Two weeks ago, we took a family trip to visit one of our favorite towns – Seaside, FL. Chris and I were married there two years ago, and it was such a sweet treat to get to go back to visit. My family has been coming to Seaside since I was a little girl (I have pictures as a toddler walking through town!), so it is dear to our hearts in more ways than one. I'll give you a little peek into how life slows down in Seaside...
We nearly always drive to Florida – the twelve hour drive isn't too bad whether done in one day or split into two, and by driving, we can bring several bikes and all of our favorite beach supplies, like chairs and coolers. This year, we split the drive there into two days, spending a night in New Orleans. Chris has a clerkship coming up where he will have to visit New Orleans several times throughout the year for meetings, so we were excited to explore a town we will soon be seeing a lot of. Naturally, beignets and chickory coffee were had!
After getting our fill of classic New Orleans breakfast items, we hit the road and finished up our drive to Florida. We rented a house in Watercolor, which is a little community that wraps around Seaside. Both Seaside, Watercolor, and the adjoining communities (Seagrove, Rosemary, Watersound, and Grayton to name a few) all reside on or off of the main 30A coastal highway, and are filled with vacation rental homes. Our house in Watercolor was less than a mile's walk to the beach, and had a main house with three bedrooms and an apartment above the garage. The two were attached by a screened-in porch, which is where we spent the majority of our time. Chris and I stayed in the apartment, which had the cutest kitchen... those appliances! The homeowners obviously had fun with this one.
The fridge was just my size :) The bedroom was so sweet as well, and we had great storage space. Though the bed was filled with sand by the end of the week, I don't think I've ever slept so soundly.
The town of Seaside is filled with delicious places to eat. Amavida coffee and Modica Market were our breakfast hits (try a giant waffle or chicken biscuit!). My favorite thing, however, is the sandy floors in every store. You can't forget you're right by the beach.
A big hit for us this year was traveling with teenagers! My siblings are ten years younger, and between them, their friends, and my cousins, we had quite the rowdy group. It was great to get to join in on the fun... like card games, inside jokes, sing-a-longs, and wresting. Yes, that is a giant inflatable Smarties. We also loved having a few extra strapping young men to help carry items to the beach! Speaking of which...
Our setup was a good one. Nearly every day, we would enjoy a leisurely breakfast then pack up lunches, drinks, games, and books to read and head out to the sand. We had a large group of friends staying in nearby Grayton, and we would head out to the semi-circle of chairs to nap, read, and catch up on life. I was introduced to the game Can Jam (so fun! and ridiculous.) and we took turns splashing around in the waves. As always during southern summers, it was insanely hot, but the ocean offered us strong winds to keep us cool. We were thankful for the breeze and semi-rough waves perfect for boogie boarding.
My sister, being in-the-know, brought her very cool Instax camera to the beach one day. We took turns taking pictures and shaking our photos until they came out. It was a nice switch from the typical digital photos on our phones to have something tangible to take home. Such a great little treat!
In the evenings, we'd pile up in a few cars and head out for something fun to eat. This year, we tried a few new places, including The Hub – a "food truck" style set-up without the actual trucks. There are several small places to order at the counter, then picnic tables and cozy chairs scattered throughout a lawn in the middle. There was live music and even bean bag chairs (a huge hit with the kids), and we had such a great time. Love these sweet sunburned smiles from Chris and my little cousin (they both had a birthday during our week at the beach! What a sweet celebration).
We always treasure our time on 30A, but this year was especially memorable as we looked to moving the weekend after we got back. It was nice to have some time away with Chris after being (finally!) done with the bar exams, and good to be with family before we moved. Now we're ready to have adventures in our new city!