On our 10th anniversary, we decided to take the family to the beach. Growing up, my family always went on beach trips to Galveston. It's a short drive from Dallas, and made for an easy weekend getaway. My husband also grew up in Galveston, but he had never been to a beach where you can see through the water to your feet! With all of the silt from the Mississippi river clouding the water in the gulf, it's hard to keep the water clear.
Florida beaches on the other hand are crystal clear:
You can sit in the water and collect shells without goggles! We chose Pensacola Beach because it's the closest Florida beach you can get to in a long day's drive. The beaches are absolutely beautiful.
I love beach trips because the beach is all the entertainment my kids need. They could play in the sand and water for hours.
We stayed right on the beach at Marriot's Spring Hill Suites. With only three beautiful pools separating the hotel from the beach, we couldn't have asked for better accommodations. With six travelers, we love staying in suites so that we can all be together, but still have room to breathe. The rooms were generous and comfortable...but then again, look how little my people were then!
Pensacola is rich with history. Built in 1829, Fort Pickens guarded the coastline and the nearby Naval yard. It is amazing to see structures that were so carefully designed and constructed.
There is also an amazing Naval Aviation Museum on the Naval Air Station in Pensacola. With free parking and free admission, this museum is well worth the time off of the beach. The kids loved seeing the over 150 restored air planes, and marveling at the history of aviation.
One of my favorite places we visited while we were there was the Santa Rosa Opal Beach. It is a beautiful stretch of pristine white beaches. We enjoyed watching Tropical Storm Claudette roll in, although we didn't know it at the time. It was our last day on the beach, and the wind really picked up and what had been extremely calm water, became choppy and intense.
It was a wonderful way to spend an anniversary! It's nearly been six years since then, and after looking through these pictures, I want to figure out a way to get back.