If we left Panama City Beach today and went home, it would still be a perfect vacation. It's as if rains planned their daily schedule to fit ours, the boys have been agreeable with anything we're doing*, and the Fourth of July fireworks were the icing on the cake yesterday.
Oh, and a milestone for Coop: he sat through an entire theater movie today during one of our rainstorms. We all went to see Toy Story 3...what an amazing and fun and sweet movie. Pixar...just when I think I've seen a great film from them ("Up") they outdo themselves again.
One thing's for sure: when school starts and my boys have to get up at 7:00 IN THE MORNING, they're going to think it's the middle of the night. Every night they stay up as late as we do and every morning they sleep in until 9:30.
We're staying at a resort for families, without a doubt. There's a giantic shaded water playground and lots of 3 ft. deep pool areas. And for the last four years I've moaned and groaned about how I've missed the beach and wanted to bring the boys even when they were small, since I knew they would love the beach and everything about it. But now...they're four and six and I am SO glad they're not two and three while we're here. Yes, they'd have enjoyed it, yes, they'd love the sand and pools...but Dwayne and I? We'd be exhausted chasing them all over the place. And still in the throes of their unpredictable potty behavior. And for all our hard work our boys wouldn't have any real memories of the trip. I have a feeling I'd have spent a lot of time here in the condo doing the same things we do at home. Now, they've got enough stamina for about three hours on the beach, which about matches mine and Dwayne's. I think waiting until they were a little older was the best way for all of us to bring back happy and relaxed memories of this trip.
Oh, and the Fourth of July fireworks were awesome. We had a pretty good view of the official show at Pier Park down the beach a ways, and plenty of folks, including Dwayne and Carson, were down on the beach shooting off their own.
I spent the evening in the condo with Cooper, who is still terrified of anything that pops or threatens to pop. I bought him earplugs thinking that would help, but he spent most of the time with his hands clapped over his ears. And when I'd go out on the balcony to see the fireworks, he'd say "CLOSE THE DOOR!!" as if roman candles were being shot directly at us. By the end of the evening I had him convinced that sparklers were not evil, and he said he might be willing to try one of those tonight. We'll see...
* However, if I hear "I wanna go to the arrrcaaade..." one more time I believe I'll scream.