Family Fun, Summer, travel

Hi from the beach!

Just popping in here to say HI from Panama City Beach!

We left home Saturday morning and drove to Tennessee by that evening, staying overnight in a hotel. The next morning we hit the road again and stopped for lunch in Montgomery, Alabama. We originally had planned to just grab Subway or something at any old place off the highway, but since we were driving right though, I wanted to peak at Montgomery and see what it looked like as I’d never been there. 

We had an outdoor Mexican lunch at a cute place in an alley-way, then walked around the riverfront area. The whole city seemed pretty dead, but I know there are lots of cool civil rights and historical attractions in the area that I would love to see sometime if I ever return and had more time. It was HOT though and we were melting, so after meandering the river area we made a beeline back to the car. I think it normally would be a nice city to visit- but with COVID and all, there just wasn’t much happening. 

By late afternoon we arrived at our destination in Panama City Beach, to the hotel we have been to many times before and my family actually stayed at even back when I was a kid. It’s a family owned place and we just love it- right on the ocean, beautiful views, a great pool, beach area and hot tub, nice gazebos and sitting areas… we all just love it. It feels like “home” for us, if I had a “home” on the beach. 🙂 

Some highlights so far!

  • GORGEOUS weather the first two full days!! Full sunshine, blue skies, a calm, crystal clear ocean. With the hot and humid weather, we know from experience that storms are pretty common down here (especially this time of year), so we really took advantage of the perfect weather and soaked it up big time. True to form, big storms rolled in overnight last night and today it is partly cloudy and the ocean seems a bit stirred up. 50-60% chance of scattered storms are in the forecast for the rest of the days, sadly. We will make the best of it though- it’s rare for it to rain ALL day, and honestly, even a cloudy day at the beach isn’t bad! 

  • A really special morning with Ethan out in the ocean on our first morning. We were both up early and as I said, the weather was beautiful. We were down in the water by 7:30, just floating on noodles and talking. The beach was empty and it felt really special- one of those moments that is so beautiful you kind of have to pinch yourself to see if it’s even real. I feel like I don’t always get a ton of alone time with Ethan….he can be a bit more reserved and doesn’t tend to seek out as much 1:1 time. I had actually been thinking about this lately, wanting to schedule in some alone time with him or solo outings. I swim with Asher a couple times a week (and by nature, Asher is much more inclined to want to hang out with me), but I don’t really have an equivalent activity with Ethan. We had been playing tennis a bit, but Ethan informed me that I’m really not very good so it’s not that fun to play with me. 😬 He suggested I might take some lessons. Hahahaha! 

  • The entire family (the 4 of us plus my parents) out on boogie boards and rafts in the ocean yesterday afternoon. The waves picked up a bit and the ocean water was warm and felt amazing. We spent a long time riding the waves and it was so fun!

  • Late afternoons in the hot tub with a drink chatting with my parents! The last couple of days we have ended up around sunset time in the hot tub while the boys head up for a water break to our patio/ balcony. It’s been really nice just relaxing and talking (adults only) in the hot tub.

  • Time to just lounge around and read and rest. It’s so great to just space out and not really worry about anything and just relax. I’ve spent a good amount of time reading and sipping on a tea or a soda, but also just dozing off or staring out at the ocean. We love adventurous vacations, exploring new places, but beach trips can’t be beat from the standpoint of pure relaxation.  

  • A really nice late dinner out last night. We sat outside on a patio (we were the only ones out there!) and had the BEST Korean BBQ tacos and pretzel bites with queso. The ambiance of the place was great, the night was warm and balmy and it was really fun. 🙂

That’s all for now! I’m not sure what the rest of the day will hold. Like I said, it’s overcast now and I’m just sitting on our balcony. It’s such a warm, comfortable temperature. I think we are planning to get take out steamed shrimp from a local place nearby and we bought tortilla chips and stuff to make pico de gallo. Asher and I had planned to attempt a 1.2 mile swim from the hotel down to the fishing pier this morning, but with the storm overnight the ocean is a little too rough for that. Maybe another morning! I was looking forward to trying it (but not in wavy conditions!).

The calm, clear water yesterday!

Daily Gratitude:
I am grateful for this vacation (that’s an easy one!), time with family and the beautiful weather we had so far! I’m grateful that the ocean has been calm for swimming (some years we’ve encountered the double red flags, riptides or jellyfish infestations!). I’m also grateful that the hotel lobby has a big coffee pot with a hot water dispenser and free black tea and cups- I’m a big tea drinker and I love being able to just grab a cup of tea in the morning or in the evening. 

2 thoughts on “Hi from the beach!”

  1. Lol about Ethan's comment about you needing tennis lessons! Ha!!! I am so unathletic so I am sure my husband will be doing all the sporty things with our sons and I will be the one doing puzzles and reading and other nerdy activities. 😉 Unless they become runners and aren't too fast like their dad – then I could run with them! Your getaway sounds perfect. It reminds me of the trips we have taken to the Golf coast the last 2 springs. The area you are staying looks perfect. I would consider going there if it was easy to fly to but we don't tend to have direct flights to that area of Fl from MN and I am all about direct flights! I love having a place on the water so you can enjoy your breakfast and coffee on the patio and hear the waves crashing!!


  2. it's great that you have a family go to vacation place! that brings so much tradition and memories for the family.I love adventure vacations but right now I think i'd also enjoy a no-plan beach vacation, all your pics look fantastic!enjoy!


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