So, we packed up the kids, three car seats, four suitcases, one double stroller and one carry-on and two portable DVD players (we aren't crazy, two hours in a cramped area with there little kids is still TWO HOURS in a cramped area with THREE little kids) and off we went. Other than the stress of getting to the airport on time and doing airport security by myself with the three kids (one of which kept hiding under things, causing the line to go from no wait for the other passengers to a very long line of frustrated, getting upset passengers... fortunately there were a few very nice people who were parents that understood) was a wee bit stressful, the plane ride itself went really well. All of the kids loved taking off and watching everything get smaller. Then we surprised them with the DVD players (they didn't know we brought them) and they happily sat and watched a movie the entire time. Unfortunately the DVD player that Ethan and I had died half way there, but he did great regardless of the fact that we were pinned into our row.
The plane ride (shortly after we got on the plane):
The first thing we did in sunny Florida was visit the beach (the day after we arrived). Ethan was asking to go because he wanted to collect shells. I'll be honest, I was a little nervous about the beach wondering just how long the kids would stay interested... it's just sand and water after all. I also worried about Collin's sensory issues. As it turns out, those were silly worries; the boys loved the beach. I mean LOVED the beach. I am pretty sure we could spend a few days there without them tiring of it actually.
Here are some photos of them... a lot of photos actually. I wanted to edit them and make them all perfect, but I am so far behind I just want to get them up and share them with everyone instead. I have to tell you I get warm fuzzies looking at these photos. They had such a good time. It was also just the perfect day, the sun was out, few clouds, nice breeze, it was not too hot and not too cold, the water was warm, the beach wasn't crowded... it was perfect.
Very happy boys...
This photo cracks me up... Collin in all his glory.
Oliver, we found out quickly, is a water loving kid. It was hard to keep him out of the water and he had little fear of it. For him, it was love at the first wave hitting him.
Oliver looking at the water and getting in stance to have the wave hit him...
"Here it comes... I'm so excited!!"
"I can't wait!!!"
"Ahhhhhh, I LOVE this." He would spread eagle and let the waves rush over him. Saying that he loved it really doesn't even give it justice...
Collin splashing in the water. He did not like the waves hitting him. He was content in the controlled water where he dictated what touched him. Nevertheless, he loved the beach.
Ethan also loved the waves hitting him. He thought it was great! Here is him giving us an "oh yeah!" or something as a large wave hits him.
Oliver and Grandpa playing in the waves. Really, there needed to be an adult behind Oliver at all times, because again he loved the water and was really fearless. Plus it was extra fun to have someone pick you up and swing you through the waves.
Ethan liked to smack the waves as they hit.
Grandma building sand castles with the boys.
Collin walking on the beach. He actually walked quite a distance (with me) collecting shells.
Ethan dug a trench from their sand castles to the water... it was a really long trench... in hopes that the water from the ocean would go up to the moats around his castle (by way of the trench). Pretty cool idea.
Ethan and Oliver playing in the water.
Collin playing in the sand (no this was not his castle... he moved in when the other family left).
A rare time Oliver was A) not in the water with his back to me and B) standing still.
Here was my attempt at a group photo of the boys on the beach. Look in the background, do you see Grandma Lorrie? She's chasing Collin, trying to get him to come for the photo (me calling him did nothing).