Monday, June 21, 2021

2021 30A Summer Beach Trip - Days 4 & 5

I recapped the first three days of our beach trip last week, and today, I’m recapping days four and five. 

Tuesday, June 8

Tuesday was supposed to be gorgeous weather-wise, so we knew it would be the perfect day for our first full beach day.  We had leftover donuts from Donut Hole for breakfast, and then after lingering over my hot tea for a few minutes we all got ready for the beach.  Getting a family of four down to the beach is always a process since we have to sunscreen everyone and lug so much stuff down there… add in a broken arm in a cast, and it took even longer since we had to wrap Olivia’s arm in a trash bag to keep it protected from the water and sand.

Brian had gone down to the ocean first thing after waking up to claim our spot for the day.  If you want to be front row by the ocean, you have to be down there around 7 AM during peak season to get a spot, otherwise you’ll miss out!  He always sets up our chairs, umbrella, and wagon and that’s enough to claim our little area for the day.  That also frees up his arms to help carry the rest of the stuff down when we all go down there. 

We spent a couple of hours at the beach, and Brian and I took turns holding Olivia’s hand by the ocean so she could get her feet wet.  

At lunchtime we all headed to the condo to take a little break from the sun.  We made lunch in the condo pretty much every day while we were there – sandwiches, chips, fruit, yogurt, and some days, leftovers from the previous night.  After lunch, everybody was ready to head back to the beach, and we spent a couple more hours out there before calling it a day. 

Tuesday was Olivia’s first full day wearing the trash bag on her arm, and she did fantastic!  Once it was on, she never thought about it again, and it worked like a charm keeping the water and sand out of her cast.  She was truly a trooper during this whole trip!

When we got back to the condo, we all got ready and then headed out.  We wanted to spend the evening in Seaside, and Seaside is the most touristy beach area of all of 30A, so it gets busy, especially at night.  On this trip, we wanted to try a couple of new restaurants (we usually tend to stick with the ones we know and love) but it’s hard to get into some of them. 

I’ve wanted to go to Great Southern Café in Seaside for years, but it’s impossible to get a reservation.  They release all reservations for the week at a specific time at the beginning of the week, and they fill up super fast.  Since we don’t plan out our trip day by day, it’s hard to know which evening we’ll want to be in which beach town, so we never know which evening to make the reservation.  We tend to be more laid back on vacation, and surprisingly, I’m not one of those people who plans out an entire itinerary before the trip.  It’s the one time in life that I’m more spontaneous.  I know, I’m surprised, too.  ;o)

Anyway, we wanted to try to get into Great Southern Café Tuesday evening, and B and I both refreshed their reservations page all afternoon, hoping that someone would cancel a reservation.  At one point, a 5:30 reservation opened up and I tried to snag it, but someone else beat me to it.  That’s how hard it is to get one, y’all! 

Since we couldn’t get a reservation, we decided to try a different approach.  We arrived in Seaside just after 4 PM CST, and went straight to Great Southern Café to put our names on the walk-in list.  The last time we tried to do that, the wait was still two hours so we didn’t bother, but this time, we lucked out and the wait was only an hour.  That gave us just enough time to walk down to Duckie’s (the famous toy shop in Seaside) so the kids could pick out souvenirs. 

Duckie’s was still limiting the number of people inside to ensure everyone could social distance, so we had to wait about 15 minutes to get inside.  Once inside, the kids were in heaven as they always are, and they wanted to browse every single shelf.  We spent a while in there waiting for them to find the perfect thing.  Jacob opted for an ocean-themed Lego set (what else?  Haha), and Olivia picked out a couple of Twisty Pets.  If y’all haven’t seen those yet, they are the cutest little things.  They’re jewelry (mostly bracelets) that twist into toy figures that kids can play with.  Olivia discovered them at Duckie’s on our last trip, and she loves them so much! 

By the time we left Duckie’s, we’d killed a big chunk of our wait time for dinner, but we still had a few minutes to go, so I got everyone to take some pictures… their favorite thing.  Haha.  By the time we finished taking a few pictures, I got a text from the restaurant saying our table was ready, so we had timed everything perfectly.  We were seated by 5:15 CST which is 6:15 our time, so we didn’t even end up having to eat too late.  Our table was outside, and there was live music on the stage on the green, so it was just perfect!  Seaside hasn’t had live music in over a year (there was none last summer or during spring break because of Covid), so to see that again was just the best thing!  After a year of weirdness, it’s nice to be back to almost-normal again.

Great Southern Café is famous for their mojitos, so of course, B and I had to try.  They had at least 10 or 12 different ones, so I opted for the cherry mojito, and B opted for an orange one with Tito’s.  They were both good, but not as good as we’d hoped.  We’d asked the waitress which ones she recommended and neither of us went with her recommendations, so maybe that was the problem.  Lol.

Great Southern Café is also known for their delicious Southern food, and they had so many options that sounded amazing, so it was hard to choose.  By that time, we’d been on vacation for a few days and we’d eaten a lot of junk, so my body was craving something healthy.  Therefore, I opted for the grilled chicken sandwich and green beans for the side and it didn’t disappoint.  Their green beans were amazing… so fresh and tender with just the right amount of crunch.  And the grilled chicken was so flavorful and good.  I ended up pulling it off the bun and eating it with the homemade mustard they’d provided on the side.  So delicious.    

B opted for the veggie plate (which was my second choice), and he got green beans, fried green tomatoes (YES, MA’AM!), fried okra, and gouda cheese grits.  To answer the question that probably just popped into your head, YES, grits are a dinner food, too, here in the south!  Many of the fine dining restaurants in our area make the best grits you’ll ever put in your mouth, and they’re just as good at dinnertime as they are at breakfast.  I sampled B’s fried green tomatoes and grits and they were both amazing, so next time we go, I’ll probably get a veggie plate!

We were all stuffed by the time we were done, but the kids wanted ice cream (of course they did – haha), so we let them get their usual, and B and I opted out.  While the kids finished up, I ducked into The Seaside Style shop really quickly just to see if, by chance, they had any of the pink Seaside sweatshirts in stock and I was so excited because they did!!!!  They discontinued them a few years ago and I was never able to get one, so I was thrilled!  I love my purple and turquoise ones so much, so it’s nice to finally have one in my favorite color. 

We were all beat by the time the kids were done with their ice cream, so we headed back to the car and made the short drive back to the condo.  

When we got back, we watched an episode of Breaking Bobby Bones and part of Lego Masters to wind down, and then it was bedtime.

Wednesday, June 9

Wednesday started with cereal and eggs in the condo followed by my usual cup of hot cinnamon tea and some reading while the kids watched cartoons.  

We had slept in a bit, so when B got up to take our stuff down to the beach, all of the front row ocean space was full.  We need to be right by the ocean with two small kids, though, so we can monitor them in the water, so we looked again, and there was a gap right in front of our condo that was just big enough for us to squeeze into. 

A lot of people set their stuff up early in the morning to claim their spot and then don’t come out until late afternoon, so it’s rare that people are there right next to us at the same time, therefore we weren’t worried about overcrowding too much. 

When we arrived at our spot, our chair neighbor was sunning in front of our chairs, but she hopped right up when she saw us coming down, and then she and I struck up a conversation and ended up chatting for a while.  She was super sweet, and later in the morning, she snapped some pictures of the four of us with her phone while we were all standing by the water, and she was kind enough to text them all to me.  

We ended up staying down at the water for a couple of hours, playing by the water and finding shells.  30A is not known for having a lot of shells, but for some reason, there were more than usual washing up on the shore the week we were there. 

Around noon we headed to the condo for lunch, and then after lunch, we headed back down, a couple of beers in hand.  We all played on the beach for the rest of the afternoon.  Brian buried both of the kids’ legs in the sand while I read, and then we found some more shells.

Jacob spent a ton of time in the water Wednesday afternoon, and B and I took turns holding Olivia’s hand by the water so she could dip her toes in, but she did have a moment of sadness when she couldn’t go in the water with Jacob.  I took her back to our chairs and spent some time playing in the sand with her to try to distract her from the fact that she couldn’t go in the water.  She wanted to bury my legs in the sand, and that cheered her right up!  She gave me the sweetest little mischievous smile when she was done… she was so proud of herself.  Haha.

We headed up to the condo mid-afternoon to get ready, and then we drove to The Hub for dinner.  It’s one of our favorite places in all of 30A and it’s just right down the street from our condo, so it was easy.  The Hub is a big outdoor area surrounded on all four sides by different restaurants, vendors, food trucks, and shops, so you can pick up something different for dinner for each family member and then take it out to one of the tables in the common area outside.  They have different entertainment each night – DJ dance parties, live music, family movie nights, etc. – and there’s lots of shade (so important in the Florida heat) and twinkle lights everywhere, so it’s very picturesque and fun.  I wish we had a place like that at home!  If you’re ever in the 30A area (especially with kiddos), The Hub is a MUST!  We love it so much that we often go twice!

All four of us opted for dinner from Duo’s – burgers for B, Jacob, and me, and peanut butter and jelly for Olivia (anyone surprised? – LOL) – and I grabbed a couple of IPAs from the bar for B and me.  Their burgers and fries are so yummy, and they all come with the best pickles ever!  It’s such a simple meal, but it’s always one of my favorites and I was a happy camper. 

After dinner, we all had to get ice cream – B and I had skipped dessert the past two nights so it was time – because they have one of the unique flavors that you can’t get anywhere else… Pirate’s Bounty!!  It’s Oreos and M&Ms crushed into caramel ice cream, and my goodness, it is so delicious.  B took the kids to grab the ice cream while I held down our table because, by that point, it was busy in there and all of the tables were full.

When we were done with our ice cream, we headed back to the condo.  The family movie night didn’t start until 7 PM which is 8 PM back home, and we were all too tired to stay out until 10.  That Florida sun and beach time will wipe you out every time!  On the way back to the car, though, we did have to take a little peek into Luke Bryan’s cigar bar, Shore Thing.  He’d been in town a few days prior for a concert, and Olivia was just dying to see him.  No such luck, though, as we stalked him on Instagram and discovered he was in Nashville for the CMT Music Awards. 

When we got back to the condo, we watched the rest of Lego Masters and a little bit of the new episode of America’s Got Talent, and then it was lights out for everyone!

That wraps up part 2 of my trip recaps, and I should be back next Monday with the last part!

Happy happy Monday!

*Linking up with My Glittery HeartThe Other Side of the Road, and The Sirois Family for Hello Monday.


  1. So sweet of Brian getting to the beach early to claim your spot--such a dad move haha!! I love it! And I'm so proud of Olivia for being such a trooper with her cast--it would be hard for me to have a good attitude and she looks like she's rocking it!
    Sarah at MeetTheShaneyfelts

  2. The claiming of spots sounds intense! Glad it all worked out though!

  3. I'm glad that you guys were able to get to eat at the restaurant you wanted! Olivia was a really good sport about the water and didn't let it stop her from having a fun time! xo, Biana BlovedBoston

  4. So many cute swimsuits! I can’t believe you have to be down there at 7 am to claim your spot. Thank you for that tip! Olivia did such a great job with her cast. I know I would have been bummed about it too. You can never have enough sweatshirts from a place you love!!!

  5. Sounds like some perfect beach days! That ice cream sounds delicious!

    1. It's one of my favorites ever! I wish we could find it somewhere else close!

  6. 30A sounds like such a great place. So glad you guys got in to try a new restaurant - that worked out so well! As did checking in on a sweatshirt - pink is definitely your color!


Thank you for taking the time to comment... I read and respond to each and every one! However, if you are a no-reply blogger (meaning that your email address is not connected to your Blogger account), I will not be able to reply to you directly via email... you will have to check back on the blog post for a response!