Saturday, October 13, 2012

Panama City

In early October, we took the kids to visit their Aunt Mary, Uncle Brian and cousin, Elizabeth, in Panama City, Florida.  This was a bit of a last-minute plan.  My parents were going to go down to watch Elizabeth while my brother and sister-in-law moved, and we decided to join them just a couple days before we all left.  It was great to see Mary and Brian before the arrival of their next little one, due in late January.

This was the kids' first plane ride.  Miles and Vivienne had to wait past their second birthday to ride on a plane, but Evelyn only had to wait past her second month.  The kids were all very excited about the flight.  Mom and Dad were flying with us, so this was a huge help.  Between the seven of us, we had about 18 pieces of luggage/carry-ons/car seats/strollers.  Just moving all of our stuff into RDU from the curb was a feat.  The trip was a bit overwhelming, but it went much more smoothly than I had anticipated.  Grandma packed a bag with lots of little treats for Miles and Vivienne to unwrap on the planes when they got restless.  Grandma and Grandad also brought their iPads for kid entertainment.  This was very, very effective.  Evelyn just snoozed the whole time.

Evelyn enjoyed the flight in her usual fashion.
We had to connect through Atlanta.  By the time our second plane landed, Vivienne was fast asleep.

Our first sunset in Florida was gorgeous.  Nearly every night, we had a beautiful sunset to enjoy from the balcony.

Brian, Mary and Elizabeth all got to meet Evelyn for the first time.  It was so much fun to reunite Elizabeth with Miles and Vivienne.  Elizabeth is only a month older than Miles and Viv, so it's fun (and exhausting!) to have all the toddlers together.  Elizabeth mispronounced Miles' name as "Smiles," which was absolutely adorable (and very fitting).

I braided Vivienne's hair for the first time.

We ate WAY too many Oreos.  The kids went through a sugar detox when we got back home.  You can see the effect it has on Viv.

I also french braided Vivienne's hair for the first time.  Actually, this was the very first time that I have ever tried to french braid anyone's hair, and I think it looked great.  Now if I could only get her to sit still so I could practice!

We spent lots and lots of time down by the pool and out on the beach.  Evelyn got lots of snuggle time with Grandad.  Elizabeth, Vivienne and Miles wore themselves out swimming and running up and down the beach.  They also enjoyed floating in the "bubble pool" (hot tub).

We saw tons of sting rays on this trip.  At the first condo, they were swimming in the water and literally came just a few feet from my legs.  Twice, at sunset, I saw a sting ray jump completely out of the water.  At the second condo, you could see them swimming around literally a few feet (like 5 feet) from the beach.  It was amazing.

Jason came back to North Carolina about 5 days before Miles, Vivienne, Evelyn and I returned.  My parents actually flew back to Raleigh with us just to drop us off.  Then they got back on a plane and flew back down to Panama City (stopping in Atlanta both ways).  They basically sacrificed an entire day at the beach just to help me get the kids home.  (No way would I fly with all three kids by myself right now.)

After about 10 days at the beach, the kids (and I) were absolutely pooped!

It was a super fun trip, and we're so glad that we went.  It's so fun to have all the cousins together while they are so young.  A huge thanks to Mom and Dad for letting us crash at their condo and for helping us fly to and from Florida!

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