Gulf Shores 2012 – Part II

On Wednesday evening, we introduced Rob, Jo, and Brielle to another one of our favorite restaurants in Gulf Shores, Lambert’s Cafe.  We all agreed that it was our favorite meal of the week…except Nick.  Nick started to experience some flu like symptoms during the day Wednesday and had no appetite for dinner.  The rest of us enjoyed it, though!

After dinner, we headed to the beach for our annual family pictures.  It was SO nice to have someone with us to take pictures rather than having to find something to prop our camera on and use the timer.  We were able to finish our pictures much more quickly this year and I think they turned out pretty great!

Can someone please remind me next year to pull my hair back for pictures?!?  We have the hair-in-my-face issue EVERY YEAR.

The Crystal Towers complex where we stay is the building behind us in the background.

So…I decided I wanted to make Gabriella’s dress for our pictures and a coordinating tie for Reuben.  I made a pillowcase dress because I found a really simple tutorial and had heard from several people that they were pretty easy to make.  I had so much fun making the dress and it turned out really great…except that I should have used the pattern for one size bigger.  The dress was too short, but I didn’t really have time to remake it, so I threw some jeggings on her.

I caught Reuben sneaking a little kiss in between pictures 😉

The beautiful Cervantez family!

So, after pictures and throughout the night, Nick started to run a high fever and feel much worse than the day before.  I have no idea what kind of virus he caught, but it was no fun.  I got Gabriella down for her morning nap and headed out for some one-on-one time in the pool with Reuben.  We had the best time!  He really thrives on the undivided attention.

After we went swimming, I still wanted to give Nick more time to rest so I packed the kids up and took them to Chick-fil-a.  This is something that we do regularly at home so I knew that I could do it on my own and the kids would have a good time.  Also, I knew the staff at Chick-fil-a would be friendly and helpful…and they were, of course!

Gabriella was charming the whole restaurant with her cuteness.

After a day of rest, Nick’s fever broke and he started to feel much better so, thankfully, we were still able to enjoy our date night.  We decided to use our time to hit the outlet mall without Reuben.  We knew we could blow through our favorite stores in no time without him…and we did!  We had a great time and shopped to our hearts content.  Meanwhile, Reuben was having the time of his life…

…wrestling with Rob…

…reading with Jo…

…making a Cherrios bracelet…

…coloring and playing with stickers in a fort…

…watching a movie and eating some popcorn…and much more!  Reuben had the time of his life!

 On Friday morning, we got up and headed out to the beach and pool one last time.  Even after an entire week, Reuben was just as stressed out about the sand.

Gabriella had a great time hanging out in her pool and chewing on anything and everything in sight.

When Daddy took Gabriella out for a little dip to cool her off, Reuben quickly took her spot in the safety zone…

…while Brielle demonstrated how much fun he could have if he would allow the sand to touch his body.

Reuben was thrilled when it was finally time to hit the pool.

Gabriella was so tired and nearly fell asleep in her floatie.  I was secretly hoping she would take a little cat nap so I could stay longer in the pool, but she got splashed and it ruined our chances.

Meanwhile, Reuben and Brielle hitched a free ride on the Joleen Express 🙂

I got Gabriella all dried off and bundled up and she just laid there peacefully snuggling her towel while I packed up and got ready to go.  There were several people who walked by and commented on her peaceful, easy-going countenance.  It made me so proud and grateful!

After we got all showered and cleaned up, we went to the Oyster House for lunch.  Nick was happy to have Rob there to enjoy some oysters with him (covered in bacon and cheese), and I was happy to enjoy the salad bar and fried pickles 🙂  Once lunch was done, Joleen, Gabriella, and I headed to the outlet mall to hit up the children’s clothing shops while the guys took the other two kids back for a nap.  Jo and I had a great time shopping, but Gabriella started to show some symptoms of the virus Nick had.  Poor girl.

So, I made the decision to stay back with Gabriella while Nick and Reuben joined Rob, Jo, and Brielle on a Dolphin Cruise.  I was really sad to miss our last adventure of our trip, but I enjoyed the quality time with my girl and had a chance to do laundry and get our stuff all packed up.

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Cruising in style.

Daddy and Reuben had a great time and got to see lots of dolphins!  The boat would create waves in the water, and manage to get the dolphins to jump around in them.  I think the Dolphin Cruise is something we’ll definitely do again!

We got up early Saturday morning, said goodbye to the ocean, and started the long trek home.  I’m always so sad to leave, but it does help to know we’ll come back next year.  We’ve already got our condo booked!

Gabriella was still getting over the virus on the way home so she snuggled in and slept most of the way.

Then, by mid-morning, Reuben started to show symptoms of the virus.  It actually worked in our favor because this is what he looked like for most of the trip.

Once again, we enjoyed amazing quality time with our family and dear friends.  We left our vacation feeling energized, rested, and very thankful.



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