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Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The perfect start to a summer? A quick beach getaway!!

The kids have been out of school just over a week, and we were so lucky to have the chance for a quick beach getaway last weekend!  My mom has a friend with a 2 bedroom condo on Panama City Beach, and she gave mom a super deal on it for 3 nights!! She invited me, my kids, my sister and her three girls.  Husbands stayed home for this trip!  We drove down separately and met up down there that evening! The first night we went to Mellow Mushroom for dinner, then I took my kids, and my seven year old niece on the beach for a quick pre-bedtime walk while Mom and my sister went to the grocery store. 

Don't laugh, but all I needed was milk & cheese! I packed so much stuff from our stockpile! Even toiletries, paper items, medicines, etc - and it's funny how much we ended up using! Even such diverse things as laundry detergent, toilet paper, ear drops, and tylenol were all pulled out of one or another of my bags, to be used!  ** Best Beach Tip:  One awesome thing I took - a box of ziplock bags! We used them for everything!! Shells on the beach, carrying sunscreen & such to the beach, to put your phone in on the beach, etc!! I'll never go to the beach without baggies again!!**

For breakfast I took oatmeal packs, a pan of cooked Sister Schubert's rolls, and cereal.  For lunch one day I made one of the Kraft Homestyle Mac n Cheese dinners.  We stored the leftovers in - you guessed it - a ziploc bag! I also took tortillas for quesadillas & pizzas (to make with the cheese my sister picked up).  We ended up not making the tortilla pizzas because my kids revolted! lol  I also took instant coffee, some Suisse Mocha instant coffee, and Crystal Light packs.  For drinks, I packed some bottled water, Fuze, and Honest Tea half lemonade half tea drinks from my stockpile.  It was great to take all that to keep in the fridge at the condo, and not have to buy drinks constantly!!  Bringing so much from home meant we could use our money to eat at nicer places than I would normally be able to instead of running to the store for things like detergent,drinks, etc!!

The next day we went beachcombing with our baggies, buckets and shovels, looking for pretty shells. Isn't it gorgeous there?!

The chair attendant suggested we try the state park at the end of the road for bigger shells, so I loaded up my kids and two of my nieces and away we went!  We found some beautiful shells there and it was so pretty; we decided to come back at sunset for some pics!

Then we went souvenier shopping.  Back at the condo my kids went to the pool with my sister, I did a quick load of laundry and caught up on the latest with my mom.  We watched some of the Casey Anthony trial too. All with the most amazing view from our 7th floor condo. 

Later, we drove to Pier Park (I think that was the name!) where Margaritaville was located.  We celebrated my niece's 19th birthday, and my Katie's 17th (it's actually this Sunday!)

My birthday girl and my little guy at Margaritaville!

 Then Mom went back to the condo for some quiet time and my sister and I took the girls to the state park for those sunset pics!


 Two sassy seven year olds!

Looking for MORE shells!

God is one incredible artist, don't you think?  This was such a gorgeous sunset...

Saturday we went to brunch at Another Broken Egg Cafe - yum, yum, yum! (So happy to hear they are building one in Buckhead!!)  Then we hit the beach early. David was boogie-boarding the entire time! Once the heat and humidity were more than we could stand, we headed back inside. I did more laundry and started packing things up for Sunday.  We played some Scrabble Slap, then my kids and I headed out to find a Hawaiian shaved ice stand.  We ended up driving down the coast for about 25 miles, just admiring the beauty of the ocean.  Then we grabbed a quick dinner at Arby's, and finally found a Hawaiian ice stand so we could enjoy an icy treat!  My kids both said how much they loved our drive together - just spending time together, talking, laughing and having fun.  : ) It's the little things....!

We packed up early Sunday, and headed to my hometown of Moultrie, in SW Georgia. (About 3 hours from PCB)  We spent about an hour at my 89 year old Nana's, where I delivered a huge bag of pantry staples and toiletries to help her stock her kitchen & bathroom a little bit.  It's always hard to leave her - we all cry! But we were ready to get home by then, so we had a 4 hour drive ahead.  Got home before 8 pm, and  three days later, I still haven't unpacked all the way! But the laundry is done, the shells were boiled, dried and are now on display as a very tangible reminder of our wonderful beach getaway!!

That will probably be our only vacation this year - I'm hoping we can save up for a cruise next Spring to celebrate Katie's graduation!! But it was wonderful, and I'm very thankful that Mom invited us to come along!

Where are you going on vacation this summer? I love hearing about others' vacation plans - let's me find new fun places to visit, too!!  Hope you enjoyed the pics of our weekend getaway!

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