Friday, August 03, 2012

Vacation Wrap Up - We Returned To California

 Know what's fun on day 11 of vacation?

Pack, check out of your hotel, go to the airport, return your rental car and get kids prepared for their flights.

And, then find out that weather will delay your second flight from Atlanta to LAX.  

Instead of getting stuck in ATL without luggage, we opted to take the next available flights home.  2 days later.


What to do?

Find another hotel with availability and check in.  Unpack.  Get ready for dinner.

Compliments of the airline?  Nope.  Weather delays aren't covered.  Awesome.

Since we gave away a case of beer, sand toys, sunscreen and more.....we got to buy it all over again.

Thank God for a view.

I reviewed some advice on Facebook and we headed out to The Hangout for dinner.

Quite the wait time.  We kept the kids busy.



Great food.  Great atmosphere.  Worth the wait.


Shrimp and grits.  Yum.

An elementary kid foam party busted out around 10pm.  Our kids are TOTALLY going to be ready for spring break in high school.

Another day.  Beautiful Alabama. 

(pains me to say that with football season approaching)

This hotel had an indoor/outdoor pool with a 'car wash'.  Kids were in heaven.

 
Finally found a boat to take us out to Robinson Island to hunt for hermit crabs.



It's completely deserted, except for the boats that dock and visit.

By far, my best purchase on the trip:  old school Panama Jack flip flops for $5.50.




Each kiddo found crabs.


And, some cool shells.

I told Blake that if the Starnes family had been with us, we might have booked the boat for a bit longer.  He didn't know why.

Umh......the captain, maybe?

Lots of crabbies.



Dinner that night at the Shrimp Basket, recommended by the boat captain.  

I didn't care for this kind of oyster so much with red sauce and Parmesan, but I am still sure the captain is brilliant.


Thursday morning arrived.  We loaded up the car AGAIN and crossed our fingers.


I don't have the patience and memory at this point to recall all that happened, so I'll just re-post what I put on Facebook at this point:

2 hours of sleep....made it as the doors were closing on the flight....disaster during security with all of my Aveda products tossed in the trash b/c I put them in the wrong bag........played musical chairs until all children are comfortable........pretend to spill a drink on Blake b/c he's already about to have a breakdown.....ACTUALLY spill the drink on him.......listen to Lainey start screaming "We're going down! We're going down!" as we begin to land.........then I look over and see this. W.T.H, Jack? Oh, and I left my camera on the plane. S Blake Starnes said he had to go to the restroom. Haven't seen him in a while. Might be on another flight far, far away from us.

Thank God for Jack.  I couldn't stop laughing.  He sat like this, without explanation, for a good minute.

Pensacola to Atlanta to Milwaukee to Los Angeles.  11am-11pm flights.

Arrived home at 2ish.

Lainey was up at 6:30am.  Of course she was.

Info on the house we rented:

In Water Sound (near Panama City Beach, FL)........just beyond Seaside and Water Color.

Here is the link to the house.  It doesn't come up very well....but the info is there.

Had a blast in all locations.......highly recommend Orange Beach, too. 

If we return to Water Sound, we will fly into Panama City Beach.  Much closer.

Off to look for the delivery van containing 2 more bags still missing.

And, get Lainey's hair cut b/c she only let me put it up twice in 2 weeks, so it's basically in dreads from the ocean.

Dig the sand out of every part of our house.

Who wants to travel with the Starnes family?  :)

10 comments:

Allyson and Dave said...

I loved following your vacation updates. It looked like fun. We used to vacation in that area when I was a kid. I am sure this trip made some great memories.

Jodee said...

Oh my word! I had no idea that your vacation ended like that! Can't anything be easy?! It looks like you had loads of fun anyway!

Kristen said...

Hahahahahaha... Jack.

Despite the delays, lost Aveda products (I would have been LIVID) and mishaps, it sounds like a wonderful vacation.

And that foam party?!?! Rockin'

Kelly Beatty said...

Honestly, did you get the boat captain's number? Not for me; for a friend. I get the fried oyster po'boy at the shrimp basket. Yummers.

Lauren W said...

You're right. Alabama is beautiful! That's why I couldn't wait to get home. Next time try the rolling hills of Northern Alabama during the Fall and check out Birmingham for a fun weekend of shopping and restaurants. Go to Fairhope for cool shops and Mobile for great jazz and seafood. love my state.

PS- The Panama City airport is just over an hour away from me. Just saying. :-) Next summer, maybe?

starnes family said...

Nice, Kel!

Yes, Lauren. I will let you know if we come in again! Hopefully each summer we'll be headed your way.

Dee Stephens said...

I would have been upset about the Aveda products too!!Sometimes it pays to bit the bullet and fly closer despite the cost.
You guys are GREAT parents!

Monica said...

I simply love the picture of Lainey & Blake. Love how she is holding on to her daddy's arm and smiling so big. Precious! Glad you FINALLY made it home!

The Lenzers said...

how much zoloft are you on these days? I need to take a pill after reading this. I am attempting frontier city (the amusement park/splash park) here in OKC tomorrow alone with my 3 rug rats......chill the wine now.....

starnes family said...

Surpisingly, I'm down to 100mg a day and am hoping to switch to 50 soon. Crazy hasn't left the building.....don't get me wrong.....but I'm trying to lower my dosage. Working well so far!