Our first vacation with the little one is in the books! And what an experience it was. From suitcase trunk tetris to 5 stops on a 7 hour drive, it was apparent this wasn’t our “old” vacation.
We started with a trip to Gulf Shores, AL. We both grew up going to the beach and were excited to start this tradition with Elia. But Mother Nature disagreed in a big way. On Wednesday, the weather looked great. On Thursday, my mom woke me with a text asking if I had seen the weather. Apparently a tropical storm had developed in the Gulf. New Orleans was going to get the brunt of it though, so we thought that being in Gulf Shores would actually be better. I spoke to Ashley and we decided that it would still be a great vacation with family and views of the gulf. Plus it was the first weekend of college football. It wasn’t the worst weekend to be rained in.
On Friday, about half way through our drive, it was upgraded to Tropical Storm Lee. Damn. You never want them named. The good news is that we made it to the condo and unloaded before the rain hit. And that’s the end of the good news. The storm shifted and we ended up getting the worst of the bands. The water in the toilet bowls of our 8th floor condo was sloshing and the wind was howling through the balcony door. I took a quick walk on the beach between bands, but the sand was blowing around fiercely so we didn’t want to bring Elia down. We did enjoy a day of college football, but then decided to pack it in and head to New Orleans a day early because the forecast showed more and more bands coming our way and we wanted to get to NOLA before the roads flooded.
Thankfully, we were treated to spectacular weather for the rest of the trip as reward for our time already served. Elia met so many friends and family, even I could hardly keep track. And she was amazing the whole time. She didn’t cry once, despite the many strangers in her face and picking her up. I was worried about how it would go, but she did great.
The part I was most excited for and most worried about was a lunch at my Nanny’s house on Saturday. All the relatives would be there. See, when my family gets together, it is LOUD. Everyone talks at once and there’s usually laughing to tears. Upon further reflection, this may be due to Bola Bola. I love it all, but Elia’s certainly never seen anything like it. At one point, I counted the conversations. There were nine – NINE – around a single dinner table! I was more aware of the din than ever before and a little worried that we were heading towards a melt down of epic proportions. Suddenly, Elia, who was sitting with her 5th different family member with nary an inkling of separation anxiety, added her voice to the mix. Aaaahhhhhaaahhhhhhhhhhaaaaa! Eeeeeeehheeeeeeiiiiiiii!! Squealing and blowing raspberries and looking from person to person as though she was addressing them. She fit right in!! It actually got all 9 conversations to stop for a second as everyone listened to her. It was adorable and I can’t express how happy I am that she was comfortable there.
I have to be honest, I’m still pretty disappointed that the beach didn’t work out, but besides that, it was a pretty wonderful vacation.