Well I am done with work for a glorious ten days. (TEN DAYS!!) My family is heading down to Pensacola, Florida for our annual (and yet lately not so annual) family vacation on Saturday. My grandparents actually met down in Pensacola when they were young. My grandmother lived there, and my grandfather was stationed there while in the Marine Corps. There are so many sweet stories about them while in Pensacola (like how the day she met him she went home and wrote in her diary that today she met the man she was going to marry...good thing for all of us that she was right!) So once they had children of their own they would take them there to visit my great grandmother. I know my dad, aunts and uncle all have childhood memories of being there, but my memories start with me, the third generation of Pensacola Beach Dwellers.
I do not remember my first trip to the beach. It just was always there. I remember being little and having the "girls room" in the condo for me, my sisters and all of our girl cousins (there were lots of us). Playing in the sand and diving in the waves. Of my AWESOME heart shaped sun glasses and singing to Debbi Gibson. I have teenage memories of tanning and music and chasing the Marines...or letting them chase us...Memories of girl time with my sisters and cousin. Of how close those weeks together made us. I have memories of being there with Nick and sharing my love of this place with him. Of showing him our places, our memories. But most of all I remember the family time. The memories made with my grandparents. Of how they loved watching their grandchildren on their beach, in their town. Memories of my grandfather telling us stories of being in the Marine Corps with all the grandchildren circled around listening to every word. Memories I now cherish since my Papa passed away. Memories of huge family dinners, of Christmas in July with my great grandmother, of renting out the entire sea-doo shop so the ENTIRE family can go together. Just so many memories of times spent together.
We haven't made the big family trip in several years...too many really. I think it was 2000 or 2001 that everyone was getting older and life just got in the way. Now we are finally going back together. My Nana, three of my aunts, my cousin and her husband and son, my parents, Boo and Chris and me and Nick are all going. We are missing some very important people and family members, but I am so excited to be with the group that is going. We have grown to big for one beach house, so this year we have two next door to each other. This year we also have the fourth generation making an appearance in the form of my perfect Godson Wesley. I am so excited to go, to have the much needed break from work and life and these infertility annoyances, to take in the beach again and just slow down. I am excited to get to be apart of Wesley's first trip to the beach. To be there and see as he begins his memories of Pensacola. I hope when we go back next year he has a couple of cousins there to keep him company and to start life long memories with too!