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Y’all know I love me some Disney…what you may not know though is that my favorite family vacation each year is usually our trip to St Augustine. I love that it’s super chill and I love that our entire family is together. While I LOVE going to Disney, I always feel like a little piece of myself is missing since Tess doesn’t go with us yet! But our beach trip? We are ALL together!
I have been stressing about this year’s trip for, well, over a year now. Last year we moved our trip up to Memorial Day since I was due with Tess in August. We spent our vaca at our favorite spot: Inn at Camachee Harbor. By last year’s trip our family had grown enough where we needed the largest room they offered. And we still decided that there was simply no way we could fit 3 kids in that space and have an enjoyable trip. So the hunt was on for a new place to call our favorite!
It was SO HARD and SO stressful to find somewhere. I legit cried at one point and told Zach I just wanted to quit looking and go somewhere else for our trip. We loved so many things about Inn at Camachee Harbor and I just couldn’t find something that provided us everything we loved, with enough space, and at a decent price. I’m SO thankful I put it out there on Facebook that I needed help. A sweet friend of mine’s dad owns a place and was able to work it out with us to use his condo. It was seriously PERFECT. Two bedrooms, two bathrooms, steps from the beach, great pool, great price and we got to stay for an entire week! We’ve never stayed for a full week before and it was seriously so awesome. It was our longest family trip ever and I think we all agreed that we hope we can do the same thing next year. I’m already praying that it works out for us to use his condo again because we LOVED it!
Another tricky thing with this trip is that the 4th fell on a Saturday. We decided to make that our check in day rather than check out day so we were in St Augustine from Saturday July 4th through Saturday July 11th! We scored an early check-in and were able to go down first thing that morning so we could get settled and have naps before our festivities that evening.
Tess’s first visit to St Augustine!
The big kids were super pumped to share a room! Tess slept in our bathroom and Kye and Britt each had their own twin bed. It couldn’t have been more perfect!
After naps we got ready to celebrate our country’s birthday with our annual tradition of dinner with the Hitchcock family. Their condo was only a few minutes away from ours which was another awesome perk of where we stayed this year. It meant more time to see Aunt Katie 🙂
Tess’s last first holiday!
This year Katie’s cousins came and brought their son who is a little younger than Kye. The kids had so much fun together!
At home Kye now takes showers and Britt and Tess bathe together. This means that Britt can’t ever do bubble baths as Tess isn’t old enough for them and it also means Kye never gets to take bubble baths either. We had a LOT of time to kill before the fireworks started that night so we let the kids enjoy a rare bubble bath together!
I also brought along some sparklers and we had a great time with them on the porch. Kye was singing his American songs super loud and it was hilarious seeing the other guests outside start to join in on the singing 🙂 Kid has some pride for his country!
Where we used to stay was very close to Old Town and we’d be able to see the big fireworks show from outside our room. This year we were way, way far away from that area and were on the beach side. It was very unlikely that we’d be able to see the legit show, but several people told us to try heading to the beach as we might get lucky. I took the big kids while Zach stayed in the room with Tess and we sat on the boardwalk and watched a bunch of fireworks that random people were setting off. We ended up heading inside before the big fireworks show started so I’m not sure if we would have been able to see it or not but what we saw was plenty for us!
The next morning we were hoping the kids would sleep in some since they were up later for the fireworks. But they didn’t! We took our time getting ready and Zach took the big kids and the beach stuff down to the beach to set up while I stayed back with Tess.
Kye’s portrait of Britt
Tess kept “asking” me to read to her 🙂
Daddy loves some Britt cuddles!
Prior to the trip I dropped the 3:00 feeding and I decided to go ahead and drop the 11:00 feeding while on the trip. I know it was a little bit of a crazy idea but we had a lot of plans at lunch time so it’d make our trip easier and I felt like all the rush rush rush and go go go would help Tess not to want to nurse like she’d probably want to do at home. My last time nursing her at 11 was on July 5th!
Once I was done nursing Tess we headed down to the beach. It was SO wonderful to literally be steps from the boardwalk. The beach area was very family friendly and not too crowded for a holiday weekend. I love, love, love St Augustine Beach. Any beach is great but St Augustine is extra great. It’s not too crazy of waves and has a lot of beach area to play and is nice and level and doesn’t have rocks!
After my foot issues on the Parker family trip I was EXTREMELY careful this trip. I would only carry Tess to the beach and usually Zach would see me and come meet me to carry her across the soft sand. That’s my main issue is the softer sand so I just have to be really careful about carrying things and about walking properly in those areas. I did not stress once I got on the hard sand though. I went barefoot in the water and a lot of the time while walking on the sand. I iced my foot like crazy during naps and at night and it did AWESOME! Such a blessing 🙂
One thing we constantly see at the beach are parents straight up ignoring their kids. Being a holiday weekend there was a mix of parents drinking and ignoring their kids. That scares me! Kids can drown SO EASILY! Plus I just feel like if you’re at the beach then shouldn’t you want to spend quality time with your kids? Anyway…Kye and Britt made fast friends with other children every time we were at the beach. On this particular day a group of kids liked our castle and wanted to borrow our stuff to build one. Kye was pretty hardcore in making sure they used the shovel in a proper way (ha!) and Britt loved that she got to borrow one of their Barbie dolls. I was a HUGE Barbie girl growing up and it was so cute to see Britt take to it so quickly. I’m not quite sure she’s old enough yet for them (and we will most likely do the Disney ones if any when the time comes) but she was adorable!
We’re on our third baby and we JUST NOW discovered the idea of having a small blow up pool at the beach (thanks to Casey!). GENIUS. I ordered this one from Amazon and it was the perfect size and worked flawlessly! It gave Tess a place to play without worrying about sand and waves! She loved it!
Kye’s main activity was boogie boarding!
This baby has NO fear!
We headed back at naps. Another great thing about being so close was that I wasn’t overly worried about being in the room right at nap time. Tess is pretty flexible so we didn’t stress or rush and just enjoyed our morning. After naps we planned on going to the pool to swim. Kye woke up earlier than the girls and drew a portrait of me 🙂
Ready for the pool!
It was pretty overcast and started thundering soon after we arrived at the pool. We were able to swim for a little bit and it was long enough for the kids to get their pool fun in, but we had to quickly head back to the room!
G-Mama bought this outfit for Britt and she wore it to Payton’s birthday party a few years ago…I wanted to make sure to get a pic of Tess in it before it’s too small. It seriously feels like Britt was just wearing it! Look how little all the babies were!
Daddy made tacos for dinner with some leftovers we brought from home so the kids and I enjoyed the porch views of the rain and played word games while we waited for dinner to be ready.
Britt had to take some time to feed her baby 🙂
Kye made little name cards for each of our seats
And Britt joined in on the portrait drawing game and drew this of me 😉
The next morning Zach and the big kids went to the pool for a couple hours to let Tess have her morning nap and so I could get things ready for our morning plans of putt-putt!
Lots more to come from our super-fun week!