For the past three years, we have vacationed in Marco Island, Florida. The beach is one of my favorite places in the world. It’s my happy place. The place where I can breathe, reset, and regain perspective. I don’t think I’ve ever needed to feel the ocean breeze, hear the crashing waves, and sink my feet into the soft sand as much as I did last week. Not that the trip didn’t come with some amount of trepidation. When we visited last April, the month before we discovered Hannah’s birth defect, we were blissfully happy and looking forward to returning this year as a family of four. Was it hard returning just the three of us? It was devastating. But my Hannah continues to surprise me. She was with us every time I found a sweet little shell in the sand. She was there in every beautiful pink sunset. I am so thankful we had that vacation with her at the seashore last year. I’ll forever be able to share my favorite place with her, and she will be part of every trip to the beach in a special way.
This year’s beach getaway was wonderful and happy. There were so many gold stars, it’s hard to list them all. Eloise is the beach bum I always dreamed of, and alternated between splashing around in the pool and making sand castles at the beach. We spent hours riding the waves and floating around in the ocean. She couldn’t have been more joyful while finding shells, drinking smoothies, and chasing after her water ball as the sun set. It wasn’t the relaxing beach getaway we used to enjoy, but we had so many laughs. We witnessed adorable moments between Eloise and my parents (love that you’ve been sharing this tradition, Vovo and Vu!). We enjoyed perfect weather and ate an abundance of seafood. I already can’t wait to go back next year.