How is it possible that a full week’s vacation felt like it was crammed into a weekend away? Maybe we were having so much fun that time ticked faster than the normal tock? Or maybe it’s just because I’m getting old? Lol. Regardless, it was a much needed getaway with the family, and I could have easily stayed forever.
We could have all stayed forever!!
As promised, here are a few snaps we took along our journey, which took place along 30A. There’s a stretch of quaint, seaside towns that extends from Destin east to Panama City Beach, FL. The highway that connects these communities is 30A, which is why the area is lovingly called that, or South Walton.
We were greeted with clear water and sunny skies, which made for the perfect introduction to our beach home for the week. <3
Our Beachy Digs
Speaking of beach home, this is the little rental we found on VRBO. It was darling and had lots of beachy charm. The deck upstairs is off of the master suite – and was the perfect spot for a glass of wine in the evenings.
I loved this sign that reminded us how blessed we were to be so close to the shore.
Food for Days
I won’t go into every detail, but once we were settled into our space, we headed out for some dinner at my favorite restaurant, Great Southern Cafe. (I’m still dreaming about the shrimp and grits.) My niece, Lilly, was diving in the NCAA Championships, so we watched her compete while we ate. You can see the town of Seaside in the background. Lilly did great, by the way! Next up is the Olympic trials for this amazing girl.
While we’re on the topic of food…another favorite meal was from La Cocina. It was voted the best Mexican food on 30A, and it lived up to its accolades. I had the fish tacos with mango salsa, which was heavenly. The girls had their first pina colada (non-alcoholic, of course) and their lives changed forever. They asked for one at EVERY place we visited – even at the gas station on the way home. Wish I were kidding.
Brandon was almost as excited about this beer as the girls and their pina coladas. This brew is from one of the local towns called Grayton Beach, which made it that much more enjoyable.
I promise we didn’t just eat the whole time. We had tons of great beach time. This was one of the first pics I took once we unpacked all of our sunscreen, snacks, drinks, towels, books, music, buckets, shovels, and nets from our bags. Whew! Thank goodness we had chair service so we didn’t have to schlep those down to the beach, too. Anyway, I loved this picture of Clara dancing in the sand. I totally feel her joy!
The water was fa-ree-zing, but that didn’t stop the girls from boogie-boarding right into that water. My little fish, those two.
This helps demonstrate just how chilly the water was.
I adore catching the girls in moments like this. This is what family vacation is about, right?
Meanwhile, Evan and I were usually bundled under blankets having a few chats ourselves. The water (and the wind) could get pretty chilly. We had a few sunny days tucked in there, though. It was all good.
On the sunny days, Evan created a cozy spot under a tilted umbrella. He was mostly into reading and chillin’ next to me on this trip, which was a welcomed treat. (By the way, B was a trooper and was usually in the water with the girls or behind the camera. He’s such a good historian.)
Sun, Camera, Action!
Yes, it is. And we had lots of it.
We took a boat ride over to Shell Island one day and part of the trip included a dolphin encounter. There were dolphins EVERYWHERE. A few of the smaller ones came right up to our boat. I was so excited, I fumbled with my phone and didn’t get good pics. This, my friends, is why I’m not a photojournalist. #missedthemoneyshot
I did manage to snap this cool shot of seagulls flying next to our boat. The captain gave everyone Cheetos, so we were feeding them as we pulled out of the marina.
This is me in my happy place…walking along the beach looking for shells and any other kind of sea creature that has washed up on shore. I didn’t realize B even took this shot, but I’m glad he did. It pulls me back to that very spot every time I look at it.
A few things I discovered on my walks – besides beautiful shells. L to R: sea urchin, driftwood, jellyfish, and a bird hunting for fresh mussels.
Avery discovered a coconut floating in the water. With her creative flair, she quickly made it her friend, named him Sandy, and dressed him up with glasses and sunscreen. It was almost like a scene from Castaway when she had to leave him behind.
This was taken on one of our family walks along the shore.
“Home is wherever I’m with you.”
We did a little shopping while we were there, too. We walked past this store and Clara said, “Ooh, mommy. This place has your name all over it.” It was so cute. Of course we had to step in, and she was so right. I wanted to wrap up the entire store and stick it in my purse. PS. Yes, that is a 32oz mimosa in my hand. Thank goodness we were walking everywhere that day.
Back at the beach house, we spent a few moments hanging on the sunporch. This was right before we went to dinner one night.
Best buddies for life! <3
Each night, Seacrest Beach had a bonfire and live music in the town square. We spent several nights sitting around the fire enjoying some local tunes. It was such a relaxing way to end the day.
As all things eventually come to an end, our time at the beach did, as well. I’d like to add, “…for now.” I know we’ll head back when time and budget allows. Until then, thank you 30A for a great family vacation.
On our drive home we stopped in a hotel for the night, and I woke up early…to a quiet room. Everyone was still sleeping, but Avery. She was standing in the window contemplating the day, or perhaps savoring all of the experiences and memories she had just made. Here’s to making many more together, my sweetness!