The ramblings of a woman,
wife, & mother, who loves:
Jesus / my man / the three,
learning about parenting /
mamahood / childbirth,
cooking foods healthy /
international / yummy,
pretending to garden /
write / design,
attempting to run /
exercise / lift weights,
enjoying traveling /
camping / adventures,
finding ways to love /
serve / sacrifice for others.

It is not to say she does these things
with style or grace, or even skill.

Our Journey to the Sea

January 5, 2009 - 11:06 AM

What can I say.... it was surreal, it was a long drive, it was a short time, it was priceless, it makes me cry thinking about it.

We took Max on a trip to the sea. 

max and the sea

He had the idea, I found a beach, Josh found a condo, he raised the gas cash, we scrimped and saved, God kept our van running, we did the driving, God gave us perfect weather, we spent almost the entire time on the beach, we found a thousand shells & 1 live crab, we learned a lot, God united our family closer together and sealed in many things He taught us at Faithwalkers.

We went to Gulf Shores, Alabama.  I chose this place because: it was closest (we wanted to drive it in 1 day and we're OLD, no 24 hr drives for us!), it had been a while since a hurricane hit (Ivan in 2004, Katrina in 2005, and since we weren't going to help we didn't want to get in the way), it had a Sea Lab (so in theory, no matter what, we would have sea creatures to touch), we could take a ferry to an island nearby, and those commercials late at night on Fox made it look beautiful! 

But let me tell you though, I was honestly expecting the worst... terrible weather driving, terrible weather there, a car accident, bugs in the condo, no picturesque beaches, crowded places, getting sick from FW, expensive gas... however, we were determined that even if we had to buy ponchos for the family and be drugged up on NyQuil, this was our shot to go the sea.  Even still, I honestly had to continually trust that no matter what happened, God continued to be good and He knew it all.

z and m and island

The location was a huge blessing too in that Josh found a super cheap (but surprisingly beautiful) condo on Craig's List (thanks to it being "winter" and temps were to be low 40's, high 60's) and outside of the ocean, touristy attractions were closed (we are not into that kind of thing) and there were no massive crowds.

We got great gas prices the whole way down, leaving MO at $1.36/gal.  On average we paid $1.46 for gas and got 24.8 mpg in the van (the cheapest paid was $1.31 and most expensive $1.56).  Josh had Max pay for gas every time from his piggy bank which brought mounds of smiles out of people who normally don't.  The kids traveled great, sans this one hour of complete loopiness coming home through Mississippi, and didn't complain about the long time in the car.  The rainstorm that was suppossed to hit the Thursday and Friday we were going to be there held off till Saturday and the weather was absolutely beautiful.  We actually made the drive in 14.5 hours down from MO and 17 hours up to IC, oy! 

How did he like it? 

max and the sea

He loved it!

He couldn't get enough of the ocean and the hunt!  He was up and dressed and ready to GO each morning as soon as possible and he stayed out as late as possible each night.  He was continually smiling and looking at me saying, "Mom, we're at the sea!"  "Mom, look at this!"

He learned a ton about the sea when we were at the Sea Lab that we didn't know before and got to touch all the creatures we couldn't touch due to the water being too cold to dive under.  He got to experience the power of the sea and play in the waves.  He found barnacles and oysters.  He got to see a pod of dolphins swimming in the ocean just a stone's throw away (we just happened to be in the right place at the right time).  He got to see two kinds of jelly fish up close and personal.  He got a dead, but in one piece, ghost crab.  He got to eat fresh grouper, mahi mahi, alligator and oysters.  He brought home a TON of shells and 1 live tiny sand crab (though sadly, the crab died last night). 

He was literally and figuratively swept away by the ocean and all its power. 

max soaked in sea

I know there are more beautiful places in the world, I know there are more beautiful shells in the world, I know there is more beautiful weather in the world... but honestly, we could not have asked for a more perfect time for our little clan of five.  The excitement of the kids far outweighed all the other factors and they (and us) soaked up each and every minute of it to the fullest. 

fam and sea

Without a doubt, he wants us to go back and without a doubt, we would love to take him there.  It may not be for a long while, but if the Lord wills, we will.   And like this time, no matter what our circumstances may bring, we will praise the Lord for He is good!

Response to Our Journey to the Sea

  • Nancy said on January 5, 2009 - 11:17 PM

    Yay! What a wonderful teaching opportunity/vacation/lesson/experience for your family, Dana :) Thanks so much for sharing your pics with us all!

  • Dana said on January 6, 2009 - 8:21 AM

    It was definitely all that, and more! Love you Nancy!

  • Charity said on January 6, 2009 - 8:53 AM

    I love that expression of pure joy, arms stretched with a genuine smile. It's such a kid thing and a great reminder to us adults that too often forget what it's like to just be delighted with God's splendor.

  • Jackie said on January 8, 2009 - 8:03 PM

    awesome. Great story! Praise God! So glad you all got to go and be blessed.

  • sandy Q said on January 9, 2009 - 4:13 PM

    congratulations on your trip to the sea! Isn't God AWESOME! not only in what He makes but in how He lets us enjoy His creation! I am sure He was right there with you smiling the whole time at how much fun max and zeke and miriam and you and josh were having. Even in blessing you with the condo and the gas prices and the weather. Yeah, GOD! love you guys. I love the photos by the way!

Leave a Comment

Required, but not displayed.


Welcome! I am glad you're here! If you are new and would like to get caught up on what's going on, check out these quick links to get you started:

About Me and This Blog...

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2012 to CA, MN, CO
   Ladies Trip to Napa Valley
   My Parents Rode in a Plane!

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2012 to MN and CO
   Vacation to the North Shore and Cabin
   Boulder for the Summer
   Life in Boulder

Begin Our Adventures of Winter/Spring 2012 to UT
   The Drive to CO/UT Begins
   Vacation in Moab
   Living in Moab / Denver

Begin Our Adventures of Fall/Winter 2011 to CA
   The Drive to CA Begins
   Living in the SF
   Living in the Suburbs
   Coming Home to IC

Begin Our Adventures of Summer 2010 to Eastern Europe
   Life at Czech English Camp
   Travels in Germany & Austria
   Travels in Czech & Poland


Fam Q
LM - Czech Guru
RM - CSS Guru
Mrs. Windham
Joe Pyle Wedding Photographer


RSS Feed

Cramer Family 5