Made of Gray

Gray Family Vacation

Holly D Gray2 Comments
The Gray Family vacation consisted of 16 days, 2775 miles, and 1 extremely loaded down van.
The first day of our road trip was a little rough for us. I've said it before, but I'll say it again; Caleigh will not nap in the car. It has happened twice ever...yes, ever. So to all the parents out there that have sleeping back seat passengers your so lucky. So to say that the first day was a little tough would be an understatement. I think Caleigh was expecting to be at our destination much sooner than the reality. There was a lot of crying on that first day. We left Texas and ended up spending the night in Jackson, Tennessee. It was a long day.
The second day we made it to our first stop in Avery County North Carolina. Eric and I made the same trip the June before Caleigh was born. We have best friends that live there and what better place to beat the heat than 4000 feet above sea level. Although it was "hot" in the mountains while we were there; the Gray family soaked up the coolness. We took Caleigh on hikes, scenic drives and on a tour through Linville Caverns. We took a day trip to Asheville, where everyone indulged my need to check out the local art galleries.
We had a great time visiting and Caleigh said that she really liked the mountains. Caleigh also said that she felt sad about leaving. Caleigh loves her friend Lacey. She really hasn't ever had to leave anyone for an extended time before, so it was interesting to see how she reacted.1010121
We stayed in North Carolina for about a week and then made our way down to Florida. By this time, we had perfected the rest stop nap time. This is when Caleigh would pass out on one of our shoulders and then we proceed to wait it out. The first night out of the mountains we stayed in Auburn, Alabama and then the next afternoon made it to Perdido Key, Florida.
We checked into our rented one bedroom condo and proceeded to get settled in. We took Caleigh down to the beach briefly where she told us "thank you" and "i like it."
The second day in Florida, I drove an hour to Pensacola Beach to be a bridesmaid in my friend's wedding. Ironically enough, Eric and I booked our condo and then got the wedding invite in the mail two days later. One thing led to another and there I was standing on the beach in a sunset wedding that I wouldn't have missed for the world. It was a truly wonderful day.
The rest of the week was fairly uneventful and relaxed. The area we chose wasn't taken over by tourists, which was nice. Our days started with watching dolphins and the amazing sky line from our balcony. We followed that up by ocean swimming, then pool swimming. We would go in for nap and lunch time and then right back out to do more swimming. We usually did our eating out during lunch time and then Eric cooked some great seafood dishes for dinner. We took Caleigh shell shopping. We even tried to go jogging on the beach, but the tide wasn't very helpful when it came to Caleigh's jogger. One morning we got soaked in pouring rain on the beach. So we went back up to the condo and watched Mickey Mouse Club House.
We spent the rest of the afternoon in the indoor pool which just happened to be a life saver when Caleigh needed time out of the sun. We also went on a dolphin cruise. This was the first time Caleigh had been on a boat and obviously the first time to see dolphins. We chose a cruise that had an air-conditioned cabin so that Caleigh wouldn't get too hot. Unfortunately, there was some false advertising going on. The cruise was an hour and a half long and not air conditioned. We were miserable and Caleigh didn't think the dolphins were that spectacular. She did enjoy the boat ride though. Overall, the beach was a huge hit in Caleigh's book.

When we were packing up to leave, I asked Caleigh if she wanted to go home and she said "no." Even a few days into our routine at home and she still wasn't pleased to be back. We had to have a little talk about the true meaning of vacation.

Caleigh's first vacay was a big success. The 16 days flew by for us all. Caleigh did such an amazing job adapting to new environments and schedules. We are very blessed with her health and flexibility. We hope that this vacation is just the first of many to come.

Enjoy the Slideshow...

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