This time last year, we had just had our spring break canceled because of Covid. The kids and myself were highly bummed. Something about the sun and the beach always seems to give my kids and us adults an extra step in life. 

Here we are in 2021, and we just returned from a seven-day trip to Panama City Beach. We went with my parents, my sister, her two kids, and her boyfriend. Tag along with my family of 6 and we had quite the party going on. I am not sure what we would have done in a world previous to Airbnb. We are incredibly spoiled as we got to experience two houses. The first one had a massive pool, six-seater golf cart, and two stop signs away from the beach. 

There was no agenda planned, nowhere to rush to, no homework, no therapy scheduled for First Steps or ABA, and we had a counter for liquor and kid’s squeeze juice packs (not to be used in conjunction, of course).

We were fortunate that the weather held out the entire time, although the fog was so bad one day that you literally couldn’t see 15 feet ahead of you one day. The great thing was, though, we heard the fog horns from the boats out at sea. It was pretty cool for the kids and adults to hear and see the boats and ships out at sea.

While the water was freezing in the pool and the ocean, that didn’t stop my brother-in-law, Jammeson, or my son, Malachy, who were joined at the hips looking for lizards, crabs, and shells the entire time. Poor Jamesson couldn’t get a breath in and already had two kids of his own. He was a great sport, and my husband, Bobby and I are grateful.

My sweet middle son, Landon, a/k/a Moose, loves the sensory of the wind blowing, the water moving up and down in the ocean, and the feeling of the sand. He would dump the sand from his hands on the ground for hours and run up and down the beach flapping his arms in excitement. My youngest son, William, was less than thrilled that the ocean water dared to come up on shore and get his feet wet. He did love the sand and running around and around but would frequently look back at the water and scream stop—one of the very familiar words in his vocabulary. 

While naps on the beach no longer happen for the parents with young children, my daughter, Venice, had plenty while wrapped in a towel like it was 30 degrees out. Pretty sure she left looking like Dracula because God love her, teenage life can be tricky. 

My sister, mom, and I convinced my dad to keep going and getting us premade Pina Coladas from a restaurant nearby. Unfortunately for him, you could only get them in the fancy cups with straws. I think we returned home with nearly 12 of them. They will make great water bottles for the kids at school. Laughing to myself…..

Bobby and I enjoy taking the kids to the beach. Something about the fresh air and nearly pizza every night that somehow makes us return with a brighter smile. I hesitate to say energized but instead looking a bit tanner and happier. 

We have two more trips planned. One in June with 3 of our friends. An adult-only trip to celebrate ten years of marriage for Bobby and me. It’s just a quick weekend trip, but I can honestly say I am so excited not to worry about anyone but myself for even two days. 

In August, we are headed to Myrtle Beach with just our family. The kids have never been to the Carolinas, so we thought a change of scenery would be nice for them, and we get to go through the tunnel when driving there. I remember driving to Hilton Head with my parents and traveling through the tunnel and the mountains. We will be close to the beach again and have our pool. This will be our last trip planned as Venice heads into 8th grade. EEK that means high school is just a year away.