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.
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?
It’s been just beautiful here in Florida. Warm days and cool nights make for some great hiking weather. Today my family and I hiked through the Garden of Eden Trail in the Apalachicola Bluffs and Ravines Preserve. It was an amazing hike but not for the faint of heart.
3.75 miles round trip showcasing some of Florida’s natural foliage and wildlife. This hike is strenuous and I would not recommend for small children.
*This novice hiker nearly puked on some of the inclines but I pushed through and feel amazing for it. And the River Loop is definitely worth it.
Check out the National Conservancy website for more information on Florida hikes.
While I miss the mountains, this was an excellent hike and worth the trip.
Garden of Eden is north of Bristol, Florida (one hour west of Tallahassee)
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Growing up in Missouri and Wyoming, my family spent most long weekends and summer breaks at the lake. We are carrying on that tradition with my kids. Our family, all 12 of us, loaded up two campers, two jet skis and two kayaks and spent the weekend playing at Lake Seminole.
Now while I love the beach, the lake was the perfect spot to take out the jet skis. The water was smooth and the weather was perfect. Only and hour and half from Panama City, FL, it was the perfect spot for a weekend getaway.
I think we have found our next great camping spot. Where’s yours?
I try to hold true to this statement and once a year take my kids on a trip. This summer, however, we did not plan any vacations or trips. We were just going to be homebodies and enjoy what our town had to offer.
Life had other plans. The boyfriend has family in Indiana and decided last minute we were going to take a roadtrip and spend the week in the Midwest.
12 hour drive later, the kids and I woke up to the sun rising over the corn fields and windmills greeting us a good morning.
We spent the week exploring the bfs hometown. From eating pizza in a double decker bus to venturing out to see waterfalls, we had a blast.
Stops included the Air Force Museum in Dayton, OH. Swimming in the river in Liberty, IN. And a bonfire watching the sunset over the farmlands.
The trip home included a stop at the Corvette Museum in Bowling Green, KY and a tour of the Jack Daniels Distillery in Lynchburg, TN.
While a trip to farm country may not seem exciting, it’s all about who you travel with. My kids got to experience another state and I got to learn more about what makes my man tick.
No trip is ever boring when it’s with the ones you love. So get out and explore. You never know what you might learn.
Spring Break is next week here in Panama City. Usually we are off on an adventure during Spring Break, but this year we have company so we are doing a staycation while my friend gets to experience a new adventure.
I think one of the best things about having someone visit us is being able to show them all the cool spots and beaches like a tour guide. I get to relive the excitement all over again.
Three days packed with different beach spots, restaurants and of course shopping. I love a good adventure, but I also love sleeping in my own bed. I get the best of both this next week.
Anyone else enjoying a little Staycation this Spring Break?
I am a mountain girl at the very core of my being. While I do claim land mermaid status, my soul longs for the mountains. Seeing the mountains out of my parent’s mini van windshield meant we were almost to my grandmother’s house. As I had gotten older, and we had moved to Wyoming, seeing the mountains was an every day occurrence. We traveled those Rocky Mountain ranges every year, at least twice a year to see my grandparents. My life has always been in the mountains. My soul is happy in the valley of those towering, snow-capped ranges.
The mountains are calling, and I must go.
In two weeks my feet will touch Colorado soil after close to 5 years. Far too long. I will get to spend a brief, but wonderful week of Thanksgiving with my grandparents, in the valley of the San Juan Mountains. My soul will find it’s rest. It is weary.
There are never enough words to express my love for the mountains. The crisp breeze of fall, the rustling of the leaves as they flitter off the Aspen trees. The snowy hills and the creatures that roam free and quiet in the stillness. There is a quiet unlike any other, one that refreshes and restores.
I belong in the mountains. It is calling me home. 2 weeks to go. My heart is about to burst at the thought. Adventure awaits. Take me home.
It seems like it has been forever since we have been camping anywhere. And even longer since I have put any travel anything on this blog. So I am going to combine two wonderful trips into one post! Our first trip was in September and we went to Ichetucknee Springs State Park near Lake City, FL and a few weeks ago we went to Cape San Blas State Park in Cape San Blas, FL.
Ichetucknee Springs was a wonderful weekend full of floating lazily down a very cold, clear spring then swimming in the crystal clear waters of one their natural springs. Let me tell you, they are cold! 72 degree temperature, but hey when it’s hot and humid, those are amazing. We rented tubes and floated down the river for a few hours. It was the most relaxing trip. Well, besides one of the boys losing his flip flops because he didn’t listen when told to put on boat shoes, or when the other boy nearly tipped me off my float because he had to pee….yes that is life with boys.
Our other camping trip was to Cape San Blas State Park. We spent a three day weekend just laying on the beach, enjoying the waves, the sun, and the ability to walk to back to camper anytime we wanted. My boys were in heaven because they got to fish all day long. And they did. It was marvelous.
We didn’t do much. I sat in a beach chair and read Harry Potter. I watched my boys knee deep in the water fishing. I watched my daughter and my four year old niece play in the sand. I watched my Mom and Dad enjoy being able to relax. I watched the sunset and my loves sitting by the fire roasting marshmallows.
It was a weekend I needed in the midst of the chaos of school, work, and raising kids. It was good to get away, even for a short while.
The month of January is usually a hard month for me. While it’s gives me the opportunity to start a new year fresh, there is still residual insecurities from the year that has past. The colder weather and cloudy days certainly don’t help any. Even here in Northern Florida, we have cold mornings and lots of rain. With that being said, as I begin to shake off what was and let go of the expectations that did not come through, I plan for this year. New adventures, new trips, new relationships. Not really a new me, I am pretty content with what and who I am at the moment, but perhaps working towards a slightly better me.
Each year I am lucky enough to take my three kids on a trip. One year was to Busch Gardens in Tampa, FL and that fall a cruise to the Grand Cayman’s and Cozumel. The next year was to Universal Studios and mini weekend vacations. This year holds some big adventures.
First, my youngest daughter has hit double digits. It’s a big deal in our house. And my oldest is hitting the teenage years this summer. Another really big deal. But, the biggest adventure we have planned, and this is HUGE for us, is our very first trip to Disney World. While I know this is not a big deal to a lot of people, but for this single mom struggling to make it each month, this is GIGANTIC! Spring Break is going to be great adventure.
While personal things are also making life a little more of an adventure, I am ecstatic to give my kids this opportunity. Adventure is out there. Stop waiting for the next best thing, and make your life the best that there is. Start small with little weekend getaways. Save every last penny in a jar designed for your trips. Make a plan and stick to it. Research and look for ways to explore your destination without costing you a fortune.
It is possible to have amazing vacations without breaking the bank. Some of our favorite trips where little camping trips we took. Even a few nights away from the daily grind can refresh your soul. Take some “you” time. If you have the ability to travel, why aren’t you? What is holding you back?
Throw your hands up in the air, and let adventure take control. Shake off the winter blues, get that calendar out, and start planning!