Monday, October 6, 2014

Our first staycation

Instead of traveling somewhere, this year we had our first "staycation". Anthony took a week off of work just to be home and take a break. It was so relaxing to have a vacation that didn't involve planning, packing, and dealing with crazy kids off of their sleeping schedules and routines. Anthony went fishing almost every day and I got to plan a few outings for the family to help it feel more like a vacation.

One morning we decided to explore the Ponce Inlet lighthouse that is about 30 minutes from our house. We see the lighthouse all the time when we are driving and James loves to point it out. He was very excited to see it up close!
 Surrounding the lighthouse there are several historical houses-turned museums that used to belong to the light keepers. We walked around in all of them and took a quick look. James just ran around from room to room, so I didn't get to read a lot of the explanations but it was still interesting.

James loved this old bell that was recovered from a shipwreck. He liked that he could make it ring by banging on it with his hand. You're probably not supposed to do that, but if it survived the ocean it can probably survive a three year old's hand.
 James was dying to go inside the lighthouse, so after seeing most of the buildings we decided to give it a shot. The sign at the bottom of the stairs warns you that there are 203 steps to the top of the lighthouse and that children should only go if they are able to climb all the way up and down by themselves (no carrying them). I could definitely see why they made that rule, the steps were pretty steep and narrow. It wouldn't be difficult to lose your balance, especially if you were carrying a child.
 This is the view from the bottom of the stairs when you look up. It seems endless, right? We figured, we just have to keep going, we will reach the top eventually right? Anthony went first, then James, then me so that we could catch him if he slipped or fell either way. He held onto the railings and went up one step at time without any trouble at all. He didn't get tired, the most difficult part for him was that he would get distracted by looking down, around, or up and not watch where he was putting his feet!
 We made it to the top! It was windy up there, but so beautiful! I had a death grip on James' hand because that stinkin' kid has no fear. He kept trying to put his feet between the railings just for fun.
My mom waited at the bottom with Rett, so we had to get a picture with him sitting on the steps. Don't you just love those cheeks??
 James had to stop and smell all the flowers on our way to the car. He even made sure to pick one for me.
 Just one street over from the lighthouse is the marine science center with the sea turtle rehab that we like so much. James was excited to get to pet the sting rays again. This was Rett's first visit and he loved the viewing windows. They were just his size!

 Friday night James had another soccer game and there was more progress! No pushing and no running away this time. Yay!!
 The coach is trying something different this season and is attempting to have them play positions. James usually gets put back on defense by the goal. He has a hard time resisting the goal net and likes to sneak over there and try to climb up it and play in it.
 He does get excited when the ball comes towards him and he likes to run after it. He even got to kick it this time! It was headed out of bounds, so the other kids kind of backed away from it. James took that opportunity to charge ahead and kick it hard over the line :) Afterwards he immediately turned around and ran towards us yelling, "Mommy! Daddy! I kicked the ball!" He was so proud of himself!

Saturday I got a groupon for a corn maze about an hour away from us. I had never been to a corn maze before so I was pretty excited! We brought the double jogging stroller and it was perfect. Those big wheels really came in handy! We decided to brave the big 6 acre maze (they had a smaller 1 acre maze geared more towards kids)
 They give you a big flag to hold up in case you get lost. I hoped we wouldn't need it! James and Rett both sat in the stroller and we let James decide which way to go when we reached a fork in the path. He only led us down a dead end once, if you can believe it :)

They have lots of other fun activities for children, including a 60 ft slide! Anthony went up the steps to go with James but they don't allow two people to go at a time. James wanted Anthony to go first, so he did. Then Anthony had to climb up and retrieve James because he was too scared to go by himself :(
 James wasn't disappointed about the slide for long, the next activity was the big "jumping pillow". It is hard to describe, but it was basically the bottom of a bouncy house that somehow comes up from the ground and is surrounded by sand. James had a hard time staying on his feet until he figured out that he could roll off to the ground, then stand up and run back on.

 While James jumped, Rett sat in the stroller in the shade and ate crackers. Easiest baby alive.
 The jumping pillow fun ended when James stepped on a stick somehow and hurt his foot. He didn't want to wear his socks or shoes after that, so we just put him in the stroller. As we were leaving, the hay ride was getting ready to depart (it only goes at the top of the hour) so we decided to go. It wasn't so much a "hay ride" as it was a farm tour, but it was still pretty interesting. James was eating a popsicle while sitting on Anthony's lap and they both got completely drenched in sticky melted popsicle. It was almost more entertaining than the tour! Anthony was desperately trying to contain the dripping mess with baby wipes while James was working himself up over the popsicle he was losing to the heat. It was a long, sticky, hungry ride home but it was worth it. We had a great time!

It was a relaxing vacation at home and a good way for Anthony to get in more fishing, which he never gets enough of (according to him) when we travel somewhere. Plus, it was easier on me to not have to pack everything for the kids and worry about what to do with them in a new place. We definitely have to do this again!

1 comment:

Happy said...

That sounds fun and relaxing! Vacations are way more stressful than they should be! We went to that lighthouse when we stayed at your house right before we moved to UT. I was too chicken to walk up those steps alone with two kids. I would have been a little nervous doing it by myself without kids actually! Good job and that's impressive James did it the whole way on his own!
Glad Ant got to go fishing so much and I'm sure you loved all the extra help every day! The Halloween place looks fun, I love stuff like that!