Monday, June 29, 2020

2020 30A Beach Trip - Days 4 & 5

Let’s continue with our beach trip recap…

Tuesday, June 9 (Day 88 of Quarantine)

We went to sleep Monday night with another terrible forecast for Tuesday – rain all day – yet we awoke to another day full of sunshine!  When we first got up, there were small chances here and there for rain, and it was supposed to be cloudy all day, so we decided to forgo the beach and spend the day in Seaside.  It’s my favorite of the little beach towns on 30A and it was only five minutes up the road from our condo since we were staying in Seagrove.  We all grabbed some cereal for breakfast in the condo, watched a few cartoons, and then got ready to head over there.

Trying to find parking was a complete and utter nightmare and we drove around for a solid 45 minutes before finally parking one beach town over (in Watercolor) and walking all the way back to Seaside.  Note to self, this is why people ride bikes everywhere there.  Haha.  By the time we arrived, it was lunchtime, so we grabbed some hot dogs from Wild Bill’s Beach Dogs food truck, and sat outside to eat.  We may have been traveling, but we were still very aware that there was a pandemic going on and we wanted to avoid indoor dining as much as possible. 

After lunch, we decided to do a little bit of shopping.  We typically go to Seaside in the evening when everything is packed, so it was nice to be able to do our shopping while it wasn’t very crowded.  All of the shops in Seaside were REQUIRING masks (applause!!!!) and each shop had someone policing the door to enforce it, so nobody was able to set foot in there without one (more applause!).  I should mention here that we had forgotten our masks in the car (sigh) and B had to jog all the way back (one town over, remember) to our car to grab them.  He’s such a trooper!  While he did that, the kids and I sat in the shade, Olivia did some twirling, and I snapped some pictures of the two of them.

Thirty minutes later we were all masked up and we got in line for Duckies, the local toy store.  They were only letting a small handful of people in the store at once, so we had to wait in line to get in, but it was nice when we were in there because we were easily able to avoid everyone else in there.  The kids each picked out their souvenir for the trip… Jacob selected a Lego set (so much for a traditional souvenir – LOL) and Olivia selected the cutest little glittery purse.  After that, B and the kids waited outside while I ran into The Seaside Style… their tees and sweatshirts are the best, so I grabbed a couple as my souvenirs from the trip.  ;o) 

By then, we were all pretty tired since the day had ended up being so sunny and hot, so we made the long walk back to the car, and headed back to the condo to rest.  Jacob put together his entire Lego set and then he and B and Olivia all played video games while I read.  We had ice cream bars from the freezer as a snack, and it was a nice, lazy afternoon. 

We decided to go check out The Hub that evening for dinner because it’s our very favorite place on 30A.  It’s a big outdoor area with lots of eateries around the periphery and there is a big green space in the middle where kids run wild and dance and hang out.  We were very apprehensive about going there because it’s usually packed to the max, so we got there at 4 PM central time to beat the crowd, and we were fully prepared to leave and go somewhere else if need be.

They had all tables spaced at least six feet apart, and they also had the green covered in tables to discourage kids from running around and/or gathering in big groups.  When we arrived, there were only a handful of people there, and we were able to find a table outside very easily (if you don’t get there early it’s impossible).  We ordered burgers and fries from Duo’s and B grabbed a couple of beers for us at the bar.  We were able to eat and enjoy the atmosphere safely from our outdoor table (also please note the hand sanitizing wipes on the table in the picture below... although, I've been using hand wipes at restaurants for years so it's nothing new to us).  After we were done eating, we grabbed some ice cream from Mr. Freeze and found a picnic table on the green to eat, and we were able to enjoy some of the live music that had started. 

Shortly after we were done with our ice cream, The Hub started to get really busy, so we hightailed it outta there.  As much as it killed me to not be able to stay and enjoy the live music and the beautiful weather, we just didn’t want to put ourselves at risk.  It’s just not worth it.  On the way out, we stopped to take a quick picture at Luke Bryan’s cigar bar since we’d parked right by it.  :o)

On the way back to our condo, we stopped by a souvenir shop and I went in alone (in my mask!!) and grabbed a frame for our trip.  I always buy a souvenir frame on all of our vacations to add to our souvenir frame wall.  :o)

When we arrived back at the condo, it was nearing sunset, so we walked out to the beach to enjoy it.  The kids played in the sand while we watched the colors change, and once it got dark, we pulled out the flashlights to look for crabs.  We’ve never gone crab hunting before, so the kids were thrilled (especially Olivia).

B had bought glow sticks for the kids to wear as bracelets and necklaces so we didn’t have to worry about losing them on the dark beach, and it worked out really well!  They were able to run around and we could spot them anywhere.  We ended up seeing three crabs and both of the kids wanted to touch them.  YUCK!!!!  We also saw a couple of smaller fireworks on the beach that some people were doing down in the inlet between the lake and the ocean.

We made it back up to the condo pretty late, and we all turned in for the evening because it had been a busy day!

Wednesday, June 10 (Day 89 of Quarantine)

Wednesday, we awoke to sunny skies, so B headed out bright and early to set up our beach chairs and stake our claim.  We all got in our swimsuits and coverups and rode down the street about 1/2 mile to Donut Hut to grab some breakfast to go.  We’d never been, but one of my friends had highly recommended it, so we wanted to try it.  Sure enough, they ended up being our favorite donuts on 30A yet, and we were so glad we tried them.  Just look at all those flavors!

As soon as we were done eating, we hit up the beach!  When we got down there to our spot, we found that somebody else had set up their stuff RIGHT next to ours – sigh – so we picked up and moved our things down a little farther.  We ended up having lots of room to spread out, and after we moved, nobody came near us for the rest of the day!

Wednesday was by far the day that the water looked the best.  It was back to its beautiful emerald color and it was nearly crystal clear.  There was a double red flag up for the first part of the day, but they changed it to red and then later yellow as it calmed.  Later in the day, seaweed started washing up (likely from the tropical storm) so we knew that we’d probably have yucky water for the rest of our trip.  Unfortunately, we were right.

We went up to the condo for lunch, and then went back to the beach for a few more hours.  Just as we were getting ready to head up, my mom called from work (she works at our church) and she asked if we could film a quick video of the kids saying a prayer for the friar bedtime stories that our church does on Wednesday evenings.  The kids nailed it in three takes, and then we went back to the condo to get ready for the afternoon.

We decided to drive over to Seacrest to have dinner at La Cocina, our favorite Mexican place on 30A.  We weren’t sure about the seating situation since they don’t have a big outdoor patio, but we figured it we arrived early enough, we’d probably end up having the whole restaurant to ourselves.  Sure enough, the few tables on the patio were full when we arrived, but there was literally not one single person inside the restaurant aside from the servers.  Score.  It was our first time eating inside a restaurant since we’d had dinner for the last time on March 13 when everything shut down.  That evening, we also had Mexican, so it was fitting that our first indoor restaurant experience would be Mexican again.  ;o) 

The restaurant had QR codes to scan on the tables to see the menu – that way we didn’t have to worry about getting any germs – and all of the wait staff wore masks.  YES.  Needless to say, it was about the best way to eat indoors during a pandemic... that is, until they seated someone in the booth right behind ours.  Sigh.  All those empty tables and they seated them right next to us.  Granted, the booths were pretty far apart as there was a thick wall separating them, but it wasn’t six feet.

Since we were already in the middle of our meal there wasn’t much we could do, and I just prayed that our kids would be immune (as most kids seem to be) if there were any germs in the air.  B and I figured that maybe the tequila in our margs would just burn any germs away from our bodies.  Hahahaha.  (I know that’s not how it works, but wouldn’t it be nice if it did?  Haha.)

Their margaritas are the absolute best margaritas we’ve ever had (they totally rival the margs at BarTaco!) so we ordered a pitcher as we always do.  We ordered some salsa and queso and B had a couple of the gourmet tacos while I opted for the taco salad.  Everything was so fresh and just incredible.  It was seriously probably my favorite Mexican meal ever from start to finish. 

We were stuffed after dinner, so we decided to walk it off on a stroll to Rosemary Beach.  There were more people out and about than the previous evening that we’d been, but we were able to keep our distance from everyone.  There was an open bench on the green, so B and I sat and relaxed while the kids frolicked on the grass.  There were several other kids playing out there, as well as a group of teenagers sitting in a circle, but the kids knew to be cautious and stay away from everyone. 

We stopped in the courtyard behind the post office on the way back to the car, and then we headed back to the condo where we had some ice cream and watched America’s Got Talent.  We also went back and watched the friar bedtime story that we’d missed so the kids could see their prayer video that they’d recorded earlier in the day.  <3 

And that was days four and five of our trip! 

Happy Monday, y’all!

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