July 23rd, 2019


florida trip

last week I took my family on a real vacation to the beach - we went to florida. to be pure tourists! olive had never ridden on a commercial flight before, only a cessna 172. she does not appreciate how wonderful that actually is. but whatever. she also didn't appreciate the ocean. at age 6, she doesn't see the world like you'd hope.

we went to destin florida because that is where allegiant air was advertising a low-cost direct flight. I got the whole family down there for like $800. Marc and I flew another low-cost carrier, Spirit, down to vegas last year and were met with a lot of crazy surprises so I did a little more research but not enough. I swear these carriers need to have an online game or calculator or something to help you figure out all the nickel and dime games you'll encounter on your journey.

allegiant charges the same price for a checked bag as they do a carry-on, so I thought I'd win by just paying for a checked bag, and of course using mobile boarding so I wouldn't have to go to the counter. but you have to check in bags through the counter. and they don't staff it or accept your bag until two hours before departure, not boarding. and the line to get through is actually worse than the TSA line.

I also learned I could have brought olive's booster seat for free, it doesn't count as anything. I paid the rental car agency $14 a day to use theirs.

no worries. we were going to the beach. olive loved the flight, loved looking out the window seeing the world as a playset, then she fell asleep.

I'd read about all the terrible things that would happen to us in destin: microscopic jellyfish called sea lice that swarm you with bites, flesh eating bacteria, a hurricane, miserable traffic.

the traffic was indeed miserable. but we didn't have enough gaping open wounds to be infected with flesh eating bacteria in the ocean, we might have gotten sea lice bites but the feeling went away, the hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm and mostly aimed towards louisiana. We had cloudy days but not rain.

I went walking along the coast at 6am and saw dolphins breaking the surface of the water. then we'd get up and walk across the street to the beach. olive hated the waves and mostly played in the sand, josie loved the waves, marc and I loved watching josie get blindsided by them.

we were staying in a sort of condo village and our place was right by the pool so we did some swimming there too, which olive really preferred because she could latch on to other kids and make friends, go underwater and stand around without being lifted back on the beach by waves.

spent a lunchtime on the boardwalk eating nice seafood and josie got a ride on a zipline. spent another lunchtime divided up, marc and olive at the pool and josie and I going to antique malls. this is not a thing I'm super into but it was a way to not be in the beating sun at the most crowded time on the beach. even with sunscreen, my skin got pink in places.

we were there three nights, two full days. we ate out. the kids loved the beach. I don't think we're going every year or anything but if the flight deals line up, we'd do it again.