This fall we were able to take our first ever family vacation. I love to travel and experience nature and have wanted to share this with my kids for a long time. Jeremy and I have been able to go places together over the years, but we haven’t been able to make it happen with our kids before this year. Our kids are spread out, roughly, around 3 years apart, meaning we often had babies in the house. This made things challenging, seeing as how we never wanted to travel with them until they were old enough to remember and appreciate the trip. Then there is the expense of traveling with 8 people. That’s no small matter. Our oldest turned 15 this summer and our youngest is on her way to 3 and we decided it was now or never.

We wanted our kids to see something special and grand and awe-inspiring. We wanted them to see the ocean. Miramar Beach was the perfect fit.


We learned quite a few lessons along the way. Hopefully our adventure can save you from troubles in the future. 😉


1: If you leave at midnight for a 12 hour drive expecting excited kids to sleep the whole way, you are incredibly delusional. They will, in fact, end up staying awake for 36 hours straight.

4am gas stop in Kentucky somewhere, not a wink of sleep

2: Keep a close watch on your children at the beach. The ocean is wild and free and may inspire similar feelings in your children.

3: Stay away from sunblock sticks unless you learn how to use them.

4: Check to make sure your child isn’t sneaking home crabs that then die in your house and get dragged into your hallway by your puppy for you to accidentally find late at night in the dark. You don’t want this. Trust me.

5: There will be sand everywhere. Forever and ever.

6: If you build it they will come… and dance. All the world’s a stage, or something like that.

7: If you are going to take videos of your children, make sure the camera is not on selfie mode, especially when you get knocked down by a large wave. Your family may save and share the photos for the rest of your life.

8: Finally, enjoy each other’s company. Turn off distractions. Play and laugh together. This may mean the only family photo you have is a selfie you took at the last minute on the last day, but who cares. Kids grow quickly and your time is short. Whether it’s at the beach or in your backyard, kids become what you put in, not the picture perfect image you might wish to project.