After a week of the beach and a break from blogging/social media, I can say (scream?) with all honesty – “I AM REFRESHED!!!” 


If you’re just tuning in (welcome!), my family and I just returned from Blue Mountain Beach, Florida (about 15 minutes east of Destin).  The trip was a Christmas present from my mom and dad to my sister and I.  We had 6 adults, 2 kids and 2 infants!  We stayed in a condo right on the beach (more on that tomorrow!) and spent the week eating, relaxing, swimming and just soaking up one another’s company.  The overall focus was, naturally, the children and their enjoyment, but with extra sets of hands Travis and I were able to sneak away quite often for one-on-one time each day.  I think I had a perma-smile on my face the entire week!

Today I’ll share a short recap to give you an idea of how we spent our days (mostly so that I can look back and remember).  Tomorrow, I’ll share a few of the workouts that we did, some condo information and how the digital detox went!

A Typical Beach Vacation Day

My family and I have been vacationing in Panama City/Destin since I was a baby.  Growing up, we would stay in Panama City but it slowly started turning more commercialized and “Spring Break-ish” (which is great if that’s your goal but we’re more laid back) so we headed west along the Gulf Coast and found Blue Mountain Beach, Florida.  I guess every family has their own vacation rhythm as to how they spend their days – we are no different.  Since I was little, our typical beach vacation day has looked like this:

  1. Wake up early (6:30-7am).
  2. Eat a BIG breakfast (biscuits & gravy, pancakes, eggs, bacon, etc – every day is different but the food is heavy).  Usually cooked by my father.
  3. Set up camp at the POOL and lounge/swim/walk down to the ocean from about 9am to 1pm.  Snack or eat a very light lunch.
  4. Naps from 2pm-4pm.
  5. Showers.
  6. Dinner out – early bird special.
  7. Shopping or sight seeing.
  8. Back to the condo for ice cream.
  9. Bed.

Pretty fun and always relaxing.

Blue Mountain Beach 2014 – Our Day-to-Day

Saturday, July 26th:

Left Franklin around 12:45am.  Stopped twice (once for gas, once to nurse).  Arrived in Destin around 8am.  Ate breakfast at Cracker Barrel then shopped at Target, Marshall’s, Homegoods until we could check into our condominium.  Got into condo around 1pm.  Took naps.  Showered.  Dinner at Goatfeathers, grocery shopping, then back to walk on the beach.  It was Clara’s first time seeing the ocean!  Slept HARD!


Sunday, July 27th:

AM Workout (25 min. sprint/jogs on the treadmill).  Shower, breakfast.  Pool/beach from 9:30am-12:30pm.  Lunch, showers.  Nap from 2pm-4pm.  Early bird dinner at The Red Bar (<-a MUST eat).  Shopping in Seaside (<-a MUST visit).  Back to condo for ice cream and bed.

Monday, July 28th:

AM Workout with Katy and Adam (tri-set circuits using KB’s + tabata finisher).  Shower, breakfast.  Pool/beach from 10am-1pm.  Lunch, showers.  Tried to nap but Porter wasn’t having it – stayed up and played with him while everyone else slept.  Early bird dinner at Bayou Bill’s Crab House (great crab legs!).  Back to condo for movie night with brownie sundaes!  Bed.


A bit foggy but I needed proof that I wore white pants.  Plus Clara’s princess pose.

Tuesday, July 29th:

AM Workout with Katy (KB/goblet squat ladder, stair runs).  Shower, breakfast.  Pool/beach/Kayaking from 10am-1pm.  Snacks, showers.  Nap from 2pm-3pm.  Drove to Panama City – BIRTHDAY dinner at Captain Anderson’s (a MUST eat!).  Sunset dolphin tour in a glass-bottomed boat from 6-7:30pm (sadly we didn’t see any dolphins, but the kids LOVED it!).  Back to condo.  Cereal in bed.






Wednesday, July 30th:

Long beach walk (date) with Travis (<-thank you, Katy!).  Shower, breakfast.  Pool/beach/Kayaking from 10:30-2pm.  Poolside lunch, showers.  Quick Walmart run (by myself) while everyone else napped.  Back to the pool for a picnic dinner.  Walk on the beach (wore Porter in the Ergo carrier).  Back up to condo.  Muppets and ice cream.

Thursday, July 31st:

Slept in (until 7:30..ha).  Breakfast.  Pool/beach/kayaking from 10am-1pm.  Lunch, showers.  Nap from 2:30pm-4:30pm.  Early dinner at Cheeseburgers In Paradise.  Outlet mall shopping.  Froyo!  Back to condo for Wreck It Ralph.  Bed.


Friday, August 1st:

AM Workout (Upper Body Strength circuit).  Shower, breakfast.  Pool/beach/kayaking from 10am-1:30pm.  Lunch, showers.  Nap from 2:30pm-4:30pm.  Dinner at Local Catch.  Back to condo to pack up the car.  Depart for home around 7:30pm. 




Saturday, August 2nd:

Arrive in Franklin around 3:45am.  Crash.

A few random notes:

  • We usually eat at the same places every year.
  • We set up a home base at the pool (rather than the beach) because my mother HATES sand and salt water. <-I tend to agree.
  • My dad rented two sea kayaks for a portion of our trip!  We loved getting out in them (the water was really mild most days) and even took Henry a couple of times!
  • We nap HARD at the beach. And we need to take one every day, else you get the beach crankies.
  • Gone are the days of laying out in the sun.  I have three (needy) children.  Not only do I kinda love them, but I’ve come to the realization that the sun creates wrinkles.  Only took 32 years.  SPF 50 and I have this love affair that can only be described as scandalous.
  • Henry and Clara had an absolute blast, but were glad to be home when we got back to NC. Creatures of comfort.  <-me too.
  • I LOVED watching television in bed every night (we don’t have cable or a tv in our bedroom at home). There’s just something so fun about flipping through the channels.  We might have to get a TV for our bedroom, Travis.


Phew.  That was long – thanks for hanging in there!

QUESTION:  What does your typical family vacation look like??  What’s the ONE thing that’s a must?  Last time you went to the beach?


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  1. Wow, you are gorgeous! That first picture of you, especially…you’re all glowy :). Sadly, I haven’t been to the beach since Sawyer was just a few months old, so 2007? That’s just a crime. I have been to the mountains most years, though :). SPF 50 is a must here too. I’ve had one too many skin cancer scares to risk it, so I usually stay in the shade (yep, I’m one of those women…except no floppy hat. Yet.)

  2. Thanks to melasma on my face I too am deeply connected to SPF 50. Currently pregnant with our first, so our ‘family’ vacations have only been the two of us. Our must is we do not eat at chain restaurants while on vaca – we only eat local. It’s fun! And challenging.

  3. I love love love these pictures! I want to go to the beach!! (I’ve also recently become obsessed with spf 50. WHY DID’T I DO THAT SOONER?!)

  4. We live a half mile from the beach, so we visit often (last time was yesterday) .

    Our must for the beach is Tides Near Me free app or a tide chart. Safety and understanding of conditions is crucial. Plus it let’s us know when to scavenger after high tide.

    Japanese Tsunami debris is still washing up on our beaches.