Hurricane Michael and Florida

Wow, it’s been a minute since I have been able to add anything to any blog or social media. We are currently still without internet at home, and I have limited access at work.

Hurricane Michael came through Panama City, Mexico Beach and 7 other counties on Oct. 10th. Hitting our area as a Category 4 hurricane, we all went to bed thinking if we get hit, it will be a 2 but there is a good chance it will change course. It didn’t. I left my house with my three kids, two cats and a dog, at 4:00 a.m. and drove to my parents house about 5 miles away. My boyfriend stayed with his aunt and uncle about a mile away.

Our home has minor damages but we lost a lot of trees. My parents home has minor damage but they lost most of their trees. My boyfriend’s Uncle was not as lucky. With two pine trees falling on the back half of the house, they are down to two usable rooms. Between the two homes on the property, 20 people are living there due to losing homes in the storm.

Our town is not normal. Our schedules are not normal. Only a handful of places are open to shop and gas stations are still running out of gas. I am taking a break from this blog to help our families rebuild our lives. Maybe in the next year we can resume travel and really getting back to normal. I am just thankful that the MRE’s are packed up and I can actually cook…which for us nowadays is a lot of Crock Pot meals, since no one is home until after 6:30 p.m. every night.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas season. We are setting up our tree this weekend and trying to bring a sense of wonder and cheer for the kids. Lord knows we all need it. See you next year!

Advertisements

Travel in the USA

Travel Quote Blog

If you stop and look around, no matte what part of the country you are in, you will have the opportunity to experience different cultures. From the Deep South to the bustle of New York to California, Texas, and all the way in between, there is a pulse of a different culture. You get to experince different foods, sights, and different amazing parts of our wonderful country.

Travel on direction and see the ocean, mountains and snow. Another takes you through plains to the rolling hills and down to the desert. From the Gulf to the maple trees in Vermont, there is something to see and experience. You don’t need a passport, a lot of money or even a plan. Pack up. Drive out and see what this country has to offer.

USA Travel Blog

Learn about a new culture, whether it’s tasting local seafood to the best barbecue in the country, step out of your bubble and look around. Scale the Rockies, wander through the desert, hike the Smoky Mountains, see the whales in Oregon, have fresh lobster in Maine, the list goes on.

How lucky are we to have a world at our fingertips and we can experience so much right in our own backyard.

Check out my USA Travels Board, where I can’t wait to explore in Florida and my bucket list for Weekend getaways all on Pinterest. I also have a board of places I have traveled and my favorite pictures of some of the amazing natural sights in the States. Snoop around!

Tropicana Field-St. Petersburg FL

We took our kids to their first ever baseball game in Tampa, FL this last weekend. Boy, did we have a blast. Between playing “I Spy” in the truck on the way down to surprised looked on the lady’s face at McD’s when L. ordered 10 sausage, egg, and cheese biscuits (for the the 5 of us) we all enjoyed a much needed vacation.

So our first stop before hitting the ball park was Ferg’s Sports Bar And of course, I had to order their Ahi Tuna Nachos. Don’t those look amazing! It was heaven for my taste buds. Not too spicy to where I was sweating, but just a good kick to let you know the wasabi was there. If you are looking for a great place to chill before the game, check them out. It’s two blocks from the park, and totally worth the stop.

Who doesn’t love sting rays? Tropicana Field has it’s own Sting Ray Tank where you can pet the sting rays while overlooking the field. Pretty awesome and totally family friendly.

Great view!

Tropicana Field is a completely enclosed stadium. Which, at the end of June in Southern Florida, is a blessing. We got there early enough to watch the Yankees in batting practice before the game. 

The view from our seats! For $40 per person, we were left field by the foul ball post. No blocks in our view and close enough to see all the action and still stay within our budget. (Look, Yankee players!)

Another great view from our seats.

That is real dirt out there. It was cool to watch them prep the field before the game.

Let’s play ball!

I have been to hockey games, football games, and baseball games. The atmosphere for a baseball game is like none other. They hold true to the saying that baseball is America’s Greatest Past time, and the Tampa Bay Rays and Tropicana Field sure to make it a family friendly event. The Yankee fans around us, and there were a ton of Yankee fans, were amazing and friendly. One group got the whole stadium to participate in the wave. Even though the Yankees lost that weekend game series, everyone was in good spirits. All our of kids loved it and me and the Mr. were happy to introduce them to the greatest game ever played.

Fishing in the Dark

One of the perks of living this close to the Gulf is the abundance of fishing we get to do. We are horrible fisher people. We can’t catch anything really work keeping when we fish from the marina or piers, but the boys love it and I enjoy watching the sunset. So it’s a win-win for all of us.

One night we took my Grams out to the Panama City Marina so the men/boys could fish and we could get her out of the house. Miraculously, for Florida, it was not very humid and very nice. We didn’t die sitting outside for once. And the sunset made it worth it. If you look closely, those tiny little buildings is actually Panama City Beach. 

Okay, so this one does not include a sunset or even the Gulf, but dang I love these three. (This is Deerpoint Lake, still no luck fishing fresh water.)

Father’s Day weekend we took the family and Grams out to Mexico Beach Pier to do some fishing and relaxing. It was pretty busy that night, and Grams got to see a few little sharks up close and personal. We still didn’t catch anything worth keeping, even with all the junk we brought to fish. But any night with my crew is a night well spent.

We were even treated with a little visitor..Hello Mr. Sea Turtle.

 

And another beautiful Florida sunset. 

Sometimes the best memories are right outside your front door. You don’t need a lot of money or have to travel far if you know where to look. With a family of 5, we are always looking for free fun. Get outside, get some fresh air, and make some memories. Those are the ones they won’t forget.

Bubble Up Breakfast Bake

I love Sunday mornings. It’s the one day out of the week we all sit down to a family breakfast. Without fail, we always have a Sunday breakfast. So, I am challenged to find new recipes to cook for our family.

This Sunday we are having a simple breakfast casserole that takes minimal prep time but max flavor. This Bubble Up Breakfast Bake is so tasty and so easy to put together.

Ingredients:

1 package of breakfast sausage

1 jumbo container of refrigerator biscuits

6 eggs

1-1/2 cups of cheese

1 small can of diced chilies

1/4 cup of milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9×13 pan with cooking spray. Cut each biscuit into 8 pieces. Layer the bottom of the pan.

Cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink. Top biscuits with sausage. Add cheese and green chilies.

In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper. Pour over the sausage mix.

Cook for 30 minutes or until knife comes out clean. We topped ours with salsa. For a family of five (three of them are teenagers!) there was more than enough.

Enjoy your Sunday!!

A bouquet of beauty in Florida Humidity

I love peonies. Just head over heels in love. They are beautiful, big blooms and soft and sweet. They can survive hard winters and make amazing bouquets.

Sadly, I live in Florida and we don’t have cold enough winters to keep peonies thriving. So what’s a girl to do?

We plant Ranunculus instead! Deemed the Southern Peonies, they can survive in colder winters, but thrive in the mild winters and spring. Just as pretty and feminine as peonies, just more suitable to Florida’s climate.

Hydrangeas will make an appearance along side my azaleas and Ranunculus. I can’t wait to get planting! Now if these thunderstorms would move on out, I can sweat my booty off while gardening!

Crunchy French Toast

Dang it’s been cold here in Florida! Today was a dreary, cold day. After all the Saturday chores were done, breakfast for dinner sounded like a fantastic idea.

I love breakfast food, just not always at breakfast time! French toast is one of those easy meals that can look so fancy. I took The Pioneer Woman’s French toast recipe from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It and modified it according to the ingredients I had at home and the timeframe I had to cook.

Ingredients:

12 slices of bread (any kind of bread you want works)

1/2 cup of milk

6 eggs

1/2 teaspoon of Vanilla

1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/3 cup of sugar

1-1/2 cup of Honey Nut Cheerios

Directions:

Heat a skillet on medium heat.

Scramble eggs in a pie plate. Add the milk, vanilla, and cinnamon. Mix well.

Slice bread into three sticks per slice.

While the skillet is heating up, pulse the cereal until it is ground up but not too fine. Place in a different pie plate. Mix in the sugar.

Soak break in the egg mixture, then coat in the cereal.

Coat the skillet in butter. Add the bread and cook until both sides are golden.

Serve with sprinkled powdered sugar and top with your favorite syrup. 🙂

Breakfast is good any time of the day!

Chilaquiles

Starting off the week with a bang! The first recipe I tackled from The Pioneer Woman Cooks: Come and Get It! was breakfast. We love Mexican food and it’s good anytime of day.

I took the recipe from pages 8-9 and modified it for our family.

Ingredients:

Corn tortillas (cut into triangles)

Coconut oil (for frying)

Ground breakfast sausage

1 chopped green bell pepper

Eggs

Taco Seasoned Shredded Cheese

Salsa for toppings

Directions:

Heat enough coconut oil in a pan to fry the tortilla triangles. You can cut as many as you want for each plate. Fry in the oil about a minute on each side, just until almost brown. Season with salt and set aside.

Use the remaining coconut oil to sauté the peppers until soft. Set aside.

Brown sausage. When no longer pink, toss in the peppers to mix. Set aside.

Using the leftover oil from the sausage, fry your eggs. I like the flavor the eggs get from the sausage pieces leftover.

How to assemble:

Place tortillas on a plate. Top with meat mixture then your eggs. Sprinkle cheese.

*You can add enchilada sauce (like the cookbook recipe does) or any other toppings you like. You can also add more veggies and omit the meat for a vegetarian style breakfast.

My picky boyfriend and kids loved it! We will definitely be cooking this one again.

Find me on Instagram for pics not featured on the blog! Roadtripkitchenblog

Cooking like The Pioneer Woman

I got the Ree Drummond cookbook from my honey for our anniversary. I love cooking and and The Pioneer Woman products. So, of course I must try all the recipes!

This year I’m going to attempt her recipes with some variations of my own. I plan on spending more time talking about travel and tips when traveling with kids and the best and worse of Panama City Spring Break travel.

So please join me weekly for new attempts of cooking like The Pioneer Woman, getting out into the world some and how to sane while doing it!

A Victorian Christmas

Every year we go camping and see the Christmas lights. This year we went to Tifton, GA to the Georgia Museum of Agriculture and Historical Museum for a Victorian Christmas.

We spent the day exploring the museum and learning about the agriculture of the 1800s. At night we took the Polar Express to the North Pole to see Santa.

We slept in a tent (and boy was it cold!) which gave my kids the same experiences that I had as a kid. I love taking my kids on new adventures.

Tifton, GA is about three hours from home. The Museum is really neat and there are some great guides to explain all the buildings. My kids even learned how they made corn meal.

The gift shop offered turpentine, local honey and canned goods. Totally with the trip and the cold nights.

Where’s your favorite place to see Christmas lights? Any family traditions that you are passing down to your kids?