In early May we went on our first family vacation since Gretchen was born, and we brought along her Gpop and Gran Jan as well as Aunt Sarah and Uncle Steven. To save money and have room to haul all of our beach gear we drove, splitting it up between two days. Gretchen did really well in the car with a steady stream of snacks, books, and Daniel Tiger as well as her first feature length films: Finding Nemo and Frozen.
Destination: Pensacola Beach, Florida.
the view from our deck!
When planning this trip we were really open to any part of Florida where we could find a house ON the beach that was handicap accessible for Gran Jan. I was really surprised at how hard it was to find this kind of lodging for a state known for catering to older folks. After lots of time on VRBO I narrowed it down to a couple of houses but Spikes Beach Place was perfect. 4 bedrooms, roll in shower and roll under sink, wider doorways, and an elevator! It passed the accessibility test with flying colors AND is newly remodeled, fully stocked, and RIGHT ON THE BEACH! Even though we booked last winter we still just barely managed to book in time to get one of the last weeks available, clearly this place is popular and people come back year after year. I was worried it would be too cool the first week of May but it was actually ideal weather. 70s-80s every day, only rained once, and since it was post-spring break and pre-summer vacation it wasn’t crowded either. Like I said, perfect.
We learned a few weeks before our trip that Gretchen hates sand. And by hate I mean screams and flips out if she touches it. Little kink in our plan for a beach vacation but we made it work with the help of beach blankets, towels, and water shoes to keep her feet off of the sand. She did way better than expected and even played with the sand, as long as she was sitting on the blanket and not in the sand.
had to have this adorable whale suit and hat from iplay!
My family is amazingly chill and great to travel with. I was really glad Gretchen got to spend so much time with her extended family playing on the beach, reading books, and being silly. Lots of great memories were made. Now for more pictures!
first time at the ocean at 22 months old.
this beach wheelchair was AWESOME and allowed Gran Jan to join us on the beach. Rented from Funny Cars and was only about $125 for the week! Breaks down into 2 pieces so it’s easy to transport despite its size.
we went on a dolphin cruise on one of our date nights.
got sand on her hands, toddler problems.
left the stroller at home and took our toddler tula, which was perfect for our day trips to the Naval Aviation Museum and the Gulfarium.
the whole family on the boardwalk