We were all SO excited about Valentine’s Day this year! I had been pretty bummed about the whole trip to Zach’s parents condo not working out in January so we talked about other options for us to have a little mini family vacation. Zach isn’t traveling nearly as often for work anymore so when he found out he needed to go to Panama City Beach to work a group we decided to turn it into a little getaway! It would save on gas money since he’d have to go down there and back anyway we could just turn it into a family trip and not go somewhere else instead. We had been looking into just going for a couple days to Orlando for a weekend or something, but if you’re not going to Disney then the beach DEF trumps Orlando any day!
On the way down we let Britt watch her first legit movie. I went back and looked on the blog and Kye was 13 months old when he first watched Cars (on our way home from Melbourne) so I figured she would enjoy her first Disney movie and it might help us have a more relaxing ride. We left on Wed Feb 13th after naps. It worked out great because Zach was able to work that day 🙂 Of course I wanted her first Disney movie to be The Little Mermaid 🙂
She is FOR SURE not old enough to enjoy movies like that yet. She got bored and disinterested pretty quickly and was fussy. I ended up trading it out for a 20 min long farm animal movie we have that came with a book and she LOVED that. Another one she liked was a Little People dvd that came with some toys one time. Much more age appropriate I guess? The dvd player and the snack cup combo really helped it be our best car trip with her yet though. I love that she’s getting older 😉
We ended up having to stop to eat dinner on the way. The ONLY place we could find was at a truck stop. They had a few different options to eat and we tried to go the cheapest we could as this “vacation” was NOT about spending money! The goal was for Zach to be MAKING some haha! Zach and I ended up getting Taco Bell and Kye got popeyes 🙂 I had packed food for Britt to eat so that wasn’t a concern!
I found a great room at a great price. I LOVE hotels.com and highly recommend them for any travel needs. I’ve learned a “trick” when hunting for a hotel for our family…I put that we have SIX people traveling in our party even though we only have four. That way it gives me results for places with two separate bedrooms 🙂 The room I found was at a condo ON the beach with a heated pool a bedroom separate from the living area and a full kitchen. For only $79 a night! We booked it for three nights and planned to head home first thing Saturday morning 🙂
On Thursday (Valentine’s Day) Zach had to work. The hours he had to work that day were kinda crazy. He left at like 4:30 in the morning, came back to the condo for lunch, then had to go back again for the night shift that evening. That meant I’d be flying solo with the kids for most of the day so I planned ahead and brought plenty of things to keep us entertained 🙂
Yes, the room was a MESS! I may be a “hardcore mom” at home but that’s why I lovvvve vacations. I can let it all go 😉 We break a LOT of our rules and just CHILL when we are on vaca. It’s so, so awesome!
Britt was obsessed with climbing up onto the couch so I just took off one of the cushions and put it on the floor. She could climb up on it easier and had something in case she fell. I had bought her this adorable outfit off one of those GroupDealz things and wanted her to wear it for Valentine’s Day!
Another rule I like to break on vacation? Jumping on the bed! We used to LOVE to do it when I was a kid and we traveled as a family so I love that my kids enjoy this special treat as well 🙂
All of the room entertainment I could provide the kids only lasted for like 20 min and then Britt started being fussy. So I figured we’d go exploring. We decided to go down to the hotel lobby. They had a free breakfast so we thought we’d check that out. When we packed for the trip we totallllly forgot that Panama City is an hour behind us. So it didn’t work out for us to each breakfast down there. I’m glad we didn’t plan on it too much anyway because there was NOT much to choose from!
Several elderly couples were in the lobby eating and their faces all lit up so brightly when they saw the kids. It was precious! The lobby area was tiny so our “entertainment” was looking out the big windows at the ocean and pool. We lucked out and some guys were actually washing the windows while we were there. The kids LOVED it!
We played a little on the couches in the lobby then headed back to the room for Britt’s nap!
Usually every year Kye and I bake a heart shaped cake for Valentine’s Day but this year I didn’t want to pre-bake the cake and have to transport it with us. Since decorating Christmas cookies went SO great I figured why not do the same for Vday? That would give us something to do while Britt napped and have a yummy treat to enjoy as a family too 🙂 I made the cookies in advance and brought the stuff needed to make the homemade frosting as well as decorations to use to decorate them. I was not toooo surprised at how seriously Kye took the whole thing. He is his mama’s child 🙂 He took his time and worked so hard on each cookie to make it perfect. He was really on this kick about outlining the cookies in chocolate chips. He had it all pre-planed days before we even went to the beach!
After we got done decorating we just played with toys and waited for Britt to wake up and Zach to get back. Zach called me on his way and told me it was FREEZING outside. Big bummer. ALL Kye had wanted to do was have a picnic on the beach. He had been SO pumped about it and leading up to the trip the weather had been so pretty out. It was just our luck that a mega cold front happened to come through the day prior! I hadn’t even packed very warm clothes for any of us so I changed Kye into the warmest stuff I had!
Zach’s car outside temp at 10:30 that morning
When Zach got there he surprised me with tulips! SO sweet!!!
Zach stopped on his way and picked us up some subs for lunch and I packed the kids lunches. The way we had the room rigged up for sleeping Britt was actually sleeping in front of the entrance door to our room so Zach had to wait until she woke up to come upstairs with us haha. Once she woke up I had to change her out of her cute Vday clothes and into the warmest stuff I had…again, it wasn’t too warm of clothing!
We REALLY wanted to give Kye the beach picnic he had been so excited about but we took one step onto the beach and immediately knew it wasn’t going to be possible. Instead we had a picnic in the lobby. Haha. I’m sure people thought we were NUTS. But it allowed the kids some time out of our room, gave them the picnic experience, and gave us views of the beach 🙂 Britt didn’t do so great with the picnic food situation…it got pretty messy and I’m sure the hotel staff was ready for us to pack it up!
Heart shaped sandwiches for my babies!
After we ate lunch we at least wanted to give Kye the opportunity to play a LITTLE in the sand. So we faced the extreme wind and cold temps for literally 10 min or less. Kye kept saying he didn’t care that it was cold but the rest of us did! We just had to cross our fingers that it would warm up for the next day!
Pushing the elevator buttons was fun for both kids 😉
While the kids napped Zach and I spent our Vday time together on the DANG phone dealing with Sprint. I’ve been in a BATTLE with Sprint as well as ATT for months now. It’s all so ridiculous and I get a headache just thinking about it. We got a lot of things handled during our two hour phone conversation with them though and we were able to watch one episode of The Office before the kids woke up 😉 Round 2 of our Valentine’s Day at the beach is next 🙂