July 30, 2013 - Better You

Insta-Vacation

Summer vacations are always one of the highlights of our family’s year.  Even when our oldest two kids were babies, we always managed to take a summer vacation with them.  Granted, some of those vacations weren’t what most people would consider fun, like tent camping on a blazing hot Texas night.  🙂  But we have always made the best of them.  Our kids are 17, 14 and 9 now.  For the past several years, our trips have been to the beach but sometimes we go to Pennsylvania to visit family.  Last year we were able to do both, which was incredible.

When I lost my job this March, I wasn’t sure we’d be able to go on our regular family vacation.  Being unemployed for the first time in seventeen years has been an adventure…to say the least.  It’s been a rough few months in other ways too.  Our youngest daughter was diagnosed with a disorder in April that’s turned our world upside down.  But I feel blessed to be at home so I can take her to her twice weekly appointments.  God has a perfect plan for everything.  So far, we’re navigating it all and I feel doubly blessed that we got to go on vacation this year.  Especially since it’s the summer before our son’s senior year.

Here’s an Instagram recap of some of our favorite moments of the trip.

We pulled out of Dallas early Friday morning and made a pit stop at Duck Commander in West Monroe, LA.  No Robertson family sightings but it was still a lot of fun!

Duck Commander

After driving most of the day, we stopped to spend the night in Mobile, AL.  Here’s a view of the Mobile Bay from our hotel room window.

Mobile Bay

On Saturday, we crossed over the state line into Florida.   Welcome to the Sunshine State!  Well, maybe not.  🙂

Heading into Florida

Unfortunately it was a sign of things to come.  Most days the Destin radar looked like this.  🙁

Radar

But we made the most of it.  Ava hosted a tea party for me one afternoon, complete with strawberry Pop Tart scones.  Yum!

Tea Party with Ava

We also celebrated her 9th birthday while we were there.  The two on the left (our son and his friend) are the rarely seen species called teenaged boys.  They spent much of the trip staying as far away from the family, and especially photos, as possible. Ava's 9th Birthday

I started every morning with coffee and devotions on the front porch.  One of my favorite times of the day!

Morning Devotions

Finally, a perfect beach day!  Aubrey took advantage by making some sandcastles.

Aubrey Sandcastle

She was joined by her dad.  He’s a kid at heart and I love that about him.

Building Sandcastles

Back flips in the sand.

Aubrey Gymnastics

Our last day at the beach.

Craig and Alison

We stopped in New Orleans on the way home.  Here’s our crew on Bourbon Street.

Bourbon Street Family

We had some yummy seafood at a place on Decatur.

Dinner in New Orleans

Sunday morning, we pulled out of New Orleans after an unsuccessful attempt to get beignets at Cafe du Monde.  Too busy this time, but maybe next time.  🙂

Despite the less than ideal weather, it was a relaxing week and some great memories were made.  We were all that much more appreciative that we were able to continue this family tradition for another year.

It’s Your Turn:  What’s your favorite way to spend a family vacation?  Do you have any traditional trips?

LAST DAY TO VOTE!

I need your votes today more than ever!

Yesterday I was BARELY holding onto the lead in the Wallis and Miraval Resort mom’s getaway trip contest.  But I slipped down to second place again.   🙁   If each of you could just vote once it would make all the difference.  Voting ends at midnight tonight.

Can I count on you to take a moment to click HERE and vote for me?

THANK YOU!

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23 Comments

  • First of all, I’m voting, voting, voting! And second of all, you have the most beautiful family! I just loved your family vacation pics (and I’m super impressed by the back flip!). What a special time with your sweet crew this summer!

  • Saxon

    Some of our best vacations were when things didn’t go quite as planned. 🙂 I’m voting my little fingers off! Hope you win.

  • Our daughter is only three and so last year was the first time we took her on a vacation. We brought her to the WI, Dells which is pretty much the water-park central of America. I had no clue the Dells were so much fun until last year and it made me feel like I had missed on years of fun since the Dells are so close to where I live. So, we decided at that time that we were definitely making the trip a tradition and we are actually heading back there this weekend.

    Looks like you guys had an enjoyable time on your trip! BTW – I participated in the natural hair challenge… A couple days I rocked a bun and other days I just let my locks flow naturally. I have similar hair to yours… it’s curly but I have abused it for years by straightening it. It’s nice to give it a break for a while!

    Also, I voted again for you! Best of luck pulling ahead today. I’ll spread the word!

  • So fun to see your vacation photos and hear your re-cap. That is so funny about your son hiding from the camera. Teenagers are quite the weird species I have found out, ha ha! So glad you were able to enjoy another memorable trip with the family 🙂

    You already saw our vacation photos, but we camp and head to the beach every year and it’s the best!

  • Love the family vacay photos…good for you for getting away…we didn’t plan anything formal this summer and I am sad that I didn’t….now summer is almost over..crazy how it flies by.
    beautiful family, beautiful shots!
    Love the Duck Commander show too!!!
    C

  • Looks like you had a nice family vacation and a lot of fun! My husband and I watch the Duck Commander show and think it’s hilarious. Too bad you didn’t see any Robertsons! We leave for a family vacation next week (our daughter’s first!). We’re just heading to MN which is tradition for my husband when he was a kid.

  • I hope it is not inappropriate to say Hello, Mr. Get Your Pretty On! Your husband is a looker! 😀 Your whole family is gorgeous and I am glad that you guys had a good time even with the rain. We are headed to New Orleans in the fall-I have never been there.

  • This could possibly be my favorite post yet! I love the pieces of yourself and your beautiful family that you shared. We leave today for the beach … even though it’s on the opposite side of the country, I will tell it you say hello! xoxo jules

  • gina

    Great pictures! You have a beautiful family. Destin is our favorite place to vacation! We camp at Topsail every September. (We are from Pensacola….but Destin is still our favorite spot!)

  • Awww… lovely pictures. Family times in the Summer are great. We remember them forever.

  • Thanks for sharing the fun Alison….I always vote!!!

    Rebecca
    http://www.redtagchiclosangeles.com

  • What a beautiful family you have! Thanks for sharing the highlights of your trip.
    Heather from Friendship, Life and Style

  • I need to get back reading my scriptures in the morning. My kids are so young though and I get NO TIME to myself unless I get up at the crack of dawn. HE’s worth it though.

    Ohh yeah. I so voted for you. Good luck!

  • Ann

    You have a gorgeous family! Sorry about the rain, but it looks like you had a fun trip anyways 🙂

  • Jen

    I voted (for you)! Love your vacation pics! I try really hard to make summer vacation a priority. There are so few summers left with the kids. The past few years I have made the extra effort to go no matter what. Even when I am too broke to go. We have made some great memories on those trips that almost did not happen.

  • I am voting! 🙂 So fun to see your vacation, I love that you all got a week away! The back flip is amazing, great shot!

  • There is so much greatness in this post!! First of all, I love all the pictures, especially the one of your daughter doing a back flip on the beach!! That stinks that it rained so much while you were on vacation, but it looks like you still had a great time! Honestly, Florida has gotten more rain this summer than any other summer I can remember, but I also think it hasn’t been as hot as usual, which I’m loving. I love that you use the Jesus Calling book, too! I get so much out of that each day!!

  • I feel like we should be BFF’s right now
    As I said, I grew up in Monroe just over the bridge from W.Monroe
    My dad, brother and sister live in Mobile
    We went to FL every summer for vacation
    My son was diagnosed with a major illness in Feb and I am reading Jesus Calling right now!!
    Your new blogger BFF
    Brett

  • Looks like you had a great vacation despite poor weather. You have a beautiful family and I am glad that you were able to take your annual vacay despite changes in your life.

    Alice
    http://www.happinessatmidlife.com

  • Looks like a super fun vacation! It sounds like it’s been quite a year for you so far. How wonderful to spend time with the ones you love creating precious memories. Thanks for sharing your photos with us!

  • I cannot believe you have such grown up kids, you look so young. Your family is so beautiful, you are truly blessed 🙂

  • My children (21/19) already go on vacation with their friends and especially my daughter is travelling all the time…
    I am glad you finally had lovely beach weather and your photos are great!

    Annette | Lady of Style

  • Looks like you had a great vacation! Even though my vacations aren’t always relaxing with a 5 yr old and a 10 month old, I still cherish them! Also, where in Pennsylvania do you visit? I like in York, which is about 20 mins from Harrisburg, our state capitol!