Saturday, May 4, 2013

Baby's First Beach Trip

We went to the beach last Saturday for Ryden's first beach trip. I grew up going to the beach every summer, and I want him to get that experience, too.  The original plan was drive down to Gulf Shores for a day trip. We would've had to have left at 6h00 to get there. Then the plans included hanging out on the beach, walking on the pier, lunch at a place on the beach, geocaching, hunting dinosaurs, -There are four giant dinosaurs randomly placed in the woods above Orange Beach. No one knows where they came from. Keeping them company in the woods are also knights, a giant spider, a goddess statue, and I'm sure more things to be discovered.- souvenir shopping at the giant shark place, more beach time, dinner at the Wharf, then getting home very late. The forecast called for rain in Gulf Shores, but only cloudy in Biloxi so we opted for the closer trip from home. We didn't have to wake up so early and it only took an hour and a half with all of our stopping to get there. In the end, I'm glad we picked the closer beach since we were all exhausted by the end of the day.

For only being on the actual beach for an hour and a half, I over packed. By a pretty big extreme. We didn't use: the extra towels, umbrella stroller, the tote of toys I had packed for the baby, baby powder for getting sand off (we were dry when we went to leave), extra clothes and swim suits, baby carrier, aloe vera gel, roll of paper towels, cover ups, jackets, books (when will you have time to read on the beach with a 6 month old?), snacks, underwater camera, umbrella, extra jug of water to wash things off with or fill his baby pool, swimmer diapers (he never actually got wet except when he peed on himself), and my itinerary.
The pile of useless stuff.
We got to the beach around 11am. We had beach towels, but for the baby, I brought a sleeping bag to spread out on the sand for crawling room. He was cool with crawling around the sleeping bag for a while. After he started to get fussy, I carried him around where the waves were breaking for a little while then let him walk holding my hands in the waves. He liked it for about two minutes.

Picked him back up, carried him around the shore a little more, then brought out his frog pool. This thing is awesome and only $13. It doesn't take too long to fill and it kept him shaded while allowing him to crawl around. He did discover that each piece of the rainbow shade isn't attached to the next piece. He only tried to reach through it a couple of times.

We were only a half mile from the pier. But when we were deciding to walk to it, Ryden started to get fussy. It was lunch time anyways. We packed everything back up and headed over to Shaggy's Bar & Grill on the beach. There was a thirty minute wait, but I think we only actually waited for 15 minute before getting a spot inside near a big open window for an ocean view.

My spicy fried pickles and mushroom cheese burger were delicious. Chris went for the healthy quesadilla, and Robyn had a buffalo oyster po-boy that she said was only okay. Ryden hung out in his car seat for part of the time, but really wanted to be a part of the action.
Our little family hanging out in the shark head.
From there we went to Sharkheads, a souvenir place similar to the one in Gulf Shores, to buy seashells since there are none on the beaches of Mississippi and to look for a geocache. We ended up not looking too hard for the geocache since we were all exhausted. We got back around 4pm. Not too bad for a day trip. Next time, I'd like to make it to Gulf Shores, but maybe as a two day trip. I'd also like to hit up the barrier island, West Ship Island this summer (though not with the baby since we wouldn't be able to leave at any given time and there's no shade on the island). I've never been there, but it looks awesome. There's a military fort from the 1800s, lots of marine life, mostly sting rays, and hiking opportunities.

All in all, it was a fun way to spend a day at the beach. Things that came in handy: sleeping bag to lay on the sand for the crawling baby, sunhats, frog baby swimming pool, and that's pretty much it. Next time, I'll be less prepared.

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