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Thursday, May 29, 2014

Parker Family Spring Break Trip

Every year we go on a Parker Family Vacation. We used to do them over Labor Day but football caused issues (I know...it's crazy to me that football schedules mess up a vacation?!?! But football ain't no joke to some ppl in this fam!) so the past few years we've been going in the summer. We actually had a trip to the beach planned the same week that Austin passed away last year so we didn't end up going on a Parker Trip that year. With both Casey and I due this summer we decided to plan the trip over Spring Break. Casey would be too far along to travel at the start of summer and I'd be too far along to travel by the time Casey has her baby (plus who wants to go on vacation with a newborn, right?). It really all came together super well and Mrs. Charlotte and Mr. Rusty ended up renting a house in Orlando! We didn't do anything Disney related but had a casual, relaxing weekend together. It was a great time! Hopefully we will go ahead and BOOK the trip for next summer...I think we all want to do BEACH and it'll be great with the babies being close to a year old then too :)

Our first night there the girls all went out! So glad Jolee came down with us for the trip :) She is such a blessing to us all and is so fun!!! 
I love that Jordan had us move the suitcase behind us out of the shot ;) 
We drove down 192 and ended up debating between Joe's Crab Shack and Chuy's. We ended up at Chuy's and it was the first time for us all. It was SO GOOD!!!! And I loved the decor...especially the emphasis on Elvis ;) Gotta love the KING!!!
I got pretty crunk about my "big as yo face" burrito!
I have a BIG face (head...) and that thing was pretty dang close to being the size as advertised!
The next morning we all got up and got ready to go to a BIG buffet breakfast at Golden Corral. I know that's a random thing to do on vacation with a large family, but it's something we never do at home! We all RARELY get together at breakfast time and we also all RARELY eat out as a family. There are just so many of us and it gets so expensive and tricky with the kids and all. It's usually just easier and cheaper to meet at someone's house and pick up food or do pot luck or something. The breakfast buffet was actually my idea and I'm glad everyone went with it and enjoyed it! I knew my little crew would love it and everyone else did too!

Morning Cuddles in Big Papa's and G-Mama's Bed!
We had lots of accident outfit coordinations (I think I'm rubbing off on everyone haha)

The kids were AMAZED at the food choices!


We had one of the waiters take a family picture for us. This is something that we RARELY have a chance to do so it was a great opportunity for everyone to smile nicely and get a good picture. I think the guy took four. This is the closest to being okay but Colt and Casey have eyes closed and it's not exactly in focus!
Then I get to this one and am like SCORE! It's SO GOOD!!!!! Except MY HUSBAND decided that this was the good picture to make some awful ugly disgusting face for. Ugh. I'm still super mega bitter about it! He ruined the only group family picture we'll probably have this whole year!!!!
Once we got back to the house it was time for the BIG announcement! Casey and Jordan decided to have us all play "hang man" in order to guess the name of their baby! Of course "hang man" couldn't fly b/c G-Mama doesn't like the idea of a man being hung for a game so we retitled it "Name Man" instead ;) 

We mostly let the kids do the guessing on the letters. I really wished I hadn't already figured out the name but I can't make my mind stop working and I just accidentally figured it out. The night of Kye's birthday party Mr. Rusty acted like he knew the name already (which I never did get to the bottom of it if he DID know or not!) but he asked if it started with a "C" and then Casey got all weirded out so it obviously DID start with a C. She was also very very confident that I would like the name which surprised me since I laughed SO HARD when she told me BRANCH was in the running on baby names...so naturally I remembered a conversation we had where I told her I had LOVED the names Cooper and Carter but couldn't use either b/c the "er" ending sounds awful with Parker. Since Robyn named her son Cooper I didn't think Casey would use that name so then Carter is what I thought the name was. I do seriously love the name though but wish I could have NOT figured it out!!!
Guessing letters!




Carter James Bacon is coming soon!!!
(James is actually Mr. Rusty's first name!)
The house we stayed in was really awesome. It's actually across the street from where we typically stay, Regal Palms. And now that we have stayed in the houses I'm totally back on my "we need to buy a place in Orlando" kick. But now I want one of these houses instead of the condos haha They have four and five bedrooms, all of them have their own little pool, and they have WAY lower HOA fees so it'd be a lot cheaper for us. We aren't in a rush about it but I totally spent the whole trip day dreaming about it :) I really think if we got one it would work out financially. I know SO MANY people who go to Disney that I'm sure I could get it rented enough to cover our payment! We'll see :)





Little Miss ZERO body fat got mega cold even in the heated pool!




While my kids napped Courtney's continued to enjoy the pool and Zach and I ran and looked at some house options. We actually looked into a trailer. Some of them had four bedrooms! It would get us instate residency for Disney ticket prices, and be so cheap we wouldn't have to rent it out at all...but nothing is ever as good as it appears haha.The lot rental fee was more than the fees for Regal Palms! Such a joke! We did drive around the neighborhood where we were staying that weekend and found a few places and even called a realtor for some help. We are NOT in a rush to do anything but it's something I'd like to keep an eye out for and be open to the idea if the right situation presents itself. We will be very picky though because we need it to be a certain price, have a certain amount of space, have a low overhead cost, and be very affordable rental prices. I'm not out to make money...I'm just looking for a place that can pay for itself for us! I would LOVE to have our own place to go visit and would especially LOVE an excuse to have yearly passes to Disney ;) But neither of us are willing to risk jeopardizing our financial goals or our stress levels either!

After naps we got ready for dinner...I love catching Mr. Rusty ironing on vacation haha it's such a rare thing that I have to document it :)
For dinner we went to Banana Jacks. It's on property at Regal Palms and is a GREAT family fun place to go! Super cheap prices and a lot of games and even a play area for the kids to enjoy! Kye and Britt have been there a few times now and were excited for Colt and Payton to experience the fun :)


I knew Banana Jacks would end up being loved by not just the kids but the adults as well. The Parkers are COMPETITIVE. The basketball game area quickly became the obsession of the evening! 
Hahah classic Courtney! 

Britt loved this game and got a ton of tickets from it!
But she especially loved the play area! I think the kids spent more time in the play area and the adults used up most of the tokens ;)


Up until this trip my foot had been doing AWESOME from the shot back in February. It did great at Disney. It did great the whole month of March. I wore my tennis shoes 90% of the time and would change into my thick-soled Crocs whenever I was out in public. Obviously that day I wore my Crocs to breakfast. Then I put back on the tennis shoes at the rental house. But yet by dinner that night I was in a lot of foot pain. So much so that I started CRYING. Which is not my style y'all haha. But I couldn't help it! The tears were just that kind that couldn't stop flowing and I'm thankful that only Casey noticed :) I was just very, very discouraged and felt very helpless about it all and frustrated that I literally couldn't walk around and watch my kids play. I sat the entire time at the tables while everyone else played. Stupid, stupid foot :( Big thanks to Casey for going around and snapping pics of everyone for me and I'm so glad everyone had a great time!







love the hands on the hips :)
Britt was VERY concerned about everyone's shoes. She kept straightening them and taking them to each person to have them put them on ;)


The competition for the highest score on the basketball game got pretty intense. All the guys were soaked in sweat! We actually almost accidentally left Jordan stranded b/c he was still playing when we all left haha. I told the guys that I'd be making out with the winner that night. I mean DUH I assumed Zach would win! Well what do you know if some RANDOM kid who wasn't part of our group came up and started killing it. He beat the high score and I told him he better get ready for some making out with a pregnant mama hahah I don't think he was too pumped about it?!?! 
Thankfully for us all my man came through with the win :)
We had SO many dang tickets. I mean I get that it's fun to get a prize but the prize portion of the evening takes FOREVER b/c all the junky toys at kid eye level are like super low tickets so we end up with a TON of junk. Colt and Payton got vampire teeth so, duh, Kye wanted some too. Thankfully he realized how uncomfortable they were pretty quickly (small mouth!) and we "lost" them ;)
Britt just saw the suckers and that's all she wanted. So we let her get one and got her a princess crown too. Which was adorable until it broke ;)
If you travel with kids then I HIGHLY recommend a bag of Mega Blocks. I've taken this bag with us on every single vacation since Kye was a baby. We don't use them much at home but they are awesome for travel and the kids LOVE them! All the cousins shared so sweetly :)
The house had five bedrooms which worked out great. Zach and I each slept in a twin bed in our room (which worked out b/c Zach had a stomach virus that I did NOT need to be catching!) and put Britt in our closet, Courtney and Brad had a room with Colt, Payton slept in Casey and Jordan's closet, Mr. Rusty and Mrs. Charlotte had the master, then Jolee and Kye shared a room. How lucky was it that Kye's room was Toy Story? His comforter actually is the EXACT same design as the blanket he sleeps with every night! He loved it!
So we moved the trip to avoid football season yet ended up in March Madness season instead...we just can't win with the sports world huh? haha So us girls decided to have another girl's night out since the boys were basketball obsessed :)
FROYO TIME!!!

We had a great first day together! I really think for next year we need to look into finding a place to use every year. Like a great house near a beach that has TONS of SPACE (hello two more babies getting added to the mix!) and maybe we can just book it the same time every summer at the same place, ya know? Does anyone have any suggestions on where would be a good place to go?!?! I know I see on Facebook that a lot of big families do something similar and I'm just at a loss for even how to begin that hunt! We are open to going to any beach...but would prefer to be under 4 hours drive from Valdosta (but either coast is within that travel time!). All of us "kids" talked that weekend and agreed that we all LOVE the beach idea. Kids of all ages enjoy the beach and it's something that's relaxing for everyone and is easy to work around all the schedules. Kids need to nap? We just go inside and let them sleep while everyone else can be out in the water still! It would also make it cheap b/c we could eat at the house and enjoy the beach for free :) The trick is to find the place to stay and make it happen! I'd love some suggestions!!! 

2 comments:

  1. Check vrbo.com. You can pick the area you want to look at and find homes that sleep so many people. My family has used it for vacations to IA, AZ, NC, and CA and they have always worked out great.

    ReplyDelete
  2. We go to Grayton Beach between PC and Destin on the Gulf. Beautiful white sand beaches! Lots of bike paths to take the biking. We go several times a year! Love the beach!

    ReplyDelete

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