Category Archives: Travel

Packing for the Beach

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packing for the beach on a budget

J and I are planning our next trip to the beach in just a few weeks.  Eek! I’m so excited!  I love the ocean and this year our little guy is walking and so much more active then when we took him last summer.  We’re planning on doing so much while we’re there.  I’m not sure how we’re going to fit it all in!  I’ve let J be the vacation planner this year.  He booked the trip and he’s planning what things we’ll go do.  I know there will be some put-put in the mix somewhere… that’s one of his favorite things to do on vacation.  The only thing I’ve requested is some time relaxing and playing at the beach.  Other than that – it’s up to him!  

We’re not staying to far from Daytona Speedway so we’ll probably make a drive out there so J can see the track.  He’s always wanted to go to the Daytona 500… so visiting the track is pretty much the same thing, right? ha!

I’ve been in full planning mode for a few days now.  While packing for the beach I realized we don’t have any summer clothes that aren’t completely worn out or still fit us. #losingweight  I’ve ordered a few new shirts and shorts for J, but I needed a new swimsuit.  I’m pretty sure I’ve had the same two suits for the past 4 years.  They needed to be retired.  I also wanted to mix things up this year and get a cute tankini.  I found some one Amazon that were super cute and seemed really flattering.  But I needed to stick to a budget. 

I loved this bralette tankini swimsuit so much that I ordered it.  Plus it was less than $25.  WHAT?!?! I really liked how it has some added coverage with the tank top, but still looks cute.  Plus it totally fit in my budget!  I can’t wait to wear it on the beach!
I also ordered these swim trunks for our little guy to wear. I just thought the octopus was adorable!  I like swimwear that has built in UPF protection for our son.  It gives me a piece of mind knowing he has a little more protection over his body then just sunscreen.  Also, they were less than $10, which was a huge bonus!  I added in this super cute rash guard for some extra protection up top.  Again, this shirt was less than $10. I think he is going to look so cute in it!  Ah! I can’t wait!

Now the only thing left to order is J’s swim trunks.  He’s not the easiest to buy for.  He’s picky than I am when it comes to his clothes.  We’re flying this year instead of driving, so we aren’t packing as much as we did last year.  We’re only staying for part of the week instead of the full 7 days, too.  I wrote a blog post on some awesome beach hacks for baby and I plan on packing a lot off that list so we can make sure to have a stress free vacation.

Packing for the beach is so much fun!  I know as our trip gets closer I’m going to be buying sunscreen and aloe (just in case) and loading in all of our new clothes.  I’m so excited for our first family vacation as a family of three.  This is the start to something great – I know it!


Florida Vacation Recap – Baby’s First Time to the Beach, meredith rines (7)

We got home this past weekend from Florida. It was such an amazing trip! Our house was about 100 feet from the beach and had killer views!  The whole top floor was a master suite, which my parents claimed! HAHA! We ate yummy seafood at every meal, we went shark fishing off the coast and J even cooked up our catch!  We spent majority of our time at the beach., meredith rines (7)

I also spent a lot of time snuggling our little guy!  He did great at the beach!  We took him in the ocean and he liked it.  He didn’t cry at all, even when a wave came and splashed both of us in the face pretty good.  It didn’t even phase him.  I think it’s safe to say we have a water baby and I couldn’t be happier! I love water, I always have., meredith rines (7), meredith rines (7), meredith rines (7), meredith rines (7)

I saw on Pinterest this great idea of using a laundry basket at the beach and it worked great.  It was easy to haul stuff down, a non-sandy place for the baby to nap and if he was still sleeping when it was time to go in then I just picked it up.  His sleep was undisturbed!  I’m working on a post of all the beach tips and tricks we discovered.  It was a breeze travelling with him., meredith rines (7), meredith rines (7), meredith rines (7), meredith rines (7), meredith rines (7), meredith rines (7), first time to the beach

Chicago Recap

Last weekend, J and I traveled to Chicago for a getaway.  We walked and walked all over the city and saw some pretty amazing sites.  Plus, Saturday was J’s 29th birthday so it was extra nice to do something different for him.  He won a trip from his work that got us a free night in town so we went ahead and extended for it extra day.

Chicago Recap (1)

He won a night at the Millennium Knickerbocker hotel, a tour of the Goose Island Brewery and a dinner hosted by the brewery at their new barrel room.  The tour was great.  J and I went to the Budweiser tour last summer and I had been to the Boulevard tour in Kansas City a few years ago, so it was neat to add another brewery to the list.  It seemed that Goose Island was a little bit more free thinkers and willing to try new innovations with beer.  It was neat to see the process and where it all happens.

Chicago Recap (1)

The night ended with a four-course meal at their new barrel room, which isn’t even open to the public yet!  They have barrels and barrels of beer piled high to the ceiling and as far back as you could see.  Each filled with beer, some with different fruits and some in once-filled whiskey barrels.  So cool!  The dinner was ….okay.  It wasn’t our favorite.  It was different.  I usually like different, but poor J is a meat and potatoes kind of guy.  I think a lot of the Bud salesmen were a little thrown off by what was served.  The main entree totally redeemed the whole meal.  The meat literally fell apart.  It was the best short rib I’d ever had!

Later the night we took an adventure with some of the guys to find more food and more beer.  We ended up at this little bar called Butch’s and had a late dinner.  Then we headed back to the room to crash.  After driving for over 7 hours and then drinking beer most of the afternoon, we were exhausted.  So crawled into the king-sized bed without three dogs to share it with and slept hard.  It was fabulous!

I’ll share more about our trip in a later post.