On June 20th we drove across Florida to the Gulf of Mexico side to visit the Watercolor resort and for a week long vacation with the Anders family. All of the Missouri family were up at 2am to get started for their drive, but thankfully our drive was a bit easier at just over five hours. We arrived without too much trouble and got all moved in to the house we rented together. It was the first time at Watercolor for all of us so we got to know the big house we were in and we also did a lot of exploring around the resort and the area.
The house was awesome. It was a two story house with a little pool with a hot tub in the back yard. There was a detached carriage house where Abby and Nate stayed. Amanda, Ryan and Griffin stayed downstairs and the rest of us were upstairs. Connor, Paige, Graydon and Allison shared the bunk bed area. We all enjoyed the cozy house and it had plenty of room for everyone.
The pool in the backyard was perfect for the kids and we all enjoyed cooling off in the pool and cooking in the hot tub. Connor, Paige, and Graydon did a lot of rough housing and role playing in the pool (Paige was the zoo keeper and Graydon and Connor were alligators named Tommy and Timmy). Griffin loved to stand in the pool and throw the toys and balls from the hot tub to the pool. We were all pretty worried about him at first, but he was pretty cautious and was content to stand at the edge of the pool and chill out as long as we'd let him.
There was a fire pit out back as well and a few nights we cooked some S'Mores.
The resort was beautiful, all the homes were well maintained, and there were lots of shady roads and trails to explore. We rode bikes quite a bit around the area for fun and there was also a shortcut over a bridge to the beach that we would bike over on our beach days.
We rented a nine person golf cart as well to help us get around and we used it a lot. Griffin loved to sit up front and the other kids liked to sit in the back and face backwards.
We didn't swim at the main resort pool since we were doing our best to keep some social distance from other guests, but we did eat outside at the main resort area a couple of times. Camp Watercolor was a little water park area with some ice cream cookies and snacks and we checked it out a couple of times. Otherwise we mostly went to the beach and did outside activities together.
Andrea participated in clinics on three of the mornings and enjoyed them, they were fairly busy and they offered 8am and 9am clinics.
We played pickleball with the family three times in the mornings and everyone loved it. The Rudolphs and Genie had practiced a few times since Christmas so they have improved quite a bit and we had some exciting and competitive games.
The beach had fine white sand, fairly clear water, and challenging waves and surf. We did a little playing in the sand with the kids and went out in the waves quite a bit with Connor. Connor loved to body surf in the big waves and unfortunately we didn't have a waterproof camera to capture any of the beach swimming action.
Father's Day fell on Sunday while we were at the resort and Andrea and the kids got me a cute "Papa Bear" shirt and some other gifts and goodies. We snapped a pic at the house and one on the beach together on Father's Day.
We ate out at some local restaurants (if they had outdoor seating) and on Wednesday after we dressed up for family pics, Genie treated everyone to Cantina Laredo for lunch.
On Friday morning, some of us went kayaking around the western lake. We rented three double kayaks and Andrea and I went solo. The water in the lake area was pretty brackish and looked like tea from the tannin in the water. We paddled out under a bridge on 30A and then back for our hour session. We heard that the water connects to the ocean and a lot of people enjoy kayaking out to the ocean for lunch at some of the nearby restaurants as a day trip. We may have to do that if we go to Watercolor again.