As promised, here are all the details of our 2021 family vacation. We decided to venture to Tybee Island, Georgia and it might be our favorite spot ever. We like to try new places but loved this area so much, it might just have to be our annual thing from here on out.
I’ll list all of the details below, links, etc. I’m also going to give a few tips and tricks to help make your trip run a bit more smoothly. I’m finally realizing these “hacks” make a vacation much more enjoyable for mom.
I’ve found when we book ahead of time, it’s not so overwhelming to plan and pay for a vacation. I booked this over a year ago and what I love about doing so is that I can put a deposit down and pay throughout the year. We have been trying to be more intentional with less stuff and more experiences, so this was a huge part of the girls birthdays and Christmases as well as our own. So worth it!
You can pretty much drive a golf cart around 90% of the island so we opted to not rent a vehicle because by the time you rent one and a golf cart, it was more than our airfare. We used it the entire time and it was worth booking. You also have a parking permit that comes with the cart so you don’t have to worry about paying when going to eat, shop, etc. Plus, it’s easier to get in and out of places where a vehicle is not there. When we landed in Savannah, we got an Uber to Tybee Golf Carts and picked ours up. Be sure to reserve yours in advance as they book out fast. We got the 6 seater electric. Once we picked it up we loaded it down with our luggage and drove to our beach house.
Also, here’s pro tip #1: I made a grocery order via Instacart the night before we flew out with food for us for the entire week. We ate breakfast and lunch everyday at our cottage as well as snacks and just went out to eat for supper. It cuts costs tremendously and makes going out each evening a treat. PLUS they had our groceries delivered right to our house and I didn’t have to waste time going shopping when we got there as well as hauling all of the groceries on the golf cart.
Pro tip #2: Always book a place that has a washer and a dryer. We did laundry throughout the week and one last load the night before so we were able to come home to a clean house and clothes. The vacation blues aren’t so bad when you don’t have an added mountain of laundry when you return. :)
The cottage was a dream and absolutely perfect for our girls. All things mermaid, our own outdoor area with a pool, bunkbeds, and we lived on this screened in porch with bed swings. Missy was super great with communicating and provided literally everything we needed. She even had a ton of pool/beach toys, ice chests, and a wagon that we used every time we went to the beach to cart all of our things.
We had friends and our other firefighter family come up from Florida for a night and stay with us. We don’t get to see them often and our kids are the same ages so we squeezed in as much visiting as we could. We loved our time with them and were so sad when they had to leave. We stayed up and got to talk and laugh, good for the soul conversations and I love our friendship, albeit distant.
Our idea of vacation is relaxation. We aren’t ones who have to be constantly entertained and we honestly just enjoy downtime. Having an itinerary and going nonstop isn’t vacation to me. So most of our days were spent on the beach playing or at the pool. We honestly didn’t do a lot which was the point and just enjoyed being together.
We had movie nights, got a lot of sun, read books, the girls improved so much with swimming, Scout got stung by a jellyfish, we had ice cream about everyday, and went to a boat ride to see the dolphins and lighthouse. Zack was a happy man with all he could eat seafood as was I with getting to read in the sunshine. The girls had a blast in the waves, building sandcastles, and finding seashells. It was so nice and quiet, just how we like it.
Our last day I threw the girls white prairie dresses on for some quick beach pictures. I loved how they turned out and hope to get us all together next year for some.
I could totally get used to beach life. There’s something about sun, salty hair, suntans, and a slow pace. Tybee has our heart and I’m so thankful for these memories we’ve made as a family.
You can book The Salty Mermaid Cottage here or here.
We spent our weekend with a fun little trip to Waco for Christmas at the Silos. We usually take the girls for a Christmas adventure each year which usually includes an annual trip on the Polar Express train but, since tickets were sold out by September we changed it up a bit. Let me just say, I LOVE the silos and Zack thought it was pretty awesome. However, Christmas at the Silos is not something I’ll bring my kiddos to again. The lines and wait are just not short enough for their patience or attention span. Now, if it would have just been Zack and I, I think it would have been a lot less stressful and something we agreed to visit again with just the two of us. We only had time to do the silos thing and not visit more quirky spots in Waco, which is also something we love to do. Regardless, we still made the most out of it and the girls got to check off seeing Santa for this year. Which by the way, he was super legit.I went to the Silos earlier in the Spring but there is just something about all of the Christmas decor that was extra magical. I loved all of the lights and holiday touches they added everywhere you walked. We were able to park right by the silos in the Church lot which was well worth the $10. As soon as we got there we did our shopping and I was able to get several of my Christmas gifts out of the way. I scored a really pretty pom blanket for my mom that she’s been wanting, some home decor for my Grand, and a few stocking stuffers. I found a fun project book for Paisley since she loves to create and “invent” things. I’ll try to share it on instagram soon! The girls also picked out a couple of ornaments to go on the tree. We have fun adding a few each year. We made it in time to go in the Silos Baking Co. We loved our sweet treats! Cookies milk was a must.We waited about an hour for Santa but he was worth it. You were able to just snap your own pictures which was nice and kept the line moving. He was the real deal and super sweet. Paisley of course loved it, Scout-not so sure.We tried a Bar-b-cue truck for dinner and got to listen to Phil Wickham and Shane & Shane. I’ve always been a fan of their music. There were SO many people. Like I said, probably a one time trip for us for THIS event but we will be back on a normal day.They had a super cute station where the kids could get their faces painted, make ornaments, get a bag of reindeer food, as well as a really good hot chocolate station. I loved that part.We had a good time and made memories. Stressful and a lot of work for these girls but I think they enjoyed most of it. I can’t wait to go back during a slower time and take it all in. As always, their customer service was amazing. Like Chic-fil-a amazing. We like the idea of doing something different each year and would love suggestions on some other trips and events to try that are kid friendly.
Tis the season. It’s my favorite time of the year.
We celebrated Scout’s first birthday party on a Sunday afternoon in June. As tradition, we had the party in my grandparent’s back yard. The rain held off long enough for us to celebrate, despite being a little muddy. The party was a dream and one of my favorites to date. We had sub sandwiches, fresh fruits and veggies, plenty of sweets, and iced tea. My Nana helped me bake my first homemade pie, the cake, and I pulled most of the decor from my store and house. It was special to make those memories with her and I enjoy decorating a party out of things I already have and items that have special family stories behind them.I wanted the theme to be laid back, simple, and sweet. Obviously, we love us some Farmer’s Market. I thought it would be a really fun party to plan and do-and it was! I got to be really creative and think outside of the box. We had most of the adult’s food and drinks on the back patio but the kids stuff was all sectioned together outside.
I wrapped one of the trees with Polaroids of Scout over her first year of life. It was fun to see what all we had done over the last year and how much she had changed. One of our deserts was mason jar strawberry shortcake that was super easy to make ahead of time and store. Below it on the shelf was homemade grape jelly for the adult guests to take home. I loved being able to incorporate something that I enjoy doing into the party. And who wants to turn down homemade jelly? Our little “sandwich wagon” had the meal and fixin’s for guests to come grab as well as our mini mason jar sippers for the kids to drink. They got to take those home with them as well. I used my Nana’s farm table for the kids to sit at. It also served as the “sweets and snacks” area. I had coloring sheets for the kids as well as wooden berry baskets to use as their plate.We had homemade Italian cream cake (Nana’s special) with apple and cherry pies. The cake stand that the pie is on was my Nana’s grandmothers. I LOVE family heirloom pieces. I used a lot of burlap and mason jars that I had laying around my house to decorate with. I have an abundance of jars and probably need an intervention with my collection. Chelsea always makes my sweets for parties. She is one of the most talented people on Earth. She has a gift with baking + again, knocked the cake, cookies, + macaroons out of the park. The kid’s table was fun and they really enjoyed the coloring sheets.I bought this high chair junking with my mom one afternoon for around $15. It was a really ugly green color but I gave it knew life with a little bit of Junk Gypsy Paint. I LOVE how it turned out.I love this picture of Scout and Nana. I have a similar one from my first birthday. She wasn’t sure what she was supposed to do with the cake but enjoyed the cookies.The Farmer’s Market vision I had in my head came to life exactly like I wanted it to and I absolutely love how it turned out. I wanted the kids to experience their own “Farmer’s Market” and it was a hit! I bought cheap canvas totes and bushel baskets off of amazon. My dear friend, Cheryl, made all of the felt food for me. The kids also had little “market lists” to shop off of. The girls love playing kitchen at home and I knew most of their friends would as well. I love favors that you can take home and the kids will actually play with and use. The stand is a display in my store that we use to sell lemonade/hot chocolate throughout the year during main street events. My talented cousin made it for me.After all of the shopping excitement we had apple bobbing and the kids absolutely enjoyed it! It was so fun watching them (and a couple of adults) bob.My grandparents have an old teeter totter that we also had in the yard for play. So fun!Finally, we ended the day with mechanical pony rides and gifts on the back patio.
I can’t believe our sweet baby girl is O N E. I sound like every other parent on the planet but time really does fly, especially with a second babe. Our little Scout is such a doll and brings so much joy to us. I can’t wait to have more fun with her over the next year and years to come. She is loved!
You can see Scout’s Farmer’s market themed one year photo session here and her birthday letter here.