Friday, December 30, 2016

Florida Vacation Day 3 - Clearwater Beach

Day 3 was an exciting day! We still had our car for our big adventure for the day, and it was also the day we moved from one hotel to our home for the remainder of the week. After checking out of hotel #1 and getting all dressed, we hit the road for the hour and a half drive to one of America's top ten family-friendly (and beautiful!) beaches! My kids have NEVER seen the ocean yet and I couldn't wait to see their reactions. Below, a snapshot of Cassidy's first glance when we got on a looong bridge going over the water. Her face was priceless and her jaw was dropped!

Without a real "home" for the day, we just went to one of the public beaches after a stop at Walgreens for some sand toys and towels. We were a happy bunch upon arrival at the beach - 86 degrees and sunny here, -4 degrees back in Chicago. Yep. We were happy.

THIS one shows the excitement a little more :)

Ah the moments before Troy's bucket was swept out to sea. (sigh)

Cass wanted someone to hold her hands, but warmed up quickly.

Once we'd had a dip, we went for a little walk. ANY day at the ocean with the sun shining with my #1 guy is a GREAT DAY!

Lots of sand play ahead for the remainder of our time there. Mike was in on the action....

And then stepped back a little so the kids could do their thing...

A highlight for Troy was being blessed with a free boogie board to play with as some older guys left to catch their flight. When he was done with it, he got to pick someone else to pass it along to! 

We were HUNGRY by the time we were done with our beach play. We found a beachy bar named Toucans to refuel - Mike caught a shot of us all around the table together. Two tired kids, sitting in chairs, in a public restaurant. Did I MENTION how incredible the kids were this entire trip!? #ThankfulMama

Then we drove back to Orlando to officially arrive at WDW for the week, return our car and say "Hello, Mickey!!!"

Our Hilton hotel (Hilton Bonnet Creek) had us hooked up with a "Disney View" room, so we could see the fireworks from Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios easily every night, multiple times a night. It was incredible! And since we didn't actually stay in the parks quite that late, it was a nice way to experience the fireworks all week long!

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