn't expecting that.  I was bummed I didn't get to see Matthew jump but Craig took pics while I ran to claim our table.

We were seated right in the middle of the restaurant and could hear the live band outside on the stage.  When they took a little break though, a guy came in with a mic and started the party inside!

The first thing he did was jump up on an empty table and ask all the birthday people to stand up on their own tables.

I was not so sure this was a great idea, y'all.

For starters, there were several birthday adults who had clearly been enjoying some drinks that day.  And to ask them to stand on a table AND THEN DANCE was just a recipe for disaster in my book.

And maybe a potential lawsuit?

Then he asked for all the kids to get up and stand on their tables too (and yes, these tables were full of their dinners...) and dance to the whip and nae nae.  (I had to google how to spell that.)

So now there were kids of all ages...from 2 to 18) dancing on tables.  So now everyone's dirty flip flops and sandy toes were all over the tables while the rest of their family was eating.  

The mom in me raised an eyebrow.

Thankfully, my two are reserved enough to keep their toes off the table.  Matthew did not want anything to do with the Freeze Dance/Whip & Nae Nae.  He sat there shaking his head like "No no no.  Don't make me do it."  Obviously, I would never do that.

Mason took a few seconds before standing up next to his chair and participating.  Introvert vs Extrovert.

When our food arrived, I was underwhelmed.  I ordered a grilled cheese with bacon...and chili was supposed to come on it too.  I just asked for that on the side. 

The fries were yummy.  But I mean, it's hard to mess up fries.  But the sandwich was made with 2 pieces of bacon and what tasted like maybe a couple of American cheese slices that came out of the plastic.  It was not good.

Mason said his burger tasted funny so I tried it and it tasted like a cafeteria burger from school.

Next time we will just go for the fun and skip wasting a meal here.

After we ate, we hit up the foam party right outside.

The stage is to the left and the restaurant part is to the right.  It really is a fun place to hang out but I bet it gets a little less kid friendly the later it gets.

When we'd had enough Hangout fun, we made our way down the street to The Track.  The first thing we did was ride "Wild Woody", the wooden go-kart track.  This was our first time to ever ride on this track and oh my gosh!!  They were so fast!!  You actually needed to know how to drive on this track!!  It was sooooo fun though!!

We did the go karts twice.  It would have been a lot more fun if everyone would have just gotten OUT OF MY WAY!!  ;)

Then we did the bumper boats which get you completely soaked because all you do is ride around and spray a steady stream of water at anyone near you.  I let them do this one without me.

We rode a little kid roller coaster too but I have no pictures of it.  Even though it was pretty much for kids, I rode it with the boys (Craig couldn't fit) and I may have screamed once or twice.

I stole this picture off their website.

Before we left, the boys had to do the small go-kart track for kids so they could drive their very own.  Mason was HYSTERICAL driving his!  He led the pack the whole time and I don't know if he did this on purpose or not but he blocked everyone and swerved from right to left so no one could pass.

He kept looking back over his shoulder to see people and when he did, he took his steering wheel with him.  So I don't think he did it on purpose but his dad sure was proud!  Everything's a competition.

We left soon after and went straight to bed when we got home to rest up for some waterpark fun the next day!

Day 5.

This was the day that we had all been waiting for!  Two years ago, we went to Waterville which is a water park in Gulf Shores that also has a wooden roller coaster (a real one, not a baby one), go karts, putt putt, an arcade and an escape room.  You just hop from the waterslides to the wave pool to the rollercoaster and then back to the slides. I should also add, that this is the place that we were all excited about last year...and when we drove up, it was CLOSED!  

We went late in August last year and didn't realize they close Waterville during the weekdays once they get past the summer season.  So it was very National Lampoon's Vacation last year.  Womp womp. 

This was our favorite slide.  Everyone goes at the same time, on your tummy on the mat, so it's a race to see who wins.  (Spoiler alert:  the heaviest one wins.)

It is not a huge park with tons of rides.  But there are just enough to be able to ride them all multiple times throughout the day and Mason was even able to do them all (even the big scary one I wouldn't do!) when he was just 5!  So it's so family friendly!  (Yes, even the big roller coaster!)

Since we went the first Monday of the second week in August, a lot of people had cleared out of Gulf Shores and we were able to jump on every ride without much longer than a few minutes wait at the most.  If it weren't for having to haul a mat or tube up 500,000 stairs each time, I'm sure we would have ridden them all even more!  There should be some kind of fast pass elevator you can pay for to avoid all those stinkin' stairs.

We rode the roller coaster in the morning 4 times in a row.  Craig rode the first two but he's just too big for that car and ended up with a bloody knee.  His knee kept banging into a metal part of the car so he opted out after those first two.  The boys and I ended up riding it again in the afternoon.  I rode it 3 times with them back to back and then my head started to pound.  They rode it 3 more times in a row before I started worrying about brains being scrambled too much and said no more.

We had our phones in our locker for most of the day but I did pull it out at lunch and snapped a few pictures.

Craig managed to get mustard all over the sleeve of his shirt somehow and I was laughing at him.  ;)  He was not amused.

After Waterville, we stopped for souvenirs at Souvenir City.

The boys ended up with these airbrushed shirts that they were so proud of as well as some other random junk they have most likely broken and/or lost already. 

By this point it was around 7:30 and we were tired, hungry, sunburned and irritable.  We decided to order takeout from The Beach House Kitchen and eat in front of the TV.

Craig had fish tacos which he didn't like very much.

We split this spinach artichoke dip which was aMAZING!  The pita bread was delicious!!

I got the crawfish mac n cheese and it was really good.  I had a lot of leftovers though because it was so rich.  And I also may have hogged the spinach artichoke dip.  #oops

Clearly, I couldn't have cared less about calories while on vacation.  ;) #yolo

After we ate, we all went crab hunting down on the beach.

And that was Day 5!

Tomorrow I'll be back to finish up our trip with Days 6 & 7!  I know I promised this wasn't going to be another marathon post...but clearly I lied.  But not on purpose!  There are just so many darn pictures I want to include so I can look back on these posts and remember it all like it was yesterday.  

So if you're still hangin' in there and reading this, big thanks to you!!  And if you aren't, well, I certainly don't blame you.  ;)

Hope to see you back tomorrow for our last full day in GS (and one more little mishap!) and our trip back home!  Have a great day!

-Amanda :)

Linking up with Erika and Ashley for Tuesday Talk!



  1. I remember that water park disappointment from last trip. SO glad you guys made it and had such a great time this year!

    1. Yes, it was AWFUL!! Huge momfail! I made up for it this year though! ;)

  2. I just got online to order that tankini. Thanks for the recommendation.

  3. Calories definitely don't count while on vacation!

  4. Since I live in California, and we do have a second home on the central coast, I enjoy seeing others post about different beaches in our gorgeous country! Our beaches are so different! Looks like you guys had a fabulous and fun filled week! Share away! Its your blog and like I always say when I post on IG or Fb........if you don't like what you see..Unfollow or Unfriend. Simple! Or ....keep scrolling! LOL Have a great day Amanda!

    1. We went to the beach when I was in Malibu one time and it was very different! Gorgeous, but different! And thanks, Kim!! :)

  5. The Hangout looks like the place to be!! That water looks so gorgeous at the Gulf Shores!


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