We Are On Vacation!

It's true, the Griswolds, I mean...HOGANS are on vacation!  The second annual (we hope) Hogan family vacation in fact.  We have come to my in-laws time share in Panama City, FL, Legends Edge.  We aren't on the beach, which may be a downer for some...not to us! We have a great view of the "pass", or one of the passes, and the beach is just around the corner.  Across the "pass" from us is St. Andrews State Park, and we can see directly across to the boat launch where we rented a boat for our day trip to Shell Island.

The boys l o v e d the boat ride...so did I.  So did our Captain.  I've always loved a boat ride.  Michael took us out to the shallows in the bay, which can be seen on the map link just north of "Spanish Ante", we were very close to the base marina too.  Here in these beautiful shallow waters we anchored and spent the first part of the day swimming, picking up sand dollars, finding sea urchins, and picnicking on the boat.  It was so great!  Our best day ever we all agreed!

This handstand was brought to you by Jack Links jerky.

This first jump into the "ocean" was brought to you by a bag of m&m's...no, gummy bears...m&m's...

After our picnic, we motored over to a place further east on the map where we could anchor close to the island and take the boardwalk to the beach side of Shell Island.  There were a few people, I counted oh, mmmsay, about 5. Zero buildings.  Few, if any flying rats, I mean sea gulls.  The water was pretty and a little rough, but it was so wonderful to be on a beach that is just beach.  Just us and the beach.
Terrifical!  Wonderfabulous!  Amaztastic!

See that? That's the beach.

Then we headed back to the boat, which we had fun making up names for...S.S.Tired (it was a rental) was my vote.  Honestly the rental boat was great.  If you come to this area, rent from the folks at the park (they are the cheapest).  Do yourself a favor...take your kids out on a boat...you'll love it, mainly because your kids will love it. Promise. 
This is "our" boat.  Hey, I just thought of another name...50-footer, cause it looks good from 50 foot away. The boys took to boating and we have all decided that one day, when we get to live at the beach, we shall have a pontoon boat.  I'm down wit dat.

I'm also down with just about anything that yields a nap.  After some excellent beach time (see above pictures) we loaded up and motored back out to the shallow waters appeasing our little beggars.  They were desperate to go back and add to the sand dollar collection.  We also needed to return our two urchins, who are brothers, and are also named Andrew...both of them...Andrew I, the biggest, and Andrew II the smaller.  We also discovered that Jack, rather Jacques C. Hogan (the C is for Cousteau) is our family marine biologist.  I knew we weren't wasting time watching Planet Earth DVD's.  Seriously, the kid has an amazing knowledge of some sea life and critters.  It was great being out there seeing up close some of his favorite creatures.

To sum up the afternoon:  
  • Fun got funner. 
  • Jumps got jumpier. 
  • Splashes were splashier.  
  • Jets got jettier
  • Hot got hotter. 
  • Tired got tireder.

The ride back was so nice...naptime nice.  The rhythmic sound of the motor and gentle rocking of the boat rocked my babies to sleep.  We took the long way to get in as much boat time as we could.  On the way back we saw a ship heading out to sea and dolphins too. 

Even the pelicans agreed....
it's all good.