Wrapping Up Our Florida Vacation

Helloooooo, Florida. Oh, how we miss you. If you missed my last two posts, we hit the road and headed down to Florida for the EOD Ball and the EOD Memorial a few weeks ago. One of our very favorite places to eat in Florida was at the Margaritaville in Destin. This place opens up their garage doors to an inlet, and you watch boats go in and out as you eat dinner. Once we had dolphins swim by our table – it’s just the coolest place to eat. So we made plans with the only people we know left in Florida, who coincidentally have a little girl Mitchell’s age and a little boy Julia’s age. Whitney and I made the best of friends that afternoon at the Chic-Fil-A play place when we bonded over our love for waffle fries and the fact that our (at the time) red-headed one year olds were about to have little siblings at the ripe old age of 18 months. Our husbands have the same job in the military and are both gingers, and besides the fact that they are a Navy family and will never be stationed at the same base, we were destined to be friends. 

After dinner we hit the town, also known as the Harbor Walk Boardwalk. 

All four munchkins in tow. Call me crazy, but something about this picture makes me with that Mitchell and Julia each had a twin. They’re just so darn cute. 

There was a fisherman on the boardwalk who offered to let Mitchell throw the fish guts back in the water. He was all about it. Guess we need to take this boy fishing, because afterwards he was all, “fish, Mommy, fish!” 

The night only got better, because we found the ice cream stand. I can’t believe we got to live here for nine months. It’s a little vacation spot that will always be a little extra special, because we made so many memories here on this military adventure. 

Presley would not take her sunglasses off or let go of Mitchell’s hand. I was dying at the toddler spark between them. Can’t you just picture their wedding in twenty years? I love it. 

Had to get a picture with my sweet girl. I don’t get to hold a baby on my hip nearly as much as I used to. They’re growing up so fast and they’re increasingly independent and it makes me so happy but so sentimental at the same time. 

Her hair is officially long enough for piggies! It’s actually a lot longer than it looks in pictures because it’s curly, curly. We have bows to match every outfit and it’s so much fun picking them out! 

It wouldn’t be a visit to Destin, Florida without a trip to the beach. The beaches are at the very tip-top of things I miss about living in Florida (just above the Eglin Air Force Base commissary – so nice). It wasn’t quite swimming weather, but the day was literally perfect. Coming from the person who is always cold and married to the person who is always hot, we both agreed the springtime sunshine was the perfect dose of Vitamin D, yet still doable for this fair-skinned red-headed family. We spent the whole morning playing in the sand and loving this beach. We realized when we lived here, Mitchell was as old as Julia is now, and it was a bit of de-ja-vu watching her toddle around in the sand and telling her to stop eating sand 4,000 times. Goodness, it’s a blessing to watch them grow. 

We did a quick drive past our old house. It was so hard finding a good place to live in Florida! Everything was more expensive, and the base housing was not what it is like at Camp Lejeune. (Since then they’ve built brand new housing, which I hear is beautiful, but it was still the 1970’s housing with regular mold and bug treatment – yikes). We found this little townhouse, here. I’d say we lucked out moving without seeing where we were renting, but we weren’t sad to say goodbye to the busy road, no yard, and non-existent neighborhood, moving back to the comforts of base housing, parks, and sidewalks. 

Last, but not least, our hotel stay. Mitchell loves a good hotel bed and he sleeps like a baby if he has his trusty sleeping bag. He loves that darn thing. The hotel staff at the Hampton Inn (Niceville, FL) had THE BEST customer service we have ever experienced, anywhere we’ve stayed. We had the best hotel stay, the weather was perfect, the company awesome. 

And this was our view driving back to the hotel every night. All-in-all, the Florida trip was short but so refreshing. It was so fun to reminisce about our time living in Florida – except this time we had Julia in tow! I’m not-so-secretly hoping that Steve gets to do an instructor stint someday here, so we can move back for three years. Time will tell. 

We hit the road with our fingers cross that we’ll make it back again for the EOD weekend in the coming years. Next year doesn’t look like it’s in the cards (probably deployment – yuck), but we’ll make a point to attend when we can again! Initially we thought about leaving the kids with a grandma, but it was so fun having them there for a mini family vacation, and we were happy they didn’t get left behind. 

That wraps up our Florida trip! Three posts later, I know, too many pictures. I can’t stand it. And more to come. Our trip to DC. Our trip to Kansas. My mom’s retirement party. And so on, and so on. I’m way behind on this little blog of mind. Slowly, but surely, I’ll catch up! 

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