Last year we discovered the joy of vacationing just the three of us. We love taking trips with our friends and family, but there is a peacefulness of traveling with just our tiny family. We don't worry that our schedule is too early for everyone else. We don't worry about other people's dietary requirements. We don't worry about Willow's crying upsetting somebody else. We don't worry about spending too little or too much time doing anything. We can just go with the flow and relax in a way that we never quite can when we're with others. It's really nice.
We stayed in an Airbnb two blocks from the beach. We were so close to the boardwalk, the restaurants, shops, etc. that we literally never drove anywhere all week. Even Willow could walk the entire time with no problem. She loved the boardwalk along the ocean when we could just let her go and she would run and enjoy her freedom immensely.
Of course, our beach baby adored the ocean, adored the sand, adored every seashell she found. I can see her bravery and her love for adventure when we do things like this. It didn't matter how many times a wave caught her off guard and knocked her down or if she was coughing up salty water, she was charging back in for more, usually laughing hysterically while she did.
We discovered a band playing one night at the outdoor amphitheater they have right on the boardwalk and Willow was so excited. She ran right into the grassy field all alone and started jamming out. She had so many people entertained and cheering her on. To the point where the band stopped playing and everyone was mad because they were enjoying watching Willow rock out. The same night she found another little two year old and ran right over to her and said "hi, my name is Willow!" and chased her off and on for the next 10 minutes (luckily this other kid was "spirited" and enjoying this as well! haha!). She's such a bold little character and it's fun for someone so introverted and more observant like me to witness that constant vigor for life and new experiences. I think all kids have that to a degree, but little Tiffany would never ever be so wild and free! It would have been terrifying. I'm so glad she doesn't have that fear.
It was a great trip. Of course, Willow had a hard time with sleep and adjusting her schedule and we're still fighting that battle back to normalcy. But I'm really glad we went. I'm glad Erik and I are so on the same page about vacations and that we happily hang out together after Willow's in bed and then go to bed early. I'm also glad that Erik humors me when I hand him my camera and tell him to take pictures of me and Willow. I only pulled my camera out (other than my phone) on the last day of our trip, so that's what you'll see below! Luckily, there are a lot of highlights. Beach, baby rocking out at the concert, running up and down the boardwalk, and even a rainbow! (gotta look close!)