LIFE | Vacationing in the Florida Panhandle

Tuesday, December 29, 2015




Yesterday wrapped up my week long vacation visiting my sister, brother-in-law, and niece in Fort Walton Beach, Florida. It was about a 8 hour drive each way and now that it is done, I CAN'T BELIEVE I TOOK A ROAD TRIP BY MYSELF (well, with my son). This was the furthest I had driven without my husband or another family member and while I tried to not let my nerves get to me, I was actually quite terrified. I couldn't help but think thoughts like, "What if we get a flat tire?" "What  if we get murdered at a rest stop?" "What if I can't drive that far and I give up and just set up camp in the woods forever?" My thyroid makes me so anxious and it has definitely gone down a bit with medication, but it is one symptom I am not sure I will ever be able to get rid of. Thankfully none of my worst fears came true and we made it okay. I made sure to break the drive into two parts, which  definitely made it more manageable. 

Logan and I had so much fun on our vacation. Here are some bits and pieces from our trip. 

We saw all the big military planes will taking a quick trip to Hurlburt Field. The kids looked so small next to these massive flying machines!





They also had a massive Christmas tree decorated with bows all over it!


Afterwards we went bowling and Logan was such a hype man. He was throwing high fives left and right and cheering you on, even when you made a gutter ball. He was so excited to be playing and to watch us all play!


In preparation of Santa's arrival, we baked up some Christmas Cookies. We had a good selection of animal cookie cutters to choose from. We finally decided on snowflakes, squirrels, and snails. Glitter is pretty and sprinkles are tasty. I'm pretty sure Santa likes pretty and tasty, so we went a little crazy with the decorations.



Christmas came and went, some toys getting a little more play time than others. Unless you have been living under a rock, you may have heard of a little game called Pie Face? Haven't heard of it? Well, let me explain it in the best way I know how. It is Russian roulette with whip cream. It is TERRIFYING. I don't care if what is on the end of it is delicious whipped up sweetness. The idea of twisting a lever to the fate of getting pied in the face is TERRIFYING. Then...it is funny. Everyone gets a good laugh and the fun continues as long as everyone is brave enough to keep spinning the spinner and cranking the crank.


On a day with better weather, we made our way out into the nearby city of Navarre and took the kids to the Gulf Breeze Zoo. It wasn't a huge place, but I can tell you it is by FAR, more interactive that many of the other zoos I have been to. They had feed cups and feed sticks available when buying tickets, which are used to feed a variety of animals. We were able to feed goats and pigs, llamas, giraffes and more!





I think my favorite part though was the bird aviary. This is where you use the bird feed sticks, which are just popsicle sticks with bird seeds on the end of them. What happens is: you go in and the second you do, you are greeted by parakeets starting to feed off your stick. Then more come and then more! They are beautiful and so colorful and they land right on you. It was so much fun and a great experience. My Logan definitely got a bit of a scare when one of the birds talons touched him and then he refused to hold a stick again.



It is a tiny zoo, but well worth the visit if you are in the area and have small children.

After the zoo we went for sushi. We went to a place called The Slippery Mermaid and it was soo good. If you are a sushi addict like me, you need to visit this place. There are so many choices and I didn't try a single roll I didn't like. The place was trendy on the inside, but from the outside it looks like a shack. Trust me, this is the place to go. This is definitely a case of "Don't judge a book by its cover," because if you do you will miss out on some good eats.




My brother-in-law graciously watched my son so that us girls could have some time out. I don't get much time out without my son, so this was a special treat for me. The first time we went out, we went to dinner at a place called Old Bay Steamer. They had a good selection of all kinds of seafood and we totally went HAM on this seafood pot. The gumbo was AMAZING and while the blue crab appetizer had some small crabs, but the taste totally made up for it. It was such a good, filling meal and we brought the rest home to eat while we sat at a tiny little, toddler Ikea table and ate shamelessly in our pajamas. Don't judge.



That night, we also got out for massages and pedicures. Trust me, both were well needed.

On a different night, we got out to see Sisters, the new movie with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. It was HILARIOUS. If you have a sister, you have to see this movie, preferably with your sister. It was such a funny movie and my sister and I could definitely relate to a lot of what was going on.

It was such a fun experience to take a road trip and just get away from everything. The drive back seemed so easy. I downloaded the audiobook of Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes and I just listened to her tell her story while I cruised down the highway. I have never been too interested in Grey's Anatomy or Scandal, but I am very into How to Get Away with Murder. Even if you aren't into any of these shows, her book is entertaining, insightful and funny. I plan on doing a book review post, so stay tuned for that!

How was your week? Were you able to get away, even if only for a little bit?

-Susie





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