Last year, I wrote about a three-generation vacation that we took with our youngest son and his family to Orange Beach, AL, a vacation that reminded me of the three-generation vacations we used to take with my wife’s parents when our kids were young. We had such a great time last year, that we decided to do it again. And knowing we had such a nice rental with lots of available water activities, we booked the very same building, just a different condominium unit. But I knew this year would be different as our youngest grandson was 21 months old, not 9-months old as in the photo above.
Having taken this route the year before, I knew what to expect on the drive down which was basically the same with our granddaughter riding with us the whole way and my wife entertaining her while I drove the 440 miles. We arrived about 4:30 in the afternoon and before we even had checked in, our granddaughter was politicking to go the beach. As soon as we unloaded our things, my wife graciously consented and took her to the beach where she could begin snorkeling for her seashell treasures.
The next day, she again was ready to go to the beach early and knowing that everyone was going a bit slower after the long drive down, I agreed to take her down after breakfast.
It was a gloriously perfect day, and we did all of the same things we had done the year before. Floating around on the lazy river…
…while our granddaughter repeatedly went down the water slide.
But this time, rather than just being along for the ride, our grandson was fearlessly launching himself into the water to my wife.
As we enjoyed a delicious seafood dinner that night (sorry no food photos, we dove in too fast), I suspected we would have three more similar days.
The next morning, I started off as I did every morning sitting in the same deck chair…
…taking in the great view (reflected in the window)…
…while relaxing and enjoying my coffee. When I had first thought this trip would be different, I did not realize it was the weather that was going to play the largest factor.
As I was drinking my coffee, I noticed a storm blowing in from the southwest.
As I sat there, I watched the storm get closer…
…until it was upon us.
This early morning stormy pattern repeated itself the rest of the days we were there. The storms thus forced us to resort to indoor activities.
Playing Uno was one of our fun indoor activities from last year and so we quickly pulled out the cards for a number of games.
Each morning while the rain came down, my grandson and I would walk around on our floor and the one above for 30 minutes to an hour.
One morning, we took the grandkids to a jumping place where they had a good chance to burn off some energy.
The storm Friday morning actually gave us a preview of the 4th of July fireworks celebration, only it was Mother Nature providing the extravagant show with extremely close-by bolts of lightning followed very quickly by thunderous cannon-like booms.
Fortunately, each day, the rain ended sometime in the afternoon allowing us to do many of the usual things.
We only ate dinner out one night, the rest of the time having it delivered but this one night was great at an outdoor restaurant overlooking the water…
…with picnic tables set up in the sand to allow unlimited playtime before and after dinner.
By Friday afternoon, after nearly a week of swimming, playing, and taking our morning hikes together around the condo building, my grandson and I were worn out from having so much fun.
Saturday morning, we were sad to be packing up and leaving. As I suspected, it had been a different vacation, not just because our grandson was a year older but because of the weather factor as well. However, knowing that we had an early start to the hurricane season, I was thankful that we had just had thunderstorms to deal with and not hurricanes and rushed evacuations. Before checking out of our condo, we took our traditional selfie on the balcony.
As we drove home that day, it was a chance for us to reflect back on another successful three-generation vacation together and wonder if we would repeat again next year. Only time will tell. So, stay tuned!