Sunday, December 29, 2013

christmas in jacksonville

we had talked about how great it would be to spend christmas in jacksonville this year. we hadn't been since our 2nd year of marriage for christmas and we hadn't been to visit at all since abbey was 18 months old. we've had two kids since our last visit that have never met their great grandmothers or aunt and cousins. anyway, we wanted to go but didn't think it was an option because of gregg's work schedule. at the last minute gregg ran the idea by his manager and got the ok to go. literally, monday afternoon i sent gregg a random text that said "i really wish we could go to jacksonville for christmas" and 30 minutes later he sent one back that said "ok, we're going." and we left that friday night. we drove all night friday which is great in that the kids slept for all about but about 5 hours of the 18 hour drive but not so great in that gregg and i were exhausted. around 4am i think we both hit a wall and for awhile i wasn't sure how we were going to make it but we did. we got in around noon on saturday which gave us 4.5 days there. it was really such a good trip. we spent lots of time at the beach, made a visit to the zoo, did a playground visit on the river, ate good food and most importantly, spent lots of time with gregg's family.

it was just so good for me, at least, to get out of town. it's been a long time since we've gone on a trip of any sort and i was feeling super antsy so this was good. there is something about jacksonville that i just like. it's not some trendy, cool city or popular tourist destination. it's a big city with everything you could possibly "need" but it doesn't feel big. it's spread out with these little pockets of cities within a city spread out. i like that it's laid back. i love austin but i feel like there is this sorta underlying pressure to be trendy and cool. i'm not really into that most days. plus, there is just something about standing in the shore of the ocean that makes you feel at rest.

so here is our christmas vacation photo dump. the kids LOVED the beach. especially abbey. she loved just running in circles in the sand, collecting sea shells and running into the water. they loved digging in the sand and making castles and chasing the birds. it was the best to see them loving it so much and so happy.

we stopped in the coffee shop that gregg and i went to on my first visit to jacksonville to see him when we started dating. it's had a change in name/ownership since then but it's basically still the same place. it was sorta surreal to be sitting on that same bench where we ended our first bike ride together with our 2 kids.

this kid was worn out everyday, in the best way possible.

                                                       showing off her sea shell loot.

in the above picture tucker had just gotten "attacked" by the water. meaning, he feel down in about 1/2 ft of water and lost his cute little mind over it.

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