Saturday, August 25, 2012

Beach Vacation....Alligator Fun!!!

Tuesday we had lunch at Lulu's and then headed to the Alligator Farm! Lulu is Jimmy Buffet's sister and has a restaurant on the marina. It's a fun place with a really neat atmosphere...and great food! Gracyn feel asleep on the way there and slept the 15 minutes while we waited for our table. The little girl was tired!!!

After lunch we headed to the Alligator Alley! Clint and Eric were really looking forward to this! We started off by looking in the separate boxes that housed the baby alligators. They were separated by ages 1, 2, and 3.

Alligator bait?! Not this sweet girl!!!

The neatest thing about this farm is that you were able to walk thru the swamp and see the alligators more in their natural habitat. Of course, we were walking up on a bridge! However, we weren't that high above the gators. We had bought a thing of food and was able to feed them. It was like dog food, only bigger. If you have ever seen an alligator in a zoo you will know they just lie there. Not these gators! Once you threw the food in they would go after it!

Do you see the gator?!

Feeding the gators!

Off to do some gator hunting!
Once we walked thru the swamp we headed over to the bleachers for feeding time. Along the way, we saw a worker with a small gator. The girls were able to sit at the picnic table with him and pet the little guy.  Then it was feeding time! It was really amazing. It's like the gators know what time feeding time is. They all swam up and were just waiting for the guy to feed them. He had a mic on and gave us a lot of info about the gators. After the show, we stuck around and talked to him and asked him some questions. The gators that are there were captured because they were nuisance gators, meaning they were bothering people at their homes and sometimes getting after their pets! I have to say....this was one of my favorite things we did on this trip!
Petting the gator!

Gracyn's first encounter with a gator is when she was just 9 months old!
Brave man!

After the show, we headed to the gift shop so the girls could pick out a stuffed alligator. Then we headed to Wal-Mart to get dinner. Bill and Sarah just happened to be in Gulf Shores the same week we were so we had them over for dinner! We grilled steaks, had salad, twice baked potatoes, bread, and banana pudding! It was great just hanging out at the house with great friends!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Beach Vacation...Waterpark, Pirates, and a Dead Battery!

Sunday we headed to the Waterpark in Gulf Shores! I was super excited about this, especially after just going to the one in Dallas and seeing how much Gracyn loved it! We arrived just in time for Spongebob Squarepants to make his appearance! Gracyn walked right up to him and gave him a big hug! Of course, I was snapping pictures. Little did I know, there was a line to see Spongebob and for pictures. OOPS!

Ready to play!
We started off in the kiddie pool. I figured Gracyn would have attacked the slides like she did a couple of weeks ago. WRONG! She wanted nothing to do with them. She acted like she had never been in a pool before! After awhile, I figured out what the problem was. All of the slides had little water spouts at the top of the slide. She did not like these. I was finally able to convince her that the water wouldn't get in her face. She went down it a couple of times, then was done with them. She was like a different kid out there. I was a little disappointed, but all that matters is that she had fun.

We pretty much spend the whole day at the waterpark. Eric and Clint went off to ride a slide then we headed over to the lazy river then had lunch. After that, we left the girls' with the guys and Katie and I went to ride the slides. We ended up riding 3 and had a blast!!! We got back to the house about 5 and got ready to go to dinner. Of course, this took awhile. We decided to head to Calypso Joe's since we heard rave reviews. We get there and they were minutes from closing! Mind you, it was 8pm on a Sunday night. So we set in search for another place to eat. We ended up going to Reds and Ribs. They had the most amazing ribs, but that was about it! To top the evening off, Gracyn peed on the restaurant! Poor Clint! The rest of us got a kick out of it though! Oh the wonders of potty training!

The next day we had a Pirate Ship excursion planned. This was the only thing we had an actual appointment time set for. We arrived just in time to pay and load the ship! This was the one event I was looking forward to the most on this trip; however, it didn't quiet turn out the way I was hoping.  It was so hot! The poor girls had to wear life jackets so we're even hotter. Gracyn was not a fan of the life jacket and kept trying to pull it off.

The captain of the ship really only had one leg! So that was neat! However, we learned at the waterpark that Caroline is not a fan of people with loss limbs. We won't get into that : )
They had two teenage girls that actually put on the show while the captain drove the ship. They gave the kids tattoos, pirate hats, and pirate guns. The girls just weren't really into it till they brought out the water guns. They enjoyed that. Then towards the end they found out that Eric had stolen gold and they through him in the bottom of the ship! The girls were all about saving him! It was seriously the cutest thing ever...they were so worried about him!

Getting her pirate hat!

One of the only pictures I have with her! See her Hello Kitty tattoo?!

Checking out Eric in the bottom of the ship...they were trying to save him!
Now for the exciting part of the day! So, you know the battery died at the house before we left Van Buren, right? Well, we stopped to get gas on the way back from the Pirate Ship Cruise. What happened when we tried to start the car back up after filling up? NOTHING! Battery was dead! The guys tried to jump it but nothing happened. So Katie and I got the girls out and headed into the gas station. We bought some drinks and snacks and we just sat in the floor and chilled for a goof half hour. They finally got the car jumped. The guys dropped us off while they headed to Wal-Mart to get a new battery. Once they got back we headed to the beach!!!

Having the waves crash on them was their most favorite thing!

Little stinkers!!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Beach Vacation....Beach Party and Toes in the Water!

Friday evening we headed down to Van Buren. Our initial plan was to eat dinner, load up the car, get a couple hours of sleep, then head out in the middle of the night. Katie and I had purchased some little beach gifts for the girls and wanted them to open them. Katie had gotten them the cutest cookie cake!

Ready for the Beach!

Mermaid Dolls!

Whale charms for their charm bracelet!

Yummy Cookie Cake!

After dinner, we started loading up the car while the girls played. We moved at a pretty slow pace. I'm sure that Clint and Eric will say this was mine and Katie's fault. It took about an hour and a half for us to load the car. The van doors were open during this time. So by the time we finally got everything in the car, the battery was dead! I had just put Gracyn to bed when Clint came in and said, "Let's Go!" So I had to get Gracyn up again. Silly little girls were so excited! They were jumping up and down saying, "We're going to the beach!" Little did they know we had more than a 12 hour drive ahead of us! We got everyone into the car and headed out! We stopped that morning for coffee, breakfast, and a bathroom break. After that, we were all too excited to sleep so we watched Dora's Mermaid Adventures and the Lorax.
Sleeping Gracyn with Cat Cat.

We got to Gulf Shores about 12:00.  Check in at the duplex was at 4:00, but we were hoping we would be able to check in early. The owner said we could try back about 2:00 and recommended we go to Bahama Bob's for lunch. It was amazing!!! It was a little cafe on the beach. We had some fried alligator, fried crawfish, burgers, and shrimp. After lunch, we headed down to check out the beach.
Putting her feet in the water!

Adding some finishing touches to someone else's sandcastle. These people ended up being from Arkansas and we had a nice conversation with them.

We got to the duplex around 2:00 and got moved in. It was a really nice place! Katie and I went to the grocery store to get some things for breakfast and snacks. When we got back we took the girls to the pool. This was pretty much a relaxing night.
Pool babes!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Dancing with Dora and Family Time!

So Clint keeps Gracyn on Thursdays and Fridays since he doesn't have to work. Thursday morning I was doing my early morning facebook check before work and saw where Dora the Explorer was coming to the Bentonville library! So what did any good mama do? I woke up Clint and told him he needed to take Gracyn to see Dora! Luckily, I was able to go on my lunch break and meet them. Gracyn was awestruck when she saw Dora! Since it was a dance party, there were reps from several dance companies there. Gracyn loved stretching with the ballerinas! She tried a little break dancing with the Elite Dance Company but couldn't really figure that one out! Of course, her favorite thing was dancing with Dora! Dora kinda creeped me out!
Doing some stretches!

Dance Party!!!

Friday I worked a half day since we were leaving for Salem, AR for Clint's family reunion. We met Clint's mom and Jeffie out for lunch then had to do a little shopping. We were hoping to keep Gracyn awake so she would nap on the way over. It was a success! Poor kid was passed out before we even got out of Fayetteville! Once we got to Salem we just hung out a couple of hours then went to the hotel for some sleep. We got up the next morning and headed over to the reunion. Clint's cousin, Tommy, is an EMT and he let all the kids tour the ambulance. That was fun. Gracyn and I were driving home the other day and she saw an ambulance and freaked out! She was so excited!

Gracyn got to make her very own quilt block for the family quilt!

Clint and I put forth a joint effort on our Vegas quilt block!

Driving the ambulance!

Gracyn and Lala!

Being silly at breakfast!