I’m currently on my annual family vacation in Sandbridge which is just south of Virginia Beach. My uncle got a house here 20 years ago and we’ve been coming ever since. The past 4 years of coming here have been quite exhausting even though it’s technically a vacation. Putting sunscreen on 2 little boys, finding their shoes, and gathering their toys and snacks ends up being such a process!! Getting their lunches together convincing them to eat and get ready for naps is another process that wears me out.
The items I’ve needed over the years have changed as my boys have gotten older. Of course, I was exhausted because I’m also 7 months pregnant but next year I’ll be adding another baby to the mix so that will be interesting! I wanted to share what I take to the beach and a few things I love that help make the beach experience that much better!
1. Sunscreen // This is a must for everyone. Luckily, no one in my family has really fair skin so we don’t burn easily but we do spend most of the day outside on the beach and we are constantly reapplying sunscreen. I always apply our sunscreen before walking down to the beach so that it has time to set in before they get in the water. I also like to get all lotioned up before getting sandy. I like to use a face stick for the kids and I usually use lotion prior to going down but have a spray sunscreen in my bag for easy application down at the beach, you just need to be careful which way the wind is blowing so the wind doesn’t blow the sunscreen away! I use this lotion on my face (I also use this tinted version back home for everyday use) and this spray for my body.
2. Sunglasses // The boys really got into wearing sunglasses right before we left on our trip. I have two infant pairs of Babiators that weren’t working for Myles anymore so I ordered him these adorable aviators for only $10. Unfortunately, they only wore them for a very short period of time. Myles’s eyes were so red every night, I felt like they were getting sunburnt but he still wouldn’t wear his glasses for more than 15 minutes.
3. Beach Bag // When I travel with just my husband I bring cute little straw bags since all I’m only filling it with stuff with me. When I have the boys with me the bigger the better and I love using a large tote bag I can easily toss in everything we need for the day. The large bag I brought could fit anything and everything including a few towels!
4. Beach Chair // Our go-to chairs down here at the beach are these Tommy Bahama chairs. They have backpack straps making it really easy to carry down to the beach, cup holders on the sides, a cooler pocket in the back, and they recline! These chairs have it all! One wouldn’t typically need everything these chairs include and they can be a bit pricy. I found these folding chairs with backpack straps and I am definitely ordering myself a couple! I know I’ll be going to a lot of soccer practices in my future and these chairs will come in handy.
5. Floatie // Ok, this one isn’t actually for the beach since my kids just run around and if they do go out in the water, an adult is holding them. I do see a lot of young children wear floating devices at the beach so I wanted to include this really cool puddle jumper I got Myles for our pool. I wish Noah would wear one because he is the one who can’t swim!
6. Beach Wagon // We walk to the beach from the house and we load the toys, towels, chairs, boogie boards, and more into this beach cart. The extra-large wheels make it really easy to pull or push. As far as actual wagons go, this wagon will also do the trick. It’s an all-terrain wagon with large wheel that has a lot of traction.
7. Beach Umbrella // As much time as we spend at the beach a day we desperately need some shade. We are a simple family so we don’t pop up the large beach tents but we love this Sport-Brella. It comfortably fits 2 people under it and has sides that can help block the additional sun from shining in, I spent a lot of time under this umbrella the first time I brought Noah to the beach when he was 5 weeks old. I’m not familiar with this tent but I think this would work really well and is also simple.
8. Cooler // If you plan on eating lunch at the beach make sure you bring a cooler bag. If we get a late start to the beach I’ll pack our lunches to eat beach side before going to the house for naps.
9. Beach Toys // The beach naturally provides a lot of entertainment but definitely bring toys. Shovels are used by all ages, we have these which is the perfect size for older toddlers. Noah is really into monster trucks at the moment so I always brought a few down for him. Also, bring plenty of buckets, some to make sandcastles with it, collect shells or hold sand diggers.
10. Blanket and Towels // I love a large beach blanket to layout to put everything on. It’s also a nice spot to spread your towel if you want to lay on your stomach or sit with your kids while they have a snack. If you want a little extra cushion or an option to use in the grass too I’d go with this option or this option.
The holidays are over and it’s still cold, it snows almost every day and I can’t keep my mind off of a tropical vacation. I keep debating about taking the boys down south to Arizona for a weekend but our schedule isn’t allowing it. Valentine’s Day is coming up but what I have my mind really is All-Star Break. All-Star Break is our version of Spring Break. The All-Star game happens during the weekend and there are a few days after to relax and if you aren’t participating in All-Star Weekend (skills challenge, 3-point contest, the game) than you get a few more days with your family.
When I say relax, what I really mean is to not have practice. These poor guys don’t actually get time off. Michael may take 1-2 days off but no matter where he is, he will find time to workout and condition.
This year we are headed to Cabo without the kids! Last year for All-Star Break Michael participated in the skills contest then we headed to Miami. We brought a babysitter to help so Michael and I could actually relax and go out to eat but it was still exhausting. When we are present our kids want us so even though we had the sitter I was still putting the kids to bed. We also could hear them get up in the middle of the night and they would want us. So this year they are going to the grandparents house and will have a ball and so will we!
I realized all my spring/summer clothes are in Ohio. I brought them home over the summer from Memphis and didn’t pack them for Utah. I hate buying things that I don’t need but this time I really do need things because I don’t have any here! Below you can see What I Want for break this year. 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 | 20 | 21
At the end of the NBA season last year we went to to Cabo and it was my first time there. We loved it so much we are going back.
I am all about the brights, florals and pastels for vacation. Even this animal print bathing suit is calling name (link for top and bottoms). The crab clutch is a splurge so I’m not sure if I’ll get it but its sooooo cute and I am a Cancer after all! The other bag options are perfect beach bags and also perfect as an everyday tote for the spring and summer. I love the print of this one and I love that the material on the ombre one is neoprene. Loose fitting casual dresses are my go-to for beach vacations, this ombre purple dress just looks so comfortable and this floral button up doubles as a dress and bathing suit coverup! I love all things ombre and this matching set will be the perfect travel outfit. I have had my eye on this Missoni turban for a very long time and it’s now 65% off!! I’m getting so excited!
A couple weeks ago my family boarded a Southwest flight to Orlando for our first ever trip to Disney World as a family. I took Myles to Disney in March 2017 with a few girlfriends and their children. We had such a great time we thought we should make this a frequent thing, maybe even bring our husbands along! All of our spouses play in the NBA so we knew they wouldn’t be jumping for joy with our proposal but if we told our husbands that the other guys were going we knew we could get them on board. This group was all on the Memphis Grizzlies together during the 2014-2015 season and are now scattered across the country on different teams. At the time of planning, no one was on a playoff team which meant we could actually plan a trip! Everyone’s off season would officially start on April 11th and we were free to travel. We hoped sometime in May would work since that would give a few weeks to relax and rest and was early enough before training started.May rolled right on by and there was no trip to Disney. The first week of June Michael got his list of work opportunities and obligations for the summer which included a trip to Orlando for the Jr NBA Global Championship and opening of the Disney’s NBA Experience Grand Opening. Yup, yup, yup! A work trip to Orlando meant there was another chance our friend family vacation could happen! I definitely encouraged Michael to take that work opportunity because the kids could be involved and there really aren’t many opportunities provided where the kids can join. Now I just had to check in with my 3 friends and see if their spouses were available which is the hard part. No secret here, they were available and our trip to Disney was booked!
Us girls had talked about bringing one of our parents/grandparents or a sitter along on the trip so we could have some adult time. I understood going to dinner without the kids but I wasn’t sure about going to the parks without the kids. Isn’t that the whole reason to go to Disney World is for your kids to experience it all? That is not the case. I’m still new to the whole Disney situation but people LOVE it! There were so many families walking around without children and there are thrill rides that the little kids can’t go on. We brought my mom along on the trip and I was so happy to have her. She is just like me but more calm about things making my life so much easier! She was able to join the fun during the day with everyone and she would watch the kids during naps and evening while the adult kids went on the rides and had dinner.
We all had Park Hopper Tickets and Fast Passes and one of the days we all had a tour guide as well so we were able to do a lot of jumping around. If you plan on visiting more than one park in a day you need to get the Park Hopper and if you want to not stand in line as long get the Fast Passes! You’ll also want to be organized prior to arriving. Figure out what rides you’ll go on at which parks and where they are located. If you have children find out what rides have height restrictions.
Day 1 //
We arrived on a a Saturday to the Grand Floridian, a beautiful white hotel with a red roof where the monorail system can easily take you to the parks. My mom, Michael, the kids and I started our vacation on the Na’vi River Journey in Animal Kingdom. It was so hot on this trip it was great to find rides that were in air conditioned buildings like the Na’vi River. I chose Animal Kingdom as our first stop to go on the Kilimanjaro Safari. This ride is always a hit for my kids since they are huge animal lovers. After the Safari we went to the Dino-Rama area. It is a dinosaur lover’s dream come true. The Boneyard is located here which is really cool, kids can dig up dinosaur bones. I quickly walked past this area because it was so hot, digging in sand did not seem like the best idea. We did all ride the Tricera Top Spin, except for Noah because he fell asleep.This wrapped up our fun for the evening at Animal Kingdom. It had been a really long day of travel plus a couple missed naps made the day even longer. We grabbed food at a quick service restaurant then headed to Magic Kingdom to see the fireworks. Seeing the fireworks was pushing it because they are so late and as I stated before, traveling and no scheduled nap. I had no idea how they boys were going to react to them but luckily it was a hit! We all were looking forward to a good nights rest!
My mom, the boys and I went downstairs for breakfast then headed to the parks (Michael had to work so he couldn’t join us). Our first stop of the day was to Hollywood Studios. When I went to Disney in 2017 I didn’t come here so I was curious to see what it had to offer. We were signed up to see The Beauty and The Beast show and had a little time to spare so I rode the Rock ’n’ Rollercoaster and laughed so hard, by myself, LOL. I couldn’t remember the last time I had rode a rollercoaster, I love them! We also jumped on the Voyage of the Little Mermaid, the great thing about that ride is it is air conditioned and a great place to sit and cool down. Back to the show we went, Myles was a little nervous and looked uncomfortable throughout the show and Noah looked like he was in a dream, he could not take his eyes off the show. Our next stop was Toy Story Midway Mania which is a fun interactive ride that my mom and I enjoyed more than my kids! Points were tallied throughout the ride so we got competitive!
Everyone thought Myles would love Slinky Dog Dash but he was a bit scared. It is a wonderful rollercoaster for kids, you only have to be 38” to ride. It was Myles’s first ever rollercoaster and the lap bar was pushed down a little too tight so he kept saying his stomach hurt on the ride and I don’t blame him. I was laughing my head off riding with him but was trying to be comforting at the same time. We wanted to end our morning on a more relaxing fun note so we did the Dumbo ride which is a classic ride that goes in circles and up and down. Noah loves that ride too! After this ride we tried to keep the boys awake on the ride back to the hotel for a quick little bite to eat and long solid naps. Which luckily happened.
Myles coudn’t stop talking about the safari ride so after naps we went back to Animal Kingdom. We got to see some new animals that weren’t out the previous day so it was well worth it. Noah was more awake than the first time we went so he was able to enjoy it more. After the safari we went to the Festival of The Lion King which is an amazing show! Myles was once again a little nervous and Noah kept climbing out of my lap to go be in the show- very different personalities! It was a quick trip second time around at Animal Kingdom but the days are long at Disney so there is no problem headed back early if you feel like you’ve covered enough ground. The adult only dinner was this night was I needed to get back to get ready!
Reservations were at 8:00 pm at Capa, the rooftop restaurant at the Four Season Resort. Michael and I were the first to arrive which isn’t the norm but it felt so good! I sipped on a cocktail while enjoying the views from the balcony. During dinner the girls sat on one side and the boys on the other. We realized we had a lot of catching up to do and there was no reason to be talking over our spouses! Dinner lasted hours and could have lasted much longer but they closed so we had to skedaddle!
A car was to be at our hotel at 8:15 am to take us to the Disney NBA Experience Grand Opening. After the official work portion for Michael was over the boys were able to play games and enjoy the facilities. If you are a basketball fan I highly recommend coming here. It also would be a great place to add to your itinerary if you know it’s going to be a rainy day.After the NBA Experience we met up with
After the NBA Experience we met up with all our friends at Magic Kingdom since we hadn’t done that park yet (other than to see fireworks). There is soooo much to do at Magic Kingdom. If you have young kids make sure Magic Kingdom is at the top of your list. There are rides all of the park and it’s big so look at a map and plan accordingly. We did Peter Pan’s Flight, Dumbo The Flying Elephant, Mad Tea Party, It’s A Small World, the carousel, Journey of the Little Mermaid, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and Tomorrowland Transit. We were about to head home to put the kids down for naps and to dodge a storm but remembered we hadn’t got family photos in front of the castle so we quickly walked there. We did not beat the rain but we did get our photos!
We all went back to our hotels to get the kids down for naps so we could go out and do adult rides. The adults went to Animal Kingdom to ride Expedition Everest. We all rode this ride but a handful of our crew were scared! Including my husband! I knew he wasn’t a roller coaster type of person so I was really proud that he did it but a few of the others were shaking and nervous too! I loved it so much I did it twice, the ride goes backwards!! We also went to Pandora which was amazing!! We got to ride Avatar Flight of Passage just before they had to close it down, we were very lucky. Michael liked this ride and he isn’t a roller coaster person so I highly recommend this ride to everyone, especially if you want to know what it feels like to fly.
We also hopped over to Hollywood Studios so we could ride the Tower of Terror and the Rock ’n’ Rollercoaster for those who weren’t scared. Walking around the park without our children had such a different vibe. It was like we were in high school with our friends, dating and riding rides at an amusement park. So much more fun than I could have imagined. The guys had to go workout and shoot so we parted ways.Us girls checked in with the kids to make sure they were all set for dinner and bedtime and we went to Epcot for our reservations at Chefs de France. While we waited for our reservation we walked around while sipping on frozen rosé. This was such a fun girls night. To find true friends in the NBA is unusual and I am so lucky to have found so many great friends through the NBA. There have been a lot of girls come in and out of the Memphis Grizzlies and I was the one that remained. Even when girls left because their husbands/boyfriends got traded we still kept in touch. A big season is coming up for me because I am the one who has left. I am headed to the Utah Jazz and I’m looking forward to meeting the players and their wives and hopefully we can build more life long friendships. I was grateful to be able to talk to the girls about our big move since they had all done this a few times.
This was our last day. My family headed to the Four Seasons where our friends were staying to enjoy a character breakfast and a day at the pool. You never know what you are going to get with 5 kids ages 4 1/2 – 1. There was a lot of food on the floor and toys scattered but so much fun!! There were so many pools to play in, the babies loved the kid area because it is all very shallow with plenty of fountains to run through, it’s also near by the entrance to the water slides that my mom, Michael and I loved and to the lazy river which we all loved! I love this group of friends and to be with them and our children was just the best.
I was happy to walk around the parks with Michael, my mom and the boys during our first family Disney trip. Since we were there for Michaels work we were provided a guide for the duration of our stay which was extremely helpful. I know not everyone has access to a guide but they can take up to 10 people so it may be worth it for a splurge if you can share it with another family. When preparing for your trip you will absolutely want to get a map of each park. Figure out what rides your children can do and where they are located. There is a lot of walking to be done and you don’t want to take any extra steps if you don’t have to.
As the weeks goes on my beach bag gets filled with more and more sand but what remains the same are my essentials. I got this beach bag earlier this spring for my trip to Cabo and it’s still in tact! I love that it has a crossbody strap and a handle and there is a zipper pocket on the inside, perfect for my phone.
I wear SPF daily but when I’m on the beach outside for hours on end I need to reapply often, for me and the kids. Since my beach bag could easy weigh a ton with everything I want to bring I do my best to make it as light as possible. I pack the smaller bottles of sunscreen in my bag for reapplying and save the larger bottle for our first application at the house. The tanning body oil isn’t necessary since it has been so hot and sunny but I like to have it for the overcast days when I feel like I need a little extra sunshine. This summer I have been using the new Neutrogena Hydro Boost Water Gel suncreen and I highly recommend it! It feels great when it’s applied and has the perfect light summer smell.
If I were to have forgotten my sunglasses I would have been in huge trouble. There really is a difference between cheap and expensive sunglasses and splurging on classic shades is a must for me. I have been loving this book Becoming Michelle Obama. Michael got it for me for Mother’s Day and I had been saving it for this trip. Michelle Obama is such an inspiring women. Each chapter I read I feel I want to somehow do better in this world.
The one thing I did forget to bring this trip was my water bottle. I can’t go to the beach without staying hydrated so I have been refilling my SmartWater bottle which isn’t ideal but it does the job. Havaianas have been my ideal choice for flip-flops since my high school days, they are so comfortable and come in every color possible. A fun thing about this beach is that I don’t bring a cover-up. We walk from the house to beach with our bag, kids, chair and we are ready to go!
A few kid things I can’t forget to mention are diapers and wipes. I mentioned before how heavy my bag can get so I have taken a handful of wipes and put them in a ZipLoc bag and tossed that in my bag, it weighs nothing. I also pack an extra swim diaper and regular diaper just in case! Thank goodness I haven’t needed to use any of it yet.
We have been coming to this beach for almost 20 years and I’m looking forward to the years ahead.
Last week my husband and I jetted off to Cabo for a few days. Typically after the end of a long basketball season my husband just wants to go on a little vacation to completely relax. He wants to sleep, eat good food and golf and spend time together. I also want to do all of those things as well as spend a lot of time near the water. We hadn’t been able to get away together for a vacation since having kids so this was much deserved. We did go to Hawaii last year for a wedding but Michael was in the wedding so I didn’t see him much and I was sick most of the trip so I don’t count it but you can read about that trip here.
I had never been to Mexico before and there are a few cities I have been really wanting to visit, particularly Cabo. When I started to mention I was going here to my friends every single one I spoke with told me how much they loved the city and had a lot of recommendations for us. I booked our hotel first at The Cape which is a Thompson Hotel. When we go to Nashville we stay at The Thompson and we love it so I knew we would enjoy staying at The Cape. After I booked the hotel we had no plans. I knew golf would be in the picture and my husband was looking up which course we wanted to play. It was somewhat nice arriving with no plans and no schedule.
Day 1 //
We left the States late morning (giving me enough time to get one last feed in with Noah before leaving) and arrived in Cabo just before our room was ready. I was anxious to put my suit on and head to the beach but it was extremely windy and not as hot as I thought it was going to be so I was just as happy to sit in the lobby and have a little lunch. This wasn’t just any lobby. The lobby here had a spectacular view of the ocean and the Arch of Cabo San Lucas. We started off with a drink, not exactly sure what it was but it had tequila in it and was delicious. I ordered the fish tacos and they were incredible. I wanted them every day after that.
Once our room was ready at 3pm we went down and got a little tour. Our room had a private infinity pool off of it which was perfect for us to be able to sit and chat without tons of people around us. I mean we did have the 2/3 of the hotel that could look down on us but no one to bother us or ask the Mr. for a photo. Like I mentioned before, it was so windy that it wasn’t that enjoyable so after our swim we got dressed and went to get a drink before dinner. Lucky for us so many of you suggested we go to Edith’s to eat and they had a reservation available and it was by far the most delicious food I have ever ate. It helps that it was our first night in this fun new city but the environment, everything was spectacular. I ordered the Baja shrimp and made my own little tacos with it, Michael ordered chicken enchiladas and we both sipped on a margaritas out of cactus glasses.
Day 2 //
Our first day we decided to make a couple plans during our stay. Golfing was definitely on our list and I wanted to do something adventurous, something along the lines of zip lining and horseback riding. When I called the concierge I found out we could even do a camel ride! Since this was a trip with my husband I knew that was out of the questions but someday when I come back I am doing that for sure! I convinced Michael zip lining would be the perfect thing for us to do and that he would have a lot of fun and laugh plenty. I went zip lining in Costa Rica one time and it was a blast, I laughed my head off and will never forget the sights I saw. Issue with zip lining was that it was 2 hours away and since we only had 3 days on vacation I didn’t want to spend a whole day away so we nixed that and chose to go on a boat ride instead! That was planned for 2pm this day but once again it was incredibly windy. It was suggested to us to go out on the boat the following day for it to be more enjoyable. This left us with zero plans for the day and golf and boating both on day 3.
I spent part of the day by the pool, had lunch sea side, took a 30 minute break on our patio to pump and headed to the beach for another couple of hours. Since we relaxed all day we went in to town for dinner in San Jose. We both really loved this area. There were art vendors and entertainment on the streets and so many cute shops and restaurants. I got the boys little dinosaurs and I got myself a couple blankets and a piece of art. The restaurant we went to we could walk to and was called Mi Casa. What I loved about this restaurant and the one we went to our first night was how lively and colorful everything was. Each chair and table was a different color, there were lights and lanterns strung through the trees, everyone was so nice. We ordered the exact same thing to eat as we did the night before, Baja shrimp for and chicken enchiladas for Michael while sipping on margaritas.
Day 3 //Woke up early to pump before heading out to Palmillia Golf Course. I enjoy golfing with my husband. I love spending time with him and being outside and golf is a sure way to do both of those things. Playing 18 holes is way to much for me, 9 holes is just perfect for me. I actually played pretty well and shot a 53 on the front 9, I’m not even going to talk about the back. I had more ‘X’ and blanks than I’d like to admit but I play to have fun, when I stop having fun I just stop playing and enjoy the scene and company.
After golf we quickly headed back to our room to get ready for our afternoon on the boat. Of course I had to pump. That always puts a damper in my day but made me feel close to my babies because I would watch videos of them while I’d pump. I was once on a boat and only had my swim suit and a very light coverup and froze my butt off. Once the sun starts to go down it gets really chilly plus the breeze of the boat moving makes me cold. I learned my lesson and brought a sweatshirt and sweatpants for the later part of the ride.
When we got to the boat we were greeted with watermelon juice and a display of fruit. They offered us alcohol for our juice but it was so refreshing I wanted it as is. The chef on the boat made us quacamole and it was the best I have ever had in my life, I really regret not asking him how he made it. After stuffing my face with chips and guac it was time to add some tequila to my watermelon juice along with a couple limes. We were also served shrimp tacos and chicken fajitas and rice. We ate so much on the boat we didn’t need to go to dinner but we did go up to the rooftop of our restaurant for some appetizers for our last night away.
I shared this look with you guys before but how great is this swimsuit!? It works perfectly as a bodysuit.
Give me all the chips and guac!
This was from out last night. We had a long day on the boat and golfing and took it easy. We walked to the rooftop bar of our hotel for some appetizers. This dress is from my “What I Want” Cabo edition. I ordered almost everything from that list! I don’t know if this dress is my style, I felt a little silly in it but I really love it on the hanger!
Time to go home. Spending 3 nights away from my boys is perfect. I loved every second I was away but was very ready to get home. Our flight was in the afternoon so we were able to enjoy our morning. After breakfast I quickly packed so I could spend as much time at the beach as possible. We were departing after checkout so I had to shower at the spa before we left which was no problem. Then I got to enjoy my last order of fish tacos before heading to the airport!
I’d love to hear about your trips to Cabo. Leave a comment!