The beach at Grace Bay (the one that was a short walk from our condo) was really nice. The water was usually pretty calm and warm. Cole wore his "Johnny Jumper" (Puddle Jumper) in the ocean which was the best thing we got before we left home. (His Crocs were the #2 must have for the beach!) It helped him float and swim around without us having to hold him and worry about waves or being able to touch. Cole also loved playing in the sand. Tony tried to build him some "tall buildings" at Cole's request, and then it expanded into wanting us to make roads and tunnels for him. It was cool to see how much more he was able to play and enjoy the beach compared to last year, where he liked it, but got bored after awhile. He would play at the beach or pool for hours this year!
A few days we went to explore and find different beaches. The best find was Taylor Bay (about a 15 minute drive from the Grace Bay area), and we went there twice we liked it so much. The water was shallow and so clear! It was probably one of the prettiest beaches we've ever seen or been to. It was perfect for Cole to play at too because he could touch and not have to worry about the waves. We were also the only ones there the first day we went. The second day we went, I guess word had gotten out, and there were a few more people there (like a family and two other couples...hardly anyone). We also hung out with a couple and their little boy that we had met at the Avis car rental place. They were on our flight, and we shared and gave a sucker to their little boy when we were waiting in the hot line at the airport when we got there. We also ran into them picking up dinner one night and told them about Taylor Bay. So it was funny that they were there when we went back too.
The other beach we went to was Long Bay Beach...we drove on some non-paved roads to get there and walked down a huge hill. We were there for about 2 minutes because it was so windy and the water was too rough to get in with Cole. So that was not the best choice. We later saw that this side of the island is better for surfing and kite boarding. Good to know!
I didn't take any pictures, but on one of our last days we went back over and parked where we did when we went to Somewhere Café & Lounge to do some snorkeling over off that beach. There is a protected reef right off the beach with pretty coral and tons of fish! You could see a lot in a short amount of time. There were a lot of snorkelers and scuba divers out there too. Cole played in the water and on the beach while we took turns going out to snorkel. We wanted to try to get him to stick his face in with his goggles to see some fish, and I think he saw one. The highlight for Cole was a little stingray swam by really close to the shore while I was out snorkeling one time. A man came by and told him and Tony that they might want to get out of the water because the baby stingray was swimming down their way. So they did and actually saw it swim by.
The other little outing we did was to go see Cole's first movie. We found out that Planes was showing at the theater, and figured we could just wait until we went on vacation to take him to see it. We were the only ones in the theater...I think we saw one other person going to see the other movie playing there. We got some popcorn and some M&Ms and got ready to watch. Cole did great and loved the movie. It was nice that we were the only ones there because we could talk to him about it, and he could stand up if he wanted to whatever. He's still talking about Dusty going through the tunnel and crashing into the train (FYI they almost crash, but he didn't quite get that part.)
One of the days we went to Taylor Bay, we planned on eating lunch and Las Brisas and renting a paddle boat from there to take out into Chalk Sound. Tony and I managed to paddle us around a little bit. We also go out into the water to cool off for a few minutes, but the sand was super soft and slimy and our feet were sinking way down. It just felt so weird! So we only did that for a few minutes before hoisting ourselves back into the boat. Cole almost fell asleep at first with his little head resting on his life jacket. But after we swam, he was a little more awake. We also noticed some rain clouds and wind moving in. So we paddled our hardest and were laughing so hard as the rain started coming down on us. Cole is still talking about that too!