Sunday, July 31, 2011

I Know...Enough

I do not quite know what to make of the fact that it has taken me weeks and multiple posts to document our trip to the beach. It was not a long trip and it was not a particularly eventful trip, so I suppose it has something to do with my schedule. Yes, work has been busy, rather busy, and, yes, it is summertime so the kids are staying up later than usual. I suppose that leaves a small window of time to blog. It is a shame, I miss keeping track of all of the wonderful things that the kids have been doing. I imagine I will have more time once the school year starts and we are back into a regular routine. Until then, bear with me and rest assured that we have been busy enjoying everything that summer has to offer - heat, swimming, snowballs, ice cream, bbqs, daylight, road trips, movies, sunscreen, heat, time with friends and family, traveling, reading books, playing games, and heat.

There are a few more things about the Pensacola trip that I wanted to mention. We were there for the rainiest day since 1988, sure, I would have preferred sunshine, but the deluge provided the opportunity to explore the Naval Aviation Museum - something Christian and I had talked about doing for years - and it was awesome. There are old planes that the kids can climb in and out of, a decent-sized indoor play area for kids, a handful of flight simulators (Luz and James were too young for them this year), some entertaining 'walk though' exhibits, a canteena, and walls of interesting facts I wish I had more time to read (bear in mind, I had very little interest in the content of the museum at the outset and merely wanted a way to spend a rainy morning at the beach - but it sucked me in). Did I mention there is an IMAX theater and that the museum is free (of course donations are accepted and are important).

We also checked out the 'main' public pier in Pensacola. There is a $2 or $3 charge per person but I think it is worth it. We bought the kids an ice cream cone and walked out to the end of the pier. There is some serious fishing going on out there and a really nice view of the water. We saw all kinds of sea life we never would have seen from the beach and/or the condo terrace.

Anyway, there were two interesting things we did while we were in Pensacola that were definitely worth checking out. As far as Gulf Coast beaches go, Pensacola is my favorite. I think they have done a nice job of keeping it fun and user-friendly without having it be overrun by development. It never feels jam-packed, which is the sensation I get in other beach towns along the Gulf.

Here are a few pics from the Naval Aviation Museum:

And the pier:

And it is kid-friendly, sort of, see - Luz trying to read:


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Photos From Pensacola

We hit a milestone this year at the beach...both kids tolerated the surf and the sand. I know this is not the first time I have commented on my inability to comprehend how some families can stay on the beach for 6, 8 and 10 hours at a time. I hear stories of sandy sandwiches and sunny naps and bronzed children who won't get out of the waves and I remember my own childhood and am sure that we were just like that, that I climbed on a raft at dawn and drifted until the sun set. I do not know if there is some revisionist history going on or if we really did spend hours on end at the beach, but I do know that there was a point last summer when I decided that I would never have that experience with my kids, that they were simply not 'beach' people.

Until this most recent trip, our visits to the actual beach were somewhat brief, always involved whining and begging for the pool, and occasionally ended (and sometimes began) with tears. Not this time. Nope. James decided that the sand was cool and was even amused by the salt water and Luz decided that she loved building sandcastles, riding waves and collecting seashells. Sure, there were a few touch and go moments when James needed a nap and, yeah, we were not out there for hours on end...but our stamina has improved, thankfully. Who year we might officially have kids who are 'beach' people.

Cleaning her shells:

Working on her sandcastle (that's another thing...where do these people learn to build such incredible sandcastles...mine are always pathetic in comparison):

Watching Luz and the water:

Collecting shells:


With Mama (I was there too, see):

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Growing Up

This is what stops me in my tracks, knocks the wind out of me, and makes me think that life is going by way too fast:

Jamesy, in the morning sunlight - Pensacola, Florida



Luz was a little envious of the photo shoot and made herself irresistible, as usual:

*Note the incredible ikat duvet. I could dedicate an entire post to it, but I will spare you. Suffice it to say that I have wanted one since the first time I saw it! It is just one of the many fabulous things that make me smile at the beach condominium that we have enjoyed for the past few years thanks to the Renton family.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Beach Weekend 2011

We just got back from a three day beach trip to Pensacola. There are so many things about a weekend at the beach that I love. In fact, I cannot imagine a summer without a little sand and salty just isn't summer without a bit of both as far as I am concerned.

This year was a little different rained from sun up until sun down on Sunday...4 inches...the most rain in one day in Pensacola since 1988. What luck. But it was precisely because of the deluge that we finally checked out the Naval Aviation Museum - something we have talked about doing for years - and it was A-mazing. In fact, we could not believe we had been missing out for all these years.

I am already looking forward to a return trip when the kids are a little older so that they can ride in the simulators and I can actually read a bit more about each exhibit. I will tell you more about it soon, but I am busy with work and dealing with the logistics for the last few weeks of in the meantime, here is is a pic of Luz and James, ready for some sun:

Monday, July 11, 2011


Luz and James are back after a week of nothing but fun in Atlanta where they did exactly what kids are supposed to do during the summertime - have fun. Most days, it looked about like this:

Thursday, July 07, 2011


Luz and James have spent the past week doing precisely what kids are supposed to do during the summer - swim, stay up way past bedtime, eat hot dogs, watch fireworks, spend time with grandparents, pal around with cousins, and have a sense that days can last forever. Those are things I remember and love about summer as a kid.

So, while the kiddos are off in Atlanta doing summery stuff, I have been busy working, and tidying up around the house, and catching up with old friends I don't see enough of, and going to fancy movie theaters, and running, and watching what I want to watch on t.v., and working, and working and missing this: