We started by having a garage sale. Actually, the boys had a garage sale, and they made quite a bit off of things they had outgrown or no longer found interesting.
Then, we cut eating lunches and dinners out, including my husband's office lunches. The boys and I skipped Starbucks a few times. The last two weeks before the trip, we ate mostly out of the pantry and avoided the grocery store except for milk and bread. I even added my birthday money to the vacation fund. To round out the budget, my husband had a brief business trip compensated before we left.
Our itinerary for the week included a scalloping trip to Port Saint Joe (South of Destin), a two hour snorkeling tour, kayaking a river (East of Destin), and visiting the Butterfly House in Navarre. However, the best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.
|Storm on the Horizon|
We knew the weather had rain in the forecast; originally, there was a 20% to 30% prediction. What we didn't know about were the back-to-back lightening storms we would experience on Monday and Tuesday night (in a tent!). Monday night wasn't too bad, but Tuesday night scared Jake and I. I kept thinking please don't move Jake so we won't get electrocuted! When Wednesday morning rolled around and we were all still alive, we opted for the Holiday Inn, especially since more storms were on the way.
|Jake and youngest building sand castles|
We did, however, have a lovely time camping. We had a splendid tent site and the beach was nearly vacant. The facilities and showers of the park were immaculate and when we get a camper, I'd love to stay there again.
|Toes in the Sand|
|Jake and eldest ready for snorkeling|
When Friday rolled around, we were tuckered out and headed for home. We stopped off at the Panhandle Butterfly House (free admission) and let the youngest explore all the state's native species. They also provided a great collection of species from around the world - I think the Blue Morpho is my favorite.
|The Brothers Norris|
Just for those of you whom are curious: we went over budget only $25 due to us eating out once we got home Friday night.
I also wanted to tell Jake THANK YOU for taking us on a family vacation I will never forget! Thanks, babe.