Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Sand and Surf

We had so much fun on the beach this vacation.

The boys love nothing more than digging in the sand, and they dug several very impressive, large holes.

They would often compete with other kids for Biggest Hole, although I think Alex and Ryan were the only ones competing.
Every large hole needs to have lots of water in it.

Lots of water.

After they would dig their holes, they would have us bury them.

This never gets old.

They quickly developed shovel envy (since we had only brought small shovels with us).

A quick trip to Publix solved that problem.

At Publix, we also picked up some nets for "fishing."

Sometimes they would even get creative with their big piles of sand, and make some sand castles.

And used some of the sandcastle building skills we learned from "Sand Dad" last year at Horseshoe Bay.
Sometimes they would write in the sand.

But usually, they just dug holes.

(Proper hole size not captured very well here, but this sucker was HUGE)

The first few days of our trip, the water was very calm, with gentle, lapping waves.

We would head out to my shoulder height in the water, and we discovered that if you dug in the sand about an inch, you might find sand dollars. Alex was the king of sand dollars. He collected seven, I found three, leaving Carl and Ryan in the dust. (To be fair, we were in five feet deep water, and Ryan can only hold his breath so long.)

Before we had left for Destin, Mom had told the boys all about the story of the sand dollar, and asked the boys to find a very special one for her to bring back.

The fact that we were able to not only find whole, complete sand dollars, but so many of them, made the boys very happy.

And we spent plenty of time in the water this beach trip. Usually the kids spend most of their time on the sand, with 5-10 minutes of water time for each sand hour. But this time, they lived in the water.

Whether it was wading in ankle deep water trying to catch the "sea creatures," as Ryan called them - they looked a bit like swimming lizards, so calling them fish didn't seem quite right to him. I'm still trying to search the internet for their name, because they were bizarre.

Or whether it was diving for sand dollars.

Or just riding the waves with the boogie boards.

Our boogie boards have never seen so much action!

The first few days the surf was very mild, but after the rain storms started to arrive, thanks to a bit of a push from Ernesto which was hitting the Carribbean around this time, the flags on the beach changed from yellow to red, and the waves became intense.

I was happy there still wasn't a huge undertow like we had experienced last summer, just huge powerful waves that could throw Ryan and Alex on their boards a huge distance back to the beach.

They LOVED the red flag days. :)

I loved watching the different colors of the beach, depending on the the time of the day.

And what the weather was like.

Our other big water event of the vacation was renting a pontoon boat.

The boys had a blast helping Carl "drive.
Our destination with the pontoon boat? Crab Island, which is not really an island but a sandbar party spot. They had a huge water slide, a water trampoline, volleyball games, a climbing water ball, and a restaurant and bar.
Oh, and did I mention an ice cream boat?

Could there be anything cooler than ice cream being delivered to your boat, complete with the ice cream truck jingles?

Alas, those dark skies you see in the pictures quickly turned into what Ryan screamed was a "hurricane" so our time at Crab Island ended prematurely.

The rain was a frequent annoyance on our trip, but we still managed lots and lots of beach time.

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