This is not to say that our family vacations are not fantastic, which they are, nor that I would trade my husband and son and time with them ever, but it was one of the most relaxing weekends of my life, especially since becoming a wife almost 10 years ago (Wow, I feel old!) and a mother over three years ago. There is something about being on a trip with absolutely no responsibility for anyone other than yourself that is extremely liberating yet guilt-inducing at the same time. While I enjoyed every moment, there were pangs of "mommy guilt" that would hit me, wondering if Connor was missing me, or if I should be home with him instead.
|Leaving Nashville at sunset|
However, my mom, sister, grandmother, and I had an amazing three days at the Calypso Resort and Towers in Panama City Beach, where we ate delicious food, woke up to ocean views and sounds, spent hours on the beach, and evenings walking through shops and hunting for dessert.
It was truly paradise.
For the first time since Connor has been born, I read a book (405 pages, to be exact) in 24 hours, and I rediscovered my love for devouring a book. If only there were more time in my day back here at home. :)
We were on the 23rd floor, where the view was nothing but powdery sand, the pier, and the water.
Friday, our first full day, was a bit overcast and windy, which made it too cold for swimsuits, but we still enjoyed walking along the beach for most of the morning.
Friday night we walked the shops at Pier Park for most of the afternoon and evening, where we had Five Guys for dinner, followed by snowballs and beignets from David's New Orleans Style Sno-Balls (Thanks, Scottie, for the recommendation!).
Saturday was sunny and warmer, and we were able to lounge in our swimsuits and read on the beach for much of the day.
|my view at 10:30 a.m.|
|my view at 1:30 p.m.|
Saturday night was my favorite meal of all. We went to Dee's Hangout (Thanks, Urban Spoon.), which is known for its Cajun take on seafood. Linds and I couldn't decide on just one dish, so we split both the shrimp etouffee and the crab cake appetizer, and I added a side of cheese grits, which I cannot resist. Mom also had the shrimp etouffee, and Gran ordered a gigantic fried seafood platter. The food was amazing, our waitress was kind, and it was a wonderful experience.
Of course, we couldn't head back to the condo without dessert, so Linds headed to Starbucks while I went to Marble Slab and came away with a brownie sundae which was decadent and delicious.
Sunday, though, was the best weather day of all, and because our flight didn't leave until nearly 6 p.m. we were able to spent all morning and much of the afternoon on the beach.
|26 weeks pregnant|
We arrived home at nearly 11 p.m. last night, but oddly enough, after only a few hours of sleep and then off to school this morning, I am feeling strangely rested. I suppose it was all that good sleep, book reading, sun, and sand. :)
I am so thankful to my mom and grandmother for planning and paying for so much of this trip so that Lindsay and I could tag along. We made memories I will not forget, and I realized how much I enjoying spending time with each of them.
It also made me realize that I can enjoy time away from Jason and Connor, yet still be just as anxious and excited to see them as ever. Connor's warm, early morning hugs this morning cemented that no matter where I am, that kid has my heart, and snuggling next to Jason last night (no offense, Linds) reminded me how blessed I am with such a wonderful husband who gave Connor a fun-filled daddy/son weekend while I was away, without one word of complaint aimed in my direction. To the contrary, I instead receieved a sweet note with money inside as I left for the trip on Friday.
I am not under any delusions; I know how very blessed I am, and I am so thankful for all the reminders of that these last few days. The time away was much needed, and yet provided me with joy in coming home as well. I hope I am learning to be content wherever I am, because I am indeed rich in relationships and love, even though I do not cultivate them as much as I should.