Following our recent tradition, we headed down to my Dad's house in Port O'Connor (POC) to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. And for the first time ever, Josh and I were both able to take off the whole week (amazing!).
On the way down, we broke up the drive with overnight stops to stay with our families in Austin and San Antonio. In addition to the time spent with her grandparents, the highlights for Ava were: discovering the fun of Mardi Gras beads (note that shirtless Mardi Gras bead wearing will not be allowed much longer); meeting Bunny and Nello's new puppy, Pearl (unfortunately, I didn't get a picture of the cuteness overload that was Ava and the puppy); and wheelbarrow rides in Austin...
As well as a fabulous night out for Tex Mex with Grammie and Papa in San Antonio...
We finally made it down to the coast on Sunday. While the Texas coast may not boast the most beautiful beaches in the world, there is still something so wonderful about being right on the water. My Dad's house faces this canal on the bay, and the constant breeze is amazing....and very relaxing.
As a result, we spent most of our time out on the deck enjoying the breeze, hanging out, playing games, drinking, eating, reading, and entertaining Ava with all kinds of activities. She especially loved the bubble contraption that her Nana and Grampsie bought.
Despite having a fun first day at the coast, Ava came down with a low-grade fever on Sunday night...which turned into a week-long mystery illness that created a fussy, sleeps-like-a-newborn toddler. Blerg. She was so pitiful...and mama was so tired.
Luckily, Ava still had lots of happy moments throughout the week. It definitely helped that there were so many of her favorite people around to entertain her.
On Monday morning, we hung out at the house while my Dad and Josh went fishing.
And after a little chalk drawing...
We moved the party upstairs where Grampsie and Aunt Bee had set up Ava's fun splash pool.
It was a great day. And from the following pictures (which may be my favorite ever), you would never know how sick she was.
The next day, it was time for Ava's first boat ride and first trip to the beach.
The mini-fishing shirt I found for the occasion kills me (note to Columbia: toddler girls will rock the shirt as well), and so do these pictures of her and my Dad.
With her life jacket on, it was time to load up on the boat.
Ava did a great job on the boat. She was smiling and pointing out birds the whole time.But she didn't know quite what to think of the beach at first.
Aunt Bee helped her feel better about walking around in the water.
She warmed up to the sand as well. But would hold up her sandy hands and say "uh oh" (aka - please clean my hands) every few minutes.
After a wonderful afternoon at the beach, it was time for dinner al fresco.
But for some reason, Ava didn't have much of an appetite. Oh wait, it may be because Grampsie introduced her to Pik-Nik shoestring potatoes and cherry slushies about an hour before dinner :).
Hanging on the porch before bed (wearing off the cherry slush sugar-high)...
"I'm going to bed...I will see you guys tomorrow."
Up next in Part Two...a trip to the Port Lavaca clinic, the cutest Fourth of July bikini ever, and the 2013 Dolphin Point Olympics.