What happens when you combine a photographer, a beautiful location, and three generations of friends and family? A huge amount of photos that you can’t bear to eliminate. This is our third family vacation to Anna Maria Island. Every year just as fantastic as the last. It is a wonderfully tranquil place that allows you to leave the stresses of home behind and just concentrate on those you love. There is no boardwalk or even any major retailers. Just a quaint main street dotted with adorable stores and restaurants. If you stay on the island, you can travel by foot or bike easily.
Last year during this trip, our daughter was only 2 months old. I spent a lot of time at the house with her during the peak of day and slowly transitioned to a family of four with the help of many friends and family members. A necessity since she had colic. I was breastfeeding, baby wearing, and loosely following the attachment parenting model. It was highly rewarding but also very exhausting. This year, she was 14 months old and super independent. She is walking, “talking”, climbing, eating solids and drinking milk, and insanely funny. The other plus was that now her and her brother can actually do things together, which is so heart warming.
My son was 2 when we started coming down to Anna Maria. It is amazing to look back at the pictures to see just how much he has changed over the years. No longer a toddler with a round face and limited vocabulary. He is now long and lean with a huge vocabulary. He is now doing “big boy” things like going out on the kayak with his dad to catch fish. I’m trying to appreciate that it won’t be long before he won’t want to be spending every second with us during a vacation..before a quiet place like this may seem boring. Right now, it is a highly anticipated trip that we all equally enjoy.
One of the best parts of this vacation is the addition of our childhood friends. These people have seen me through it all and have known me since I was a baby. They are family to me and I am so grateful that we can continue to make memories as our families grow. Last year the twins were only 6 months old…just sitting up and with a little bit of hair. Now all three girls have started playing with each other and starting their own little friendship, one that I hope they continue through adulthood. There is something special about having people in your life that knew you as a baby.
We started out our vacation just north of Tampa visiting some dear friends that used to live up north. It is wonderful to be able to add them onto our family vacation because it ensures we see them at least once a year. They were gracious enough to take us out on their boat to one of their favorite little islands. The boys got to fish while the girls got to relax on the beach. It was perfect.
Thank you all for a wonderful vacation filled with so many amazing memories.
A special thank you to my parents for starting this tradition and making this all happen. Your generosity and love is always amazing and we will be forever grateful. xoxo