Of course, I took about 1000 pictures during our trip to Orange Beach in May, so I thought I might as well blog them along with a few of my favorite memories from the trip. Beaching with three little ones is no joke, especially when two of them are loud crazies and one is a frequently napping infant. We were very grateful to have my parents along to assist. They sat in the back of the car with the girls during travel days, keeping everyone content. They baby sat so that Ben and I could go on a date. Most importantly, they took turns staying in the condo with Mary Katherine so that we could take the big girls down to the windy beach.
This is one beach trip we will never forget because of the wind! You’re probably thinking, “Ummm. Isn’t the beach usually kind of windy?” This was a whole new level. I’m talking sustained 20 mph howling winds that produced 8-10 foot tall waves, eroded the beach, and knocked over construction porta potties in the parking lot. Needless to say, the Hoagland girls were not too interested in long visits to the beach during this trip. The sand stung and the wind literally blew the hair ties out of their hair. Mary Katherine came down to the beach only once. Sadly, I didn’t get a picture of her in her precious bathing suit. Thank the Lord for our condo’s indoor pool and splash pad. Despite the trip not going quite as expected, the big girls had an absolute blast. They told us several times that they wanted to move to the beach.
One evening, we ventured down to the beach, despite the wind, to visit the jetty and collect some shells. We weren’t far from our beach’s condo when Caroline reached down to picking up what she thought was a brown shell. Instead, she pulled a dead mouse out of the sand. I kid you not. She was surprisingly unfazed. We took a quick trip back to the bathroom for a thorough hand washing and proceeded with our shell collecting. There was also an opossum that evidently lives in the dunes under the boardwalk to the beach. It was huge and the big girls were very entertained watching it from our balcony.
I brought a new little squeeze toy to Orange Beach that shoots out foam balls (a great little toy for grip strengthening per this OT). Literally minutes after I firmly told the big girls that they didn’t need to take it out on the balcony because they would lose the balls, I accidentally shot one through the barely open sliding glass door. I was trying to peg Margaret with it and missed. It was certainly a winning parenting moment. I died laughing at the irony and they were pretty upset with me. We looked for it in the bushes every time we went down to the pool, but we came home with 4 foam balls instead of 5.