Wednesday, June 13, 2012

El zoologico

After a wonderful time at the beach, we decided to take our time getting home. So, we drove to Birmingham, AL, visited the zoo (we got in free with our MPZ pass) and stayed the night at a great hotel. The S. family had stayed at this hotel on the way down to FL and told us about it. Included with your stay is a free dinner, popcorn until 11pm, and free breakfast. How nice to not have to drive around an unfamiliar town looking for places to eat!

Our family loves going to the zoo, which is why we have a zoo pass. The Birmingham Zoo was great. It wasn't too big or too crowded, everything was clean, and the exhibits looked well taken care of.

They all wanted to walk with Papi

This bobcat was pacing right in front of the glass!

This is for you, Uncle A.  - a tower of turtles!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

La boda

The wedding that brought about our trip was for one of Papi's brothers. He actually lives in California, as does Papi's other brother, and we hadn't seen them in 4 years (our last vacation.) It was so good to see everyone. This is the first time since our wedding that everyone was together.

The wedding was beautiful. We brought along changes of clothes for the kids, and one of the bride's aunts brought beach toys for them to play with during the reception. There was a photo booth, music, dancing, yummy food, and the cutest cake topper. Everyone had a great time and our children didn't melt down despite the very late night.

The afghan I crocheted for the bride and groom, based on the colors from the restaurant

Just before the ceremony began; the 10 seconds JMC sat still and didn't cry. Once the bride walked down the aisle, JMC & I walked the other direction and hung out in the back with the most precious 4 month old baby and his papa.

Wow! a family picture! :)

Papi and his siblings

Isn't that cake topper the coolest?!
 The reception:

all the cousins, except JMC

Don't worry, it's just Sprite.

Felicidades Tio E. and Tia L.!

La piscina

The cottage we rented is part of a small neighborhood that forms an oval, with a pool in the middle. Our home backed up to the pool, so we enjoyed it nearly every day, usually in the evening when the sun wasn't as strong.

JMC trying out his boat

Between suits, towels, sunblock, floaties, & toys, it was quite a process getting  into the pool

JMC loved this boat (thanks S. family!) and used it every time we went to the pool for the first week and a half.

JT wore this floatie whenever near the water, pool or beach. He tripped getting into the pool once and fell in head first. He was so proud that he remembered to grab onto the floatie and not let go, as well as to hold his breath. Thank God his cousin was close by and flipped him over just as soon as I noticed what was happening, and Papi was there to help not even a split second later. It was a scary moment, but more for us than for JT.

using the water bomb as a microphone

They were excited to be allowed in the hot tub.

By the end of our trip, JMC ditched the boat and began "jumping" off the side. 

Monday, June 11, 2012

La playa

After 4 years since our last big (more than a long weekend) vacation, we were blessed with a family wedding in Florida. Wow! No way to try and put it off another year, we had to go on vacation! :) So, with the destination and date set, Papi decided we should make the most of the drive and stay for 2 whole weeks! We stayed in Seacrest, FL, which is in between Destin and Panama City, on the Gulf of Mexico. It was beautiful! And, for everyone who said that our family really needed a vacation, let me be honest and say that I didn't believe you, but you were right. It was so good to have time to relax and have fun as a family without the stresses from the past year.

JMC wasn't too excited about the ocean at first
Trying to get JMC accustomed to the sand. It took a couple of days.

The path to our neighborhood's private beach

JMC warmed up to the sand after a few days.

Saw this sign after the kids got in trouble by beach patrol for climbing the dunes

Swim shoes made a world of difference!

JT & Tio patrolling the beach

Look at that - he's in the water & not crying!

One of the few times JA got in the water. This day presented us with the calmest waves while we were there.

This was JT's beach look 

JA took it upon herself to move sand  out of the waves' path. :)

JT & his cousin LAS

We threw the fish back each day, but we brought the sea mussels, snails, sand crabs, etc. home to observe. We learned so much, and it was a blast watching the little creatures swim around and bury themselves in the sand. They made paths in the sand over night and stuck up feelers in search of food. We returned them to the beach the next morning and brought home new creatures each day.