Our time in Madeira Beach, Florida was special and sweet. It was the first time, since Grace joined our family, where I truly felt like a family of five. We spent lots of time together, mostly distraction free, and were able to be outside in the sunny air. We had a few squeltering hot days where burning sand and red-hot rays sent us to the pool for shade before 10am, but the later part of our week was mild, and the gulf breeze was warm and refreshing.
Ralphie surprised us by shouting “Watie!” and running full speed ahead into the waves our first evening there. He waded, and crawled through the tide, and eventually learned to jump waves. Simon was our little baby sea turtle, crawling with all his might out toward the ocean, head down, and one hand in front of the other. He cried if I took him into the water though. Grace had never been to the ocean, that she could remember (her brother told us when we got back that she actually HAD been when she was a toddler). Her mesmerization the first evening was special, and reminded me of how much I take for granted, having grown up vacationing nearly every year. “It just goes on forever and ever!” She remarked. She let herself relax that week, and play. She jumped right in to build sand castles with Ralphie and me, and spent hours floating neck deep in the surf, shouting again and again could I see any sharks?
We ate out way too much, but enjoyed the break from dishes and other household things. And we got our fill of seafood, fresh and fried, til next year.
We all loved the pool, and dipped in at least once a day. Ralphie was a wild fish-man by the end of the week, and I’m sad that we can frequent the pool as often at home. I am sure he would be swimming independently by now.
Four little cousins all in one place was special and sweet, too. Ralphie and 4 year old Savannah made up games in the condo, which mostly involved chasing each other. My grandparents made the westward drive from their home in Lake Placid to meet us for lunch on afternoon (a photo opportunity I regretfully lost). Ralphie sat next to his great Grandma at lunch and helped himself to the croutons on her salad. We visit the church Daniel grew up in, the church where Daniel met our brother-in-law, who is the reason we met. We were able to visit with extended family, and made a stop by the cemetery to say hello to Ralphie’s namesake.
All in all a great trip! We can’t wait for next time – if only we had a Millennium Falcon to get us there in light speed.