Sunday at St Pete Beach

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, the weather here has been rather iffy since we arrived. While we had nice weather for the first few days, we were then assaulted by terrible rain storms for about ten days in a row. So when the sun came out on Saturday, we were determined to do something fun.

Of course, not knowing the area and trying to conserve as much money as possible, we were not entirely sure what was best to do, and we wound up spending a disappointing Saturday at a Flea Market in Kissimmee. But before the end of the day, we’d decided that our Sunday would be spent at the beach.

We set off a little later than we’d wanted to, but we weren’t really fussed, as we knew that the heavy sunshine would mean we couldn’t stay too long anyway. But Mark has this rule about travel time vs staying time. Basically, you have to stay at a place for at least as long as it took to get there. And since it took us about 90 minutes to get through Tampa and St Petersburg, we knew we were staying a while.

Downtown Tampa
Driving through Tampa

We couldn’t have had a more beautiful day for the outing. It was around 1:30 when we actually arrived at our destination, though we had to drive around a bit to find the public beach and get a parking space. We wound up next to a meter that didn’t work. I maintained that a broken meter means it is free to park, but Mark was less sure. Still, we risked it with no problems.

We got to the beach, and started to set up our blanket. Dex was all over the place, taking in the sights and smells of the ocean and birds and wanting to run across the hot sand. I made it the first priority to slather him in suncream straight away. Then we tucked in to the lunch that Mark had packed us (yep – Mark packed lunch!).

Baby Eating Watermelon
Dexter tucking in to his first watermelon
Captivated by all The Seagulls around
Bucket and Spade
Not quite getting the hang of his bucket and spade
Beach Bucket
Looking in to his beach bucket

Our last trip to the beach was in October last year when we headed to Wales for a bit of early autumn sunshine. Dex was only 7 months old and wasn’t walking or even crawling yet! So this was a totally different experience. While previously he would sit in the shade of the beach umbrella, this time he was running off toward the surf before you could stop him. He for sure lives up to his Aquarius sign!

Beach Baby
Beach Baby Beach Baby There On the Sand…
Playing in the Surf
Playing in the Surf with Daddy
In the water with mom
In the water with Mommy

My bathing suit turned out to be quite ill fitting, and I didn’t feel at all good about being scantily clad in front of the population on Florida. But Dexter’s pure joy in the waves made me forget all my insecurities and just enjoy the bonding opportunity.

Mommy and Baby at the Beach
Mommy and Dexter dipping our toes in…
Daddy Dunking
Daddy had great fun dunking Dex in the water
Jumping the Waves
Daddy and Dexter jumping over the waves

Between dunkings, we headed back to the blanket for more suncream (for Dexter – not for me… which ended up being a problem!). He was definitely lighting up the beach with his smiles and enthusiasm. All the bikini-clad gals were coming up to gush about how cute he was, and even some of the burlier men were waving and smiling. Dex seems to have that effect on people.

Body Surfing
Don’t let go, dad!
Family Beach Photo
A family beach photo
Trying to build a sandcastle?

At one point, Mark filled the bucket with sand and tried to create a castle for Dexter, but he wasn’t particularly interested in it. He much preferred eating the sand and drinking the water to actually doing something constructive.

Obligatory Kiss
The obligatory kissy photo (Mark loves these!)
Dex and Mama
Me and Dexter on the beach
Dex getting tired
Dexter was starting to get tired by this point
Throwing Dex in the Air
Throwing Dex in the air
Tired Wubba
Dex has had enough by this point

After a couple of hours, Dex had had enough of the salty water in his eyes and mouth, and he was ready to get going. So we returned to our blanket and packed up and headed for home, tired but happy.

Sandy Baby


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Katie Reed

Katie Reed

Katie Reed is a 38 year old mom blogger from Salt Lake City, UT. She is married to the man of her dreams and together they have four beautiful boys. Dexter is 9, Daniel is 7, Chester is 5 and Wilder is 2. She writes about living with mental health issues while navigating motherhood. Her blog focuses on tips and tricks for moms, information and parenting news, kid-friendly recipes and crafts. She loves to reflect on the humorous side of parenthood and shares the reality of her life, with a "warts and all" attitude.

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