Family Staycation!

Every summer we go down to visit my family in south Alabama. While I’ve never lived in Alabama, it feels a bit like a second home in some ways. My sister married a man from Mobile so the two of them and their kiddos all live there. And my parents moved down there while I was in college. So for the past decade or so I’ve gone south to visit family.

mom and sisters.jpg{me with my mom & two of my sisters}

And for the past several years when we come down to visit we’ve made a bit of a “stay-cation” out of our visit by finding fun things to do in the area. I guess, it’s not technically a total staycation for everyone because Christopher and I and my sister, Abby, all travel there. But once we’re there, we stay in the general area and do fun things! Usually we just go to the beach (my parents live close to Gulf Shores & my sister lives close to Dauphin Island), but last year we upped the ante. We visited a replica of Stone Henge and held baby alligators. So this year when my parents found a replica of The Holy Land in Lucedale, Mississippi called Palestine Gardens, we knew we had to go!

holy land tour.jpg

This was our tour guide, Don. He reminded us a bit of a modern day John the Baptist in all the best ways. He was passionate about sharing his faith and walking us through this tour. We got rained out about 15 minutes into the 1 hour tour, but those 15 minutes were pure gold! Christopher and I can’t wait to come back again and experience the whole tour. We love random roadside attractions like this!

sherlock holmes

And this is Sherlock Holmes! Excuse the poor quality photo, I was trying to be sneaky about taking it while he was talking. Anyway, we went to the Exploreum in downtown Mobile and had a great time checking everything out. Especially the new Sherlock Holmes exhibit where you get to play detective and try to solve a crime!

dad speaking

Speaking of poor quality photos – here’s another one I took while attempting to stay incognito. 😉 My dad spoke at church on Sunday highlighting the ministry that he and my mom are involved in. I don’t talk about it much here, but I have to tell you guys – I am really proud of my parents and all the work they do!

wesley flag football.jpg

This weekend also included some normal-life things. Like our nephew’s first flag football game of the season. I may, or may not, have yelled “THAT’S MY NEPHEW!!” when he “tackled” (pulled the tags off) the kid who had the ball. He’s lucky I don’t live close enough to embarrass him all the time. 😉 And of course, after a game well played, we all went out for frozen yogurt. 🙂

wes and kenz

It was so good to spend a few days with these two! My sisters, mom, and I all text/talk regularly, but I’m missing out on so much of my niece & nephew’s day-to-day life. I love getting to be there in person with them!

uncle c with the kiddos.jpg

And these little hooligans sure do love their Uncle C (his current uncle name courtesy of Wesley – I do miss when Makenzie used to call him Uncle Kisstopher, though!)

It was a good sort of weekend! Beyond what I photographed & shared, we cooked together and laughed together and shared together. We celebrated belated birthdays and belated mother’s day and early father’s day (it’s a running joke in our family that we never celebrate anything “on time”). We ran through the rain and grocery shopped and just did all the normal life things that made it feel so good to be together. I sure am grateful for family!

Love Rach


60 responses to “Family Staycation!

  1. Looks like it was a wonderful staycation with the family.

  2. Cooking, laughing, and sharing together….it doesn’t get much better than that!!! Love that you were secretly snapping pics if dad at the pulpit and your niece and nephew are precious as can be!!

  3. Yay for LA!!!! (That is what us Alabama folks call Lower Alabama) Haha! Looks like you guys had fun 🙂

  4. Sounds like the perfect way to spend time with family!!!

  5. What a great tradition!!

  6. Yay for time with family! Love that y’all go on tours and make it a staycation!

  7. Nothing beats family time! Hope you have a wonderful week ❤

    Edye |

  8. Awww you’re such a great aunt! Your visit sounds great and family time is always the best!
    Xo, Evelina @ Fortunate House

  9. It looks like you had a great time! I am all for having a staycation and making the most of everything there is to do closer to home.

  10. Family stay-cations are the best!

  11. aww what a lovely time with family 🙂 i love spending time with family, that sounds corny but – as i’m sure you know as well, when family is all over the place, it’s not as often as we’d like!

  12. We used to drive to Mobile when I was in high school just to go to Super Target :). Luckily, now they are everywhere, but I didn’t realize they had so many other attractions.

  13. Sounds like a good weekend! A Sherlock Holmes exhibit sounds fun 🙂

  14. I am all about the STAYCATIONS!!!! I love to tell people I am leaving, only to hide in my home for a day or two and do nothing and see no one! hahahaha!

    • Hahaha! That is so on my list of things to do someday. So far our “staycations” have included us traveling to see one of our families and then doing fun things in the general area of where they live. But one of these days we need to do that right here in Memphis, too!

  15. I love how you mentioned ‘grocery shopping’. To this day, I LOVE grocery shopping, and I totally go with Nate and Brady every week (instead of going by myself). It’s just fun and can be a bonding experience. 🙂 (Oh, goodness, we really are foodies, aren’t we??).
    I’m SO glad that you had so much fun with your family. Precious memories!

    • Haha! Yes, we are totally foodies! Grocery shopping definitely is a lot of fun! I know so many people who dread it and I just don’t understand that. Especially ever since Sprouts opened here last year – it’s all healthy and awesome like Whole Foods or Fresh Market, but at normal people prices! I love finding new things to try in there. Also, we don’t have a Publix, but I love going to them when I’m in an area with one which is what we did this past weekend. We always joke that it’s like the Chick Fil A of grocery stores because everyone is above and beyond nice and helpful there. 😉

  16. Awww, hehe, it’s so sweet how proud you are of your nephew 🙂

  17. A wonderful time was had by all, most definitely. I am all about a staycation!!

  18. These are such great pictures! I can’t believe how big your niece and nephew are! I guess you’ve been blogging about them for awhile, because I remember them being MUCH younger.

    • ME TOO! I don’t understand how they are growing so much so fast! I feel like I just got used to them being “kids” instead of “toddlers” and now they are on the cusp of “tweens”. YIKES! I’m not sure where the time is going!

  19. Such a wonderful read 🙂 I was totally LOLing at the nephew thing 😀 I would do that too ! 😛 And every time I see a film when the kid tells their mom not to “embarass” them, I am like sheesh gotta keep that in check in future 😛 I love that pic with your mom and your sisters 🙂 Such a perfect pic. And as corny as it sounds you all look so similar! 😀 It certainly looks like a super good sort of weekend 🙂 And am still LOLing at Uncle Kisstopher 😛 😀

  20. Ahhh loved reading about this! First of all, you are seriously GORGEOUS!! I always think that. Secondly, it’s been so long since i’ve caught up on blogs in general, and of course yours was one of the first I had to come and catch up on. Miss you girl!! Hope all is well, when are you coming to visit in California?? xoxo Katie

    • Girl! It has been a while! So good to hear from you! I hope you’ve been doing well! 🙂 We had really thought that we would visit Cali last year, but that trip morphed into a cruise instead. This year we’re headed overseas again so maybe next year will be the California year! 🙂

  21. Your niece and nephew are so adorable! I just love seeing pictures of them with Christopher. It’s the sweetest thing!

    I’m so happy you had fun with your family in Alabama! Love, love, love the picture of you and your sisters with your mom! Beautiful 🙂

    You must be very proud of your parents and the work they do! It’s an amazing feeling to see loved ones passionate about their work for the Lord, isn’t it?!

    • I love seeing Christopher with the kids! It really has been so precious that he’s gotten to see them grow up from birth to present day! 🙂 It really was a fun visit!

      And yes! So proud of my parents and the work they do and all the many (many many) sacrifices they’ve made over the years. They’re good people, my parents. 🙂

  22. That sounds like such a fun trip! We just took a trip back to Ohio to see my parents and it’s like a mini vacation 🙂 Always fun to be with family!

  23. what a sweet time with family!!! and so much fun, all the staycation-y things!! i remember you posting about your in-laws and what you guys are going through with his dad!! i am sure you are cherishing all the quality time!

  24. So good to be able to reconnect with family- love these super cute shots!


  25. Sounds like a wonderful time was had by all! I love the part about embarrassing your nephew. I think it’s a right of passage for kids to have their family yell and act crazy while they play sports. I know my boys more than once shook their head at their mother who was cheering them on while playing football! 😀 xx Rox-Anne,

  26. Next time you head south y’all should make a pit stop in Tuscaloosa! 😉

  27. This sounds like such a fun trip. I love that shot of your niece and nephew with your husband…. so cute!

  28. Aw family time is the best! It sounds like you all made the most of your time together! Alabama sounds like the land of replicas! Haha. Fun to get out and explore with the fam!

  29. Aww, such sweet family time! We live away from family too, and I simply hate missing out on my nieces & nephews growing up!

  30. Looks like a fun trip 🙂 That holy land replica looks really neat…you guys find the coolest activities!

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