Please welcome Rachelle of Tuesdays with Jacob. Rachelle is a teacher, wife and momma. She blogs about motherhood, childhood and everything in between. Rachelle loves sunny beach days, toddler giggles and getting her creative juices flowing.
Let's follow along with Rachelle as she takes us on an adventure to see the Gulf.
Hi friends! If you don't already know me, I'm Rachelle and I blog over at Tuesdays With Jacob. We're talking all about adventure today! We live in the great state of Florida where there is always something exciting to discover. Recently, we took a mini road trip from Orlando to Clearwater so that my little explorer, Jacob, could see the Gulf of Mexico for the first time.
We fueled up with some coffee and bacon and then hit the road with Jacob's Nama (grandma) and Tati (auntie) in tow! I don't usually bring too many toys and distractions along on long road trips, because I like to encourage sleeping in the car. Which is just what Jacob did for most of the trip. It's about two and a half hours from Orlando to Clearwater and just when it seemed like we should be getting close - there she was.
Clearwater is a beautiful beach town, though this time of year it's pretty busy with spring breakers. If you arrive early you can park in the city lots, but if not - don't worry! You can park in the garage at the Hyatt like we did. It isn't cheap ($30 a day) but you are going to want to be close to here anyways.
Across from the Hyatt is a little beach stand with restrooms, a concession stand, a gift shop and some hammocks and tables. We parked ourselves right in front of this stand so that we would be close to the bathrooms (for diaper changes) and the food (for lunch). We laid down a sheet to keep things as sand free as possible, and spread out lots of beach toys to keep little man entertained.
What I love most about the beach is all the natural entertainment it provides. We played here all day and little guy never got bored. Between the water, the sand, the seashells, and just a few beach toys he had all he needed for a day full of adventure.
There was lots of castle making in the sand. Jacob had just as much fun knocking them down as he did helping to make them. Every time I turned over a sand packed shovel or bucket he squealed with delight.
We searched for sea shells, which he picked up, examined, and then buried back down in the sand before moving down the beach in search of another.
And of course, we played in the water. Jacob couldn't decide if he loved it or hated it. It was pretty chilly, but he liked the waves. He would run out to the waves giggling, then realize where he was and turn around shouting for us.
One thing is for sure, he never wanted to be too far from anyone. He liked to have a hand to hold or a leg to hug. He is little and mighty, but he still likes the comfort of knowing we are near.
When lunch time rolled around we headed up to the food stand, grabbed some personal pizzas and quickly ate so that we could get right back to our adventuring. There were too many waves to chase and seashells to uncover to spend too much time eating.
Sometime in the afternoon Jacob was all worn out from exploring so we laid him in his stroller and walked him all around. Once he was asleep we sat ourselves in the shade near the beach stand and had a fruity drink while he napped.
Once he had taken a nap he was good for another few hours of exploring. He loved splashing in the water with Tati, and especially being thrown in the air and then caught down low so that his toes skimmed the chilly water.
Sometime around 5 it started to become clear that he'd had enough, and we were starting to get toasty despite reapplying sunblock every two hours, so we packed up our things and shook out as much sand as possible. After changing back into our clothes at the beach stand we began the trip back to Orlando. We had a wonderful day with our little adventurer and I'm so thankful we'll always have these memories of the Gulf.
May you always be as mighty as the sea.
All photos courtesy of Rachelle Rosenblit.
WHAT IS YOUR LITTLE ONE'S FAVORITE THING TO DO AT THE BEACH?
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