Waking up in the beach house, knowing it's the last day and check out was only a few hours away is no fun. There was a mad dash to finish laundry, clean out the refrigerator, pack it all up, first in the duffel bags and then in good ol' Betsy. We were sad. There was one last walk on the beach, one last, "Oh, look, there's a family of dolphins", and one last trip for donuts, the best donuts we've had this side of the Mississippi. I've always wanted to say that about something. They were. And they were made by a sweet lady in something of a trailer like kitchen outside the convenience store. My oh my, the double chocolate with pecans was scrumptious. Not that I ate one, just nibbled a bit so that my guilty running conscience did not get the best of me!
Once everyone was loaded up, kids and bags alike we set out for Panama City. Silly us, we thought it might be a tad warmer up there and we were all longing for some more beach time. The scene there is not exactly what I would call "family friendly". Spring breakers were everywhere and at only 11am in the morning the beach patrol was out and on their quads. And it wasn't warmer. In fact, the sun was still hiding behind the clouds. No matter, we still played paddle ball, dug holes in the sand and enjoyed some great people watching. All while doling out life lessons to the girl Things. Yes, we do that. It was fun. Then it was time for lunch and the last stop at Chik Fil A. What can we say, we love it! So we ate there, all ten of us.
Then we were on the road, back to Franklin. Only nine hours. Except there was traffic and an accident and we sat stopped for just about an hour or so, praying the entire time that the van full of young adults that blew a tire were all OK. Uncle Jeff and Aunt Natalie saw it happen and were the first in the line of traffic. They called 911. Frightening. Thankfully, everyone was alright, with the exception of some bumps, bruises and broken bones. We played our travel games, stopped for dinner in Birmingham and safely arrived at the Horels, tired and ready for sleep. So that we did. Well, after Thing 4 went to his best buddy's house for a sleep over. That just wouldn't wait.
There was an eight mile run calling our names in the morning. Windy, hilly country roads and the solitude that only a run can bring me in one of my favorite places. It was heavenly. All four of us adults headed out while the Things watched the cousins. Sweet. They changed diapers, fed them snacks and played and played. Then us runners, if you will, arrived home with breakfast from a new coffee shop in town, Frothy Monkey. And a new favorite of mine. Grandpa and Mema joined us and we spent the afternoon visiting and sharing pictures while the Things ran around the old hood with friends. It came time for yet another meal and much to our disappointment we weren't able to get a reservation at Loveless. To say our Things were upset with me would be an understatement. They had been talking about those biscuits for days, maybe weeks. Off to our third choice, pizza. Still good and fast to boot. A bonus when you have little ones, or hungry big ones!
It was time for Betsy to hit the road and begrudgingly we said our goodbyes and loaded up. Only the weather wasn't cooperating with it's sideways rain and all so we stopped outside St. Louis spent the night and then finished the trek bright eyed and bushy tailed the next morning. Or something like that.
This brings my beach vacation posting to an end. So much has been going on around here and I will update soon. Not really, but did you feel a sense of anticipation for a moment? I know I did.