Friday, August 17, 2018


Welcome back to Part 2 of our beach trip recap!  I meant to have this posted yesterday but I could not get my pictures to load for anything.  Computer issues make me CRAZY so I decided to walk away before I threw my computer across the room.  ;)  #goodcall

Thankfully, all seemed in working order when I tried again yesterday so here we go! 

 If you're just here for my Friday Favorites, be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom!

In case you missed Days 1 & 2, you can find that HERE.

Today, I have Days 3 & 4 and it's full of many God bless you if you scroll to the end.  Haha.


Every morning, I took a picture from the left, right, and center of the balcony.  Day 3 was picture perfect!

We all slept until around 9, everyone fed themselves breakfast (muffins, cereal, etc) and then Mason came in crawled in bed with me.  He was quickly joined by Dad and the roughhousing started immediately.  #tooearly 

I am sooooo not a morning person.

We got ready for our first full day on the beach, loaded up ALL of our junk (so.much.stuff.) and hit the sand.

But first, I stopped in the boys' room and saw this.

They made their beds!!  On VACATION!  They don't even do this at home without bribes or threats.  These boys were clearly in a good mood and you can bet I praised their bed-making skills every chance I got that day.

Another beautiful day!!!

Every year we bring our big canopy and it is amazing.  Canopies have to stay behind the condos rental chairs but USUALLY it's no big deal and we are still able to be fairly close to the water.  This year was different.  We were so far back.  This complex had 3 rows of chairs that we had to stay behind and I was not happy.  I kept telling Craig I felt like we might as well be watching the water on TV.  When I'm at the beach, I need to be steps away from that water so I can watch my babies and keep an eye out for sharks.  

(Seriously. I'm terrified! Why is Shark Week always in the summer? That's just cruel.)

At first, we dealt with it.  But can you see how far away we are!?  Not ok.

I think I lasted about an hour before I couldn't take it anymore.  There was no way I was going to sit that far away from the water all week long.  So I got up, drove down the street to the nearest souvenir shop, and bought two cheap pop up umbrellas.  Umbrellas are allowed to be in front of or next to the row of rental chairs so that's what was going to happen.  I was going to park myself as close to the water as I could.

So much better!

I settled into my new spot while the boys played in the water.  I talked about my cute Kindle cover yesterday (find it HERE) and the book I read which is currently my favorite book of 2018.  (Hysterical, sweet, sad...seriously, go check it out.  Kindle Unlimited girls, it's free!  And only 5 bucks without KU.)

One of the boys' favorite beach activities is burying people in the sand.  Matthew was up first.  Craig took this picture way back at the canopy---a football field away from where I was.  

I was still hanging out in my happy place...with the birds.

The boys came down to the water again soon though to do some boogie boarding.

After a while, Mason's face started to get a little sunburned so he put on Craig's hat and ya'll, he looked so darn cute in that hat.  I think I took about 30 pictures of him doing absolutely nothing.  But I'll only share a few because I don't want you to hate me.  ;) 

He looks so LITTLE in these pictures.  I think that's what I love most about them.  He's grown so much this summer and almost all the baby in him is gone.  Nooooooooooo!!

Meanwhile, Matthew decided it was time to strap on the goggles and go fishing with his net. 

No luck.

They talked me into taking them to the indoor pool for a bit before we went upstairs to get ready for dinner.  That water was COLD.  But not too cold for us all to practice our cannonballs.  ;)

A little while later, we were (almost) ready for dinner!  I had to pull Matthew away from his cozy spot on the balcony with his iPad and practically force him into a shirt.

One of our favorite places in Gulf Shores is Lulu's.  It's located on a marina, has good food, and fun stuff for kids.

After we got our name on the list, we stopped for a quick pic with Drew Brees' jersey outside the bathrooms because Mason has the smallest bladder I've ever encountered.  #notevenkidding

And then they hit the ropes course while we waited on our table.

This thing was so scary!!  The boys were strapped into harnesses so even if they fell the harness would catch them..but this mama bear did NOT trust it.  I followed them around the course like I could catch them if they fell.  Ha.  Right.  But when there is nothing between your baby and the concrete, you will do whatever it takes to catch that 70-pound kid.  So yeah...I was there.  #justincase

Those are my babies!!  See the kid in the red shirt on the beams and the orange shirt on the platform?  I will catch you, sweet boy!!

Spoiler alert:  They survived.  And so did I.  But barely. 

Our table was finally ready so we sat down to dinner and I could tell the boys were starting to fade.

It had been a long day.

We ate dinner and I had the chicken quesadillas. I should have snapped a pic. They were delicious.

But in typical boy fashion, the boys found their second wind once we got back to the condo.  They were ready to get their first crab hunt going!  I told them I'd take them down to the beach for half an hour or so.

If you aren't familiar with crab hunting, here are the basics. Get a flashlight, grab a bucket and when you see an almost invisible tiny crab run across the sand, you grab it (with your hand!) and drop it in your bucket.  We've had as many as 30+ in our bucket before.  It really is fun!

They don't pinch or hurt you because they are so small.  It definitely feels a little icky at first but after a while, it's no big deal.  

Pictures on a dark beach are hard to get.

Matthew is the king of crab hunting in our family.  He is completely unafraid to just go for it whenever he sees one of these little guys.  He let this one crawl all over his hand. 

And then my sweet Mason had the one and only accident of the week.

At one point, he came running up to me and jumped up onto one of the beach chairs with wooden slats...and his foot almost went all the way through before he knew what was happening.  He started screaming like someone had just cut off his foot and since it was so dark and I was in an instant panic, I dropped my phone and flashlights straight into the sand to help pull his foot out.  

He turned out to be ok although I won't lie..the worst case scenario flashed through my mind in the 10 seconds it took before I realized he really was ok.  I saw paramedics having to cut him out of the chair, ambulances, casts, crutches and a ruined vacation.  THANKFULLY, he only ended up with a scraped up shin and some bruises.  I have no idea how he was even able to get his foot out of that chair.  It was so dark and so chaotic for those few seconds he was screaming that I really don't know what happened.  I was SCARED.  And I'm sure people on their balconies could hear all the commotion.

So yeah.  He was ok.  But my phone was not.

Later that night, I realized that my sound no longer worked on my phone because so much sand had gotten into the speakers.  It stayed that way until the last day of our trip and then finally started working again.  Stupid sand.


The next day was Waterpark Day!!  We've been going to Gulf Shores' only waterpark, Waterville, for the past several years.  We love it because it's big enough to be tons of fun but small enough to where we don't have to stand in line for 30 minutes to ride anything.  

But first, Matthew had to pose with the crab claw we found on the beach the night before.

He was in the best mood because Waterville is his FAVORITE place in Gulf Shores.

Loaded up and ready to have some fun!  (Mason's mouth is most likely full of some sort of candy he found in the back of the car.  He is a dentist's dream..or nightmare depending on how you look at it.) 

The weather that morning wasn't great.  There were clouds, a little rain and even some thunder and lightning.  But by the time we go to the park, it was on it's way out and we were left with a few clouds to give us some nice shade!

I tried to snap a few pictures once we got there but waterparks and cell phones just don't mix.  

I got a couple of pictures while we set up near the lazy river.

And then I put away my phone while we rode ride after ride after ride for the next 6 hours.

One of our favorite things about this park is that it also has a legit roller coaster where you can hop on it straight off a waterslide.  We are always there in August so the crowds have died down a bit.  And we are ALWAYS able to ride the roller coaster back to back to back to back...until we all get major headaches and have to take a break.  For the record, this roller coaster is wooden and looks like it is one tiny crack away from falling apart completely.  That's the scariest part of the whole ride.  


We decided to head back to the condo around 4 after we all started to fade.  When we got back, we were all ready to just decompress out of the sun for a while.  I was starving so I heated up the leftover queso from Lulu's the night before, grabbed my Kindle, my drink and the salsa and chips and found my way to the balcony for some "me time".  I was most definitely living my best life at that moment.  ;)

After a couple of hours in the room, the boys were ready for a little swim so Craig took them down to the pool while I showered up to get ready for dinner.

For dinner, we decided to try out a new restaurant.  We headed to Flipdaddy's for a super casual meal right by our condo.

This kid was all about it.

And this one was ready for bed.  #overit

But Flipdaddy's was so fun!  There were tons of cornhole games set up on an astroturf lawn right off the patio which was perfect for our crew. We love cornhole!  It also gave us something to do while we waited on our food.


I had a crispy chicken salad with honey mustard and it was SO good!  Everyone else loved their food too.  I highly recommend this spot if you are in the area!  It was the perfect way to end our night.

Matthew even got into the spirit of things after he ate.  Poor kid was SO TIRED.  But he was a trooper.

Back at the condo, I got the boys all tucked into bed and they were out so fast.

I decided to take my laptop out on the balcony and catch up on the Real Housewives of NYC because I love these crazy women!  Watching my favorite show, with a glass of wine while listening to the sound of the waves below me was heaven.  That's my kind of vacation.

And that was Day 4.  

So...are you still there?  Too much?  It's a lot of detail, I know.  And a lot of pictures.  But these are the posts that I know my kids will come back to read when they are older and I want them to be able to relive as much of it as they can.

I'll be back next week to finish out our week! Our last few days included arcades, go-karts, putt-putt, jet skis, parasailing and more!

For all my Friday Favorites, head to my FB group!! I'll be posting them there throughout the day!

Join HERE!

For a sneak peek, here are a few I can't resist showing you now.

Like this.  How cute are these fall tees!?!!  And just $13.99 for the next couple of days!

And I love these chunky heeled perforated booties in 4 different colors.  And under $30!!  I'm loving the blush color.

Or check out the ones with the adorable side bow!  Also under $30.  Click through to see all the color options!

And last but not least are these microfiber washcloths.  I mentioned them yesterday in the FB group but thought they were worth mentioning again.  A beauty blogger talked about them several weeks ago and I ordered this 7 pack (one for each day of the week) for $12.99.  I LOVE these!!  

I use my Clarisonic several days a week but when I don't, I use a washcloth.  And these are so much better than your basic washcloth.  They are crazy soft and get allll that makeup off!  They are also bigger than your average washcloth.  I use half of one in the morning, hang it on a hook to dry and then use the other half at night.  They feel like such a luxury for such a great price.

Have a happy weekend, friends!  School starts Monday for us and I, for one, CAN'T WAIT!!!  ;)

UPDATED:  Find Part 3 HERE.

Linking up with AndreaNarci and Erika for Friday Favorites!

Also linking up with the High Five for Friday girls!



  1. You guys packed some FUN into days three and four! I’m loving these recaps!

  2. All the sun, sand and sea has me wanting to go NOW!

  3. I loved this recap...details and all.

    1. Ha! Thank you, Kara! I get a little carried away sometimes so I appreciate that! ;)

  4. What a great time.. looks like your kids had a blast.
    Thank god Mason was okay.. I can imagine those seconds of worst case scenarios flashing through your head.
    Those booties are so cute!

  5. Looked like so much fun! We only live about 45 min from Orange Beach and definitely don't get over there enough.

  6. So many great photos and memories! I tend to make ALL the beds on vacation.. something about messy beds just drive me a bit nutty (but my boys never would!). I don't mind though since I am up early (usually the first one) and impatiently waiting for everyone else to get ready so it gives me something to do. My middle son has no fear of heights at all and loves all those climbing type places. I on the other hand am not a huge fan but I will often force myself to participate.

  7. Thank you for always sharing affordable Friday favorites!

  8. What a wonderful place. Thanks for sharing.


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