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Monday, November 24, 2014

Fall Break Trip to Cocoa Beach!

Usually our family talks about our Disney vacations on a daily basis. However, after we visited the beach in May Britt switched "Disney talk" for "beach talk." Child LOVED that beach trip! Zach and I talked about it and decided to book a short trip to the beach over fall break. It's important to us to have well-traveled children and part of the way we make that happen is taking them on trips when they are very young. It helps them get used to riding in the car, sleeping in new places, and kicks off their experiences in the world!

Tess already had her first vacation, to Orlando for Labor Day, but I was especially excited for her to go on this trip. We decided to go to Cocoa Beach, Florida as it's about 15 minutes from my hometown (Satellite Beach). Each of my children have first put their toes in the sand at the same beach where I first put mine as a baby and I wanted to carry on that tradition! We actually haven't been back there since Britt's first beach trip so it was really time!!!

We worked out the timing for this trip better than the Labor Day one and hit the road at Tess's first nap of the day. We figured out how to swaddle her in the car seat (the swaddleme swaddle is actually made with a hole in it for the buckle of the seat!!!). 

Swaddled up and ready to ride!
She slept solid the whole time!
I pumped in the car and then we stopped at a Chick-Fil-A for her 10:30 feeding. I packed lunches for the big kids and they played and ate while Zach attempted to give her a bottle. Tess has not been too great of a bottle eater and it just came to a head on this trip. She did okay at the Chick-Fil-A. It took her an hour and she didn't drink it all, but she had enough to be satisfied and we both felt frustrated and just ready to hit the road so we didn't keep forcing it. 



We got to the hotel right on time for her 2:00 feeding. Just like the Orlando trip, I started nursing her in the car when we parked so Zach could check in. Thankful for a pretty easy going baby! She doesn't care where she's being fed, as long as she's getting that mama's milk ;)
Hotel pics are getting a little trickier haha!




Everyone laid down for a rest and Tess did not nap very well. We decided to go ahead and go out to eat for dinner that night. The Cocoa Beach area is VERY special to Zach and I. We have a lot of memories there. I was born in Satellite Beach and then moved to the Atlanta area when I was 3. My mom, brother, and I moved back to Satellite Beach when I was a freshman in high school. I ended up moving back up to near Atlanta again after that year and lived with my dad/at my apartment for the rest of high school, but I visited the area a ton since my mom and other family still lived there. While Zach and I dated and early in our marriage we'd go to Satellite Beach pretty regularly. We'd visit my mom, grandmother, and other family. My dad even lived there again for a few years! 

It's the place where Zach first told me he knew he'd spend the rest of his life with me and it's the place where he proposed to me and it's the place where we got married. So it's very, very special to us and I'm so glad we are able to go and visit and make memories with our children there!

One of the places on our "must visit" list was Longdoggers. It's a little hot dog restaurant where we went with my grandmother, Nana, every single time we visited. It brought back great memories with her and we wanted to make sure we went there first!
Britt and Tess's first matching shirts!




I'm so glad we went. I enjoyed the food. And I enjoyed thinking about Nana and having a chance to miss her...however, this night was a disaster. It was time for Tess to eat when we got there and she straight up refused to drink her bottle. Like crying so hard we couldn't keep sitting around other people. When it was my turn I walked clear across the parking lot to try to feed her! Zach tried first and then we switched when the food came because I wanted to make sure he got to have his while it was fresh! After an hour of trying to get her to eat I finally sat down to eat my food (Zach was finished so he took over). By then my food was cold and the waitress was so nice and offered to warm it for me. Literally the SECOND she put the plate back down in front of me...Britt announced she had to poop. They have a tiny bathroom at the back of the restaurant so I take her and get her finished and bring her back and Kye said he had to poop! By the time I finally sat down to actually eat my food Zach had given up feeding Tess (she only finally drank a total of 3.5 oz) and she was crying because she was past due for nap. We put her in the car seat to try to get her to sleep and I scarfed down my food. We paid the bill and loaded everyone up and got to the van and realized it had been left running the entire time hahahaha Sometimes stuff is just so crazy you have to laugh ;) I guess that's life with three!!!

As we were loading up to leave an older woman came up to us. I was prepared to hear something rude because she had been sitting at the table directly beside us and her family was attempting to celebrate a birthday (which I'm sure we totally put a damper on!) but instead she looked at us and smiled and said how sweet and cute our children are. My heart warmed and I thought of Nana and how she would have found the whole event so, so funny :) 








They gave us some free pumpkins to take home!
And free popsicles too :)
What is extra neat about this picture is that the clothing company featured on the sign (Villion Clothing) was actually founded by a guy I was friends with the year I went to high school there :) He was a super nice guy and I'm so glad to see him find such success! 
We were pretty worn out from that adventure and I was honestly pretty upset about the bottle. We re-worked some of our plans for the weekend to minimize bottle feeding. We all wanted to HAVE FUN on the trip and not spend the whole time dealing with a baby who refused to eat. Nursing was gonna be the way to allow us all to have a good time so we figured out ways to make it work :) I knew the bottle feeding issue would have to be handled, but I didn't want our family vacation to be the time to handle it! 

Much happier after her bath!
We stayed at a place called Wakulla Suites. I got a great deal on our room and it had two separate bedrooms. Our room had a big closet for Tess to sleep in and the other room had two beds for the big kids. They LOVE sharing a room...although it does mean less sleep for them ;) 

While on this trip we brought the little bassinet we have and realized, quickly, that we can't use it anymore. Pack and play from now on only!!! Tess could touch the sides of it way too easily and it caused a lot of sleep disruptions for her. Zach and I enjoyed our evening and started our new show together! How I Met Your Mother! We are only on Season 1 and I know these shows take awhile to get into so we are excited :)

Our big plans for day 2 were to eat Bagel World (my absolute favorite place to eat in the entire world!!!) and to hit the beach! We decided to eat breakfast in the room and Zach would take the big kids to swim and then I'd nurse Tess at 10:30 and we'd do Bagel World for lunch :) They had JUST opened a new location only minutes from our hotel so it worked out perfectly!!!

Smiles for Daddy!






First time at Bagel World :)


I know people talk about certain smells bringing back memories for them...since I can't smell clothes do that for me. I can remember experiences by what I was wearing haha. When packing for this trip I remembered what Britt wore for her first visit to Bagel World so I packed the same shirt for Tess :) If you are ever looking at their baby pics you can ALWAYS tell which one is Britt b/c that child never had her mouth closed ;)



HEAVEN: cheddar cheese bagel toasted with bacon, egg, cheese and peanut butter. 







We enjoyed our lunch (and bought some to take back to the room!) and then headed back for early naps and to get ready for beach fun!

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