Monday, June 26, 2023

30A Summer Beach Trip 2023 - Days 1, 2, & 3

I’m finally taking the time to recap our beach trip from a few weeks ago!  We go to the same place every summer – an area called 30A in Florida – because it’s just so beautiful and there’s so much to do that we can’t imagine going anywhere else.  It’s paradise and we’re grateful because it’s only a short drive from our house.

Every time I post on Instagram or my blog about this trip, I always get numerous DMs and emails about various things we do/places to eat/etc., so if you have any questions that you would like answered, check out this post here… it’s all about the 30A area!  And if you still have questions after reading that post, feel free to send me an email!  :o)

Saturday, June 3

We can’t ever check into our condo until PM 4 CST, which is 5 PM our time (EST), so we always sleep in the Saturday that we leave, spend the morning packing, and then we usually leave right after lunchtime to get to the beach.

Our trip down to Florida this year was uneventful, and we had great weather and minimal traffic, so we made it there in record time.  On the way in to town, we decided to go ahead and swing by Publix to grab groceries so we wouldn’t have to go back out once we’d gotten to the condo. 

We usually stop at the Publix on 30A in Santa Rosa, and it’s always a nightmare.  The parking lot is congested and busy, the store is tiny and bonkers packed, and the setup of the store is just really strange, so the whole experience always tests my patience… to put it nicely.  ;o)

This time on the way in, we discovered that they had constructed a new Publix on the back road in Watersound since last summer when we visited, so we decided to stop at that one instead. 

Best. Decision. Ever. 

It was HUGE and not packed at all and the whole experience was much less stressful than normal.  We were in and out in just a few short minutes.  The only downside to grocery shopping on the way in is that we never have a place to put the actual groceries because the car is packed with all of our luggage.  That meant that they all had to go in…

My lap.  Haha.

No big deal, though, because the rest of the drive was short and sweet, and we were pulling up to our condo in no time. 

When we arrived, we got everything unpacked and then got the groceries put away.  There was no exploring to do because we’d already stayed at this exact condo in this exact same unit back in 2020.  It’s my favorite one of all time!

On the drive down, I had ordered pizza from Angelina’s (our favorite local takeout place), and told them to have it ready for us at 6, so Brian went out to pick it up shortly after we were settled in.  While he was gone, I pulled out a beer and enjoyed it on the balcony overlooking the beach.

After dinner, we each enjoyed a mini ice cream cone that we’d picked up from Publix, and then we went out for our first walk on the beach.  The sun was setting, and the temp was perfect (actually a bit chilly to me... you can see the chill bumps on my arm in the picture I took of my workout), and it was a lovely time.  A sweet lady saw us walking along, and she offered to snap some pictures of us, so we took her up on her offer!  She took the family picture, the one of B and me, and one of the kids.

We came in just before dark and got in our PJs, and then we watched some of America’s Got Talent along with the new Hotwheels show that started recently, and then we all headed to bed.


Sunday, June 4

Tuesday morning, we were up at 7 AM CST (8 AM our time), because we wanted to make sure that we got an ideal spot out on the beach.  Brian headed straight out to set up our chairs and umbrella, and then he headed to The Donut Hole to pick up our first round of donuts for breakfast.  While he was gone, I did my morning meditation and quiet time, and the kids watched some cartoons. 

When B got back, we enjoyed our donuts in the condo, and as always, they were delicious.  I look forward to those Dutch Crumb donuts all year!!  I wish we had a donut place that had something similar.

After breakfast, we all got changed into our swimsuits, we got the beach bag packed and ready to go, and then we headed down to the water around 9 AM CST.  The rest of the morning was spent lounging in the sun, reading, and playing.  It was a gorgeous day and the temp maxed out around 81.  The humidity was also miraculously low for Florida, so it actually felt really pleasant at times… borderline chilly in the shade!  The water was placid and crystal clear and it looked like something straight out of a magazine.  It was the most beautiful it’s ever been on any of our trips!

Around 11 AM CST (noon, our time), we abandoned our stuff on the beach and headed to the condo for a little break.  We had a light lunch of sandwiches, chips, and fruit and took a quick bathroom break, and then we headed straight back down to the beach for a couple more hours.  Neither of the kids wanted to leave, but we wanted to go into Panama City for the evening, and it’s a bit of a drive from where we always stay, so we wanted to get a jump start on the evening.

After everyone was showered and ready, we hopped in the car and headed in the direction of Pineapple Willy’s – it’s one of our traditions, and we’ve been eating there every single summer since Jacob was born.  I’ve been going there since college.  Haha.  It’s been around forever. 

On the drive over, it grew pitch black, and it proceeded to POUR down rain all the way there.  We were second guessing our plans since we intended to eat outside and then play mini golf, and I was worried we were going to have to pivot, but miraculously, the sky cleared right as we pulled in the parking lot, and it remained sunny for the rest of the evening!  We were able to enjoy our dinner on the pier at Pineapple Willy’s and we were treated to a beautiful rainbow over the ocean.  As usual, the pictures don’t do it justice.

After dinner, we headed over to a new-to-us miniature golf place.  We are creatures of habit, and we tend to go to the same places over and over again when we find something we love.  We typically go to a place called Pirates Island – we love it because it’s so fun and the course is nice and unique and clean – so we never stray.  But this year, we decided to go to Coconut Creek to change it up, and we were so glad we did.  The course was just as nice and clean, and we had a great time. 

The course was a little less challenging than the one at Pirate’s Island, but it didn’t really make it any less fun, and it was nice to do something different for a change.  Brian got three holes-in-one, I got two, and Jacob got one, so it was an exciting game.  ;o)  The weather was incredible, too.  If you’ve ever been to Florida then you know how hot and humid it usually is, but we were never hot on this entire trip… it was just as cool and breezy as could be even though it was sunny… in June.  Unheard of, y’all.

After miniature golf, we headed over to The Pink Pelican for ice cream.  It’s one of our favorite places for ice cream ever because they have TONS of flavors and they’re all so unique.  I haven’t been eating ice cream much since I lost my sweet tooth after I had Covid last October, but I couldn’t resist getting it there because they have one of my favorite flavors of all-time that I can’t get anywhere else – Banana Crème Pie.  Oh my word, it is delicious.

After ice cream, we made the long drive back to our condo, and by the time we got back it was almost dark out.  We finished the episode of the Hotwheels show that we’d started the night before, and then it was bedtime for one and all.  We were all exhausted from all of the sun and fun of the day.


Monday, June 5

Monday was much the same as Sunday… up at 7 AM CST to get the chairs out on the beach, leftover donuts for breakfast in the condo (and hot tea time for me), beach all morning, lunch in the condo, and then back down to the beach for the afternoon.  Again, it was clear and sunny, the humidity was low, the water was insanely gorgeous, and it was just an ideal day to be at the beach.  I cannot believe how blessed we were on this trip with good weather and good water.

Mid-morning, we got this text from my parents back home... they had just picked up Maui to take care of her for a bit, and they were just checking in!  Got another one of her in a snuggly blanket later in the afternoon, too.  ;o)

We headed back up to the condo around 2 PM CST to get showered and ready and have some snacks on the balcony, and then we headed into Seaside to spend the evening. 

Seaside is probably my favorite little town in all of 30A, although, it’s impossible to choose because there are so many and every single one offers its own unique vibe with an abundance of things to do. 

We found a place to park, and then we headed straight to Great Southern Café for an early dinner.  We were seated at the perfect table out on the covered porch, and again, the weather was pleasant and pretty much perfect.  We always hit up Great Southern Café at 4 PM CST (which is 5 PM our time, so it’s not all that early for us) because they have happy hour prices on cocktails until 5 PM CST. 

They are famous for their cocktails, especially their mojitos, but B and I both opted for an Old Fashioned because theirs are the GOAT.  Sometimes I still can’t believe that I’m a whiskey drinker now.  I truly never thought I’d see that day!  And somebody kept trying to steal the cherries out of ours, so our server brought Olivia her very own little bowl of cherries.  I thought that was so sweet!

The first round went down quickly, so we grabbed one more round before happy hour ended, and then we had one of my favorite dinners everrrr.  They have so many great things on the menu, but their southern veggies are always my favorite, so I always get a veggie plate there.  This year, I opted for the gouda cheese grits, the fried okra, and the garlic green beans.  Brian got the same thing, but he also added the fried green tomatoes.  It was so delicious, and we were all stuffed by the time we’d finished.

After dinner, we walked over to Duckie’s (a cute little toy store), and the kids each picked out a souvenir.  That is one of their favorite places, so they look forward to going there all year.


After Duckie’s we walked down to Sundog Books, an independent book store that is the cutest and quaintest little place, and we browsed for a bit.  I had been hearing amazing things about Happy Place by Emily Henry, so I wanted to scoop up a copy while we were there.  And while it would have been much cheaper to find it at Target or Walmart (or just have Amazon deliver it), I do love to support local places like that one when I can.

By the time we’d finished shopping, the kids were asking for dessert, so we grabbed ice cream for them at Dawson’s, but B and I didn’t partake because we were still too stuffed from dinner. 

After their ice cream was consumed, we decided to walk and find the house from the movie The Truman Show.  That movie was filmed in Seaside, and even though we’ve been to Seaside a ton of times, we’d never taken the time to go find the house.  It was just a short walk down the way from the food trucks, and the house really is the cutest, quaintest little place!  Fun fact, the day we were there, we found out it was the 25th anniversary of the movie’s release, and we didn’t even know it!  Side note, Brian thought this outtake was hilarious, so I thought I'd pop it in the post for all of you to see.  Haha.

Once that was done, we headed back to the car and drove back to our condo, and then we spent the evening on the beach.  We went for a nice long walk, and we also spotted a few crabs.  A couple of them appeared to be out of place a very long way from the water, so Olivia carried them to the water to “save them.”  Hopefully they were grateful.  Haha.

We headed back up to the condo at dusk, and then we watched two episodes of Weird But True, and that was the end of day three!  I’ll be back Wednesday and Friday with other posts, and then I’m hoping to get the rest of our beach recap up next week!  Thanks for following along!

Happy Monday, y’all!


  1. I think I'd love a trip to somewhere like this. It seems so relaxing. I'd just sit on that balcony all day! I love the rainbow too!

  2. So glad you got your fave condo again and all that perfect weather!

  3. Every time you recap your 30A trip, I am more convinced we need to go! Also, Sophia had her first bunk bed experience on our vacation and now she wants one in her room LOL!

  4. Love your beach trips posts! Have you ever shared which condo you stay at? Looks glorious! We've gone to Destin, but not 30A before!

    1. Thank you! I haven't ever shared it publicly, but if you would like for me to send you the info, just send me an email or a DM on Instagram!!

  5. Your vacations always sound so relaxing! You always have so many wonderful photos too.

    1. Thank you! Yes, we do a pretty good job of relaxing when we're at the beach! Most of our other trips are pretty much the opposite of relaxing, though! Haha.

  6. This is one beach spot we have not tried out yet!! I know everyone on IG has been raving about it. I love how calm the water was for you while there and it looks like there is a lot of good food (and yummy donuts!) places. Looks like paradise!



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