Family Reunion in the Florida Panhandle

Family Reunion in the Florida Panhandle

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Ever since we returned from Florida a month ago, I’ve been longing to go back.

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

My cousins Kelly and Andrew live right on the beach in a gated community in downtown Destin, and the rest of us are green with envy.

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

This is their “yard”—can you even imagine? I highly recommend having family who lives in a prime vacation spot!

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

If my dream world, I would live on the beach, too. I guess that’s a goal to shoot for for retirement, eh? (Yeah right, as if I’d ever be happy not working!)

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

During the days, we had our fun watching the girls run through the waves and throwing sand on Uncle Andrew.

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

The GoPro is such a fun toy to take on a family beach vacation—it’s durable, waterproof and childproof!

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

Mom had wanted the cliche family photo of everyone in white shirts and khakis; John H. had other ideas.

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

I’m so glad he talked all the cousins in to purchasing tacky neon tanks from a local tourist shop. Neon tanks are the new khakis-and-white-button-downs.

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

And naturally, a proper photo shoot on the final night with the cutest girls on the planet was a must.

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

(I shot, while my sister entertained, apparently. I only just found this photo in my files, and her ballet moves made me laugh.)

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

I could take pictures of Margaret and McKayla all day long and not get bored. Can you tell I’m sort of obsessed with these two? I’m holding out for the day when Gap Kids discovers them as models, and I can say I knew them when.

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

But they didn’t get this way by accident; I’m constantly blown away by what wonderful, kind and nurturing parents my cousin Rebecca and her husband John R. are to them.

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

And we’re already fixing McK up with a charming suitor of her own. Who says love connections can’t be made at four years old?!

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

I’m spending Labor Day weekend with Rebecca, Marg and McK, and I couldn’t be more excited! Expect countless (more) photo shoots to ensue.

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

Destin, Florida | Camels & Chocolate

COMMENTS
  • August 24, 2012

    Oh my gosh, love the neon tank! Ya’ll would totally fit on the Southeast Asia backpacker trail, where neon singlets rule the fashion world ๐Ÿ™‚

    • August 24, 2012

      I’ll have to alert my cousin John and his claim is: “tanks are a lifestyle.”

  • August 24, 2012

    Andrew visited Destin for the first time last weekend we’ll probably head down for a day when I visit him for Labor Day. He says it’s lovely and you say it’s lovely and so now I’m really excited to check it out!

    • August 25, 2012

      YES! Bear in mind the traffic is pretty bad because there’s only really one road that goes through town, but I would definitely recommend a trip to the beaches of South Walton–visit Grayton Beach park and hit up the food trucks in Seaside while out that way–and you definitely have to eat dinner at Mitchell’s in Sandestin! YUM.

  • August 24, 2012

    Wonderful pictures! thanks for sharing! The kids are so cute!

  • August 24, 2012

    I’d love a beach as a backyard just to save time on having to cut the grass. Plus it would make giving directions easier: “Are your shoes filled with sand yet? Are seagulls pooping on your windshield? No, you’re not here yet.”

    • August 31, 2012

      As a new homeowner, I echo that sentiment. I think I’ll definitely be hiring a lawn service as there are few chores I like less than mowing the yard!

  • August 24, 2012

    Don’t wait for a retirement that might not happen. Maybe you should have bought on the beach. Those little girls are so adorable. Don’t they make you want a couple of your own. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • August 24, 2012

      Ha–NOPE! They make me realize even more how hard work parenting is and how it’s a full-time job…and how I’m cut out for gigs with more flexibility and independence ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • August 26, 2012
    Janice Ng

    Seeing your pictures of the beach brings back wonderful memories of childhood family trips to the beautiful beaches of Malaysia. I haven’t been to the beach in a while. It looks like my next trip will include some sand and sun!

    • August 31, 2012

      We went to the beaches of Malaysia (well, Malaysian Borneo) on our honeymoon! Simply incredible. We were back in Penang last fall for work, and I was really bummed I didn’t have time off to make it to Langkawi.

  • August 26, 2012

    You always seem to have such a great time with your family – and it helps everyone is so stinking photogenic! Something in your genes =)

    • August 31, 2012

      And you’re one to talk. You and Rachel are the prettiest pair of sisters I’ve ever met. I think the Orths and Lunas need to vacation in Florida together at some point! Oh wait–been there, done that. So I should say: We need to do it *again*!

  • August 27, 2012

    Those kids are beyond adorable. There is a uniqueness to the light in Florida, something I have remarked on in my own photos from Ft. Lauderdale and Key West – I think it is unique.

    • August 31, 2012

      They’re coming to stay with me tonight for the weekend. I’m so excited!

      And I agree: The light in Florida is much like the light in San Francisco–i.e. not a color or warmness you find many places.

  • August 27, 2012

    Great shots… looks like a fun time at the beach with good people!

  • August 28, 2012

    Such a pretty place! Loved the sand and the blue waters! And the kids are just downright cute, Thanks for sharing these pics ๐Ÿ™‚

    • August 31, 2012

      I thought I might just be biased in thinking they’re the cutest kids on the planet, so I’m glad to have some affirmation on here ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • August 28, 2012

    The photos you took of your trip are more than amazing. I spent two years down in New Orleans back in the 1980’s, 87′ to 89′, and I made to Destin, FL, a half a dozen times. Your pics take me back to those days. I remember making it to the go-cart track along the main road in town and hitting the beach all day. Destin is easily one of the most relaxing places to go on vacation in the US. Great piece.

    Best,

    Kevin

    • August 31, 2012

      New Orleans is my favorite U.S. city (well, ties with Austin and Nashville). How fun to have gotten to live down there!

  • August 31, 2012

    I wish my family was this fun! I couldn’t even get everybody in for a photo all in one! There were 30+ of us – but still! haha You guys are great and BOY am I EVER going to start forcing my cousins to get out of Thunder Bay and head to an INCREDIBLE location I can visit and enjoy like this beach lifestyle! AWESOMEEEEE!

    • August 31, 2012

      Want to join ours? Theirs always room in my crazy family ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • September 1, 2012

    We just got a GoPro too. Can’t wait to experiment. Cute nieces you’ve got!

  • September 9, 2012

    That was such a great experience. The smile of the kids is worth keeping. Looks like they had so much fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • September 24, 2012
    Jane

    Hi Kristin,
    My name is Jane and I’m with Dwellable.
    I was looking for blog posts about South Walton to share on our site and I came across your post…If you’re open to it, shoot me an email at jane(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you ๐Ÿ™‚
    Jane

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