Monday, May 6, 2013


I guess it's been over two weeks a month since we went on vacation. A real vacation! We usually spend all of our time off visiting friends and families in Indiana and Kentucky. So when we got the opportunity to go to Fort Walton Beach, Florida we were super excited. I had never been to that part of Florida before and it is beautiful. We had great weather for most of the week. We won't really talk about the drive to and from... we'll just say the time in between driving was fantastic! We had such a great time and hope this can become a Rowe family tradition.

Leg one - Columbia, MO to Huntsville, AL
Getting on the road!
We rented an SUV so we would have more room for the long trip. So glad we did - it was awesome!

A little reading at the hotel.
Yes, she is wearing christmas jammies. Yes, it's late March.
Ryleigh and her cheese burrito.
Our time in huntsville involved a tour of ron's favorite college spots. Including Bandito Burrito. I have to say, it  lived up to the hype. 
Cousins don't shake hands, cousins gotta hug!
Ryleigh was happy to see one of her favorite people - cousin Abby - at the hotel.
We got to Huntsville late Thursday night and spent the day Friday checking out the city and visiting with some of Ron's old college friends. The Lexington Rowes drove to Huntsville and spent the night. The next morning - and I use the term "morning" very loosely here - we got on the road for the rest of our journey to sunny Florida.

Leg Two - Huntsville, AL to Fort Walton Beach, FL

Blurry Florida state line!
Oh the spring break traffic! We finally made it Saturday evening...later than we had hoped to arrive.

The morning view from our condo balcony.
We had a few really great beach days. Ryleigh was not into being on or touching the sand. Or getting in or too close to the waves. But she was happy to sit on her beach blanket or go for walks on the beach which was fine with me.

Ry and Daddy - first time on the beach.

Trying out daddy's shades.
Family self-portrait.
(She wasn't as grumpy as she looks, I swear.)

It took a little coaxing, but we had some fun in the pool.

Cousins Kacy and Abby rocking their shades at dinner.
Sigh, then came our last day at the beach. It was a chilly day, but the sun came out late and warmed things up enough to sit on the sand for a bit.

Pretty sure she's saying, "boat."
Saturday we started our long journey home.

note: Holding her sunglasses is a theme in these last couple pics
Yes! I finally got her to let me take a picture with them on.
We tried to get on the road early in the hopes of making it all the way home. Ha! When after about 10 or 11 hours we were barely half way and we gave up that dream. We couldn't find a hotel in or around Nashville, so we decided to drive a little further and crash at Mimi and Pop's for the night. They left Florida a little bit later than we did but passed us somewhere along the line and had been home for a few hours. We were beat from a long day of driving and so thankful that we had that option! Sunday we hit the road again early and finally made it home early evening. 

Despite the travel challenges we had a GREAT time! Thank you to Mimi and Pop for planning and funding our wonderful week! 

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