We tried something different this year. A more family friendly atmosphere. While I admit there was a little part of me that missed the entertainment value of breathalyzers on the beach in Panama, I did enjoy the family friendly scenery of Miramar beach.
We traveled with our friends Jeff and Barb(Sof’s teacher) once again. When we started traveling together their daughter was Lexi’s age. She would babysit her brother and our very little girls so that we could sneak out for a grown up dinner. This year they came without and kids as Melissa is a college senior and Andrew was on a senior trip with his high school. How time flies.
We started out on Thursday night, and got as far as Indianapolis. The next morning we traveled to Mammoth Cave in Kentucky. We’ve driven past it a million times, and always talked about stopping. This year we had the time so we did it! We stopped for lunch about 10 min away, and it took a lot longer than we expected. We scooted out of there with just enough time to make it. Unfortunately, our GPS routed us wrong, the signage wasn’t good, and we were late getting there. Barb and Jeff had to beg the drivers of the 2 loaded busses to wait for us as they saw our van pull in. Barb negotiated while Jeff yelled, “RUN” to us. We literally did run, and made it by the skin of our teeth. Typical Culley adventure.
It was worth the trouble, the caves are really cool. It’s little claustrophobic when you start out, but once you get used to it it’s pretty amazing. It was pouring rain when we were there, so we got to see some things they don’t usually see. The guide said it was the most water pouring in he’d ever seen. Overall very cool and educational.
We finished our tour early afternoon, drove a few hours, and stopped at a hotel with a pool. The kids swam, we ordered pizza, and enjoyed our night.
We were up and at it in the morning with our Starbucks, Florida bound!
We arrived late afternoon and wasted no time finding the pool. This was a huge plus to where we stayed this year. Our condo in Panama has a beautiful pool area, but it was not heated. Sof spent a lot of time in the indoor pool last year which is kind of a bummer when you want to be outside in the sun!
We had to get to bed early because the Easter bunny was coming that night! He found us in our Florida home and hid eggs for everyone!
The big girls got money and candy, and Sof got Shopkins in her eggs! The Easter Bunny brought Sof Beados which kept her busy for hours. Good call Easter Bunny;)
We had a beautiful week. Not one day of rain and all warm temps. We spent every day at the beach or pool, and most days visited both!
Not many kids get to vacation with their teacher!
We had an awesome time with the boogie boards on the beach! Salt water takes some getting used to though. We’re spoiled with our lakes in MI!
There was a shopping mall close by that had a Starbucks. We started our day there several times!
We were happy to give Lexi and Sof endless pennies for the fountain and money for the train ride so we could drink our coffee and stare at our phones uninterrupted.
One morning the rest of the group wanted to go to Waffle House.
Sof didn’t want that, so we had our own little Starbucks date that morning. We even found a play area to pass the time.
We of course had to do a girls shopping day. I wasn’t interested in bringing Sof for that entire day, so I took her to the nearby Target to spend her souvenir money. She picked a hula hoop out!
With the big girls we went to the outlet malls. We’ve actually come here before from Panama, so it was nice to be so close to them!
After shopping we met Mark, Jeff, and Sof at a Japanese Steakhouse.
We had such a blast here! The food was great and our chef was hilarious! He kept messing with Adrienne and we were laughing so hard.
Our other night out was Margaritaville.
A picture of a selfie.
The restaurant was in a little shopping/tourist type area. Mark and the girls found it when they did a jet ski excursion earlier in the week. It was the highlight of the girls vacation. They were able to drive the jet skis right up to the dolphins swimming around in the gulf.
Jeff took a few pics for me! Lexi road with Mark and Jordyn was able to ride with Adrienne.
When we went back the girls had decided they wanted Henna tattoos. I decided there was no harm in it so I let them.
You’re supposed to let it dry for 2 hours and then wash off the excess ink. Jordyn decided she’d wait till morning to wash hers so maybe it will stay longer. Funniest. Thing. Ever. While she slept, every place her hand touched ended up with a lizard on it. Including two on her face. Now that was money well spent! 4 tattoos for the price of one! BWAHAHAH!
She was a good sport and laughed it off, because really, what else is there to do? Exfoliate.
The big girls had the whole 3rd floor to themselves. It made for a good picture taking background.
We took our obligatory family pictures. These days if everyone is showered, dressed, and together…YOU MUST TAKE A PIC!
Some of our best nights were spent going no where. Happy hour on the patio for the grown ups, while the kids chilled out. Then we’d make dinner and sit around watching tv and Sof’s shows. The girl loves an audience.
Our last day we spent at the pool. The big girls don’t care where they get their sun, and Sof prefers the pool. So, we spent the entire day soaking up the sun, until we just couldn’t avoid going back to start the packing:(
We ate up all our leftovers for dinner and headed out for go-carts and ice cream. Made us so anxious for summer nights at home. Lexi drove her own go-cart for the first time. She did amazing! I was right behind her the whole time and she was punching it!
Sof rode with Mark. They had to wait(it was very busy) in a separate line for double riders. I snuck a few pics of them from behind. Sof loves her Dada.
Sof got so tan in a week!
We couldn’t leave without an ice cream!
This was a hard vacation to see end. It was absolutely perfect in every way, and no one wanted to go back to reality! The only consolation is that it’s supposed to rain there all next week! We were so happy to have the extra few days that made this feel like such a long trip! We did the drive in one day, with Sunday at home to regroup. Then back to the grind. At least Sof is excited to get back to school!