Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pensacola Beach Trip

WAY back in July we headed to Pensacola Beach, FL with my Dad's side of the family.  He grew up making these beach trips when he was young, so I love that we continue to carry on this annual tradition.  First of all, there are not enough words in the English language to describe how much I love a pretty beach (Galveston does not count).'s my happy place.  Couple that with so many people that we love, and lots of good food, and it was a week of absolute heaven!  We had 20+ people in 2 different condos.  I'm also very lucky that my kids love the beach as well.  Madeline wanted to be out there 24/7 and didn't want to go in the pool at all.  Andrew was so happy watching everyone and looking at the waves while being held, in his stroller, or little beach tent.

Let's discuss food.  You might think you or your momma can cook.  Maybe so, but this Noto family could have our own food network.  We do not go out to eat on this trip.  Everyone takes a night cooking, and our condo ended up making breakfast most mornings.  The following is a portion of our Beach Trip 2012 menu (all homemade...none of that frozen or premade junk!)
·         Brisket sandwiches with coleslaw
·         Chicken Enchiladas with homemade refried black beans and Mexican rice
·         Peanut Butter Eclair Cake
·         Waffles (Mickey Mouse and Square) and Bacon
·         Homemade Chicken Salad on small Hawaiian rolls on the beach
·         Jackie’s Dobe with Pasta and Salad
·         Eggs Benedict
·         Chocolate Chip Cookies
·         Chicken Bombs (chicken stuffed with jalapenos, green onion sausage and cream cheese wrapped in bacon) with pork n’ beans, potato salad and grilled BBQ chicken
·         Homemade White Castle Sliders
·         Boston Pork Butt sandwiches
·         Crawfish Monica and Fried Fish with Spinach and Strawberry Salad
·          Broccoli and Ham Quiche
·         Banana Pudding
·         Lasagna with pesto bread and Asian spinach salad with flaming asparagus
Now I'm hungry.  Thirsty?  You don't want to know how much was spent on beer and liquor.  Peter even ghetto rigged a cooler so we could have a working blender on the beach: fresh beergaritas, bushwhackers and daiquiris!  The week after we got back none of us felt good and I think it was because we were all on food and drink detox.

Prepare for picture overload...

This was our tent city on the beach.  It's safe to say everyone was jealous.

Peter was in vacay mode.  He ordered drink umbrellas 2 months in advance so we could have festive drinks.
We ordered shirts for this year's trip.  The front said "Noto Family Beach Trip 2012"

The back said "Livin' La Vida Noto"
Madeline and Bella loved floating in the boat

Beach Olympics, coordinated by yours truly, complete with opening ceremonies.  For the first event teams had to balance a shell on their head, run down to the water and run back.  By this time our beach neighbors really thought we were nuts.

Second event:  Teams had to fill a bucket on the sand up with water using nothing but themselves: hands, hair, bathing suits...

Maddie and Bella Boo

Andrew and Pistol Pete (I wish I could remember what I was drinking out of the sippy cup in the background) 

Cousin Beach Buds
 My little beach bum.  The child could play in sand all. day. long.
GiGi, Poppy and the babies

Room with a view
Crazy much? I think so.
Peter and Ben.  I think Ben enjoyed being an honorary Noto beach bum.
Cooking Mexican food for our dinner night
Maddie and Pistol working on puzzles
Aunt Gina, Dad, Aunt Mary and Uncle Brian
We had SUCH a wonderful vacation and are looking forward to making many more memories at the beach!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Professional Beach Pictures

I'm obviously VERY behind in posting about the beach trip we took to Pensacola, FL in July.  Until I finish that post, here are some of the professional beach pictures we took.  Andrew turned 6 months old while we were there, so I thought it was the perfect opportunity to have his pictures taken and take family photos as well.  A big thank you to Nicki Smith of Nicki Smith Photography for doing such a wonderful job under less than ideal weather.  The first night our photo session lasted 10 minutes before we were rained out!  We had great weather the second night and had so much fun taking pictures.



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Weekend with Theta Friends and Uncle Luke's Birthday

Last weekend I got to spend much needed time with some of my Theta friends!  I love hanging out with these girls and we aren't all able to get together very often.  Sarah came in from Austin and Allison drove in from Tyler.  Friday night we met for dinner at Branch Water Tavern

Saturday morning we met in town for manis/pedis.  The nail salon was packed and I'm sure they all appreciated our less than quiet discussions.  Five women have lots to catch up on!  Saturday afternoon they came over to our house for a BBQ.  They were good sports in playing with the kiddos...
Playing dress up with Ms. Sarah

Andrew drinking out of Ms. Arielle's cup. Madeline just about died when she heard her name.  Madeline looked at her like she was made of gold and said, "Arielle??"  The Little Mermaid is one of her current obsessions.
Jenny brought her son Drew to play.  Madeline, Drew and Fergie had a great time riding in the car.
It was so much fun, girls!  I hope we can make the summer trip a yearly tradition!
After the BBQ we headed to Bryan to celebrate Luke's 29th birthday.  He hosted a BBQ at his house and tested out the giant BBQ pit/trailer that will be used for tailgating this fall.

Too little for BBQ so he had sweet potatoes instead

Happy Birthday Uncle Luke!

She wanted a koozie like the grown ups :)