Vacation, Sharks and Mini Donkeys

Aaah. We survived our first family beach vacation since adding Vivienne to our family. And “survived” is a pretty accurate word.


Our little family of five met my parents, brother, and sis-in-law at a secluded beach in Florida for a week of “relaxation.” I had been looking forward to this vacation for months – no responsibilities, reading the stacks of books in my bag while soaking up the sun on the beach, sleeping late. (Apparently in all my dreaming, I forgot I had three children.) (Grin)

We had never been to this area of Florida before, and to be honest, as we were driving down old country roads to find our beach house, I started to have a panic attack of sorts. Where on God’s green earth was Peter taking us?

And when I say that we were driving down “country roads,” I’m not exaggerating. There was nothing for miles and miles. Although I did see a huge hand-painted sign that read, “Miniature Donkeys For Sale,” followed by (much to my astonishment) a field FULL of miniature donkeys. What the heck? Is there some sort of demand for mini jackasses that I don’t know about?

Anyway…

The kids’ behavior for the week was, um, okay. Brie was great, actually. She loved boogie boarding in the waves with her Pappy. They had a great time.

My surfer girl
 
Jonah was our wild card. He doesn’t really like his hands to get dirty and he doesn’t really like pools or large bodies of water. So, hey, here’s an idea. Let’s take him to the ocean for a week of torture. But the little stinker surprised the heck out of us. He LOVED running in the sand and water! He threw tremendous tantrums every time we attempted to put shoes on him so he could walk down to the beach, but once his feet touched the sand, he was golden. I loved seeing the pure delight on his face as he played.
My little Jonah fish
Vivienne was apparently only happy if she was being walked around or if she was outside. She seriously whined and cried and screamed unless someone was holding her. It was only slightly annoying. But she was content to head to the beach and sit in the water or the sand for hours, so that’s what we did.
My little beach baby
And for the record, I find it extremely unfair that the one-year old has a better tan than I do. She doesn’t know it yet, but she’ll be the envy of all her teenage friends with that olive complexion. Yay for her. (No sarcasm there…)
The highlight of our vacation, though, was the night we all gathered around the tiny television and watched… wait for it… Sharknado.
Oh, yes we did.
We sat, glued to the tv, watching what was quite possibly the most disturbing and ridiculous thing I’ve ever seen.  In my head, I kept screaming, “Look away, look away!” But, I’m ashamed to say that none of us could avert our eyes. It’s actually quite amazing that someone could write such a dumb storyline. And then the acting. Oy… Let’s not even go there. And yet, we watched every second of that movie. Every. Second.  
 
But how about this for coincidence: The day after we watched that intellectually stimulating film, the people next to us on the beach were fishing and guess what they caught? Yep. A shark! But not just one shark. No, no. That would’ve been bad enough. They caught THREE sharks. In a row. What in the world? Needless to say, that freaked me out so badly that I didn’t get back in the water. I guess the bright side is that there were no sharks flying through the air…
See? I wasn’t exaggerating when I said that we survived our vacation.
So… today I have something fun planned for the blog – a giveaway! I would love to give someone a copy of Lysa Terkeurst’s book Unglued. In this book, Lysa writes about her experiences with losing control of her emotions and how the Lord is able to help us remain calm in the midst of frustrations.
There were plenty of opportunities for me to lose my cool during our week at the beach. Jonah’s multiple tantrums, Vivienne’s constant crying. The shark-infested waters. Sleep deprivation. But for the most part, I was able to contain my emotions. For the most part. I was completely exhausted and worn out, but aside from a bit of complaining, I managed to pretty much keep it together.
But I’m wondering if any of you have experienced exhaustion, frustrations, or just straight-up madness on a vacation. Leave a comment ON THIS BLOG. (Not on Facebook. I mean you can leave a comment there too, but to be qualified for the giveaway, you must leave a comment on this blog.) Tell about a time when you came unglued or when your vacation didn’t pan out exactly as you had hoped. I’ll leave comments open till Saturday at noon and then randomly choose a winner.
And for the record, we really did have a great time at the beach. The kids were just being kids and were acting pretty much like a one-year old and a two-year old should act when they’re away from home in a strange place for a week. I’m very thankful for nine-year olds, aunts and uncles, and nannas and pappys though.
I wonder what our vacation will look like next year…

2 thoughts on “Vacation, Sharks and Mini Donkeys

  1. We went to the beach the summer Addison turned 2. While we had a wonderful time, Addison added some unexpected challenges for our trip. Just a few days before leaving Addison decided she was determine to potty train! So yes, we were potty training our daughter while vacationing in Destin. No major problems, just the inconvenience of stopping MANY times during the drive. Also leaving the beach every hour to potty! It was definitely exhausting!

  2. While driving home from Louisiana by myself with all four kids, I lost my cool. We sat in Mobile for almost two hours to get through the tunnel – everyone else was just trying to get to their beach vacation on the other side and we were trying to get through so we could drive five more hours! The kids did great – singing songs and reading books and feeding babies when needed. However, when I just wanted to be home and it was getting dark, my son started complaining about feeding the baby his bottle AGAIN. I lost it and banged my fist on the dashboard. Needless to say, the car got quiet – but my hand was bruised for over a week. It was a good reminder of how a little action can leave a lasting effect on myself and my children.

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