Friday, June 14th, 2013
- Courtney and I missed going to Grayton Beach during Spring Break so we decided to splurge and rented a beach house for a week as the cabins at the state park where we usually stay were booked. We asked my parents to come along as they have never been in this part of FLA before. Claire, Sean, Jack, Grace and Sophia are all here as well.
- Need to note: stopped at a Wendy’s for lunch somewhere in Kentucky that was truly bizarre. There were at least 4 adult managers walking around the Wendy’s cleaning tables, getting refills, making sure the line went quickly. When we walked in someone opened the outer door and someone else opened the inner giving us hi y’all. Yes we’re in the south but it was really weird.
- We took two cars leaving our house at 5:00. Had an uneventful 11 hour drive to Birmingham Alabama where we stayed in a nice Embassy Suites south of the city. Once there we quickly made our way to Embassy Suites Happy Hour offset with Dad manhattans and decompressed. We went to a BBQ place around the corner from the hotel called Jim n Nicks that I looked up and it looked pretty good. We waited about 30 minutes for a table and then all had some good southern barbecue, cheddar biscuits and good sides of collard greens, mac and cheese and beans. Quickly crashed once back at the hotel.
Saturday, June 15th 2013
- Embassy Suites breakfast at 8:00 and was on the road by 9:30. 4 1/2 hour drive to Grayton Beach after stopping at the MOST HORRIBLE McDonalds of all time on Rt 10 in Florida. Everyone on the way and going home from the Beach was there and the staff was inept to say the least. Terrible experience. Don’t go there again.
- Got to our rental house around 2:00 – unfortunately the cleaning lady was still there and needed more time. We all walked down to the beach to say hello to the ocean. The beach and water are great as always and it is just a 5 minute walk down the road to our beach.
- Got into the house around 3:00 after telling the cleaning lady to not worry about washing the windows or sweeping the pool deck. She was happy. House very nice. Four bedrooms, all with own bathrooms open to large great room with kitchen, dining and living spaces. Nice and chilly A.C. as it is H.O.T. outside with capital letters. The back has a nice small pool, long of lounge chairs and pool toys.
- Courtney, Mom and I headed off to the Publix and had no trouble dropping lots of $$ buying first round of groceries and beer. Lots of beer drinkers. Came home to everybody having fun in the pool, inventing a game knocking over (lots) of empty beer cans.
- Had dinner of grilled chicken, brothy noodles, zucchini and of course a publix key lime pie. Courtney and I went to bed early as we were beat…not sure how long the kids stayed up
Sunday, June 16th, 2013
- Had a breakfast casserole for breakfast and celebrated fathers days. We quickly lubed up with lots of sunscreen and made our way down to the beach. It was a nice hot and sunny day. The ocean was nice and blue and not rough at all. Started our first sand castle and loving the great sand here.
- Up for lunch around 1:00, pool, beers, siesta and back to the beach. Same routine. Life is tough. I stoked up the Weber again and we grilled hamburgers, and had corn on the cob and baked beans.
- Everyone watched the NBA finals after dinner but I was in bed by 9:00 as I was pooped.
Monday, June 17th, 2013
- Beach in late A.M. after a breakfast of pancakes and bacon. Beach was hot….it clouded up which was good as most of us were sunburn.
- Went to Red bar for lunch around 1:30. I had a bowl of gumbo and a salad with a tomato vinaigrette. Courtney had a shrimp po boy. All had good lunches.
- Spent afternoon in the pool and had a late dinner of tuna melts and salad… which were very good. Brownies and ice cream and then played dominoes for two hours until 11:00.
Tuesday, June 18th, 2013
- bike ride in AM with Claire, Grace and Sophia to Sea Side for coffee. Love their latin coffee little store… best coffee anywhere…even when its 85 out at 8:00 in the morning. Walked on beach, bought blueberries at farmers market
- went down to beach but storm chased us back to house. It didn’t end up raining, went back down the beach an hour later and it was beautiful. The girls and Sean ended up going to Destin shopping but Jack, Dad and I built a great castle and it was a great morning.
- Back to chill in pool and sandwiches for lunch.
- Mom made pasta with shrimp, feta and tomatoes for dinner – very good.
Wednesday, June 19th, 2013
- Courtney and I went on an early morning bike ride around Watercolor checking out the nice streets and the humongous houses. Stopped for coffee in Seaside and relaxed outside.
- Beach in morning and afternoon – same old same old perfect day. Nice big sand castle.
- Got dinner put together and then everyone went down the beach to take pictures. Although the sunset wasn’t great the light is great to take pictures at that time of the day.
- Taco dinner with lots of tacos, fixings and spanish rice. Didn’t eat until 9:00 or so.
Thursday, June 20th, 2013
- Courtney, Grace, Mom and I went for a walk down the beach when we woke up around 8:00. The beach was nice – calm, blue and little wind. We walked to Grayton Beach and back. It was hot down there even that early as there was no wind.
- Courtney, Claire and I went on a drive after breakfast to check out Top Sail State Park – about 10 miles West on 30A. It was mostly a campground – they had some cabins but not as nice as the ones we usually stay in at Grayton Beach. The Grayton Beach ones are more private. We stopped at the grocery store to load up on pop and beer and to get a cake for Sean’s birthday which is today.
- I went down to the beach by myself for about an hour and half and read. (rapture)
- Everyone was down the beach in the afternoon on a nice bright afternoon. Sean caught a couple of fish. We were chased up by rain around 4:00 but we sat in the pool in the pouring rain drinking beer and the rain only lasted about 15 minutes.
- We somehow got everybody together and out of the house by 5:30 to go to dinner at Stinkys. We thought if we got there earlier enough we wouldn’t have to wait – but ended up waiting about 1 hour and 15 minutes – not bad at all actually as we sat in the bar in the building next door. We had a really great dinner, sitting at the long tall table right next to the bar. I had a dozen raw oysters and a salad and helped Courtney with her great combo of crawfish pot pie, catfish and crabcake – all great. Sean and Dad each had the Stinky’s stew that was a bouilibaise of great things.
- Went home and had cake and sang Happy Birthday to Sean.
- Watched Miami win the NBA finals…..BOOOOOO.
Friday, June 21st, 2013
- Grace and I went on a bike ride at 7:00 AM. Drove through Watercolor again picking out which house I will buy when I win the lottery. It is quite amazing the houses they are building and they are all beautiful. Of course stopped for coffee at Seaside, split a chocolate croissant and brought one home for Sophia. Stripped down when I got back and jumped in the pool. Yeay vacation.
- Spent the morning and afternoon on the beach. It started raining late morning but we just stayed in the pool in the rain drinking beer. Very nice.
- Went to Seaside for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. Kids got three orders of fried pickles and adults got oysters, steamed shrimp and red royal shrimp. We sat on the beautiful ocean front pavilion and enjoyed our last evening on the beach. We ordered pizza after that at a place in Grayton that wasn’t very good and put together a salad with all our leftover. Packed up the cars.
Saturday, June 22nd, 2013
- Got up early and on the road at 5:05 CST. Road all the way home… about 15 1/2 hours. long drive but didn’t run into any problems – good weather and no bad traffic. We had a great vacation and so happy that we went.