Photoshoot on the Beach

I wanted to do a photoshoot of the girls on the beach while we were staying in Ormond Beach. We got up early to try to get a couple pretty shots in before the beach got busier. Trying to get nice pictures of a baby in a fancy dress on the beach while also trying to get nice pictures of the older two girls at the same time was interesting.

Here are my favorites

 

 

 

 

I am so happy that my kids put up with me so I could get these. I honestly got way more bloopers than decent pictures but that’s how things go with kids sometimes. I am glad we took the time and effort. They will be great to look back on someday.

Beach & Pool Day

We decided to have an easygoing day at the beach and hotel pool. We needed some time to just relax and hang out together. Our children don’t stay children forever. We will all look back on these days and reminisce someday. I put Octavia in her baby carrier when we went to the beach. Ivy and I walked up and down the sand looking for tiny seashells while we chatted about life. Michael played with Isabella in the water until she made some buddies to play with instead. Isabella easily makes friends everywhere we go and ended up having lots of playmates throughout the day.

Michael decided to let the girls bury him in the sand. They greatly enjoyed this. Isabella couldn’t stop laughing. It was quite a sight by the time they were done. I sat in the sand letting the waves come up to meet me with Octavia napping on my chest.

We spent the evening hanging out at the pool. The girls had fun swimming. Isabella made more friends. She literally does that everywhere. Our hotel had shaded chairs that Octavia and I greatly enjoyed. Michael spent some time cuddling Octavia poolside. I hung out in the pool with the big girls.

We went out for Mexican for dinner. It was dark before we got back to the hotel. We took the girls for a beach walk. We watched the little crabs running into their holes. Isabella simultaneously excitedly chased them and then screamed when they would run. This is one of my favorite memories of our trip. We eventually were all so tired that we turned in for the night. It was another amazing day.

Driving on the Beach in Daytona Beach Florida

We woke up early to watch the sunrise over the ocean from outside our hotel room while the girls slept in. We enjoyed our coffee and chatted while the world woke up. The girls slowly woke up one by one. We ran downstairs to grab muffins and juice from the continental breakfast. We brought it up to our room and had breakfast together. It was lovely.

We got dressed and ready for the day. We had big plans and I was super excited. I visited Daytona Beach when I was 14 years old. It was the first time I laid eyes on the ocean. We drove down and parked on the sand. That was the day I fell in love with the beach and the moment my wanderlust began. That trip changed my life. I was too young to drive on the beach and I really wanted to. Thus my bucket list was born. Today was the day that I would finally get to drive on the beach!

We paid the attendant and got our ticket. You get to use it to enter twice. This was my moment. I had been waiting to do this for almost 20 years. It was incredible. I couldn’t stop smiling. Crossing off the very first item on my bucket list was deeply satisfying.

I love the idea of being able to park your car on the beach so you can easily bring your cooler, boogie boards, shade tents, and anything else you need for the family to spend the day on the beach. This day we were really just there to drive down the beach and spend the day exploring the pier and boardwalk area. We did park on the beach and stroll a little before moving on.

We parked near the pier and did a little browsing. The view from the pier was beautiful. We stopped to share a large order of fries and a couple sprites on the pier while watching the waves come in. People were sitting out in the sun on the beach below. The pier seating area was really quiet. We were sitting in a shaded area. It was a good place to feed Octavia.

We walked along the boardwalk and browsed for a couple hours. There are so many fun things to see in Daytona Beach. Octavia loved staring at all the pretty colors of the many clothing items we walked by. We all thought the clock tower by the beach was really pretty. Isabella said that it looked like a giant sand castle.

We continued browsing the shops until we ended up at a mall. It was very hot outside so we really enjoyed popping in and out of the blasting air conditioning in the stores. Honestly, we didn’t buy much. Ivy and Isabella each got a shell ring. We got three small bottles with Daytona Beach written on them so we could fill them with small shells and sand before going home.

We stopped at The Starlite Diner for a late lunch. We decided to share a couple things instead of individually ordering meals. We got a Mucho Taco Salad with jalapenos on the side, fried mushrooms, and chicken strips with ranch dressing on the side. The food was amazing and fresh! The atmosphere is super fun. It’s a great place for kids. The staff was really nice. It was a great lunch for around $30 plus tip. We went during a downtime so it wasn’t too busy. I understand that this place is crazy busy for breakfast and traditional dinner time especially on the weekends and during local events.

After lunch, we stopped at a discount shop to get Isabella a pair of flip-flops to wear to the beach. We found this cute mural on the way back to our car. It was a bit of a walk back. We had a great day in Daytona Beach, Florida!

Ormond Beach, Florida

After leaving St. Augustine Beach, we drove down A1A to our hotel just north of Daytona Beach in Ormond Beach, Florida. It was a nice drive but we did drive through some fairly nasty storms on the way. They were short but the rain was so hard that you could barely see the car in front of you. Thankfully, Michael is a skilled driver and we made it to the hotel without incident. The storms had stopped by the time we made it there and we couldn’t wait to get down to the beach.

We stayed at Chateau Mar Hotel in Ormond Beach, Florida. We chose the ocean view double suite. It included two double beds and a sitting area with a pull-out sofa bed. There was good parking. We had an ocean view but it is onto the walkway as well. This means that if you have the blinds and curtains fully open to enjoy the view that people walking by can see right into your room. There was no true balcony. There is a sitting area with a couple chairs in front of the room on the outdoor walkway to the rooms. The best part of this hotel is that it is ocean front.

It’s so easy to check into a hotel that you booked online. All I needed was my drivers’ license and they gave us our room keys. We checked out our room. It was acceptable and clean. We brought up our suitcases and Octavia’s things before heading to the beach. It was getting late but we made it in time to see the sunset.

We walked along the beach as the sun was setting. The sky transforming right before us. Michael and I walking hand in hand as Octavia slept against my chest in the baby carrier. We watched Ivy and Isabella running, playing, hunting for seashells, and watching the birds. These are the memories I hope I hold onto until the day I die. Such beauty and wonder I had the chance to behold that night. There are not many photos from that time. I was a bit preoccupied admiring the scenery and the children I have been so blessed with. Eventually, the long day began to catch up with us. We sat on the beach, sometimes chatting, sometimes just listening to the waves until Isabella began to nod. We made our way back to our room. Michael carrying Isabella most of the way even though he was exhausted as well. The minute my head hit the pillow I was asleep. We all slept incredibly well, even Octavia only awoke to nurse before settling back to sleep. No alarm clocks to set or things to worry about for the following day. Just peace, quiet, and not knowing what the next day may hold.

 

St. Augustine Beach, Florida

We were on our way to Daytona Beach, Florida and we really needed a break. We had been stuck in a car with 3 kids for far too long. We decided to stop at St. Augustine Beach. This is a beautiful beach. It is clean and family friendly with ample parking.

This was Octavia’s first trip and her first time to see the ocean. She was two months old. Regardless of age, you have to dip your toes in the water the first time you see the ocean. She was surprisingly calm about her foot getting wet.

There is something magical about the ocean that always pulls us in. Isabella can’t help herself. Her excitement for life is one of my favorite things about her. She is always so joyous in the moment. She would happily spend her days running and playing outside in the sunshine. She was running in the waves and fairly soaked before we left. We changed her into a different sundress before getting back on the road. We took the scenic route by driving down A1A into Daytona Beach. It took a little longer but it was better for our sanity.