Raise the roof, it’s finally time for Spring break! Although we didn’t have a terrible KC winter, it’s always good to get out of town and see the sun & ocean. This year we are trying something totally new and heading to the 30A area of Florida. This is an area south of Destin on the Gulf of Mexico side that is made up of many charming small towns. Anyone who has ever been there has told me it is the most quaint and idyllic little vacation spot ever!
You may have heard of Seaside, Watercolor, Rosemary Beach, Alys Beach or Seagrove. We rented a home in Seagrove that belongs to dear friends of ours. They recently finished construction and we are their second official renters. We cannot wait!
The scary part... we are driving. We are not drivers. We usually fly everywhere. I have so many friends that love to drive. I don't get that, I mean I really don't. Our family is coming as well: aunt, uncle, cousins and grandma. They did the same trip for spring break last year and were thrilled to do it again. My SIL is trying to convince me the drive was as much fun as the week at the beach. 100%- I am not buying what she's selling.
We rented a minivan so everyone would have more room. My 2 teenage boys are both over 6' tall and we wouldn't want them to be one bit uncomfortable. They are coming up with some creative way to set up their Xbox to keep them entertained during the drive. I think it will involve bungee cords and possibly some duct tape.
I have no plans to make the kids read or do homework, that would be cruel. I plan to read, write some blog posts, research more about blogging and chronicle every step of the way on either Facebook or Instagram stories.
Buy my main goal is to drive my kids crazy. Think things such as: everyone smile and pose in front of the "Welcome to Alabama" sign. Put all your ice cream cones together in a circle so I can take an artsy photo. Hold hands and pretend you are watching the sun set...you get the idea? Teenagers just do not understand blogs. Quite frankly, I do not care if they don't because they aren't exactly my target market. I never asked them to follow my Insta account. I am sorry you are embarrassed by my #momlife videos. I have a genius idea, don't follow me! So off we go. Come along for the good, the bad and the ugly.
Day 1: We left our house at 8:30am. We planned to leave by 8am so we considered this a success. We made it 2.5 hours when the kids starting complaining they were hungry. Here we ran into our first hiccup. My husband pulled off on an exit without a clear plan as to where we were going. With 8 kids there were some disagreements. We settled on Steak and Shake where we sat down for lunch. I was one of the votes that would have rather kept driving. I mean we had only been on the road for 2.5 hours!
We heading off again and in the back of my mind I thought, "who is going to need to poop first?" Both of my sons took care of their business before we even left the restaurant. How does this happen? How can you eat a burger & fries and 5 minutes later have to poop? What a waste of money!
About 30 minutes passed when we got the 911 text from the other car that someone had "a train coming down the track". My husband was the lead car and we asked Siri the closest place to stop and it wasn't good news. We then got a second 911 text that they were pulling over on the side of the road. Desperate times call for desperate measures.
Our car kept going and made a stop at a gas station with fairly nice bathrooms, not to rub it in or anything. We grabbed some snacks and filled up the tank. I went with a cheese and almond snack pack, kettle corn and my favorite...Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. I did share the 4-pack with my son. Actually, now that I think of it I only had 1. It's all about making good choices. By the time we left the gas station our other car was still roadside waiting for child #2 to finish on the throne. My BIL had to deliver some "toilet paper" to the boys and let's just say he spent some time bent over due to the strong fragrance coming from behind the hay bales.
We finally met up in Graceland. The final tour started at 5pm. We arrived in the parking lot at 4:45. I ran to the ticket counter and bought tickets for the group. I have to say when I approached the building it was a little like the end of National Lampoon's Vacation. Picture Clark and his family running to the amusement park entrance only to be stopped by the security guard who tells them the park is closed for the season. I did not see 1 other person. The entire cute little road leading up to the ticket building was a ghost town. Not one person- zilch, zero.
We loaded the shuttle for Elvis' mansion. I am certain the guides and shuttle drivers were cursing us under their breath for ruining their plans to end their shift promptly at 5pm.
It was a self-guided tour so we all carried an iPad and wore headphones. It was narrated by John Stamos, who I've always had a crush on. The house was interesting, very ornate and a little strange to be honest. I am pretty sure the kids set a new world record for finishing the tour the quickest. We found them hanging out in the "meditation garden" bouncing around the grave sites of Elvis and his family. Not our proudest moment.
My BIL and SIL have family friends that own a legendary Memphis restaurant, Marlowe's Ribs & Restaurant. We stuffed ourselves with fried this and fried that before heading to the hotel. Of course a few of the boys had to use the bathroom before we left. I just don't get it.
We ended the evening at a super impressive resort, Big Cypress Lodge. It is located inside the iconic Memphis Pyramid. It has 105 hotel rooms but also a Bass Pro Shop on the first floor. My favorite part was the 28 story glass elevator that takes you up to the observation deck. Insert sarcasm here...I hate heights and I WILL NOT stand on a glass floor where you can see 350 feet below you. But I did partake in a couple of my favorite Ketel One Cosmos at the observation deck bar.
We called it a night and the kids dispersed to our rooms. My son did get creative and took an ice bath while watching a movie propped on the luggage rack. My hubby was snoring by then and I was scrolling through my phone waiting for my melatonin to kick in.
Tomorrow we press on with the second half of the trip, another 8 hours to Seaside, FL. We plan to hit the road by 8am. Don't hold your breath...we have lots of teenagers in this group.
Be kind & love others,