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Saturday, July 23, 2011

A sucker is born every minute–also known as…

Beach madness part 3 or The most fun money can buy or Capturing  the happiness of my 4 great loves or Why Ray has valid points about us going to 1 income.  Truth is… any one of those titles would work.  At the end of the post – tell me which title most appropriately applies.
Yesterday it was over 100 degrees F … so we decided to go to the aquarium.  The kids LOVED it.  All the exhibits were totally interactive, so we spent several hours there with absolutely no agenda.  We were the first people in the door and left just as it was starting to get crowded around lunch time. 
The kids looking at the fish.  The sharks swam over top our heads and one of the employees fed the fish while we watched = Kids in AWE.  Alexander just took it all in, but Andrew was all about touching.  P7210157Looking at Sharks
Both kids climbed into a clam and slid down the mouth of a shark.  Can I tell you it makes my heart happy?
But I must say…The Pirate ship was the hit of the entire Aquarium.  Completely interactive.  Completely Awesome!
After the Aquarium we headed off to find a cheap place to eat fast.  Here is the problem… those two words – in conjunction – in an area we didn’t know at all.  Not only did I have 2 screaming hungry toddlers, but I also had 1 hungry husband, a baby that needed fed and out of the heat, and no sunscreen.  It seemed a logical choice to find a place right on the boardwalk – a place filled with shops and restaurants.  The only real decision was – walk left or right.  As hard as it seems to believe, we chose right when we should have gone left.  Shop after shop… then the Italian Cuisine place that screamed “Expensive!” … then more shops, a few bars, and more shops… All the while I can feel the delicate skin of my children burning to a crisp.  Finally – we found a place that didn’t say bar or have a wine list posted outside.  Those were our only requirements at this point. 
We ended up at the Key West Grill – and the food was great. Not only that – but the pirate theme totally rocked the kids world.  Coolest thing – the manager let the parrot out for the kids to check out. I think Ray wants to get the kids a parrot when we get home. *sigh*  But seriously – check out Addison’s Grilled Cheese Sandwich.  The thing was the size of her head.  Our sandwiches were the same way… let’s just say this was not the “hole in the wall – el’ cheapo – restaurant we thought it might be.
Of course… we had to stop at all these cool shops on our way back to the car.
Now… if you look closely, you will see part of our problem.  2 two year old toddlers in the toy store of the century.  And ONE extra excited father.  Notice… Daddy spots the train section… Daddy and Andrew confer on what toys will be necessary… oh – and Daddy picks up some pirate hats for good measure.  P7210248P7210249P7210255
Finally, the end of our adventure for the day.  We already had reservations for the evening.  It was supposed to be our “date night out.”  Ryan and Brooke babysat all of our kids and we headed off to Rioz - Brazilian Grill.  If you have never been to one – you have to go.  They are amazing.  I ate sushi.  I ate some exotic egg.  Salads and cheeses and breads and … everything – on the salad bar.  Then, these men come around with meat on skewers and slice off whatever taste of deliciousness you desire.  It is not a meal, it is an experience.  For the price of an experience.  $$.  Completely worth every penny.
I got off one clean shot of my plate (not my meat plate) before Ray explained that this made us look like country “bumpkins” and I needed to put my camera away.  So I did… but you get the idea.
**I thought coming here would make everything seem so much clearer.  I thought I would just “know” after this week.  The truth is, I’m still left with more questions than answers.  This day started out so simple and ended up costing a fortune.  If I was not working, we might not be able to take vacations at all – much less expose our children to cool things like the Aquarium.  I think, that in this process – I blog to help us all remember that the good times outweighed the bad.  In that same light – We also do extra – to make memories with our children… so that when they look back on their childhood they can remember these good memories – over the bad ones of waking up in a strange house and not seeing us for several days.  Will I be taking the second half of that equation away from them?  ** sigh** still not “enlightened over here. **
But… Finally, a few last pictures of our time here :
And … just in case anyone is thinking of inviting us on another vacation – we are terrible house guests:
But a lot of fun….
See everyone back at home tomorrow.  A “vacation” doesn’t need to involve the beach or spending lots of money.  Be Pirates… Go hunt for treasure.  Take lots of pictures. Love. Love. Love. each moment as if it could be your last. 
A special thank you to my aunt and uncle who generously donated their beach place so our family would have a place to stay.  And to my cousin and her family… who loves us as much as we love them.

For more pictures - check out HERE or HERE or some thoughts HERE.
Oh…. which title would have been the best? I bet you forgot that question by the time you hit the end of this post.

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At July 23, 2011 at 10:01 PM , Blogger Lacy Hope said...

Hi! It's Lacy from Loving Life's Simplicities. It is neat seeing pictures of your vacation, when we live right off 21st Ave North. We can literally walk across the street to Broadway at the Beach. Glad you all had a good time! I'll be following you. I'm sure you have some insight to life with twins. :) I LOVE Kelle Hampton's blog. I literally sit around waiting for it to be posted sometimes. Do you mind if I ask how you found me through her? I just think that is exciting because I like her so much, no way she'd ever know about little ol' me. lol

At July 23, 2011 at 10:41 PM , Blogger Lacy Hope said...

I started blogging a year or so ago, but after the twins were born I let it slide which is sad because it is a really good outlet for me, and it documents our lives as my scrapbooks get farther and farther behind. :) What grade do you teach? I almost have an AS in psychology, but I will be changing my major to special education when I go back. I want to teach the lower grades.

At July 24, 2011 at 12:00 AM , Blogger Kat said...

Sounds like a perfect day!!! What wonderful memories you are making with your sweet family!

At July 27, 2011 at 2:37 AM , Blogger Laura said...

So much fun! And... I'm glad Ray finally got to experience Brazilian BBQ since you were too full to go back after our lunch :) Looks like you had a great time!


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