Usually we like to go to the mountains for our family vacation. We've been to Breckenridge, Denver, Colorado Springs, and our favorite spot -- Crested Butte. We hike, ride the lifts, walk to town for coffee in the crisp morning air, and stroll through town in the evenings. This year we decided to go to the beach, so instead of sweatshirts and hiking shoes, we packed up our bathing suits and flip flops and headed south.
We left the 100-plus degree temperatures of Oklahoma and went to the still warm but milder temperatures of Gulf Shores, Alabama. We pulled out early on a Wednesday and took two days to drive -- 5 states in 2 days, stopping at our usual road-trip spot, Cracker Barrel. We stayed at the beach for 6 days and wanted to make the trip home in one day, so 18 hours after we left the beach we pulled into the driveway. Home to long green grass that had been brown when we left, a fence that was blown over, and an air conditioner that didn't work because it had been hit by lightning while we were away -- apparently there had been storms and rain in Oklahoma while we were gone. But the weather had been perfect in Gulf Shores and we all had lots of fun. I didn't think about all I had to do for the upcoming school year or didn't check my e-mail. I didn't look at my calendar or my to-do list. It was a great trip and just what I needed!
We spent lots of time at the beach and at the pool. The kids stayed up late watching movies and eating popcorn and ice cream. Brandon and I sat outside early in the mornings with Oliver, drinking coffee and talking (again) about how Oliver is "too good to be true." We went out to eat at different places along Orange Beach and spent a day at the outlet mall. It was all fun, but my favorite thing was -- just being together.