Thursday, August 21, 2014

FL Vacation: Part 4, Daytona Beach Shores

Our last week was spent in a condo so that we could all join in the fun and have direct access to the pool and beach. Aunt Sherry, Drake and Lainey joined Meme and Papa in their room for a few nights and Nana drove over every day to join in the fun.

Although we didn't really do any exploring beyond the confines of the pool and beach, the kids didn't seem to mind at all. The only arguments arose over whether we would be at the pool or at the beach. Our days fell into a rhythm though: start with a little pool time, move down to the beach for the late morning/lunch and then back to the pool before the afternoon thundershowers. Dinner, more swimming and/or an evening walk on the beach.


Lucy and Kate took over someone else's sand castle...and completely destroyed it.
Lucy was so triumphant!

Nana taught Kate how to do a roll-in dive.

Kate and Lainey had a rather lengthy underwater conversation...she said they were making faces and talking to each other.

Dinner at Boondocks kicked off in the bar with Shirley Temples for the kids. It was Lucy and Kate's first taste of soda. Sigh.
Taking a break from kids at the bar with Sherry while the kids fed the catfish. I always enjoy spending time with her every year.

Waiting for supper!
Meme was cracking us all up...but she tickled herself most of all!

More catfish feeding after dinner.

The next day brought thunderstorms so Lucy and Lainey settled in for some videos while Kate actually took a 2 1/2 hour nap.
When the weather cleared, Lainey loaned Lucy a swimsuit since Kate was still asleep. When they couldn't decide which suit to wear, Lucy suggested they each wear a half. Problem solved.
Later in the evening, a walk on the beach was in order. Kate wanted to join in the bathing suit switcharoo so she ended up with Lainey's top and traded with Lucy. It was all very complicated.

Supporting the claim of shark bite capital of Florida, we came upon a fisherman who had just hooked a baby shark.
Breakfast at Crabby Joe's to send off Drake and Lainey back to Ocala.
Practicing balancing on the boogie boards.

As you can probably tell by now, Lucy's arm was doing much better. We took the splint off after 2 weeks of wear. Honestly though, all of the swimming and digging in the sand was the best rehabilitation we could have done to get her arm back in use.
 Trying to do handstands.

Another evening walk.

I don't think I have mentioned it but boy, did they sleep well! Most nights they were in bed around 8-9pm (one night was 10pm but that was a special occasion as we let them swim in the pool on their cousins last night). They would both sleep completely through to 8-9am the next morning. It helped that the bedroom had no windows, just a door to the outside, so it was completely dark.

The next day, the girls decided they were done with splashing around in the tidal pools and shallow waves. They wanted to ride the waves on the boogie boards. And boy howdy, they did it with gusto! I was so proud! After only a few times of Len, Nana and me helping them catch the waves, they were ready to drag their boards out themselves to catch the waves.

I made the girls take a quick break for more sunblock and SOMEONE was decidedly not happy about it. She has a pretty fierce death stare. Lordy, I can't wait until she's 15....

 Two surfer girls in the making, heading out for more waves.
 Finally sated from almost an hour of riding the waves, they settled down to play with a new friend.
By late afternoon, Len's sister Kathy and our nephews Stefan and Joey had arrived. Lucy was quite happy to have someone else to entertain!
Kate, meanwhile, had not been feeling well and was complaining about her ears. It finally came to a head on Thursday and I took her to a local clinic to confirm what I suspected: swimmer's ear. No more swimming. She was so bummed and I was just thankful that we only had 1+ day of vacation left.
Fresh from her doctor visit, we met up with the rest of the family at Aunt Catfish's for supper.

The next morning we settled on a dry activity with their cousins Stefan and Joey: the Daytona Beach boardwalk which is a mixture of Old Florida and new.
First stop, the sling shot, which basically throws you 300 feet into the air. I was very thankful that my kids did not meet the height requirement.

Next up, the arcades! This was Lucy's favorite.
After this ride, Kate pretty much spent the rest of her time finding quarters. I lost count after 5.

Kate was still not feeling well so we stood off in the shade as Lucy and the boys rode the go karts.

Storms were rolling in again and it was lunchtime so we headed out to the pier for more seafood!

Len and I finally got a date night on our last night. Nana stayed over and made sure the girls got to bed while Len and I headed back to Ponce Inlet to eat on the Intracoastal at Down the Hatch.

 We need to work on our selfies...
The sunset was spectacular!
Our last morning found us back at Crabby Joe's.

Kate spent a great deal of time building a wall of creamers.
 One last photo with my dad.
Kathy's boyfriend, Glen, joined us for the goodbye feast.
Back at Nana's for kisses and hugs before heading to Orlando.
Waiting to board.
And that wraps up another Florida vacation! I miss it already. It is just so much easier to entertain kids when you can open the door and hit the pool and the beach. We returned to this as a high on Sunday.

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