Olivia, Madelynne, and Dylan enjoy one boogie-board while Jordan provides his back for Sydney on another. Weeeeeee!
It's the girls + Dylan for another run!
Drew and Olivia after an impromptu wrestling match.
The first full day of the vacation was spent in the local city. We went to the Ripley's Believe it or Not museum, experienced their "4-D Movies" and then hit a local arcade. Everyone enjoyed spending wayyyy too much money on arcade games in order to get tickets to be redeemed for plastic toys that effectively ended up costing more than 20 times their worth...but had fun doing it. We rode the go-carts and Jordan took Conner out by ramming him in the rear-end, causing him to twist sideways on the track (had to be rescued by annoyed employees). Olivia and Madelynne then took a tour of several smaller rides while the boys were strapped into a chair attached to two bungie cords suspended from 150 foot towers. They were stretched to the ground then released, rapidly ascending to about 180 feet and bouncing/flipping until they came to rest safely on the ground. Fun! Watch the video below to enjoy it (sorry for the sideways view):
The next day was pure beach fun. We loved the gulf coast beaches so much and spent much of our time there. The powdered-sugar-white sands, warm + clear waters, and clean beaches were too hard to resist! We slathered sunscreen over all the kids and enjoyed the great weather for the entire week. The kids found tons of shells, enjoyed snorkelling with the fish, and even saw a manta-ray. A couple of us received a jelly-fish sting or two, but nothing serious.
On another day, we enjoyed parasailing = 1200 feet with 2 dips! The kids spotted several dolphins from in the air and we loved going that high up. On that same day, we rented a pontoon boat and spent the day travelling from beach to beach, finding our own secluded areas to swim and explore. The kids donned their snorkeling gear and brought hermit crabs, starfish, sea urchins, and a multitude of shells from the sandy ocean floor. Later in the afternoon, we headed towards the opening in the bay to go up and down the swells that were coming in from the windy gulf. All 4 kids sat at the front of the boat and we all got soaked with splashes as we went up and down the swells. The last swell we enjoyed came up from behind us, picked us up, then pushed the nose of the boat down into the base of the waves, nearly tipping us! A wall of water pushed the kids back into the boat. After that close call, I decided we were done with the wave-riding, so we headed back into shore.
While there we enjoyed some good food at Pineapple Willies, Thomas Donut & Snack Shop, and some beignets (of all things) in a shop owned by a New Orleans native...very delicious. We did catch one movie (Prince Caspian...the second Narnia movie), and enjoyed some home cooking of Heidi's and her mother's.
Overall, a very fun trip...we look forward to visiting the beach again as soon as possible!