Alas, I'm not finished yet! Must document on the blog! :)
My and Scott's 5-year anniversary is tomorrow. We usually go on a trip to celebrate, typically using tax money. Well, this year we decided to put our tax refund toward paying off our car (we're parents now. Time to be responsible, right?!). And we decided that a trip wasn't very realistic anyway with Grayson. I don't feel comfortable leaving him somewhere for days, especially considering he still breastfeeds, and I figured any vacation with a baby would be more of a headache than anything else.
We decided it was just plain wrong to not do something for our FIVE YEAR anniversary, so at the last minute we planned a long weekend trip to Jacksonville to visit the zoo, the beach, and whatever else we got into. We did it a week early so we could capitalize on the long weekend! Guys, let me tell you, it was SO much more fun having Grayson with us!
For once we didn't have to feel a little silly going to places like the zoo or interactive museums because we had a kid with us. We could get excited about giraffes and monkeys and ooh and aah at the giant snakes because, hello? We've got a baby here! And it truly is more exciting experiencing the world with Grayson by our sides. I loved showing him new things like zoo animals, sand, ocean waves, etc.. He loved it, too.
Saturday morning we woke up early and, despite our efforts to be on the road by 8 AM, we left the house at 9 AM. Grayson slept most of the way to Jacksonville, but he woke up when we made a pit stop at McDonald's for some breakfast. He did okay until we were about 20 minutes away from the zoo at which point he started crying. We first played an audio clip from Scott's phone of him playing guitar. This worked for about 5 minutes. Then I had to sing (loudly b/c we also had the AC blasting to keep him from getting so hot and sweaty) for the remaining 15 minutes. I think I went through just about every little kid song I could think of. Including 5 rounds of the little monkeys jumping on the bed...
We got to the zoo and spent nearly 30 minutes in the parking lot. I nursed Grayson; we slathered on sunblock; Scott made and packed our lunches; we got Grayson strapped into his stroller with a toy and a paci. Ready to go! We took the zoo by storm! It was a great time and we were going full steam for a few solid hours. Grayson spent some time in the stroller, but he didn't start to have fun until we moved him to the carrier and he could actually see things. He babbled at all the animals, and I don't think we've ever talked to so many passersby! Everyone commented on Grayson and his awesomeness. Hey, tell me something I don't know!
After that we checked into our hotel, Grayson took a nap, we all took showers, and then we went downtown to find a place to eat. We had tasty burritos at a little hole-in-the-wall place called Burrito Gallery. It was definitely fun trying out something local and eclectic.Grayson slept through that, too.
We spent our nights cozied up in bed, watching HGTV, until about 9 PM at which point we all passed out hard-core!
Sunday we also woke up early, slathered on more sunblock, got into our swim suits, had some free hotel breakfast, and headed to Amelia Island so Grayson could explore the beach for the first time! He loved it! He loved playing in (and eating!!!) the sand. He wasn't too excited about the water, but since we were there early in the day it was too chilly to really get in (in our opinions! There were already people swimming, though). So, we just put his feet in the wet sand and let the waves wash over them.
We had a wonderful time hanging out on the beach. We played in the sand, chatted, snacked (umm...breastfeeding on the beach is the easiest thing EVER! And if anyone happened to be offended, it would be purely because there was a baby attached to my boob b/c I was showing less cleavage than most women around me. Just sayin'.), saw dolphins(!!), and then packed up after about 3 hours b/c Grayson was getting a little cranky. Nap time was calling and he was too distracted to settle down.
|First time touching the sand!|
|Yum, yum, yum! Despite our best efforts, he managed to eat a *bit* of sand!|
We went back to the hotel. Grayson napped. We all showered/bathed. And then we went on the hunt for something to do with the rest of our afternoon. Scott looked online and discovered the Museum of History and Science (MOSH). We went for it! It was so much fun! I think even Grayson liked looking at all the fun exhibits. It will be even more fun when he's old enough to interact with everything more.
We walked around outside the museum for a little while, taking pictures, and then we went in search of a place for dinner. We went back toward the hotel into a huge shopping complex where we found Boston's (thanks for a friend's recommendation). They have super tasty gourmet pizzas. The servers all fell in love with Grayson, and he even made friends with the little girl in the booth next to ours.
After dinner we went to Cold Stone Creamery where we stood in a long line and made some more friends. Then we went back to the hotel for our nightly routine! The next morning was basically just packing up, having breakfast, and driving home. Grayson slept the entire way home from Jacksonville which was a huge blessing. I just felt so bad for him when, about an hour after getting home, we strapped him BACK in the carseat to go to Wal-Mart. He screamed and cried. I can't say I blame him. But we made the trip as quickly as possible and then got back home to relax for the remainder of our day. We rented The Book Thief and watched it as a family before going to bed.
Yes, I had to document in such detail! It was our 5 year anniversary trip and Grayson's first vacation for crying out loud!!
Also, I know this is getting out of hand, but I need to document all Grayson's many "firsts" on this trip. It was his first:
1. vacation (other than visiting family during Christmas)
2. zoo visit
3. beach visit
6. shower (he showered with me the first day and the second day we had to put him under the shower at the beach...to which he screamed like a newborn. So sad!! But he was covered in sand!!!)
7. time visiting another state
8. hotel stay
9. time wearing sunblock
I'm sure there are others but this is all that is coming to mind!!
Anyway, that was our Memorial Day/5-year anniversary family vacation! What did y'all do for your long weekend?