The Best AirBNB (Beachin’ w the Carleys)

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Summer is quickly coming to a close, and since Ryan was going to be out of town for work this week, I decided (like a crazy person) that taking the girls on a quick trip down to see our friends, the Carleys, who live on the coast of South Florida. The girls have been begging to go to the beach and to see the Carley kids all summer, so who cares that school starts next week? ;)

We’ve been home for 24 hours, but I’m still not recovered enough to write an accurate recap; let’s just say that it was awesome. The girls and I braved Atlanta’s rush hour traffic and insanely full airport parking lots to catch an 8 p.m. flight, and although you’d think my girls would arrive exhausted, they spent 30 minutes playing with every toy in sight once Scotty shuttled us home. Why are my kids like Energizer bunnies?!?

In the morning, all the girls headed to the beach — and, MAN, it was HOT. Like burn-your-feet-on-the-sand-HOT. But E.V. and Cricket were in heaven, so braving the lava was worth it. We only lasted a couple hours before heading home, where we turned on the sprinklers to entertain the kids (which turned into an impromptu kid-car-wash, so that was beneficial to all). That night Tim gained major bonus points by offering to watch ALL FIVE of the kids while Scotty and I had a little girls night (enter: rum). My advice to him before we headed out was simply, “Give them whatever they want. This is about survival, not parenting.” And he listened — which resulted in him making three different dinners for Emma Vance. Like I said, major bonus points. When we got home, everyone was asleep…or so he thought. It turns out that Cricket had just secretly been watching the iPad very quietly for a couple hours in bed. Ha!

The next day we swam in a neighbor’s pool, playing Categories on repeat. (So. Fun.) I also invented a game called “Favorite Toy” where the kids all present Eli, the Carley’s one-year-old, with a toy, competing to see whose he would choose. We played about 2o rounds. Major win. In the evening we all headed back to the beach, avoiding the blazing sun. I love the beach at night — it’s calmer and quieter and people are nicer it seems. We waded in the waves, made sandy mermaid tails and eventually lured the kids home with the promise of gelato and a dance party. (And what a dance party it was!)

On our final day, we visited the Jupiter island inlet, which is calm and shallow and full of little sea creatures. A family next to us had caught a baby puffer fish and a myriad of other animals, so we got to enjoy the fruits of their labor. We headed home, packed up, and caught an evening flight back into Atlanta. Cricket had been extra crazy all weekend, and although I knew she was sugared up and lacking in sleep, I didn’t realize exactly how exhausted she was until she proceeded to pass out on the plane ride and basically sleep straight through the night. 14 hours in fact.

We are so lucky to have such fun, welcoming friends in our lives. We are so thankful for the Carleys, for the beach, and for random summer trips before we head back into reality next week.
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