(edit 11/30/12. Jim pointed out that I reused a few pictures from my previous post so I switched a few out for new ones. I know everyone needs as many pictures of cutie pie as possible!)
BEACH, SUN & SWIMMING
When choosing a place to stay I made sure to pick a condo that had easy beach access within walking distance and a pool close by. I wasn't sure how Riesling would react to the ocean, but I knew she loved the pool. It ended up working out perfectly.
We tried to do our beach time early in the morning or later in the afternoon to avoid the intense sun. It was a quick walk across the street to the beach so easy enough to just carry Riesling and a tote bag with towels, sunscreen, a few sand buckets and small bottled water and no big deal to trek back if we forgot something. She was a huge fan of the ocean and the sand so no problems enjoying some family time. The biggest issue was trying to get her to wear a sunhat. It's a pain to get lotion all over her head & ears. I used California Baby on her exposed arms, legs, most of her head and neck then tried one of those sunscreen sticks for her ears, cheeks, and smaller areas. It seemed to work well. She did get a little bit of a tan but no burn. (Sun is good for you it's the sunburn that's bad!)
We tried to stay at the beach as long as she would tolerate it. Usually it was a nap that sent us back to the condo. A sandy baby does cause some inconvenience for naptime, we just tried to just towel her off best we could and put her down in just a diaper for a short nap (she takes much longer and less frequent naps now but she was a morning catnapper back in September). After morning nap we would try to hit up the pool to play for awhile and rinse off. This required swimwear and sunscreen reapplication. Nothing is fast with a baby around.
Thanks to a summer of swimming at home she was prepared for the pool and loved every minute. When she needed a break Jim and I took turns sitting under an umbrella with her. After pool time she typically went down for a really long afternoon nap. Jim and I took turns laying in bed with her (since we had no crib) and showering, making a run for ice coffee, and getting ready for our evening activities.
I think this really depends on your baby. Aside from the rehearsal dinner and wedding we managed to have dinner out twice. We made a trip to the grocery store the first day and bought food for breakfast and lunch and decided to just see what happened as far as dinner. The first night was not great but partly because of bad planning on our part. It was later in the evening, we tried to do a full dinner with drinks, appetizers, etc and by the end of it Riesling was fussy and miserable wanting to nurse and go to bed. I ended up heading to the car and left Jim to pack up the rest of our dinners and pay the check. The last night we were there we were smart enough to head out early and things went fine. Babies at restaurants are not relaxing, even when on there best behavior.
The brides family was offering boat rides and tours of the area throughout the weekend. Jim and I were big weenies and insisted on a life jacket for Riesling. We were really polite about it and simply offered to take turns on the boat and staying on land with the baby but simply would not budge on letting her one the boat without one. They ended up finding one at a second hand sporting store for under $15 so she did get to enjoy her first boating experience. There was a moment during the low speed pontoon boat expedition that I felt a little silly making a fuss (especially since there was a 2 year old running around the boat with no life jacket on!) but I'm still happy with our decision. Who knows what could happen. She didn't seem to mind it anyways and ended up using it as a pillow for naptime.
This was a big part of the trip since we were there for Jim's brothers wedding. In addition to the wedding there was the rehearsal dinner and a day after brunch. I tried my best to be conscience of her schedule and anticipate her needs before she had any breakdowns. I also tried to limit the time she spent at any of the required events by driving separately from the larger group or leaving Jim behind to catch a ride with one of the guys so her and I could head back early for bedtime. Of course I brought along extra toys to keep her occupied.
THE MAIN EVENT
Riesling was the cutest little flower girl ever! I thought she would definitely cry and never make it down the aisle but she did great. One of the bridesmaids carried her down with her and she looked adorable. I didn't get any good pictures because I was too busy on standby in case she freaked out.
She tolerated pictures for a little while but was due to a late start in the ceremony she was getting hungry and started to get fussy. I haven't seen the photographers pictures yet but hope they got a few good ones of her all dressed up and innocent.
Jim, Tim (the groom), and Miss Riesling
Grandma & Grandpa
After pictures I found a quite place to nurse her and changed her into a comfortable sundress for the rest of the night. She was a real trooper and lasted through most of the reception. After dinner and the formal parts of the reception were through, I found a quite area of the beach and nursed her to sleep for a half hour or so but it was short lived....just too much action. After some photobooth fun and a few turns on the dance floor we called it a night and made our way back to the condo.
All in all a wonderful vacation!