Friday, June 21, 2024

Our 2024 30A Summer Beach Trip - Days 4 & 5

I’m forgoing my typical Five on Friday post today to do another beach recap… otherwise I’ll never get caught up!

Tuesday, June 4

Tuesday morning, we were up around 8 our time (EST) again, and B and Olivia went down to check and make sure our beach chairs were in place.  Then, it was leftover donuts for breakfast yet again, followed by a Bible study for me.  What a view!

We got an update from my mother-in-law on Maui, and she was doing much better after having some tummy issues for a couple of days right after we left her.  She’s started having “stress colitis” when we leave her for long periods of time, or sometimes even when we leave her in the evening until dark, and she won’t eat or drink.  Her stomach also makes a gurgling noise when this happens, so we always know when she isn’t feeling well.  The vet said it’s totally normal and very common for this to happen when owners leave their dogs behind, especially when they are boarded.

We made it down to the beach around 10:15 our time, and it was yet another day of playing in the water and the sand and reading my book.  Jacob and Olivia played in the sand most of the morning, and they made this giant gator… appropriate since we were in Florida, but GO DAWGS.  Haha. 

We went up for lunch at the condo around 12:30 and then headed back down to the beach an hour or so later.  The water was beautiful!  We took a nice, long beach walk, and Olivia found a few creatures that she wanted me to take pictures of. 

We ended up staying down at the beach until 4:15 our time that day because it was just too nice to leave, and then after we were all showered and ready, we drove down the strip to Seacrest for dinner at LaCo (formerly known as La Cocina).  It’s my favorite Mexican food of all time, and I literally think about this meal throughout the year until we’re able to have again every June. 

It is perfection from start to finish – they have the very best margaritas of all-time because they’re made with real fresh-squeezed limes, they have the best white cheese dip I’ve ever had, and their chips are superior to all others.  I always get the taco salad with grass fed beef, and OH MY WORD, it is divine.  It’s a bed of lettuce with a blend of cheeses, pico de gallo, black beans, charred corn, radish, crema, and arbol ranch that’s AMAZING.  Seriously, the charred corn and the crema and arbol ranch make the meal.  I know I rave about it every year in my recaps, but it’s that good!  And you can choose from different meats, but the grass fed beef is *chef’s kiss*.

B and I always order a pitcher of margs there because it comes out cheaper than buying two margaritas each (and their margs are tiny so we would both get two), so we were completely and utterly stuffed by the time dinner was over. 

Seacrest is right next door to Rosemary Beach, so we walked down to Rosemary Beach after that.  It felt good to walk off all of that food a bit.  And the weather was really nice… not too hot!

The first stop in Rosemary Beach was at “our spot” to take family pictures.  There’s a little courtyard behind the post office that makes for the most picturesque spot, and there are always a few people around who are willing to take pictures of the whole family for us.  We always get the best pictures there, so we always make sure to coordinate our outfits on that night.  We used to take pictures on the beach, but that became a whole thing.  It was always too windy or too sunny or the kids didn’t want to get all sandy again and they would get whiny sometimes, so this is much easier, and honestly I like these better than our beach pictures.


After our pictures, we walked to Sugar Shak – another place we visit every single time – so the kids could pick out some candy.  They have tons of unique candy in there along with a bunch of throwbacks that you can’t find anywhere else anymore.  Check out the Cry Baby bubblegum!!!!  My friend and I used to ride down to the gas station at the end of our street with a friend in our neighborhood and buy these!  He was a year older than me, and therefore, he could drive before I could, so he’d drive us down there every now and then.  Haha.

After the kids picked out their treats –always gummies for both them with the exception of the year that Olivia got Beanboozled, haha – we walked around on the green for a little bit, and then we took a seat in the courtyard so they could eat them.  Brian and I were way too stuffed for dessert, so we skipped out on ice cream at Sugar Shak even though it sounded so good!

Once the kids had finished up with their treats, we walked back to Seacrest, did a little bit of browsing, and I got a frame for our travel wall + the warmest, snuggliest, cutest sweatshirt that I can’t wait to wear when it gets cold.

By the time we got back to the condo, it was getting late, so we watched an episode of Is It Cake? and then we all hit the hay.


Wednesday, June 5

Wednesday morning, we were up at the same time as every other day.  There were no more donuts, so we all had eggs and/or cereal… whatever we had on hand.  I did my Bible study and quiet time after that, and then we all showered and got ready for the day.  We typically skip one day on the beach so we can all take a break from the sun, and Wednesday was the perfect day to do that since the kids’ cheeks were both pink. 

Once we were all ready, we drove back into Panama City Beach to hit up Dave and Busters.  They opened at 10 AM, so we wanted to get there right when they opened to avoid the crowds later in the day.  Wednesdays are half price games all day, so you get double the play for your money.  I do not love an arcade, but I took one for the team anyway, even though it was tempting to stay at the condo and have some uninterrupted beach time.  ;o)  Brian had tried to get the kids to go to a water park instead of D&B this year, but neither of them were on board with that idea, and neither was I.  I don’t love a water park either.  Yeesh.

The kids played games for the next couple of hours, and they racked up a TON of tickets.  Olivia hit the main target on the milk jug ball toss a TON of times (it was seriously crazy how many times she did), and that gave them quite a bit of tickets.  Once they had picked out their prizes, we were done for the day.  Normally, I’m frazzled when I leave that place, but thankfully, it wasn’t as busy that day, so it wasn’t quite that bad.

After that was done, we decided to try a new place that we’d driven by earlier in the week – The Pancakery.  We all LOOOOVEEEE breakfast, brunch, breakfast for dinner… breakfast any time!  So, we decided to do that for lunch.

Brian opted for the bananas foster French toast, I had the bananas foster pancakes (I couldn’t go to a place called The Pancakery and not get pancakes!  Haha), Jacob opted for a plain pancake, and, of course, my girl got the M&M pancake with the works!  They were both really in to making the crazy faces, so it is purposeful that they both look so sad here.  I promise they were both really excited about those pancakes!  Hahahaha. 

We all also got scrambled eggs and bacon and/or sausage for some protein, and it was all really delicious.  My pancakes were soooo yummy and they tasted like Christmas, which was not what I expected.  They were even better than what I expected!

After we were done at The Pancakery, we drove back to 30A and made a stop at the Walmart Neighborhood Market in Santa Rosa to grab a few things that we needed.  While we were in there, the kids were dancing around in front of all of the security cameras, and Jacob said, “Momma, when they go watch the footage, they’re gonna see two kids hitting the griddy!” 


These kids just get more and more fun the older they get.

When we were done at Walmart, we drove into Rosemary Beach again to walk around for a bit.  We usually go there in the evening once most of the shops are closed, and I wanted to browse for a bit since we had ample time and no plans. 

We went in one shop called Hissyfits Boutique, and they had the cuuuutest stuff, y’all.  I could have bought half of the store.  Olivia would have, too, as she asked to buy about a dozen things.  Haha.  We ended up staying in there for a while, and although I would have loved to walk away with several pieces of jewelry, a koozie, and some shoes, I just bought some greeting cards that were really cute.  They had a whole section of really unique ones that were really funny, and I love to keep them on hand, so I loaded up.

We also went into this really darling boutique called Disco, but we didn’t stay long because there was nothing in that store that was under $200.  Haha.  I saw these gold sandals and NEEEED them, but they were $199 – HARD PASS – so now I’m making it my life’s mission to find a dupe for, like, $20.  Haha.

We browsed The Hidden Lantern Book Store after that – it’s one of my faves! – and then we browsed a few more shops and headed back to the condo. 

We still had quite a bit of time before we needed to head out for dinner, so we spent a couple of hours in the condo.  The kids watched TV, Brian took a nap, and I read my book.  It was a relaxing afternoon.

Around 6:30 EST, we headed to dinner at The Big Chill (formerly known as The Hub).  It’s one of our favorite places in all of 30A because they have many different restaurants and shops surrounding a big green space, and they have movie nights, DJ nights, and live bands.

Luke Bryan has a bar there called Shore Thing Cigars, and every single time we go, Olivia prays that he will be there and that we’ll get to see him.  Well, my friends, after years and many, many trips there, we finally stumbled upon what we’re 99.9999% sure is his vehicle. 

Luke collects classic Broncos (he even has a song about them), and when we pulled in the parking lot, what did we see in the “Owner Parking” spot in front of his bar?  A souped up, baby blue, custom painted classic convertible Bronco with fancy rims and MASSIVE speakers in the back.  The license plate was from Tennessee (where Luke owns a farm/house), so if that didn’t scream Luke Bryan then I don’t know what does!

Olivia was beside herself with excitement, and she couldn’t believe the day had finally come.  They always have the door propped open to the place when we walk by, but this time, the door was closed.  Mmmmhmmmm.  Probably because he was in there. 

Unfortunately, since it was a cigar bar, the kids were not allowed in, and Brian nor I wanted to walk in there alone, so we proceeded to walk and find a table in The Big Chill, and Olivia practically banged her head on the table for the next 20 minutes because she wanted to see Luke so bad.  Haha.  At one point she said, “This is some serious business!  There is a celebrity 300 feet away!”  Lol. 

Brian walked to grab us some beers, and when he got back, I told Olivia we could pretend to go get something from our car since we’d parked right by Luke in hopes that maybe he’d be out there.  Spoiler alert, he wasn't.

After that, we went back into The Big Chill, and Brian picked up burgers and fries from Duo’s for us, and then we watched The Lion King (the OG!) on the big screen since it was family movie night.  But first, one more trip around Luke's bar to see if we could spot him.  Cringe.  Haha.  While we were there, we stalled for a few minutes and even took some pictures in our usual spot, but… no luck.  We never saw Luke.

We ended the evening with ice cream – I can’t resist the Pirate’s Bounty that they have there at Mr. Freeze! – and it was the best evening.  The only thing that would have made it better would have been if Olivia could have seen Luke.  Ok, ok, and me too.  I’m not gonna lie, I was dying to see him, too.  I love him!

By the time we got to our car it was late, and Luke’s Bronco was still there, so what did we do?  We sat in our car for a good 30 minutes and staked out the joint per Olivia’s instructions.  Hahahaha.  I hoped so badly that he’d come out, but he never did, and we finally left around 9:30 our time, much to Olivia’s dismay.

When we got back to the condo, we watched some of America’s Got Talent, and then we all went to bed. 

And those were two more days of our trip! 

This sure would have been a much more interesting recap if I’d been able to tell you that we finally got to meet Luke!

Happy Friday, y’all!


  1. Sounds like another fabulous couple of days! The food all looks so good.

    1. Yes! The food is excellent there! Lots of my favorite places are there.

  2. Haha, the stalking a celebrity part sounds so funny!

    1. Haha, yes! We definitely did our share of stalking on this trip. I still can't believe we never got to see him!


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