Saturday morning found 19 of us...Yes, you heard me right; 19...driving to the beach for Our Big FAT FAMILY VACATION.  There were several things I was wondering at this point, the main one being WHY in the world did we decide on going to the beach when it was SO HOT at our own homes (sigh...).  And then I remembered the deciding process and how we thought flying to California this year would be out of the question since Justin and Sarah were expecting baby number 3.  I suggested perhaps the mountains in Tennessee or North Carolina but finding a house big enough for all of us seemed to be a problem so THE BEACH is was...

We left in 5 different vehicles armed with snacks, movies and I-pads.  Loaded down to the tops of our SUV's with blow up swimming pools, pack-n- plays, strollers and about $1,000 dollars worth of groceries (only a good start).  In there somewhere was my 2 small soft bags that contained all I needed for the week.  Traveling with 19 people is not easy, simple or cheap.

Three of the five vehicles heading out decided to caravan, following each other.  Caitlin and I rode with her 2 kids following Robby and Kevin in his truck.  Before we even reached Baton Rouge my driving privileges were revoked due to the fact that we were following the "wrong red truck".  Yep, we had requested a potty break and they pulled over and as they got out of "their red truck" and headed inside, Hubby glanced over his shoulder to see us whiz past him.  Well...the rest is history.  I had to ride shotgun to him while Kevin drove my vehicle.

The dilemma as we drew near to our destination was whether we would continue the tunnel route or the ferry.  Having never ridden over on the ferry we opted to go that route.  When we arrived at 2:30, we were told the 3:30 and 4:15 ferries were already filled up and we would have to wait for the 5:00 one.  Oh well...what could we do but wait at this point?
We let the kids out of their car seats and thank goodness we had all of those movies and snacks in tow!
                          The ferry ride was fun and different and our "Littles" sure enjoyed it!

This year we rented a house on the bay side and I wasn't really sure how that was going to compare to being on the beach but WOW, how perfect with all of these little ones.  Most of them were a little afraid of the waves at the beach and we had our own little beach and dock right here complete with calm water.  Sunday morning found us all enjoying a little sand and sun time.



                                     Yep...What more could I need for a first day at the beach?

Later that afternoon we walked across the road to the beach side to let the kids play for a little while and I was SO thankful that we had decided to stay on the bay side. Most of the kids didn't like the waves and I even felt safer and more in control with us staying there. However, we DID have fun over there building a sandcastle and searching for seashells.

                                                      Our crew of 19 took over the beach!
Building sandcastles was all Beckett had been talking about for days and Poppi helped him do just that!
    I snapped this photo thinking that it was going to be one I would have to delete later because I saw her close her eyes. What a great surprise to see what it actually looked like when I reviewed my photos later that night.
What a great photo of David and Grayson!  Photos are quick around here and often times "hit and miss".  This time I hit a perfect shot. 
                                                                      Bikinis and Babies!
     Everyone was too busy to snap a photo with Poppi and YaYa but not Livie...she hated the sand so this was a reprieve for her!
A little storm rolled in while I sat on the deck and I snuggled under the eaves just smelling the freshness of the rain. And being thankful for MY BIG FAT FAMILY. We're not perfect by any means and we have our moments. I mean, really...there are 19 people!  But at the end of the day we ARE family. We play hard, we fight, we make up but we LOVE even harder.

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