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Every year for the past five years Mr. Rusty and Mrs. Charlotte have taken all their children and grandchildren on a family trip. This year they booked us a week long trip (typically we only got away for a weekend) to Panama City Beach! Unfortunately, it also happened to be the same week that Austin passed and we all agreed that, obviously, family comes first so the trip was a no-go. Y’all know how that kind of thing works…I know we never buy vacation insurance but in this case it would have been good to have! Sadly there just wasn’t any way to make another family trip able to happen for this year. We were all disappointed, but I most of all felt bad for Mrs. Charlotte. I know as a mom that my favorite thing in the world is making memories with my children. My favorite trip each year is our St Augustine one because it’s just my little family together. This yearly Parker trip is Mrs. Charlotte’s favorite one. It’s the one time every year we are ALL together and we get to spend that quality time making memories with each other!
We all tried to make different things work out but nothing was coming together so Casey and I decided just to take the initiative! We booked a hotel room for one night near Fernandina Beach! We invited Mrs. Charlotte and Courtney to go with us in hopes that we could still do somewhat of a family vacation for Mrs. Charlotte…even if it was only a girl’s trip! She deserved a weekend away and we wanted to make it happen. We figured worst case scenario, if neither Mrs. Charlotte or Courtney came, then just Casey and I would go and still have a good time. Sadly Courtney wasn’t able to come but Mrs. Charlotte did!!!
Saturday morning of Labor Day weekend we took our time leaving Valdosta. We had to make a few pit stops…I mean you can’t go to the beach without some celebrity magazines, right? 😉 Once we got to Fernandina we stopped at a little sandwich shop for lunch. It was one of those new-age granola type places. Which Casey didn’t believe me that “granola” is a thing. Look it up, it’s legit! I’m not a huge fan of the granola movement…but I managed to find something basic on the menu that didn’t have random nuts in it haha. We were all starving and ate every last bite!
The beach at Fernandina was GREAT! I was VERY nervous about beachin’ it up due to my foot issues and the fact that the last time I was at a beach was when I hurt it again. So I rocked my sneakers and was very, very careful not to walk very much. I basically stayed off of it as much as I could! It meant I was freed up to capture the adventure that was Casey and Mrs. Charlotte putting together a beach tent. I sent a picture to Zach and told him we need men with us to survive haha. They did get it up though! But I don’t think any of us used it at all? We pretty much sat in the water the whole time…it was HEAVEN!!! I enjoy the beach with my kids…but kid free at the beach? It’s a whole different level of awesomeness. Just relaxing…talking without interruption…flipping through magazines…not worrying about the time…having my toes in the sand and water. It was seriously perfection!!! I think girls beach trips are on my list of new favorite things 😉
We spent a couple hours soaking up the sun then hit up a little outdoor bar type place for some virgin daiquiris. I have been SPOILED by all inclusive resorts because I totally didn’t like my pina colada at all! It just wasn’t the same for some reason?
We checked in our hotel and it was AWESOME. It was a Country Inn and Suites and seriously I will be booking at that chain as often as possible. It was the same type of place as the hotel we stayed at for our zoo trip and I’m beyond impressed with the rooms, the service, and especially the little extras they include to make the stay special! We missed the guys again when it came to unloading the car…and basically had to fight Mrs. Charlotte to let us do the heavy lifting! We relaxed and got ready for our night out on the town 🙂 Casey did some searching for where we should eat…and I talked about my love of the movie Kick-A$$ haha. If you haven’t seen it, it’s awesome. Seriously! And I’m excited for the sequel 🙂
We found out that the hotel was even more amazing than we originally thought because they had a FREE NACHO BAR!!! We were the first people to be there when they started serving the nachos and they were fresh and delicious. I think we all got refills! I can’t even remember the last time I had nachos? And the fact that they were free made them even more tasty!
A “Casey Fact” for you: she is ALL about her birthday. I mean it’s an EVENT every year haha. Back in the day when we would go on the family trip over Labor Day we had a running joke about how everything was all about Casey’s birthday. I have to say that I think this year was one of the best Casey Birthday Extravaganza’s yet and it was so fun that I’ve decided to adapt her birthday celebrating crunkness for my own birthday in a couple weeks 🙂 I love that Casey gets so into stuff as I think being hardcore makes things more fun, don’t you? Mrs. Charlotte and I wanted to make the trip special for Casey and really focused on making it about her big day! I mean 26 is an EPIC birthday right? 😉 Mrs. Charlotte even surprised her with a birthday crown to wear out that night 🙂
Instant classic picture 🙂
While we were looking through our celebrity magazines on the beach I saw something about a movie out with the Kennedy family in it. I LOVE the Kennedy’s. I have a book all about Jackie O and find her super fascinating. At one time I might have felt like I was Jackie and that the Parker family was the Kennedy clan…Anyways when I saw that there was a movie out about them I mentioned it to Mrs. Charlotte and Casey and they were both like “oh yeah I totally want to see that!” So we figured, why not? We went to the movie theater to see Lee Daniels: The Butler and about three minutes into it I realized that movie is totally NOT about the Kennedy family AT ALL. They were in it for like 5 minutes total. If that. haha! It was still a great movie, just not what I was expecting haha!
Casey is a history teacher so she LOVES some history and this movie was filled with it and, since it was her bday celebration, I’m glad we went to see it. It was a very interesting movie. It’s crazy to me how far the civil rights movement has come in such a short period of time. I mean there are people living who can probably remember bits of the slavery era. It’s hard for me to fathom a world with segregation like that and I’m so thankful our country has come so far. However, over the years I’ve become a lot more aware of political agenda in films and such and I LOVVVVVED the whole movie other than the very obvious political agenda throughout it.
By the time the movie ended it was super late. Like close to 10:00 and we hadn’t eaten dinner yet. We found a place that was still serving food and it was an interesting experience. They had all these red lights and it was SO creepy! I was rehearsing my self-defense skills the whole time haha. It was an odd mix of a bar/restaurant/live music/football game watching type place. The service wasn’t anything worth mentioning but the food was fantastic. I shared a crab burger and LOVED it! We had some super deep conversation about history and politics and education…it was probably one of the more hardcore talks I’ve had with a group of girls out for the night haha!
We got back to the room and went straight to bed then slept in the next morning. Gah I LOVE to sleep in! It’s so nice being on a trip and not having to wake up to pump 🙂 I appreciate it every time I go some where without the kids! I miss nursing and look forward to nursing #3 someday but I do NOT miss pumping while traveling. Such. A. Pain.
Once we got checked out (and again fought Mrs. Charlotte to let us do the lifting!) we headed to the beach again! We left around lunch time to go back home and stopped to get Firehouse Subs on the way back. I’ve only eaten their subs one other time but it was SUPER good. I’m glad the Birthday Girl chose it as I will probably be more likely to eat it again in the future now that I know how delicious it is!
It may have only been a little over 24 hours of a trip, but it was wonderful. I truly wasn’t ready for it to end. I loved getting to spend time with two of my favorite women! I think it helped kick off an awesome birthday week for Casey and helped Mrs. Charlotte feel like she got a little bit of a trip with some of the family! I didn’t really realize how much I “needed” a little getaway either until we got back and I felt so refreshed and relaxed! I’m so glad Casey and I made it happen and that Mrs. Charlotte came along with us!!! We missed Courtney and wish the kids could have gotten a trip together (and…yeah…the husbands too…haha) but I’m sure the Parker trip next year will be amazing!