The Stammen Family headed to Fort Walton Beach last Friday night for a little work and play vacation. Joel had to work, so me and the kids went down to play in the ocean for the week.
The plan was simple, leave around 9pm on Friday night, arrive, check in, swim our little hearts out, then relax watching the Olympics until sweet slumber time. It's amazing how good everything looks in theory versus how plans really work out. Neither Joel nor I got in a nap prior to leaving, Mya slept very, very little in the car, Nora was wide awake for all of Ohio and most of the tail end of Alabama and all of Florida (530am). Car madness began to settle in around 6am. At 8am we arrive at our final destination and we are all ready to escape the confines of the car and settle in. But, alas, early check-in is unavailable, it'll be a few hours.
Ok, no big deal, we drive around and get comfortable with our location, go to the grocery store for our non-perishable weekly food supply, get some breakfast...and not quite 2 hours later we are no closer to getting in our room. So we swim...and swim...and swim...and drive Leo around in the AC to get him to sleep...and eat lunch...and shop for perishables....and at 3pm we check in. It's now feeling like the longest day(s) of our lives. Things start to feel normal, but little Leo has to take a hiatus from the heat because he has a rash. By 7pm, it's getting worse and is blotchy on his face, and the pinprick rash is covering him from head to foot. I call our doctor and he tells me that he wants Leo to go to urgent care. Ok....off we go to the Fort Walton Beach Children's ER. Nora falls asleep on the way and is dead weight for half of our ER experience. Leo is diagnosed with an extreme heat rash and given medicine and instructions to stay out of the heat for at least a couple of days. Good thing we are on vacation in Florida.
After what was the worst start to a family vacation imaginable, we ended up having a great week. The girls weren't huge fans of the ocean. Mya hated the salt in her face and Nora was terrified of being swept away into the "big water." We did build some shabby sand castles for a very small amount of time though. Most of time was spent in one of the two pools available to us. Hopefully we'll be able to spend more time outside next year and won't have any ER trips.