My Family

My Family

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Championship Swim Meet

Saturday, August 2 was the City Championship Swim Meet and we had no idea what was in store.

Unfortunately, Jason had to miss the swim meet because he already had plans for 6 months to meet up with some of his college buddies at the lake for the weekend.  We had to be at the Equestrian Center at 12:00 on Saturday for the swim meet to start at 1:00.  When I drove up it was CRAZY crowded.  The first session was finishing up and there were tents and people everywhere.  The Equestrian Center is an indoor olympic size pool so it was huge!!  We found our coach and Brody went off to warm up while we went to find a seat in the bleachers.  Well come to find out (after we were already sitting in the bleachers for about 3 hours) that the bleachers are for people to come and watch their child race and then they get up and leave.  Since we had already sat there for so long we decided to go ahead and stay - we weren't in the front row or anything.

 Of course the first session ran behind so we didn't actually start our session until around 1:45.  It was so chaotic.  These swim parents are crazy too!!  They first did a parade to showcase all of the teams and the kids and coaches were all dressed up as superheros.

First were the relays and Brody's heat started around 3:47 (yeah almost 3 hours after the meet started).  It was going to be a long day - thank goodness my parents were there to help out.

Looking like an official swimmer with the writing on the arm and all.

There were some issues with the 6 and under group dealing with the start buzzer.  In the past 4 meets the kids have always started with the sound of a whistle, but for some reason they were using a very low buzzer sound (I guess more professional sounding) which the young kids (who it is mostly their first time doing this) weren't used to this sound and could barely hear it.  Stephanie and I were trying to prepare our 2 for it and had them listen to it while they watched other races.  The man in charge (who wasn't very nice) would blow a whistle for the kids to get out of the pool from the prior race and then blow again for the next swimmers to get in.  Well, these young kids were very confused so we watched swimmers in the 2 races before Ava take off and start swimming and then lifeguards had to jump in and grab them to get them to stop.  Total confusion!!!

After all of this, needless to say the man in charge was NOT very happy.  He had parents telling him he wasn't doing his job right and he offered to give his whistle to them for them to do a better job.  I wish he would have understood what we had been used to and this was a huge change.

It finally came time for Brody's heat.

While preparing all of our stuff for the meet the night before we thought we had left Brody's goggles at the condo in Destin and he freaked out, but we said he could wear Jason's and they would make him go faster.  Well, before we left for the swim meet on Saturday, I threw another load of clothes in the washer and found the missing goggles but decided to go ahead and leave Jason's in the swim bag.  That was definitely a great choice.  As Brody stood in his lane and was about to get in the pool for the heat, he tightened his goggles one last time and they broke!!!  Panic broke in as he turned around to me with big tears in his eyes.  Thank the Lord I left Jason's goggles in the bag because I had never taken an extra pair of goggles with us.  As I got up to give him the goggles, the not so nice man said "Swimmers take your mark" and I had to let out a loud "WAIT".  He then turns around and not so nicely yells at me "WHAT?"  Yeah, the mom instinct came out in me and I said "Excuse Me?"  Well, we went back and forth for a second or 2 as I explained my son's goggles broke.  I knew I had the stands behind me to back me up since we were already not too happy with this guy.  Thankfully Brody jumped in and the race started.  He swam the best race he had ever swam for the season.  He knocked almost 2 seconds off his best time.  He came in 4th in his heat, but we were so proud of his time and how he overcame what could have been a catastrophe.

We knew we had a long wait ahead of us since they had to go through the breast stroke and the back stroke before Brody's butterfly.  After 2 weather delays, around 6:00 they decided to go ahead and cancel the swim meet.  We still had about another hour or so until Brody would have swam.  It really stunk that he didn't get to swim the butterfly but then again we were all ready to go home.

I was so proud of Brody for this swim season and he really had a great time doing something that he really enjoys.

Destin - Yummy Food

When we arrived to Destin, the one thing mom and I decided is that we didn't want to cook - we wanted to go out to eat.  We wanted a vacation too :)  I had a few recommendations from friends who have visited or who live in Destin.

Our first night we stopped in at Shrimp Basket, which was really good and reasonable.

Sunday night we headed to the famous The Back Porch.  I had always wanted to eat here, because one of my college friends who lives in Destin is always eating there.  We were a little worried with the length of wait because this is a very popular place.  They told us about 1 1/2 hours but we were in within the hour even with a party of 15.  The restaurant is located right on the water and you can literally walk up from the ocean and grab a seat.

My cousin Jeff really wanted to go get fresh seafood, so he and Jason headed to the local market and brought back dinner for one night.  He and Jason grilled up shrimp, scallops and Amberjack fish, while my Aunt Yvonne cooked a pork tenderloin, potatoes and a bunch of other sides.  It was so good!!

Tuesday night we headed to nearby Seaside, which is the town where the filmed The Truman Show.  It was about a 40 minute drive from Destin.  This is THE cutest town and I can't wait to go back for a weekend with Jason.  Jason had heard about a restaurant from someone at his work "The Great Southern Cafe" and that we HAD to eat here.  The wait was about 1 hour and 45 minutes but they have a really cute little town square you can walk around while you wait, so I didn't mind waiting.

So the only picture of Jason and I and it's blurry.  Guess that is what I get for not looking at it closer.

Part of the Mason family.

Isn't this the funniest picture?

While Jason and I walked around Seaside, here is where we left these 3.

Right in the middle of Seaside in their square.  What a fun place for the kids to run around and play.  They play movies here a lot of times.

We walked down to the ocean so we could see the sunset.  A beautiful sight

Definitely the mode of transportation around Seaside.

The restaurant's specialty was their Grits a YaYa.  This was my first time ever eating shrimp and grits and it was very good.  I highly recommend.

Wednesday night we decided to grill hamburgers and hotdogs so we could enjoy the water a little longer.  Afterwards we decided to take the boys to play putt putt since they had been begging to go all week.

Thursday was our last night in Destin so we decided to go to Dewey Destins.  After a fulfilled day at Big Kahuna waterpark, we were definitely hungry.

The boys were so excited to go here.

These slides were so fast and Brody had no problem riding them.  These and just 1 other slide were the only ones that Trevor couldn't ride.  This was an awesome park and had so much packed into such a little space, but I highly recommend this place.  I know when we go back to Destin the boys will definitely want to go back here.

 Brody had begged and begged to ride the Honolulu Half Pipe all day.  Jason and I weren't really sure about it especially after watching a few of the kids ride it.  This is where you get on a boogie board and ride the simulated wave.  If you fall off the board the water will push you pretty hard back over the top.  Definitely don't try to stand up because it could hurt as it hurled you over the top - we saw several people do it.  Jason prepped him for it and told him to not cry if he fell off.  I was so nervous but thankfully he did great and really enjoyed it.

That night we headed to Dewey Destin for dinner.  Of course we had to wait, but what's new in Destin.

We had great seats - right on the harbor.  Unfortunately this restaurant didn't make the list to come back to.  We felt the prices were way to high for what you get.  A piece of Mahi that costs $18 should not come with fries - just saying.

 We even had a firework show at the end of our dinner - a perfect way to end the evening.

This is how most of our nights ended - 2 tired boys who we had to carry up to bed.

So sad we had to leave a day early from our vacation due to a very busy weekend coming up.  We had such a great time and made a lot of memories.  We are all looking forward to returning.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Destin - Sun, sand, and clear blue water

The last week of July we headed west to Destin for our family vacation.  This was our 2nd time out there and it is so beautiful and I was ready to go back.  We were spending the week with my parents as well as my great aunt's family on my mom's side.  They are from Tennessee and Kentucky and we only see them once a year, but always have a blast.

After a long 5-6 hour drive out 1-10 and driving on this road at the very end of our trip

Yes Danny Wuerffel Way.  Not a great pic but the best I could do.  Just a side note if you are headed to Destin on a Saturday in the summer make sure to arrive early or go late not between 2-4 when the prime time for EVERYONE to be checking in.  Traffic is crazy.

The boys were so excited when they saw the stairs in our condo.  They played on them ALL the time.  The one downfall with our place was that it wasn't oceanfront, but it was very nice and right by the pool, which wasn't crowded.

We spent every morning at the beach in the clear blue beautiful water and white sand.  Oh how I would love to swim in that all of the time, but we will settle for the bigger beaches on our east coast because although Destin's beaches are beautiful they are on the small side.

Brody and Gabby trying to find some cool shells.

The sand was Trevor's favorite - in the face and all.

Yes, an ice cream boat.  It was the coolest thing.

There were a few waves a couple of days and the boys enjoyed boogie boarding so much that Brody's board broke and we had to buy him a new one.

Jason even tried his hand at boogie boarding.  Wish I had my good camera instead of just my phone.

I spent several afternoons looking at this beautiful creation that God created.

I also enjoyed sitting by the pool while reading one of my favorite authors.  Haven't had or taken much time to read lately so I really enjoyed it.

My sweet Aunt Yvonne aka "Gan"

Stay tuned for the 2nd part of our Destin vacation - the food!!