part deux: family style.

well, as you know, we decided to spend the second leg of our florida vacation with some family in pensacola, florida...with my dad, my brothers, and 17 beach bums of Dedmon-origin/association. We rented a 6 bedroom/6 bathroom beach home right on the sand... it had beautiful back porches with front-row seats to the shore...it was the perfect place for everyone to spread out, for people to just come and go to the beach...just to relax, catch up, & hang out. We had a maaah-velous time, of course, but I think should just make the disclaimer that it was definitely different, and difficult to digest at times...I have shyed away from using the word 'family vacation'...it's more of a 'vacation with family'... symantically, they aren't that different. but, while our 5-person nuclear family has expanded to include eight now with Aaron, Coi, & Emma (and I loved sharing this trip with them), I can't see it ever feeling like a true family vacation without all the 'family' that the name implies, you know? When I first started blogging, I shared (...maybe unfortunately) about not diving in too 'personally' with respect to those involved...but, I think this small tidbit is fair, & on my mind. For what it's worth.
But still, we did have a really great time hanging out with my brothers, catching up with family I hadn't seen since the wedding, and of course meeting my adorable brand-spanking-new niece Emma. Being a three-week old baby, I don't have to tell you that she's adorable, do I? I do have to tell you that her aunt J and uncle A are crazy about her and think she's the cutest little thing with the most precious personality ever...and already miss her. She got so used to being 'held' at nearly all times by all of us so much that her mommy and daddy are going to have their hands full next week without all those arms. Before leaving for this trip, I actually googled "baby + camera flash" to make sure I wasn't going to damage little Emma's new eyes with all the pictures I planned to take of her. And, because there are way too many (and because I'm ridiculously proud of this new little one)...the link at the end of this has lots more.

A general theme that emerged from this vacation was definitely all the animals! Let's see, in addition to my kiss-and-tell with the sea lion... we were sitting on the porch at the beach house and spotted dolphins swimming close to shore. We went for a walk on the beach, and they swam along for about half a mile. Aaron and Logan even tried getting close, but it scared them off. They also spotted sting rays and baby sea turtles in the wild. Aaron and Lo caught over 15 hermit crabs (one which was kept as a pet - 'George the Monkey' the hermit crab). We spotted a baracuda in the water from the pier. and Aaron had a lizard climb up his arm. And perhaps the most shocking tale of all - Aaron spotted a shark and it got within 3-4 feet of him, and pretty close to my uncle Lynn too. You could see the dark figure in the water when the waves crested, he was about 4 feet long. He didn't seem to 'bother' anyone...by bother, I guess I mean - eat. My aunt and uncle who are regular scuba-divers suggested it was possibly a Florida reef shark and typically fairly harmless to humans. Good thing, since later Aaron shared that when he first saw it he actually swam closer to it because he was 'curious'.

So, we sunned, we beached, went for long walks, played tons of games, went to the waterpark, tried to fish off the pier, and aunt liz even taught us yoga there by the beach...all the classic ingredients for a fine florida vacation. (I heard 'vacay' in my head, but I've learned that I absolutely hate that word.) ...and let me just tell you that we ATE so well. This is a family of gourmet cooks. Each night had a theme - Mexican night, Italian night, Seafood night, Grill night...you get the picture. Everyone made a dish each night (and again, we're not talking anything made with velveeta...) - we're talking entrees like Grilled Curry spiced tuna steaks With Black bean salad, braised short ribs with polenta...even Aaron and I's contributions were big hits with twice baked wasabi potatoes, shrimp scampi, and the ol' classic homemade lasagna. It was just a fun time of 'fellowship' all gathered around the big kitchen...we learned so much and brought back so many new recipes (enter: excited Aaron).
first night, all the chefs juggling to get a piece of the in-demand real-estate: the stovetop.
game time.
the mentionable sandlot baseball.
my cousin Alex made us all matching shirts for the vacation: FIDEM SERVO.
even one in size newborn.
Aunt Liz and Aaron coming down the waterslide.
Adorable 'family photo'.
and the aunts & uncles who plan to spoil you rotten. and maybe uncle Lo to blow things up. I feel like I have so many stories, and I'm already tiring you and myself out. I guess they'll just be left in my head to dry up and be forgotten. This is truly why I believe I am so picture-happy. Cue the photos link for part two. I'm so thankful now for my wonderful companion who'll always be there to jog, or rapidly defibrillate, my terrible memory.
Cheers to all for a wonderful vacation -


Kaitlin said...

Jae, Emma is so precious! I am glad you took so many pictures! Quick question...how did you find the house that you an Aaron stayed at in Seacrest? When we found our house we used vrbo.com, but I was curious about other sites! Loved all of your pictures!

jae lindsay & aaron said...

oh gosh, that is definitely my parents' house. We'd been going to that area for a while, and about 5 years or so they decided to get in on the market down there. they have it so cute, i don't think I really took any pictures inside this time. It's been so much fun, and now for us, It's been awesome to take advantage of it for our OWN vacations. (especially the 'being free' part). But yeah, they list it on vrbo, I think that's one of the best ways to find a place there and get a good deal.
On another note, I'm so excited for you & your new job. Sounds like you'll be helping out such a great cause too. Good luck getting started!