10 October 2009

FL: Beach Bums

Random beach photos taken with random cameras on October 2, 5, and 7.

There's A LOT to do in South Florida, but doing A LOT requires wearing clothes and driving places. And last week, we were sort of channeling our inner beach bums. In the mornings anyway.

My Sweets + I don't do alarm clocks on vacation. Never have. So when Bleu slept in we slept in, too. Buby's internal timer always rang before 7am though, and he couldn't wait to play with Grandma DJ. They had a breakfast, books and movie ritual all before the rest of us got up. So grateful for that.

Grandma DJ and Tom G live in a classically cute Florida beach house {single level, palm trees, Terrazzo floors, mint greens and bright whites, French doors, natural light, central air, fans overhead, cozy comforters, outdoor shower, hot tub}. They were fun, flexible and patient hosts, and we appreciate everything they did in preparation. The wee ones felt right at home the second we arrived. They had their beach toys, puzzles, books and fave foods. Thank you, guys!! We felt so lucky.

After we ate our cereal, fruit and toast we headed to the beach around the corner. It was sunny and 91+ degrees every single day. The waters were calm and it never rained on us, despite the season. We were usually swimming by 9 or 9:30 a.m. and stayed two hours before going back to the house to shower. Bleu LOVED floating in the ocean with me. She jumped right in like she'd lived at the beach all along. We swam and collected shells and buried each other in the sand. Oh, and she threw in a few downward dogs for good measure. The worst part {for me} was getting the sand out of her hair later. The best part was knowing she would exhaust herself into a good nap by noon. Bleu went from 4 to 8 teeth {2 being molars} in just a week, so her naps were a blessing.

Buby was equally smitten with the salt water. This was his second trip to Florida, so he didn't need much warmup. He rode the tides next to (but independently of) us the entire time, with the support of a teeny inner tube around his waste. My Sweets + I couldn't believe how comfortable he was in the water. It felt good. We were up to our shoulders most of the time. Soaking up every minute together. We even had one of our family-of-four hugs in the ocean.

Though we spent most days at Pompano Beach, we also went to Ft. Lauderdale Beach {about 10 minutes away}, Vanderbilt Beach {in Naples/Gulf of Mexico} and South Beach {in Miami}. Here's what we liked about each.

Pompano Beach: Quiet, clear waters, a deep beachfront, soft sand, walking distance to house, near homemade ice cream, pizza, coffee, pier and lighthouse. Known for pretty sunrises, not that we were ever up that early.

Vanderbilt Beach: Best for shells and sunsets. The water felt the warmest. Tom's aunt's cousin has a house on the beach, so free off-road parking for us. I was on this beach with My Sweets the summer of '97, and it holds good memories.

Ft. Lauderdale Beach: Busier but just as beautiful. Best tidal waves for boogie board. Parking extremely close to shore and showers, so no lugging bags. Easy in and out for quick dip. Dunkin' Donuts nearby. Heehee. Coolatas are a must.

Miami Beach: Huge. Crowded but still peaceful + quiet. People were spread out. Picturesque views. Colorful beach huts. Drinks on the beach. Loungers. Nice stroll to shopping and restaurants. Always something cool flying overhead.

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