Thursday, March 7, 2013

Our Trip to Seaside

Now that I've written about the race, here's a little bit about our trip.  As I mentioned in the previous post, this year we went with the rest of my family.  Partly because I'd been telling Mom and Julie about this race (although Mom and I ran it many moons ago before it was sponsored by Vera Bradley) and how they needed to come run it and partly because if Jason and I were both going to race, we needed someone to watch Eloise (although I will admit to getting beat by a husband and wife with the husband pushing a jogging stroller!).

We stayed in a cute little house called The Teacher's Lounge and it was right in the midst of Seaside.  I LOVED that. Everything about that place is so charming.  It had 4 bedrooms, one with bunk beds and my niece and nephew thought that was great. 

It takes close to 7 hours to get there from home and this was Eloise's longest trip to date.  She did wonderfully!  She did not love every moment in her car seat, but she was easy to entertain with books, toys, songs and the occasional made-up story. And when she took a nap, Jason and I would chat about this and that as we always do on long car rides together (one of the reasons I don't mind them when riding with him).

We arrived Saturday afternoon, checked into our cute little house and picked up our race packets.  We walked around a little and the rest of the fam grabbed some dinner while Jason and I enjoyed our usual night-before-the-race meal of peanut butter and jelly on a bagel. 

Sunday was race day (see the previous post for that) and then we had a delicious lunch at our FAVORITE place - the Taco Bar.  Oh my word.  The Baja style fish taco is something I dream about all year.  It was very cold, cloudy and windy that day so we didn't really hang outside much after that.  I hadn't brought super warm clothes for Eloise so we rested inside for the afternoon until around 4:30 when we got ready and headed into Panama City to visit a cherished place so dear to my heart.  Jenks Ave. Church of Christ.

Playing with cousin Caleb

A fun pack of peeps on the couch
 From the age of 14 to college, I attended church at Jenks Ave and I would say this place and the dear people there had a profound impact on my spiritual growth.  I have so many sweet and precious memories of these people and I couldn't wait to take Eloise there and introduce her to them.  I know she won't remember and the specialness was totally lost on her, but to me it meant the world to take her there and show so many dear friends my daughter.  As we sang I held her close and looked up to the plate glass window behind the baptistry as I used to so many years ago.  It was like I'd never left and I cannot begin to express the joy I felt at hugging so many sweet people.  I wanted to stay for hours and talk with all of them.  I wanted to know how they were doing and tell them about my precious baby girl.  I wanted to tell them that life was great, full of blessings and somehow I believe this church to be partly responsible...

My hope and prayer is that they saw it in my face, in our brief moment together, and felt it in my hugs as I'm sure I hugged all of them tight!  My family stayed in town to eat while Jason and I drove a very tired little girl back to Seaside.

The next day was GORGEOUS and warm.  Mom and I went for a 5 mile run that morning to shake out our tired and sore legs.  Actually, I think hers were just fine, although mine were a tad stiff.  We took it slow, enjoying the sunshine, the scenery and as always, the conversation.  I took Eloise out in the stroller after that and got a delicious iced coffee from Avida Coffee Co (super expensive, but super worth it!).  It was so nice to walk and sip in the sunshine!

After that, I had another sweet visit to look forward to as my sister Jessi and her husband, Nate came to visit and brought their three girls - the newest being only 2 weeks old!  I was so thrilled to see them and meet all of those precious, funny, spunky, cute girls.  Lilly, Layla, and Lenora won my heart as I knew they would from all the pictures and it was wonderful to talk with Jessi and hug her neck.  We walked down to the very windy beach and took a few pictures before walking back, the kids playing the entire way.  Eloise went to sleep, so I kept her snuggled close in her blanket.
The sisters and their kiddos
The youngest bundles
All the kids (Eloise was not super excited since it was nap time!)
Eloise's first trip to the beach.
On a bench in Seaside
That night Jason and I had a date with Mom keeping our baby girl.  We walked hand in hand to the taco bar again and enjoyed 2 more delicious tacos at a more leisurely pace than we had the day before.  I got a coffee afterward and we walked around, going in a few shops and buying Eloise an Easter duck.  It was just like it had been the years before, only this time we had a precious little bundle to return to afterward.

The next day it was time to pack up and go home.  It was even warmer than before and I enjoyed a short solo run down the Seaside path before getting in the car to head home.  Again, Eloise was a good little traveler and put up with her car seat pretty well.  We were glad to be home once we got here and I gave Eloise a nice warm bath and sorted all the laundry from the trip (there is a LOT more when you have a baby along!).  We took a few more fun family pictures before heading out.  It was another wonderful trip to Seaside and I am already looking forward to next year!

Grandparents and all their grand youngins

The runners and their well-earned bags
Looks like something special came in Jason's bag!
Maybe this is what you get for placing 3rd Over all. 
Our family. 

1 comment:

  1. It was wonderful to see you and all the family, Janie. Especially your precious Eloise ... what a doll! Please don't wait so long to come back. Glad you enjoyed your weekend and included your church family because you will always be a part of us, dear.