Welcome to T-Town

6.30.2013

 photo IMG_7092_zps80327d2f.jpg
It would have been a shame to leave Florida without a single boat outing, so we penciled one in Thursday morning.

 photo IMG_7087_zpsa5f8bf13.jpg
With all twenty of us aboard, the boat was susceptible to capsizing (something we learned the hard way on a previous vacation!), so we took it out in two shifts. 

 photo IMG_7088_zps63ed66c9.jpg


I went with crew #2 which included Jimmy, Laura, Andy, Kirby and my dad.

 photo IMG_7100_zps65b8e782.jpg
We set up shop in Crab Beach and dove into the perfectly chilled water.

 photo IMG_7098_zps8f370aa0.jpg
Captain Jimmy, the adventure seeker of the family, struggled to balance on the paddle board,

 photo 1045194_10151771931402835_1345681536_n_zps9fa21661.jpg
so he stuck to swimming like the rest of us.

 photo menu_zpsc069c238.jpg
On our way back into town, Andy, Kirb and I picked up lunch at Cowgirl Kitchen--a quaint market/café/bakery down the street from our house where they claim the "beach meets West."

 photo togo_zps45174560.jpg
Its kitschy decor and casual vibe made for an idyllic setting for a late afternoon sandwich to tide us over 'til dinner.

 photo braacelets_zps258019c1.jpg
After several rounds of "categories" in the pool, I took Cecilia to get a bracelet she had her eye on all week in town. Meanwhile, it was date night for everyone else; needless to say, I mastered the art of 3rd, 5th, 7th and even 9th wheeling on this trip.

 photo IMG_7284_zps65b2e984.jpg
I stayed back and watched the last half of Toy Story 3 (inevitably a tear-jerker which hits home extra hard with the youngest kids being named Andy and Molly) with my nieces and nephews in the media room.


Post bedtime, those of us that stayed back drank wine and ate cheese on the porch (and Pops had his nightly cigar). We greeted the couples one by one as they made it back and as they filed in, I couldn't help but take in the rare occasion of all of us being together.

 photo IMG_7109_zps0d0dba64.jpg
The last full day rolled around and us girls came to the conclusion that if the boys can spend an afternoon indulging in one of their favorite activities, golf, so can we.

 photo IMG_7110_zpsbb96ec05.jpg
{La Crema Tapas + Chocolate bar -- where Spain comes to Rosemary beach}
Our activity of choice was a combination of

 photo IMG_7104_zps45b82700.jpg
shopping (surprise!) in Rosemary Beach,

 photo IMG_7111_zps59900203.jpg
sipping white wine and

 photo IMG_7114_zps82b99ac3.jpg
sharing a chocolate molten cake from La Crema--a tapas and chocolate bar.

 photo IMG_7131_zpsefe8efba.jpg
On our way back, we house browsed in posh Alys beach, and made a pit stop at the restaurant two of the couples dined at the night before--Caliza.

 photo IMG_7136_zpsa2987c67.jpg
The gorgeous homes in Alys prove worthy of the beachfront views they call their backyard. I have a fourth and final installment of my trip recap for BOD, but as for now, I wish you a great shortened week leading up to the 4th!


Plans to Make Her Dance

6.28.2013

 photo IMG_6948_zps8afdd135.jpg
As planned, Wednesday morning, we wasted no time and went straight to the beach.

 photo IMG_7025_zps382f4d67.jpg
As a Texan native, turquoise blue water where I can see the color of my nail polish wedged in the sand never fails to come as a shock as the muddy Galveston waters give beaches a bad rep.

 photo IMG_7012_zps89d612e8.jpg
The kids boogie boarded; the adults drank beer, and everyone basked in the sun.

 photo IMG_7009_zpsebebfd1c.jpg
Jimmy proved worthy of his title as Uncle Jungle Gym/Jim.

 photo IMG_6972_zpsbfb96cc3.jpg
My mom was kind enough to offer delivery service of the famous gourmet grilled cheeses from The Meltdown on 30A--a food trailer in town.

 photo photo-42_zpsa2cfd553.jpg
We shared two varieties: the brie + bacon on cranberry walnut bread

 photo photo-43_zps45507e46.jpg
and the goat cheese, proscuitto, arugula and tomato.

 photo IMG_7028_zps123758e0.jpg
We unwound back at the house before our sunset dinner at Bud & Alley's--a revered gathering place for local patrons seeking a waterfront dining experience. 

 photo IMG_7041_zps062d6325.jpg
We celebrated Emily's 1st and 

 photo IMG_7030_zps7f3c9bfa.jpg
Lindsay's 33rd birthday as well as a belated 37th for Amy, which fell just the week before our vaca.

 photo IMG_7031_zps78149d23.jpg
Seafood hit the spot for supper as we ordered crab cakes, 

 photo IMG_7033_zpsc0ec360c.jpg
yellowfin tuna, 

 photo IMG_7032_zpsf65483ea.jpg
and lobster tacos. 

 photo IMG_7043_zpsfb8d69c3.jpg
Pink cupcakes were served for Miss Emily, who blew out her first candle

 photo IMG_7038_zps7a7363bf.jpg
and made her first wish.

 photo IMG_7051_zps457b59b5.jpg
Though the boys weren't pleased pink was the only option, they got over that fairly quickly.

 photo IMG_7073_zps95ac8ca0.jpg
There was a concert in town, so we stayed put until the sun went down and the kids' bedtimes neared.

 photo IMG_7057_zps7b712fa2.jpg
The Modglins joined the post office photo-op bandwagon I mentioned in my last post. 

 photo IMG_7079_zps9764539b.jpg
I'm getting to spend more time with my closest sister, something we rarely get time for despite the fact we both call Austin home. 

 photo IMG_7081_zps4a5943cc.jpg
Ceci, my partner-in-crime, and I went to Dawson's for some soft serve ice cream--a beachside staple. 

 photo IMG_7071_zpsc35f3431.jpg
Finally, before I forget--and because we can't say it enough--we're all thankful to these two sandwiching me for making the family in this family vacation. Whether we call you mom, dad, Mimi or Pops, you are loved by many. Today will be a family Friday and our last full day in Florida; wishing you a great weekend from the beach! 


Beach Babes

6.26.2013

 photo IMG_6987_zps180af4b2.jpg
Seaside epitomizes everything people crave about summertime: scorching sunshine, white picket fences lining the sandy beaches, whicker baskets propped in front of all the pastel bicycles cruising the sidewalks and sno-cones as a standard snack.

 photo IMG_6955_zps0d6c531d.jpg
Upon my arrival into the Panama City airport, I was saddened to find out I missed one of chef Jimmy's gourmet meals of roasted grouper (the local favorite fish around these parts) with a brown butter lemon sauce, wild mushroom risotto and toasted pine nut pancetta and shallot roasted brussels sprouts.

 photo IMG_7007_zps50c3f0b5.jpg
I made it in town just in time to finish the remains of his second meal: yellow curry brown sugar slow-roasted pulled pork with a rainbow pepper medley jalapeno lime cilantro slaw. For all the sauce lovers out there, it came alongside a North Carolina vinegar sauce and a Tennessee white horseradish sauce. Finally, there were poblano smoked gouda grits.

 photo IMG_6931_zpsd3597489.jpg
My first full day here we did a little bit of everything, starting with a game of Cecilia pool, a variety of the classic game in which my 9-year-old niece makes her own special rules and Sam and I follow.

 photo IMG_6943_zpsacdcd576.jpg
We spent the rest of the morning in the pool, as many folk were still recovering from the sunburns they had built over the first few days.

 photo IMG_6962_zps9a94575d.jpg
The boys scattered for a round of golf at the Jack Nicklaus course nearby, so the girls seized the opportunity to go shop in the town.

 photo IMG_6969_zpsfaa86c62.jpg
I was here several years ago with friends and the town has maintained the same charm--with the food trailers framing the post office which has become a local landmark and popular spot for a photo opp for vacationers like us.

 photo IMG_6961_zps9c8fcb5c.jpg
The outdoor stall shops make for a shopping experience unlike any mundane trip to the mall.

 photo IMG_6960_zpsaf1f9542.jpg
Each stall is color coordinated, making the clothing all the more aesthetically pleasing and tempting to buy.

 photo IMG_7001_zps86d5ef06.jpg
As the ideal family vacation spot, kid stores are a plenty.

 photo IMG_6950_zpscf2a7cff.jpg
But, it was the famous Frostbites snow cones more than any toy shop that bribed the little ones into coming into town with us.

 photo IMG_6958_zpsdb759205.jpg
Throughout the year, I'm always in and out of town, barely squeezing in a visit with my little nieces and nephews. It's been a treat to all be under one roof in just the small amount of time I've been here so far.

 photo IMG_7023_zps97c4f22e.jpg
They've put my former gymnast to good use as a pool handstand judge. Today, we'll spend a full day at the beach and then celebrate Lindsey's birthday at dinner in the town.

 photo 601661_10151765130857835_1630949063_n_zps642fe852.jpg
Just like we celebrated baby Emily's 1st yesterday. Happy birthday to you both!