Wednesday, June 20, 2018

30A Beach Trip 2018 - Day 1

Earlier this month we spent five glorious days at the beach and I think it may have been my favorite of our family beach trips ever!  We take a family beach trip every single summer and we’ve always stayed in Panama City Beach, FL.  Back when the kids were smaller, we always went in late April during the off-season and it was always so lovely, but now that they’re in school our days of going in the off-season are over. 

For the last two years since Jacob has been on a structured school schedule, we went to the beach in June right when school let out for the summer.  However, we found that it was super crowded in PCB which meant that the kids never had ample room to play on the beach since we were always packed in like sardines with hundreds of other people.  This year, we decided to try to avoid the crowded areas so we stayed on the outskirts of Panama City Beach in Carillon Beach just across the bridge from 30A.  It could not have been a more perfect decision.

Our trip started Wednesday, June 6.  B worked a half-day and came home at lunch.  We all scarfed down some sandwiches really quickly when he arrived and then we hit the road since I had already packed the car that morning. 

The drive was easy and we arrived that afternoon just around check-in time.  The condo that we rented was in the cutest little neighborhood with brightly painted pastel houses and people were riding bicycles everywhere.  It was a quintessential beach town!  Our condo was ready by the time we arrived, so B grabbed the keys from the office and we went straight to unload the car. 

We rented a one bedroom condo right on the beach and we brought the kids’ sleeping bags along like we did last year.  B and I slept in the bedroom and the kids slept in their sleeping bags on the living room floor.  There was a sleeper sofa, but our kids love any chance to sleep in their sleeping bags, so that was fine with me!

Once the car was unloaded we walked out to the beach just behind our condo because the kids were begging to put their toes in the water.  The water looked a little browner than its typical gorgeous emerald green so I was a little bit worried that it would be like that for the whole trip, but fortunately it was a one-time thing.  There’s a lake just down from our condo that feeds into the ocean and apparently sometimes the lake water drifts down-shore toward our condo.  Fortunately that was the only day we had to worry about it and it was gorgeous as always for the remainder of the trip!

After the kids got their little toesies wet and sandy we loaded up in the car again to head into Panama City to eat at our favorite – Pineapple Willy’s!  We have eaten there every single trip since Jacob was 10 months old, and it’s one of our favorite traditions. 

Pineapple Willy’s is HUGE, but even though it was only 5 PM there was already a 20 minute wait, so the kiddos relaxed on a bench for a bit and then we toured around their gift shop as well while we waited.  Our table became available quickly and we were seated on the pier… no other way to eat there!  It was a gorgeous day and there was a wonderful breeze coming in from the ocean, so it was dinner perfection as always.  I was sad to see that they had changed their menu because they had done away with one of my favorite specialty drinks that I get there.  Since they no longer offered those, I had a Hurricane instead and it was delicious!

After dinner we stepped off of the pier onto that sugary white sand yet again for a sunset beach stroll.  The kids were dying to put their feet in the ocean again, and we ended up staying down there for a good hour or so just enjoying the breeze and watching the sun start to set.  While we were down there we saw two guys on motorized parasails.  Normally when you go parasailing you’re pulled behind a boat, but these parasails had jetpacks.  It was so crazy and a little scary.  Haha.

The very first year that we went to the beach after Jacob was born, I snapped this picture of Brian and him at this very spot, and we could not get Jacob to smile for anything. 

Since he wouldn’t smile, B made a serious face for the camera, too, and that has always been one of our favorite pictures.  Every now and then when we’re in that same spot B and Jacob like to recreate the picture.  Lol.

By then the sun had dipped lower in the sky so we knew it was about time to get going because we still wanted to take the kids for ice cream and we also had to stop by Publix to load up on groceries for the condo.  We let the kids play for a little longer and then it was time to go.

We had warned the kids not to get too wet since they were in their clothes and we still had places to go, but one of the two kids never listens and instead just does what she wants… I won’t mention any names.  Haha.  But this was her face when we started walking back toward the car and she realized that her dress was soaked up to her chest.

Life is just so tough sometimes.  Lol.

The next stop was at Pink Pelican Ice Cream Bar for dessert.  They make all kinds of delicious gourmet flavors so it’s always hard to choose what to get when we go.  B and I ended up going for the Carrot Cake ice cream and the kids both had Cotton Candy.  The Carrot Cake was divine, but it kind of reminded me of fall and Christmas so that was a little weird since we were on a summer beach trip.  Haha.  I tasted the kids’ cotton candy as well and I surprisingly loved it, too!

At the ice cream shop we sat outside, and we were treated to the most beautiful sky as the sun finally set.  It was streaked with pinks and peaches and purples and it was just spectacular.  God sure is the ultimate artist.

After our ice cream stop, we swung by Publix and I ran in to buy some essentials for the condo, and then it was back to our room to get unpacked and hit the hay… we had a big day of beaching the next day!! 

Day 2 will be coming in a few days so stay tuned…

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  1. It looks like the start of a great trip!!! One of these days we'll have to take a trip to the ocean... it'll take us just a tad bit longer to get there than you. ;)

  2. Sounds like you guys made the right choice to switch destinations this year and I love that you can recreate that picture of the boys every now and then! xo, Biana- BlovedBoston

  3. What a great first day. How long is the drive??
    My sister is in PC for the summer as a campground host at St. Andrews state park so we are going down hopefully next month to visit her. I love Pineapple Willy’s.

  4. The neighborhood you stayed in looked SO CUTE! Bummer about the drink - I hate when there are changes like that, but it still seems like the perfect night out!

  5. Great first day, How fun!! I want to now go to Pineapple Willy's and Pelican Park...sounds so fun!

  6. This makes me just yearn for the beach! That little house is simply the cutest.

  7. You and my sister would get along well--they eat at Pineapple Willy's every year too! It's her favorite! Love the neighborhood of colored houses!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  8. I have heard nothing but amazing things about 30A! We need to add it to our bucket list. It looks like a beautiful way to start your trip and I love the picture recreation of Brian and Jacob! xoxo ERIN

  9. What a fun start to your trip, Lindsay!! That beach town sound so amazing and I love the bright colors. This is getting me so excited for our week at the beach for 4th of July. Haha you have to laugh sometimes because it's so true, when do our kids really listen?! That's something we're always working on. I LOVE that you recreated that pic! So perfect! Sierra Beautifully Candid

  10. We just booked out flights!! So excited to return!

  11. Beach sunsets are so amazing! The condo is really cute. Our kids sleep in their sleeping bags when we travel too!

  12. Sounds like a perfect first day! I love that you guys have so many traditions associated with your beach trip :)

  13. I am loving the beach recap! I just booked our beach trip today...we're venturing a bit further than we usually do - South Carolina this time! The condo that you stayed in is beautiful and adorable. I could totally live there!

  14. SO fun! I want to go right this second! Love your scalloped top!

  15. What a great time. i have always wanted to visit this beach town ever since you mentioned it when I first started reading your blog. I sooo want to go to Pineapple Willys!

  16. What a great first day!! You are so lucky you live within driving distance to some awesome beaches!!

  17. The beach is the best! I love that area too, so much less crowded than Destin or Panama City for sure. Your scalloped tank is so cute and flattering.

  18. Loved following along on Insta during your trip, so many great family memories. Nothing beats relaxing at the beach, and glad you found a less crowded spot. So good to know about the on and off season, as we're looking to head up that way in the coming months <3
    Green Fashionista

  19. That sounds like a wonderful start to a relaxing vacation.


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