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Making Plans for Summer

With the end of school approaching, my two school-age girls are already asking what our plans are for the summer.  A beach trip is high on the list....however, Texas beaches pale in comparison when almost exactly a year ago we were here:

This time last year, we loaded up all six of us and drove to Cape Canaveral, Florida for a Bahamian Disney Cruise.  On the way there, we stopped to visit my cousin and her family in Destin.  It was a quick but well-spent stop at a beautiful beach.  In contemplating this summer's plans, I'm wondering if we shouldn't just go ahead and drive the extra nine hours for a WAY better an opportunity to visit family again!  (What do you think, B?)

Since last year, we've discussed several times how much of a non-issue driving three days and back was with four kids (1yr-6yrs).  It was totally crazy doing it, but it ended up just fine, surprisingly.  We both agree, however, that with their current ages, it wouldn't be as smooth of a trip.  I can't pinpoint the exact reason, but I just know we'd have Trouble with a capital T.

Any suggestions are welcome.
Do you have a favorite beach (somewhere in the south)?
What are your summer plans....or is it still too early to plan?

Side note: If any of you have ever even slightly contemplated going on a Disney cruise, I highly recommend it.  We went with several other families and when we all get together, that trip almost always comes up in conversation because we love to reminisce about it.  Such wonderful memories.  And it was completely affordable for our large family, by the way. We want to go again asap!

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