Anna Maria Island, Florida: A Much Needed Vacation

When my husband and I bought our first house we intended on only living in it for 5 years, mainly to avoid paying rent.  Needless to say, our small, detached rowhome with fantastic neighbors in South Philadelphia, became a great home for 8 years.  That being said, our current life with a 3 year old requires a little more space than during our pre-parent times.  When I say require, I mean in order for us to save our sanity.  I completely understand that many parents have raised multiple children in a house smaller than ours…and to them I bow before them with awe.

So we found a cute, split level in Garnet Valley with three acres of land to start our next adventure!  We put our house on the market last November and prayed that it would sell quickly.  It started out as a very straight forward and almost easy process.  We had purged our house as much as humanely possible, had the main areas painted a neutral color and staged the heck out of the house…using our neighbor/close friend’s artwork as a finishing touch for our house.  The moment it was listed we had multiple requests each day to see the house for a week’s time.  The first person who saw it put an offer in. Unfortunately there was an unknown moisture issue in the attic and that is when the chaos began.  To keep a long story short, we did not end up selling the house until March.  There were still ton of showings and, of course, lots of money spent to fix the issue.  This time period between November to March was probably the most stressful time in my life.

It can be stressful to 1.) be a stay at home mom, 2.) have a child that needed some developmental attention, 3.) run your own business. 4.) sell your house, 5.) buy a house…I was doing all 5 of these things at once.  The simple task of making sure that the house was showroom ready for every showing was extremely difficult – esp since I was working and raising a toddler in this small home every day.  There are so many things that made this process more difficult than necessary but I won’t bore you with the details.

In the end of this 5 month process everything worked out but I almost had a nervous break down in the process.  If it wasn’t for the help of my mother, I think I actually would’ve had a nervous breakdown.  (Moms are the best!)  Thankfully, we had a trip to Anna Maria Island, Florida planned for early March, and we were able to take a much needed getaway after all of the chaos.

Here are some images from our trip to Anna Maria Island, of course I am in none of them but some of my favorite people in the world are in them so that’s ok.  It took me awhile to decompress and fully enjoy things but it was an amazing trip.  I had never been to Anna Maria Island before but it was just what the doctor had ordered.  I didn’t pick my camera up too much but made sure to bring it along when we went to beach.  We already have plans to go back next spring and I can not wait.  Our days mostly consisted of eating, sleeping, swimming, shopping and trips to the beach.  Being that we were on the gulf coast, seeing the sunset on the water was such a treat.  I have always envied west coasters for their sunsets…esp since I am not a morning person and seeing the sunrise at the beach can be a painful occurrence.

Now that we are moved into our new house and are almost settled in, I plan to post much more heavily.  My business had to take the back burner so I could concentrate on my family for awhile.  They are still my number one but now I have the ability to give more attention to my business once again.  I hope to interact with so many of you and post your family memories on here soon!




Here is the orange tree at our rented house…the flowers smelled amazing.

Here is a picture of my mom (on the left) and a very special family friend, Cass (who I consider my second mom).

What is a beautiful, beach-side sunset without a little drink.

My parents…aren’t they cute together?!  Omari and I can’t thank them enough for including us on this amazing vacation…esp since they footed the bill on so much of this trip during a time when we were very cash strapped from moving.

They are amazing grandparents to my son…who is the only grandchild in the family, so of course he gets spoiled like crazy.

Gavin LOVED the beach.  The sand is so powdery soft and amazingly beautiful.

This was a magical time of day…

Our house had a great tree out front that Gavin loved to play in…here he is with his father on the left and our friend (and former neighbor) Colin…aka Tutti.

Back to the beach…my parents were in full grandparent mode, helping Gavin make sandcastles.  Gavin also loved playing in the beautiful and insanely clear water.

The amount of starfish in the water really amazed me.  I would just look from afar but Gavin did not have a problem picking them up.

One of my favorite shots of Gavin from the trip.  His laugh and smile are some of my favorite things in the world.

Had to sneak in at least one out of focus shot with backlighting.  This is our other former neighbor and dear friend, Luisa (aka Lu Lu), who is a wonderfully talented artist.

Tutti and Omari with Gavin in the water…they had a blast.

Lulu wanted to get in on some of the fishing…she did catch a little one and was extremely excited!

Our house had a pool and a canal out back.  This put my husband in heaven.  He rented a kayak and got up early every morning to go fishing.  Here he is with Gavin and some flounder…of course we had it for dinner and it was delicious.

Gavin took a quick trip out on the kayak with daddy.

Gavin was admiring the sandcastles left on the beach. 

My dad and husband…they always have something to get in deep discussion about…Lord knows the topic.

Some more of the amazing starfish.  In my mind, it is a mother and child. 

Tutti was brave enough to pick the starfish up…

This little lizard must have been on our wagon when we brought it to the beach.  He was frozen in this position for the duration of our time on the beach. 

Gavin loved running through the birds.

Another one of my favorite things on this beach…the gorgeous sand dollars.  Omari found a few whole ones for me…a rare treat since they are so fragile.

Our pool out back always had birds landing for a quick rest or drink. This one was a little big for me to get close to so I took this shot through the screen.

Our wonderful real estate agent (Linette Carol, with Keller Williams if you  need a realtor) and her husband are close family friends.  They are great with Gavin and were trying to get him to feed the birds. 

This guy was a character.

One of our last days at the house, Gavin was eating potato chips by the pool.  We did not want to leave this place.

Thanks for viewing!!!  If anyone in the Anna Maria Island area is interested in getting photographed by me…I will be back in the area in the beginning of May 2013.  Can’t wait for my return trip!


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Hello Friends

My name is Claire and I am a maternity, newborn, and family photographer servicing the Philadelphia Metro Area/Delaware Valley and beyond.

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