I’ve mentioned before what a blessing Advocare has been for our family (actually I just blogged about it yesterday haha)…well now I can say it’s also given us a free family vacation! I was pretty shocked to learn I’d earned my very first Advocare incentive trip!!! It felt good to tell Zach that I earned us a trip since I’m so used to him earning them for us with Aflac 🙂
I earned a trip to Destin, Florida for a weekend in November. I’d never been to the beach in November and was a tad nervous to see what it’d all be like, but we ended up loving it!!! I was excited for a weekend away with my family and looking forward to spending some time with Danielle and meeting Jase!
I was also interested to kinda compare an Advocare trip to the ones we’re used to with Aflac. I’d heard from other people in similar type businesses (real estate etc) that their trips couldn’t come close to comparing to Aflacs. Aflac does it all in a BIG WAY and really truly spoil their people!!! However, I did really appreciate how family friendly the Advocare trip was…it was great that our kids were invited to come and that we were given such wonderful accommodations to fit our whole crew comfortably! This was a smaller group of Advocare people and I would compare the trip to something Zach would do for his team and I thought it was so GREAT!!! I can see us putting together something similar for Zach’s team at some point. A great incentive and a really fun weekend 🙂
I also loved that we didn’t have to worry about check-in time! We drove down on Friday morning and got settled in in time for lunch and naps. It worked out great! It was hilarious to me that we were on this Advocare vacation…a company that takes pride in healthy living and eating clean…and we fed our kids pure JUNK the whole time haha. Traveling is just easier with hot dogs and pizza ya know? 😉 And it’s not like it’s the norm at home so I didn’t feel too bad about it (although I didn’t advertise it to all the Advocare people either!).
Danielle hooked us up with the sweetest gift!!!
I was pumped to try the Advocare Gingerbread Snack Bars…I’d heard they were amazing and it’s true…they are!
We had the whole basement area of a HUGE house to ourselves. It was awesome! Zach and I were comfortable in our own room, Kye had his own room, and there was an extra bathroom that fit Britt’s pack and play perfectly. It couldn’t have worked out better and it was nice and quiet for our kids to be able to sleep. I did get to check out the upstairs of the house where the others were staying and it was a beautiful home. I told Zach we really should look into renting a house like that for the Parker family vacations!
Kye got an EXTRA special treat on this trip! He got to sleep on the top bunk for the first time ever!!! I was pretty nervous about it so we pulled the mattress from the lower bed out just in case he fell off haha but he did awesome and he really loved it. I would let him sleep in the top bunk at home but I’m VERY short and I can’t hardly reach the top to be able to wash the sheets and stuff and I would miss out on my sweet pre-bedtime cuddles!!!
After nap we headed upstairs to visit with everyone for a bit. It was nice to meet some of the other Advocare people who I’d heard about. I was a little self-conscious b/c these people work out. Like big time. Like they had a group cross fit workout session together that morning. You alllll know I’m not a big working out person. I def am not in some amazing shape and on top of that I was bloated (I ALWAYS get super bloated mega early in pregnancy but also right before my period so I wasn’t sure which it was…like I go up an entire pants size!). But everyone I met was very nice and I didn’t feel like I was being judged or anything at all. Of course anytime I see Danielle we pick up right where we left off and I could have just spent the whole time catching up with her and would have had a great trip 🙂
Kye hit it off with a little boy right away. It was neat b/c his name was Shepard and I actually got the name Kye from a kid I knew in high school who was named Ky Shepard! So neat! They got along great and Kye was sad that they didn’t get to play more together. Kye is also not used to Ipads so he was pumped he got to share Shep’s with him haha!
After nap we decided to check out Bass Pro Shop. Yes, you read that right: Bass Pro Shop. Isn’t that hilarious? But prior to the trip I read a blog post Danielle wrote (she was down there earlier that week) about how cool the Bass Pro Shop was and I figured it was something free we could do as a family for fun. Destin is a more summer destination so our options were kinda limited on things to do and we ended up actually LOVING Bass Pro. Like, legit, we loved it.
Britt wouldn’t go near the shark haha
We made a lot of fun of ourselves for going to Bass Pro while on vacation. We don’t have one in Valdosta but we also aren’t really into things that Bass Pro sells. Zach doesn’t hunt or fish and we’re not what I’d consider “outdoorsy” people…
When we walked in we pretty much instantly fell in love with the place. It was SO nice to go to a store that had a LOT of fun, free activities. It reminded me a lot of L.L.Bean where I have such fond memories of from my childhood. We’d go to Maine in the summers and L.L.Bean is my dad’s FAVORITE store. They are also open 24 hours so we’d always go late at night and run around the place 😉 Bass Pro was similar but with even more stuff to entertain the kids with! I’m not sure if it’s like that year-round or not? But they also had their Christmas stuff set up! Santa too!!! I so wished I’d known so I could have packed more “Christmas” type clothing for the kids. But it was still awesome! We got to walk right up with no line, they let me use my own camera for pics, and took a free pic of our family with him. So impressed!!!
Kye told Santa he wanted a car city, a grocery store and a Rudolf choo choo train
Britt didn’t tell Santa anything…she just cried and begged for Daddy
We told her she could have a candy cane if she’d look at the camera. Is this a pitiful face or whhhhat? It actually ended up being her ONLY picture with Santa this year! Better than nothing I guess 😉
Enjoying all the fun set ups!
They even had free coloring pages and ornaments to decorate!
Kye enjoyed the bow and arrow game as well as the gun shooting one
First time “shooting a gun”
Kye loved it and actually had great aim!
He hit the target four times during one game! Not bad for a first timer!
Checking out the fish 🙂
Writing a letter to Santa!
Isn’t this so cute?!?! I told like every employee we passed about how impressed I was haha
We even enjoyed some free samples of fudge! I said we should buy some to take back and share with everyone and Zach was like “ummm not the right crowd” haha Of course I still ended up telling everyone that we almost brought back the fudge 🙂 I think Jonathan wouldn’t have minded haha!!!
We had so much fun we decided to buy our Christmas ornament for our trip souvenir from Bass Pro!
My turn to try it out 🙂
We actually did look for a long time at a gun for me! We really do want to buy me one. Zach has one and I know how to use it but I’d like my own that I can feel very comfortable with. We found one we really liked but couldn’t actually buy it b/c we live in Georgia and you can’t buy guns across state lines. Makes sense I guess!
When we got back we fed the kids dinner…yes more junk 😉 At least they had fruit and veggies with the pizza right?
For dessert one of the other Advocare girls made these awesome cookies! We were nervous to try them…you know usually “healthy” desserts aren’t very yummy…but they were SO good! The kids and I gobbled them up and would have totally eaten more. Jonathan hooked Zach up with a MASSIVE one so he was pretty content haha.
Once Britt was in bed Kye wanted to go back upstairs to visit with everyone (my social butterfly! love it!) and especially to play with his new friend. Sadly, his friend was in the bath but Kye did get to meet Jase!!! I told Jonathan how funny it is that I just instantly felt comfortable with Jase. I’m not super comfortable around most people’s babies. But Danielle and I have been so close for so many years I just felt natural with her baby and instantly adored him. He is seriously an ANGEL baby! I got to meet another long time friends baby (Ashley) not too long ago and Jase and Gage remind me a lot of each other. They are THE sweetest, easiest going babies I’ve ever met! Kye was always a mix of an angel baby and a textbook baby…Britt is just pure spirited baby fo sho 😉 Maybe Leo will be my 100% angel one?!?! After the spirited personality I think I deserve to have it easy this go round haha!
Jase was SO interested in Kye and Kye did wonderful with him. I was super cautious b/c I know how new parents can be with their babies but Jonathan did great letting Jase do his thing and trusting Kye with him 🙂 Seeing them together made me very hopeful that I was pregnant b/c Kye is going to be SO amazing!!! He was great with Britt, but now he’s older and I know he’ll truly LOVE the baby right from the start and will want to help 🙂 I was proud of Kye’s manners with everyone too that night. The first time we went up and saw everyone he right away, on his own, went up to Danielle and thanked her for the trip! He makes me so proud to be his mama 🙂
After the kids went to bed we went upstairs and visited with everyone and enjoyed a delicious shrimp dinner. I chowed down on that junk! I love how Zach and I both do well in groups with new people and I enjoyed meeting everyone. I also may have found a great guy to do for the next Single’s Day from Kelly’s Korner haha! Hopefully he’ll be willing (and still single!) when she does it again 😉 I especially loved getting to see Danielle’s mom! I have always adored her and she’s one of the sweetest people ever (her, Mrs. Charlotte, and Katie’s mom are probably the nicest mamas I have ever met!). I always love anytime I get to spend with her!
Following dinner there was an Advocare training session. Since we didn’t participate in a lot of the planned events (they just didn’t work with our kids’ schedules…yall know me…schedules come first! And with the time difference in Destin we didn’t change our time and everyone else did so things just didn’t match up) I wanted to make sure to attend anything I could. I went to the trainings both nights and did take a lot of notes for sure! With my spotting and EXHAUSTION it was hard to stay up late and I ended up taking FOUR HOUR naps each day. I was wore out!
The next morning we took it EASY and seriously just were lazy as lazy could be! We all cuddled up in the bottom bunk of Kye’s bed and played the best game ever: pretend to sleep game! I think it’s every parent’s favorite right? 🙂 Zach and I may have legit fallen asleep a little bit 🙂
We headed to the beach for a picnic lunch and I’m posting that fun experience next! But since I took SO many beach pics I thought I’d do the other pics from the rest of the trip in this post 🙂
I hardcore slept during the kids naps and ended up not even waking up until after they did! The big Advocare group (they had another house nearby) had a big dinner planned but it wasn’t until past our kids dinner time. We went ahead and did our own thing for dinner and then went by to say hello to everyone. We didn’t stay very long because we ended up being with all the kids haha. Z and I both are kinda hardcore about children being supervised and weren’t about to let our kids run around a place we’d never been with people we had just met for the first time. The kids there were watching Superman which we just didn’t feel okay with for our kids so we ended up visiting a little bit and then leaving.
Being silly in our room before dinner!
After we left the dinner we planned to go down to a local Pier to check it out and get some ice cream but it was dark and the pier was farther away than we had thought so we stopped at a froyo place we passed instead! It was the perfect way to end a fun day!
The kids had fun dancing around the place…we were the only ones there so why not?
Ring around the rosie!
After we got the kids in bed I went up to visit more with Danielle and Jase! Jonathan went down with Zach to watch some football and get caught up. While we had a fun weekend, I sure do wish we’d gotten to spend more quality time with Danielle and Jonathan! Zach really likes Jonathan (as do I!) and it would have been fun to get to hang out more together!!!
I LOVED getting to cuddle with Jase! He def gave me that “oh my goodness I can’t WAIT to have another baby” feeling 🙂
We had a very nice weekend and I really appreciate everything Danielle and Jonathan did to make it happen! I also appreciate Zach for supporting me with my “side job” with Advocare 😉 It was great to be able to earn a trip for our family and I always LOVE any chance to travel that I can get!!! Up next our beach adventure!
Shepherd must be becoming a more popular name. I know 2 little boys born recently with that name!We LOVE Bass Pro Shop! We have one close to where we live, but we RARELY go there. However, my parents live in Springfield, MO (where the original grandaddy of all Bass Pro Shops is located) and we take the kiddos there a couple times a year because there is seriously so much to see and do. And, who can beat FREE!?!
ChellyN–I live in Jefferson City, MO and used to live in Springfield! Love me some Bass Pro!
My husband and I earned that trip but we were headed out to Cabo on the 16th so we couldn't make it. I was bumbed because we really wanted to go. Sounds like it was a good time!
Looks like your guys had a great vacation. I am in serious need of a vacation. In fact that is my new years goal, travel more. I even started looking up Las Vegas golf specials last night. My husband would enjoy a golf vacation. Plus I have never been to Vegas so I am excited to see what it has to offer. I hope you and your beautiful family have a happy and healthy new year!