Jellyfish, Bota box, the Smoker (again!) , and finally and especially friends!

We are on a quick hiatus from vacation season, leaving again Monday for our road trip out West. More memories to be made, adventures to be had, and friends to see adding to our summer’s bucket list!

Our past 2 mini-trips weren’t planned but we have some really good friends who invited us to join their families this summer. How lucky we are that we have friends that welcome us into their homes asking nothing in return, only asking for our crazy family and paraphernalia to add to their chaos! No, what we have is true friendships that bleed over to every member of both families. My friend Greer and I have been friends since age 3, and Jennifer and I have known each of since middle school. We go way back! But, what’s so neat is the way these friendships have branched out to our husbands and kids too!

After spending a couple days in Atlanta at the Waddell’s pool, we came back home to repack before heading to Seagrove, FL for the first time with the Bakers. Even though we have our big, planned trip coming up, we couldn’t pass at the chance to share sunshine and laughs. These are true friends…..

Seagrove was way more beautiful that I could have imagined. Just down from Seaside on 30A, the powdery, soft white sands lead into the crystal clear, calm ocean waters. With no expectations, I was pleasantly surprised. Although the beaches were crammed packed and little spring break-ish, Bo found a place to throw in his fishing line a little ways out of the crowd. And, it was the first cast that he reeled in 2 baby sharks. That made Jennifer nervous but only added to Bo’s enthusiasm. (Every time he catches something, no matter what it is, he has the same goofy child-like grin on his face.) It was a little disturbing how easy it was to catch sharks from the shore the first day and a half before the green slime moved in.

It was even more exciting that Dan scheduled a fishing trip in the Bay on Monday morning. With the two eldest kids in tow, they headed out early for a half-day with the fishing guide. It wasn’t until mid-morning that I received a text with Brody proudly holding up his Sea Trout. The kids were the only ones to catch our dinner that Carl filleted and sent home for us to prepare.

It was the most delicious fish. With Brody’s infamous buttermilk marinade and Dan’s zesty dredge, Dan fried up some truly tasty fresh fish for dinner. The fried fish was probably the healthiest things we consumed while we were there. With the unlimited Joe Joe’s and snacks (Ummm, turtle eggs: yum!), we also made nightly desserts and even afternoon milkshakes. We started two mornings at the Cowgirl Kitchen (love it!) with the kids. The freshly baked, oozing cinnamon roll can be added to our list of treats.And after sipping on the Bota  wine box (classy but really good!) and Island Girls, we were eating and drinking like it was vacation!

Now, don’t think we wouldn’t head out of town without Bo’s smoker. Since everything went so well at the kick-off to summer camp party, we also decided to take the smoker with us to the beach. It’s becoming Bo’s signature accessory. Don’t leave home without the smoker because you never know how many ribs you might have to smoke! This trip, the smoker made it out of the car promptly and was used a couple nights (because you can’t have too much smoked pork, right!?). Success.

The boys spent the days lounging in ring floats. While Austin preferred floating in his pizza slice, Brody liked the simple pink tube and Austin preferred the watermelon. (We also had the doughnut and Explorer 200 because just like wine, you can’t have too many floats!). Despite the little jellyfish and baby sharks, the water was quite pleasant and the company even more so…

Playing a family round of Disney Headbands (and sweet Preston starting each round with “Is it Dory?”), sharing Baby Alive dolls, or just sitting side by side with the DS and Ipad, everything is better with friends. Austin looked over at breakfast one morning and asked his mom and I, “Do you all ever run out of things to talk about?!”.

This is what summer’s all about: Friends. Whether it’s at the pool, at the beach, or just in your backyard, friends add love and fun to life. We are so grateful to you, friends. When school starts back and life speeds up, you can’t always choose who you spend most of your time with. So while we can, I choose to be with those I love, with those who are loyal, fun, kind, and real. Thank you, friends, for making memories!



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