Florida Vacation Day 5: Clearwater Beach

I had no idea that Orlando was land-locked, and although it was disappointing that we had to drive a couple hours to get to a beach (after already driving 23 hours to get there), I was super excited when everyone agreed to go to Clearwater Beach. We've been there several times when visiting friends in Tampa, but our most recent trip was three years ago when I was pregnant with Mollie - you can see pictures of that trip here. The last time we went, we found this awesome stretch of beach with almost no people, so that's where we headed for on Monday. Luckily, the parking lot for that part of the beach is right next to a restaurant with amazing food, so we were able to easily find the same area AND have a super delicious lunch there again!

We spent our beach day taking turns standing in the water, watching the kids and relaxing in the shade of our rented umbrella (worth every penny if you ask me). The kids had a blast, and it was so much fun to watch them. It always makes me smile at how easily all of the girls seem to jump into to being best buddies even though we go months in between getting to see the Ohio clan. IMG_7870 Blog01 Blog02 Blog03

I'm not sure whose idea it was, but Eric asked me if it was ok if he buried Natalie in the sand with Elizabeth & Aubrey. I had to see that! So we watched while he made a 3-headed mermaid out of the three 4-year olds. :) Kara was busy doing her own thing, and Mollie (not surprisingly) declined. ;) Blog04

We had lunch at Frenchy's Rockaway Grill, right on the beach. Their Grouper (in any form) and She Crab Soup are A-MA-zing! I really hesitated to get hot soup, sitting outside on the deck in the sun, but I was soooo glad that I did. It was just as good as I had remembered.

Mollie was a little bit hesitant about getting in the water earlier in the day, but I took a walk with her up and down the shore and we kicked up big waves as we walked, which she thought was really funny. I also remembered swinging Natalie so that the waves rolling in brushed her feet and how much she enjoyed that when she was a little younger than Mollie, so we did that and she really got a kick out of that too. It was as we were walking that I remembered it was almost exactly 3 years to the day since I'd been walking the same shore, quite pregnant with Miss Mollie, so I told her that, and she thought that was neat. They love it when we talk about how Mollie kicked me in my belly, but Natalie was just hanging out being comfy. Blog05

After a lovely morning and afternoon on the beach, we headed back to Kissimmee, and the girls slept the whole way! That night we all got take-out on our own and then - what else? - the girlies swam in the pool all evening.

Instagram photos from the day: RoadTrip9

Next on deck: MAGIC KINGDOM!!

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