We had so much fun in Destin! The same group came this year as did last year (minus Olivia who was off galavanting in Europe!!). It was the three of us plus PapaNui & Sheesa (Mira's new name for G'ma Sheila) plus Kenny, Coco, and Avi. This year, however, we chose to fly instead of drive, and we all stayed together in a townhome at SanDestin instead of having seperate hotels. It worked out beautifully!!
Despite the recent Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the Destin beaches were still pristine - white sand, blue oceans, and nothing but the smell of brine in the air!
Mira rode in her own seat most of the way - what a big girl!
Mira could hardly get enough of Sheesa. She wanted her to "read" to her non-stop! She loved sharing cashews and more books with PapaNui. She also had tons of fun with Kenny, Coco, and Avi. The first morning, she found them having a giggle-fest in their bed and joined them in jumping on the bed and a tickle war. So, every morning after that she went in search for this same sweet action!
We were so pleased that Mira LOVED the beach and everything about it! She was so excited when she first saw the sand - she demanded that we let her down so she could "walk." She wanted to stop right by the boardwalk and play in the sand. Then we brought the water to her attention and convinced her to keep moving. She even loved splashing and kicking in the waves!!
Our little diva ready for the beach!
Avi Grace waiting patiently to head to the sandy shores!
Avi and Mira study the flowers while we wait for the tram.
Are we sure the tram is coming???
Mira isn't waiting for anyone - she's going in!
Checking out the wave action with Daddy.
Our family is happy to be at the beach!
Giggles - splashing in the water is FUN!
Avi gets to work digging a "pool".
Kicking in the waves with Mommy.
Kenny making both his girls laugh.
Time to build a sand castle!
She was so content to sit and play in the sand!
Mommy and Mira
I had a chance to play in the sand with Avi quite a bit, and we even played a few rounds of horseshoes.
Let's go find shells, Daddy!
You, too, Sheesa!
"Ringer" - who's up for a game of horseshoes?
Avi has patented her own technique of building sand stalagtites - pretty cool. I got to be the assistant.
We went to the pool for a very quick dip before a thunderstorm rolled in. But Avi found some goggles that someone had forgotten at the pool - she was thrilled with that score! I took some pics with a disposable water camera, so maybe I'll add those photos once I get them developed.
We went to Fudpucker's for dinner that evening. Mira really loved seeing the alligators and requested we go "see" the "Alli" about a dozen times. Kenny was super-sweet and took her again and again. Avi tried her hardest to feed the alligators, but they were either too tired or too lazy or too full - no takers! Oh, well...she did get to write on the walls!
Avi trying to entice the alligators. No luck.
Mira keeps an arm on Daddy while she eats.
Avi - up to no good.
That evening at dinner, Mira seemed to be incredibly unhappy/uncomfortable and I noticed she was pretty warm, so I took her temperature - 100.4 degrees. We gave her some tylenol and tried to make it through the night. She tossed and turned and cried - sleeping for about 30 minutes at a time, if at all. Finally, I thought to take her temperature again - 104 degrees. I called her doctor who suggested that since she was so fussy along with the fever, we should go ahead and take her to the ER. So, at about 3 a.m., Kenny, Mira, Sheila, Jim, and I all piled into the van (Jim had to drive the rental!) and headed to the local Emergency Room. Thankfully, it was completely empty, and we were seen right away. Diagnosis: infection in both ears! Poor Baby!!
3:30 a.m in the ER - now she sleeps!
The third day was a little better, but the beach trip was cut pretty short. We ended up going to the pool where Mira was much happier; she stayed a lot cooler since she stayed submerged in the water for the most part as opposed to sitting and baking in the heat at the beach.
That night we went to the Village of Baytown Wharf. This is an area within SanDestin that has tons of restaurants, shopping, and activities. We ate at Graffiti's (Yum!) and then managed to get a bit of entertainment in before Mira was completely done with us! Kenny took her to ride a carousel twice while I window shopped for a few minutes. I went and found them while they were on ride number two. Mira was so happy - it was great to see a smile on her face since she had been so fussy for the past couple of days! Unfortunately, as soon as the ride began to slow down, she started to cry!
Sheesa, Mira, and PapaNui
No more ride.
Kenny was already nauseas from the two rides - that carousel was turning on a short radius and going fast! I was about to take her when, thankfully, PapaNui volunteered to go. Avi joined the fun, too!
Mira's hero, PapaNui!
Who's enjoying this more?
Hard to tell...
Everyone enjoying the ride.
Tried to get a family shot like last years - Mira wasn't interested.
After the carousel rides were over, and Mira was distraught about it, we were deciding maybe we would skip the Magic Show that we had planned on watching and just take her back to the townhome. Then, it was Aunt Coco to the rescue!! Can I just say, "Mira LOVES ring pops!" She was more than content with it - she was smiling, laughing, jumping, and dancing throughout the show! The whole time, a little boy with a pacifier in his mouth was eyeing her "paci"!
Love at first lick!
Magic Show and Ring Pop - good deal!
It's only cute because we don't see this everyday.
Sharing with Uncle Kenny and entertaining everyone around us with her dancing, etc.
Kenny and Avi are totally into this magic show - how does he do that??
The next day we didn't even try to go the beach. We decided to go straight to the pool while the Hughes' went off on a snorkeling expedition. Avi came back with tons of great shells and two hermit crabs! We made them a little temporary home and enjoyed watching them scoot around in their "beach" environment.
"Kick, kick, kick!"
She loved sitting and walking on the ledge around the pool.
The steps were a favorite. Up and down. Up and down.
I do not like floating on my back, Daddy!!
That night, Sheesa and PapaNui offered to keep Mira while Kenny and I join Kenny, Coco, and Avi for dinner out. We had a wonderful time and a delicious meal at La Paz (Double Yum!) - we'll definitely be making that a tradition! Great burrito, wonderful black bean soup, awesome margarita, and sopapillas to die for!! Absolutely, without a doubt, the best I've ever eaten!
Unfortunately, Mira cried for us the whole time! This is a first with Sheesa (and Elmo movies!) around, so we knew she was still feeling pretty crummy.
Thankfully, Mira had a last bit of fun the next day when we stopped at a mall on the way to the airport. They had a small play area which was just right for her.
Through the tunnel!
On top of the slide with Daddy!
Now, with Sheesa!!
At some point (I can't remember which day), Mira enjoyed her first popsicle with Aunt Coco - we didn't see it, but it sounded like she loved them (apparently she polished off most of Aunt Coco's and Avi's!).
Despite the fact that Mira felt so bad the whole time, we still deem it as a success - she loves the beach and we had tons of smiles and laughs! Kenny and I love the beach, and we are looking forward to the days when we don't have to rent a room while we're there - we'll have our own!! So, it's good to know that Mira will be dreaming that dream with us!
We also have a lot to look forward to as far as next year's visit goes. We'll be more careful with those ears, and, hopefully, she'll get to fully enjoy one of her new favorite places!
We can't wait to go back!!