Thank God For Zip Off Pants and Surf Instructors

Trip Start Mar 28, 2013
Trip End Jul 31, 2013

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Where I stayed
Topsail Hill Preserve State Park

Flag of United States  , Florida
Sunday, April 28, 2013

Bruce started his day very grateful for his zip off pants.  As we were leaving St. Joes we had to stop to empty our septic tank (I'm sure you can see where this is going!).  As Bru unscrewed the cap he was sprayed with 3 days worth of Patry family excretions.  He had capped the drain but had forgotten to close it.  I can just about guarantee he won't forget again!  In this moment of surprise he reached for the hose to clean up but accidentally let go allowing the hose to fly wildly around his head spraying water everywhere. Aimee and the kids were unaware of what was happening until Aimee heard Bruce call for some soap and sanitizer.  Aimee knew immediately things must have not gone well and found Bruce standing in his own you know what.  At least he had a smile on his face.  Aimee didn't need to say a word just handed the soap and sanitizer and took his zipped off pant legs to the hamper.  We can feel good about the fact that we are providing entertainment for the residents of State Parks across the country.  Of course, there was a line of trailers waiting behind us watching the whole performance!


 The boys have been working very hard on their home school curriculum but to encourage them along we told them every workbook they completed they would earn a prize.  OK fine, we're bribing them like any other good parent would do!  Cohen was overjoyed to finish his workbook on our drive to Destin.  When we stopped for a picnic lunch at Troy Springs State Park he was awarded his prize of blow up Avenger boxing gloves.  For those of you that know Aimee well, you know that this was a big deal as we usually stay away from any toys that would encourage our children to physically attack each other!  Cohen was very excited and finding out the prize encouraged Caleb to finish his workbook too so he can receive "his gloves" as well.  Needless to say, they can't wait to "spar".  Every Mothers dream!


 We stopped at a Target to get some groceries before we arrived at our next campground.  We have not ever been in a Target without the boys asking for the gigantic container of cheese balls.  In general, our family tends to eat pretty healthy so in the past it has been an automatic no for the cheese balls.  When on vacation we do tend to stray from some of our healthy habits and they finally wore Aimee down so, we got the cheese balls!  They were in heaven sitting in the back seat stuffing their little faces full of cheese balls, orange fingers and faces to prove it!

We spent our first day at Topsail relaxing at our campsite.  It was so nice to just sit out in our lawn chairs with a couple of drinks while the kids rode their bikes around.  Clare has learned to ride her tricycle all by herself and loves to try to keep up with her big brothers.  Later we went for a bike ride, a walk on the beach, and then went to the pool.  That evening Topsail was having an evening concert at their outside amphitheater.  Bryan Kennedy was playing, a country artist who grow up in Nashville but now lives in Florida.  We has written songs for and with Garth Brooks and Terri Clark and he was amazing.  The kids loved staying up late, sitting outside grooving to the music, and having a couple of hot chocolates.

Both boys had expressed an interest in learning how to surf so we thought Florida would be a great spot to sign them up for surfing lessons.  Their surf instructor, Dylan, was your typical surfer dude and the boys couldn't have thought he was any cooler.  He was a great guy and was really good with kids.  He was born in Hawaii and had been surfing since he was 6.  His family owns the local Billabong store so as part of the lesson cost they received Billabong T-shirts and surfer ball caps, which they want to wear all the time now.   We couldn't believe how well they both did.   They started their lesson on the sand practicing the transition from laying on the board to standing, then headed into the water.  Dylan had brought wetsuits for them since they were going to be in the water for 3 hours to help prevent them from getting cold.  It was SO CUTE watching them paddle out into the waves, laying on their boards, with Dylan helping them.   Amazingly, they both got up their first time and rode the wave all the way to the beach.   There were lots of falls off their boards, even a flip that Cohen bounced right back from, but they just kept climbing back onto their boards.  They had a snack break half way through and they both came over so excited and proud of themselves.  The second half of the lesson Cohen seemed pretty tired and was just laying on his board floating around in the Gulf.  Bruce of course took this as an opportunity to swim out and have a try on Cohen's board.  It took him a little longer to get up without falling off but did proudly ride a wave to the shore.  It was an absolutely amazing experience for the boys and was worth every penny.  After Caleb begged to take another lesson the next day, we realized we may have a "surfer dude" on our hands.  Wait till we get to California! 

The rest of our time in Destin we spent at the pool, eating at a great seafood restaurant, shopping at the outlets (Caleb loved the Pro Bass Store), and playing at the splash pad at Destin Commons. We have also been having family shuffleboard competitions.  The curlers in our family have a new favorite sport and team Bruce/Cohen haven't faired so well.  They've been doing a lot of table setting, cooking, and washing dishes!  Everybody loves a little side wager! 
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Megan on

What? No pictures of your "excretions" incident?

Mark on

Obviously plumbimg does not run in the family!!!!!

Mark on

nor spelling in mine!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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