Monday, August 9, 2010

Warning, there will be pictures!!!!!

I probably went overboard with the picture sharing, but I really did want to show you our mini trip to Panama City Beach, FL.

It all started (for me anyway) on Thursday evening when I asked Eric what we were doing for the weekend. He informed me he was going to be gone all day Saturday. I asked if he had to work, and he said he was going to the beach and the kids were going with him. What the heck, I decided to tag along. There was a flurry of preparation: making sandwiches (which involved making bread first!), cutting fruits and vegetables, making hummus, packing clothes, gathering beach kept me busy all day Friday. We were undecided about staying overnight, so our packing was very bare bones.

Saturday morning the alarm went off at about 5am. Eric and I got ready, then woke the kids around 6am. They were hustled to the car and we were off!

Panama City Beach, FL is about four hours from Columbus (well, 3 hrs 50 min if you want to get picky). Many dead armadillos and flea markets later, we got our first glimpse of the gulf coast.

I love the ocean. Love, love, love it. I wouldn't mind living in a beach town someday. There's just something about the waves and the sounds and the smells. Needless to say, I was very excited to get to the beach.
The beach area is very user friendly. Basically you park your car and then you can either walk out to the beach using one of many beach walkways, or you can go to the pier and there's a place to change. And a place to buy margaritas, if that's your thing. We decided to check things out before heading to the beach.

The waves were rough the first day, so we insisted the kids wear life jackets. They didn't seem to mind. Eric busted out our old floaty tube that we bought in Cancun so Reese and I could ride the waves. The water was kind of weedy and algae-y, it seems to just be that time of year. No tar balls or oil of any kind anywhere in sight, in case you were wondering.

After several hours at the beach, we were hot and tired. Instead of heading home, we decided to get a hotel room and stay for the night so we could do some more exploring. We ended up at the Osprey, and here's the view from our 6th floor hotel room:

The Osprey was a great hotel. If we had stayed longer, the kids could have joined in some of the kid activities. There was a pool and a hot tub (neither of which we used...the ocean was RIGHT THERE, yo), a tiki bar that closed by 8pm (why, tiki bar, why???), and popcorn in the evenings. We used our popcorn to feed the seagulls.

The second in the lonely shoe series: Lonely Shoes and Seagull.

Apparently Eli has some sand in his crack. I learned this weekend that it is impossible to keep two young children from getting sandy from head to toe on a beach. Impossible.

Look at me, taking artistic shots. We sat down by a little sand playground and while the kids played, I played with the camera. I love how the clouds looked that evening. Later, when we were back in the hotel room and it started to get dark, we saw people up and down the shore with flashlights. We found out they were looking for crabs. Next time we go to Panama City Beach, I want to look for crabs!!!

Early the next morning, we went to the beach again, this time right outside our hotel. In the background you can see the pier where we hung out the day before. Eli and I looked for shells. Although we found lots of shells, it was hard looking for them because the waves were so wavy. There were many pieces of shells but I kind of only wanted whole shells. I know, I'm picky.
It was also fun to stand at the edge of the water and see the little fish dart back and forth. There were also little tiny clams that you could dig up and then watch dig themselves back into the sand.

The sand was so white and so soft. We dug a big hole on Saturday, and on Sunday Reese got buried. I'm glad we had our sand toys because there was lots of digging to be had.

After some morning swimming and playing, we cleaned up, checked out of our hotel, and headed back to the pier. For a mere $2 a person, you can walk out on the pier, smell dead fish, and see some cool stuff in the water. Really, it was fun. If you want to shell out $6 you can fish off the pier, and it was neat to see what the fisherpeople were pulling in. A little kid was walking around with a fish in had to show everyone who wanted to see. If you looked down in the water, you could see schools of little fish and the bigger fish that were chasing them. We also saw what might have been a sea turtle.

And of course, my favorite, the pelicans.

Looking over the side of the pier was great, but I wish I could have seen into the water better. There was a lot going on down there!

The vegan eats were only so so, and I'm glad we brought our own food.
All in all, it was a great little trip to the gulf coast. I know we'll do it again, hopefully soon. We only saw a fraction of what Panama City Beach has to offer, that's for sure. I love how we can just get in the car and in four hours can have our toes in the ocean sand. :)
Thanks for looking at my pictures!


  1. and Julie said .... Sheri, it was almost like being there. Thanks for the pictures! Looks like you all had a great time. The hotel room looked fabulous. And that Beach! Wow!!! I guess I didn't realize you are so close to the ocean. Dad said he knew it, of course. Keep on exploring! Love Mom and Dad

  2. Great pictures Sheri! It looks like a great trip. And Eli still hates the camera, huh? You look pretty damn good in your swimsuit woman ;)

  3. Sorry that was Jehan posting, not some creepy stalker LOL;)

  4. That swimming suit is magical and hides the mommy tummy well. :)