Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Panama City Beach, FL 2017 – Day 1

Well, we were gone for a total of seven days and six nights and I’m only recapping the first day in this post, so you can do the math and figure out just how many beach posts you’ll be seeing.  Haha.  Oh man, I am the picture-taking queen and it’s just way too hard to leave anything out, so I apologize if you get tired of aaaallll the beach posts and pictures.  This blog is first and foremost a scrapbook for my family, so please bear with me as I preserve our memories.  I promise not to bombard you seven days in a row.  ;o)

We left for the beach on Sunday, June 4 a little before 10 AM our time, but not before snapping a few fun pictures with Mommy’s letter board!  The kids were absolutely ecstatic (about the beach, not the pictures – ha!) so they were super cheesy and hamming it up for the camera.  That doesn’t happen too often – they usually groan when they see it coming – so I had to take full advantage.




We stopped about halfway to eat lunch at Panera, and it was nice to stretch our legs.  In the past, we have always departed for the beach on a weekday, so we have always stopped at Chick-Fil-A for lunch, but since they are closed on Sundays, we had to make do with Panera.  The bad thing about Panera is that there is no playground, so the kids didn’t really have a chance to run off any of that pent-up energy from sitting in the car for so long, and that was evident as they were bouncing up and down in the booths and crawling under the table after they finished eating.  Eek!

Needless to say we didn’t stay long, and it was back out to the car for the rest of the drive.  And before I go any further can we please stop to take a minute to be incredibly thankful for portable DVD players that can attach to the headrests in the car?  What in the world did our parents ever do without them?!  Both kids were quiet as mice for the remainder of the drive.  We tried to get Olivia to take a nap, but napping in the car is a rarity for this girl, and she was just too excited for the beach to worry about sleeping.  She opted for watching Cinderella on repeat instead.

We arrived in Panama City mid-afternoon and, of course, our condo wasn’t quite ready.  It really is absurd that the check-in times for those places are so late!  Since we weren’t able to unpack, we just pulled out the sunscreen, slathered the kids in it, and we walked out to the ocean.  They were dying to see it, so there was no reason to hold off any longer.  It was really hot that day and the sun was beating down, so we only stayed for about 30 minutes, and then we went into the condo lobby to wait for the word that our condo was ready.  Fortunately, we waited all of two minutes before B realized that he had a missed call saying that we could check in.  


This year we decided to try to save a little bit of money, so we got a one bedroom condo instead of our usual two bedroom.  We figured that the kids could just sleep in the living room on the pull-out couch or in their sleeping bags while we slept in the bedroom.  B and I rarely use the living room anyway – we are usually either sitting out on the balcony after the kids go to bed, or we are in the bed ourselves since we are typically exhausted – so we didn’t need all of that extra space.  The condo ended up being plenty big with a full living room, dining room, kitchen, bedroom, two full baths, and a small “bonus room” with bunk beds so it was nice to know that we had just gone ahead and saved the money.  The only thing I missed was having twice the windows overlooking the ocean from the living room that comes with the two-bedroom condos.  Another note, we also opted for the second floor this year so we wouldn't have to spend so much time waiting for elevators.  While it was nice not have to use the elevators as much, I didn't like being so close to the ground.  The views are obviously better the higher you are... like last year when we were on the 13th or 14th floor!






We unpacked, relaxed for a few minutes, freshened up, and then headed out for an early dinner.  Our tradition for the last few years has been to eat at Pineapple Willy’s on the first night of arrival, so we headed that way!  There was already a 10-15 minute wait at 4:30 Panama City time (CST), but it was already 5:30 back home (EST) so we were hungry!  We checked out their gift shop while we waited and Jacob and Olivia both picked out new pairs of sunglasses.  Olivia had just broken hers a couple of hours prior, so it was very convenient!

In case you’ve never been to Pineapple Willy’s, here’s a visual for you… there is an indoor part to the restaurant, but the majority of it sits on a large pier that hangs out over the beach.  We were seated about halfway down the pier with gorgeous views of the ocean and the sun that would be setting in a couple of hours.  Perfection. 

Both kids were pretty grumpy by this point because it was dinnertime back home and we had not fed them any afternoon snacks, but their drinks came quickly and they perked right up after that.  B and I ordered two of their signature voodoo punches, and we sucked them down while the kids happily colored on their menus.  Our waiter was a lot of fun, and the food was yummy, so it was a nice evening.




After we were done eating, we stepped right off of the Pineapple Willy’s pier to let the kids play in the sand and dip their little toes in the ocean for a bit.  We stayed out there until the sun set and it was the best time.  Just look at the expressions on their faces!  So much joy!  Evening beach strolls are always my favorite.



















We left the beach just after sunset and headed straight to Sweet Frog for some frozen yogurt.  The kids had gotten their clothes soaked, so we enjoyed ours outside so they wouldn’t freeze to death in the air conditioning.  I had my beloved white chocolate mousse – it will forever be my favorite froyo flavor – and I added a few cupcake bites to it.  Yum.


Once our bellies were full, we headed across the street to load up on groceries.  We typically go to Publix, but it was a little further down the strip from our condo and we were all really tired by that point, so we decided to go to Walmart since it was so close.  Never again, you guys.  Never again.  The place was jam packed with people… so much that you could hardly push your buggy without bumping into someone.  Half of the shelves were wiped clean.  The bread aisle was so empty you would have thought that the meteorologists were predicting hurricanes.  And the checkout lines were outrageous.  We only had about 10-12 items in our cart so we jumped in the 20 items or less speedy checkout lane and it still took us probably 20 minutes to check out.  Sigh. 

The kids were a little bit whiny, but they were actually relatively good considering that they were up way past their bedtimes.  That was a blessing, but I was beyond ready to get in my jammies and sleep!

Once we got back to the condo, we all got in jammies, brushed teeth, and then it was lights out to get ready for our first full day at the ocean.  We ended up putting the kids in their sleeping bags on the floor in the living room and it worked out perfectly for the entire trip!  Look how snuggly!




*Linking up with Jessi's Design and Going the Distance for What's Hap-"Pinning" Wednesday.

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35 comments:

  1. What a fun first day at the beach!!
    I love Pineapple Willy's!

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  2. Oh how I love this, making vacation memories is just the best. The smiles, the laughs, the waves, the frozen yogurt...love it all and LOVE that yellow tee cutie pie!!

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    1. Thank you, Andrea! Making sweet memories for those babies is what it's all about!

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  3. I remember going to Walmart in PCB - no thank you!!! You guys had the perfect first day!

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  4. Day one sounds like a huge success. Gotta love jumping in waves and enjoying the salty air. And Sweet Frog...yum!!

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  5. Looks like a great first day! I remember going to pineapple Willys the one time I went to PCB for spring break in college! The condo looks super nice!

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  6. What a fun, fun trip!!! I can't believe that's only day one! I'm excited to hear about the rest of the trip. :)

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    1. I know, these recaps are going to be ridiculously long! Haha. And thank you! I'm glad to have you along for the ride!

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  7. It should be a law in Florida never to go to any grocery store except Publix! They are the best!
    -Kristen
    www.pugsandpearls.com

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    1. Haha. Girl, you are so right! The only place I shop at home is Publix. I try to avoid Walmart at all costs so I don't know what we were thinking! Ha!

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  8. This looks like SO much fun! Go ahead and bombard me with beach pictures, that would be just fine with me. :) And, mental note: get a portable DVD player for the car ASAP.

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  9. I'm so jealous you live close enough to drive to the ocean!! That is so awesome! And that condo looks gorgeous! As does the beach! What part of FL were you in?? We are looking at going to St. Pete's Beach next year and staying at Tradewinds, have you ever heard of that? We actually opted for a 1 bedroom this year at Disney to save money too, I'm hoping it will be OK!

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  10. Wow! That condo is beautiful and that view... for it being on the second floor, it sure is quite the scene. I love how you guys have your vacation traditions. We do the same thing and it's so nice to know what to expect. It kind of makes you feel like you're part of the community. This was so much fun. I'm eagerly awaiting tomorrows post. :)

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  11. Great pics! The Walmart in Gulf Shores is always insane that first day too. You'd think that people would get smart and open some better competition!

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  12. Do y'all stay at The Shores? My sister love PCB and that's where she and her husband go every summer and they stay at the Sunbird right next to PW. I love the beach!!!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

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  13. This is the cutest thing ever! Your kiddos are way too precious and that condo looked perfect! (way to go on making the one bedroom work - totally doable) Glad ya'll had a great time!

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  14. The condo is so pretty! And so is the beach of course. I also love how you recap with words and photos- I like reading what you have to say!

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  15. What a fun first day! What I wouldn't give for those palm tree views out my window every morning!

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  16. I always enjoy your vacay recaps! You guys always have tons of fun. That drink looks yummy, I must say. lol
    & just read yesterday's post...wow!!!
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

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  17. I feel like every time I crave Chic Fil A it's Sunday, and they're closed *womp womp*! And I hear you on never again for Walmart! I will always drive the extra distance for Publix or Target... always <3
    Green Fashionista

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  18. What a fun first day :) we have never been to that part of Florida but my favorite part of FL trips is sitting outside beach side and just soaking up that ocean air and views! xoxo ERIN

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  19. Oh what a dream!! I can't wait to see more! That view from your hotel room was divine.

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    1. Thanks, girl! Yes, that place has amazing views!

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  20. Im super jealous of your drive too. The beach is just the best but dang that drive is long. Cant wait to hear about more of your adventures!

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  21. What a great first day at the beach!!!

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  22. Oh I love Panama City, and I haven't been in forever! I can't wait for all of these recaps!

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  23. Oh those sweet, sweet expressions!! It couldn't have been a better first day. Keep the recaps coming...I can't get too much happy family at the beach.

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  24. Sounds like a great first day! That restaurant sounds so fun!

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  25. Looks like a good start to the trip! You guys got some great photos on the beach and I love the view from the condo!

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  26. Excited to continue reading these recaps! I appreciate how detailed you before I like to hear about how other people REALLY do beach trips with kids (it's not always easy!).

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  27. What a beautiful condo to stay at. I am so excited to read more posts about your trip. I like all of the details because it is helpful and fun to read. I can't wait for more!

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  28. We love Panama!! We went last summer for vacation and it was such a fun time. How far is Panama from you guys? Your condo looks nice! Pineapple Willy’s was one of our favorite places and we sure did get those drinks also. We didn’t get to sit on the pier, though. I guess we need to go back so we can do that. Haha! Oh mama, those sweet faces! So happy and so much joy. I love it.

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  29. It sounds like day one was so much fun! I love all these fun pics and their adorable smiling faces. That condo looks great and like a really nice space.

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  30. Oh goodness, the smiles on your kids' faces at the water! Too sweet.
    I like the aesthetics of that condo.

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    1. They were so excited! It was the sweetest thing to watch. And yes, the condo was really great! We've stayed there three times now and we have no complaints!

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