Seven whole days in paradise last week, enough to do a soul some good. This is what paradise looked like sitting in the plumb far corner seat inside the Mucky Duck restaurant located at the end of the earth, Florida style. Notice the Miller Lite umbrella? Ahh, yes Captiva Island wants for nothing I tell you.
And then there is paradise with small children. This is what I like to call Paradise Light.
I have taken both of my children to the beach as 1 and 2 year olds and they both have turned on me like rabid raccoons. Liv decided about mid week through the vacation that white sandy beaches, lunches on boats, and fresh grouper were really...not so much her thing. She doesn't care about saving manatees and beautiful curly natural shells are just that...shells that hurt when you step on them. On Thursday, it came to her that if she threw a raging screaming fit out on the beach that Mommy would step into high gear remove writhing screeching 2 year old and high tail it to the pool, located about 300 steps inland. Hmmmm, immediate turn around in attitude when 10,000 jumps from the pool side onto Mom's head commences. Now we are having fun.
Both of my children absolutely had "issues" with the ocean at this age and I am encouraged for future endeavors to paradise by this.
This is Ava's happy as a clam to be in the ocean face. She spent the week charming each and every other child out in the sun and surf and even managed to score all the coveted toys for serious castle making. Wouldn't it be nice it if I had a fabulous picture of that castle to insert here? Yes, it would since I spent over 2 hours making that castle with a moat and sea shell windows with the girls while the Muffin Man and my dad were grocery shopping one morning. (In paradise Mommies do not grocery shop. It's against the law.) Yes, wouldn't it be nice if I had a picture of the TWO castles I made to appease my two year old who wanted a castle of her own? (Think MINE MINE MINE.) Sorry, just as it was approaching sand castle hall of fame quality, Ava and her new little buddy from just north of NYC came crashing in sending all of the little knights and princesses skittering into the Gulf of Mexico. End of sand castles. Apparently I was more impressed with said sand castle than Ava or her new little buddy from just north of NYC.
On a high note, we saw dolphins. Real dolphins swimming in their natural habitat in the gulf while on a tour boat one afternoon. I've decided that everyone is fascinated with dolphins since they are the ocean's equivalent of a Labrador retriever. You clap your hands and whoop and holler a few times and they jump and dance along side the boat. What's not to love?
Can you imagine the end of a perfect vacation at the airport? Wouldn't it be something like you step up to the Air Tran counter and the employee says, "You don't have to layover with 2 little tired kids in Atlanta for 3 hours and get home at 6pm tonight. You can take this flight that is direct RIGHT NOW if you high tail it down to the gate. Oh, and there are no seats together in cattle class so I'm upgrading you and your cute little family up to first class. Don't tell the man sitting next to you. " And then you sailed through the security check because there wasn't one other soul within ear shot. And then your 2 year old giggled hysterically all the way running to the gate since it was so much fun to hurry, hurry hurry through a public building.
Swear, it happened. Man, I so hope my dad wants to party on down with us again in paradise next year. Life's a beach.