Something magical happened to the Lumpkin family last week.  Something that I think is fairly commonplace for some families (at least according to Facebook!) but has been a rarity in our world for the past year.  We took a vacation.  

My best friend from college sent me a text a few weeks ago that their family would getting away from their frigid, Boston weather and spending a week in Florida.  And they would only be five hours away.  Five hours away to see one of your best friends? That's nothing!  I mean, I have this dear friend to thank for talking me out of trying dreadlocks in college.  And for letting me drag her to an animal right's meeting to watch a documentary entitled "A Cow at My Table."  And I don't think she even batted an eye when I started eating meat again a few months later (or maybe it was a few weeks?  Yeah, probably so.)  Everyone needs a solid friend when they are going through an identity crisis.  Amiright? She introduced me to C.S. Lewis and Pride and Prejudice and we took countless walks where we would talk and pray together those first few years of adulthood.  God knows who we need at each phase of our lives.  

As I was saying, driving five hours is nothing to see one of your best friends.  In hindsight, a five hour drive definitely IS something to a one year old.  But it was SO worth it.  We arrived a little late Wednesday afternoon and while Jenn's family and the two other families staying with them in the condo wound down after a day at the beach, we went exploring for a bit.  Ricky is learning photography so he practiced shooting a bit in the harsh sunlight and William got to practice his walking skills.  Win-win.  (OH, did I mention my husband is learning photography?!)

After a few toddler meltdowns on the beach and then getting to spend the evening hanging out with Jenn's family and the two other families staying with them at the condo, we headed over to our hotel in Port Saint Joe, just a town away.  

The next morning we ate the Sand Dollar Cafe, which felt like a mix between your grandmother's house and a funky cafe.  It had a fun vibe and the food was incredible.  After breakfast we borrowed their lawn ornaments to take photos on.  We met up with Jenn and the other families at a park for an hour or so before lunch.  Amanda, one of Jenn's sweet friends, offered to take a family photos of us.   We opted out of checking out the lighthouse at Port St. Joe with them because we could see a toddler meltdown on the horizon if we didn't get William in the car for a nap.  I hated saying goodbye, but Jenn gave us some enticing reasons for visiting them up in Boston soon.  

On the way home we took a little detour and rented bikes to explore Rosemary Beach.  I was so proud of how William did on the back of Ricky's back.  The little downtown area was so much fun and maybe I just have a good imagination, but it felt really European to me.  I wish we had had more time to explore.  We also drove our bikes to Alys Beach, which is made up of only white houses (mansions??).  I totally recommend spending a day in either of these places if you are coming back from Florida.  We need to do better research next time, because we sadly never found the beach in either place.  Houses were built right up to the beach and anytime there seemed to be an entrance, it was locked for residents only.   It still was great to ride a bike around and explore, and was totally worth the flat tire that Ricky got in the end.  He's a trooper.

Yay for random two day vacations and hopefully I'll have another one to share in the spring!  

PS  I can't believe I'm finally in photos!  Ricky did a marvelous job. <3

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