Obviously one of the places we were going to make sure we hit in Florida was the beach. Lido Beach, to be exact. The sand is white, and the water is fairly clear. We had been talking it up with the kiddies for months, getting them excited to dig in the sand and to see waves. Framma and Frampa had even UPS'd sand toys down so that the kids would have stuff to play with.
Getting 5 kids & 6 adults ready for the beach is a science. Parents were in charge of getting their child in their swimwear. Then, we formed an assembly line of children with sunscreen. Someone would do their arms and legs, then the next person would do their faces with "baby" sunscreen- so it didn't sting their eyes. More than one adult was required for Juliana and Brendan- they weren't really fond of the sunscreen process. Once the kids were done, then it was the adults' turn to be sunscreened. Overall we were fairly successful- we missed Framma's back one of the days, and I think we missed a spot on Jaime, but no one was really sunburned. All of this took about 30 minutes to do- yikes, I know. Then, we loaded everyone into their car seats and headed to the beach.
The ocean was remarkably calm, and the sandbars allowed them to go "far" out into the ocean and still be able to stand. The water was nice and clear and we could see fish swimming by our feet. Juliana loved being in the water- she was not so keen on the sand. The first day at the beach she overheated (her face was so red, I thought she was sunburned), so I spent most of my beach time up at the snack bar in the shade with her. The rest of the time, I got to be with her in the water- we went earlier the next time. The kids LOVED digging in the sand and searching for seashells. The pictures pretty much speak for themselves.