So the answer to yesterday's question of Where Have We Been?
is Seaside, Florida!
It is near Destin in the Panhandle of Florida on the Gulf side.
We drove there -- about 11 hours from our home in Texas. Which is for us is really not too bad of a drive even with 4 kids! This is the 2nd year we've done it and the kids have been really good for the drives (of course extra iPad, DS, and movie time in the car helps keep them happy campers!). This year we drove through some rain both ways so there were more accidents on the roads creating traffic jams and about 5 hours into the drive home my husband was already wanting to schedule our airline flights there for next year. But, my bet is in a couple weeks he'll forget the pain of sitting in traffic somewhere in Alabama and we'll drive again next time!
We had a wonderful time!
I once heard someone say, "If you take a vacation with your kids that's not really a vacation, it's a family trip!"
And there is a lot of truth in that because as a parent there is still a lot of work to be done on a vacation when you have kids to care for. They still need to be fed, bathed, and put to bed. They will still fight and whine and misbehave just like they do at home only it irritates you more on vacation because -- "Hello! We brought you here and you should be grateful and show it by not causing problems!" And trust me my kids have heard that lecture more than once on every family vacation we've gone on.
But. . .
A family trip to Seaside is the closest place I've been to achieving real vacation status even with my kids along!
Because it is just perfectly set up for families. It is a really small town where you can walk everywhere. The cars have to yield to pedestrians and mostly people just walk or ride bikes. And a week of not loading and unloading my kids from the car is a great change of pace for me!!
Every house has a white picket fence
You can easily rent bikes (they delivered them right to our beach house!).
We had a kitchen in our beach house and went to the grocery store to stock up on stuff for breakfasts, lunches, and a couple dinners. I do not like family vacations where we have to eat out for every meal. It is hard forcing kids to be good in restaurants that many times each day, no to mention the expense of our family of 6 eating out. Then when you do want to eat out, there are some really yummy restaurants you can easily walk to for dinner!
There is a gorgeous beach and also a nice pool to entertain and exhaust the kids:
One of the things I love about Seaside that really helps me relax and feel like I'm on vacation, is that there are no ugly cluttered shopping areas, no McDonalds and no billboards. Everything is quaint, local, simple and beautiful. I love the chapel:
Each house is unique:
You feel like you've stepped back in time! Check out the post office:
Did you know the movie The Truman Show (with Jim Carrey where he is unaware that he is living in a reality TV show and his whole life is filmed) was filmed in Seaside?
It is an idyllic setting for sure!
There are even free movies on the lawn every Friday night. My youngest cuddling up to her brother during the movie:
Ahhh, I miss it already. Re-entry back into real life after vacation is rough, but I'm so glad we had that time to relax, unwind, and spend time together having fun as a family!