Dreaming of Sunshine, Sand and Seafood

You guys….it’s FRIGID out here in New York. I’m talking in the 20’s and with wind it’s 5 degrees… FIVE!  My mouth is frozen! it’s that cold. And i REEEEALLY don’t like to wear shoes and socks and these days I have HAD to wear my winter boots and socks because if not my little toesies would just freeze and fall off!

So I thought what better way to warm up my day than remember our summer vacation in FLORIDA’S gorgeous Gulf Coast!

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Oh and P.S. This summer Lily decided that “GIRL” swimsuits are for succckas! and that board shorts and sun tees are the way to go… I have no complaints… hope she keeps this up until she’s 30!

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Every Summer Matt. Lily. Jonah and I pack up the car and take a road trip down to Florida.

44786_436159152632_6530024_nWe stop along the way to meet up with friends and check out the sights…it’s an adventurous few days for all of us. I love to just get in the car and drive. Lily loves it too. She says she likes to ” think” while we drive. Matt and I get to talk for hours while Lily sleeps.. I mean with all that goes on in these parts who gets a chance to just talk for hours ya know.

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One of Lily’s most memorable things to do each summer is go late night fishing with grandpa… I skip this part… not because I don’t like fishing but because I have heard.. through the grapevine.. that grandpa is VERY particular about his fishing companions and as Lily has reported…” you can’t talk, you can’t even cough or sneeze when you fish with grandpa”. 

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Even Jonah Bear had his cousin to hang out with all summer. 
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Water Sking – She got up on the FIRST try! Woop!

2012-01-02 20.21.17Our families live in the Florida Panhandle and every summer we indulge in all the goodness of this region of the country.

45639_436158867632_1384742_nFood, watersports, beaches, shopping, family and adventure! If you haven’t been to the EMERALD COAST… you are missing out my friend … you are missing out!

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So to warm all of us up this bitter cold week in New York… here are some pics from our summer spent swimming in bayous, chasing after dolphins, eating lots of yummy seafood and of course loving on our families.

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Here are my tips when visiting the Panhandle of Florida – Seaside,San Destin, Destin, Fort Walton Beach specifically.

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EATS:

  • AJ’s – their lunch specials are yummmmmmm. Get the fried Oyster Po-Boy and hush puppies. The scallops are great too.
  • Goat Feathers – One of our favoritespots on scenic HWY 30A- you MUST get the ‘goatfeather” – A scallop wrapped in a shrimp wrapped in bacon… sooo goood…We had these at our wedding. Matt and I go to GoatFeathers everytime we go to Florida.
  • The Red Bar – in picturesque Grayton Beach. Go for the music at night… some amazing music and a quiet possibly the most interesting scene in the area.
  • The Boathouse Oyster Bar – in Destin. THE BEST!!! They call it a secret…but really I hope it stays that way. We have been going here forever and it has never changed through the years! This place is home grown, local food and favor and the best seafood in the area. Don’t expect white table cloths… this is a local spot. Get the oysters and a beer and you are set! Watch out for those Herron on the docks!
  • Kinfolk BBQ– Matt’s “off the beaten path” recommendation. In Fort Walton Beach. Great BBQ. you can smell this while driving anywhere within a 5 mile radius… and it makes you hungry.

Other things to do:

  • Go to CRAB ISLAND. You will NOT regret it! ( but dont go on the weekend because it’s a hot mess. go when the tourists are not there)
  • The Silver Sands Outlets are great for fab shopping.
  • Get your HOT DONUTS NOW! Living in NY… I miss my Krispy Kreme Hot Donuts Now! So I get my fix when I’m in Florida for the summers. But ONLY get them when the HOT DONUTS NOW sign is on ya heard!
  • Take a drive our east on Scenic HWY 30A. Stop at quaint towns like Watercolor, Seaside, Grayton beach, Rosemary Beach and ALYS Beach which is really impressive!

What are your fave spots in Florida’s Panhandle? We are heading there this summer and I’d love to check them out!

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Ah Florida you are calling my name!!! I’ll see you this summer!

Warm thoughts party people… summer is right around the corner.