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Saturday, October 26, 2019

Grayton Beach Getaway

A few weeks ago, Christopher & I got a wild hair and decided to book a last minute beach vacation.
By last minute, I mean we decided to book it on Tuesday & left on Thursday!
It was a whirlwind getting everything ready and the house cleaned up so we could be gone, but it was so worth it.
I wanted to walk y'all through where we stayed, what we did, and all the good things because this was the best vacation!

We ended up using VRBO to book the beach house pictured above, Dune Watch, in Grayton Beach, Florida.
We have always vacationed in Panama City, but have fallen in love with the 30A area over the years and decided that Charlie's first trip was the time to make the switch to a little quieter area that is more family oriented.
Our master bedroom was so tranquil and beautiful, plus the bed was really comfortable!
This was the second of three bedrooms. We actually ended up inviting our friends and their little boy and they surprised us by agreeing to come last minute-so this was their room during our stay.
This was the third bedroom which had a twin & full size bed in it (which would be great for the boys to share in several, several years 😂). For now, we sat Charlie's pack-n-play & his slumberpod up in there and let him sleep in that room.
This was the outdoor dining area, a screened in portion of the large porch that fronts the house.
We had breakfast and dinner out here every night of our vacation and it was just so nice and relaxing.
This is the living area for Dune Watch, one of those sofas is also a sleeper sofa so we really could've packed a lot of people into this house if we had needed to.
It had so much seating and we were really able to spread out which was great for us and the kids.
This is the dining area, just off the living room and kitchen.
We personally didn't use this area for eating (why would you when you could enjoy that screened porch?!) but it is really pretty!
This is the gorgeous kitchen, which we cooked breakfast in each morning & served supper in each night. It was roomy enough for two cooks and very well equipped.
I loved how close it was to everything else because I could watch Charlie or talk to the guys while we cooked, if we needed to.
This is the stunning view from the non-screened part of the porch.
Directly across from the house is Grayton Beach State Park, which is protected so that's why there is nothing built across from the house and it's all those beautiful dunes.
You can see the beach access at the top left of this picture so we were very close to the beach and could see it from our porch.
The beach access was like walking to Heaven, seriously so beautiful.

And absolutely stunning views no matter which way you looked.
There were two groups of people on the beach the first afternoon Chris, Charlie, & I went down and it didn't get much more "crowded" that than the entire weekend.
At the top of the picture, you can see more people on the beach. That's because there is public access there & also a location where people can drive their vehicles directly onto the sand.
Charlie's first time putting his feet in the sand!
Sweet sandy toes!

The first sunset we enjoyed on our porch.
I will share all the places we ate and what we did at the end of this post, it'll be easier to group it that way!
Family selfie before going out to dinner!
I wish I had a good picture of us, especially Charlie's outfit that night because he looked SO stinkin' adorable and now he's outgrown that outfit. 😭
We intended to wake up for sunrise that first full day, but ended up being a few minutes late. The view over the water and dunes was still glorious and Christopher & I enjoyed taking in a few minutes on the porch before the rest of the house woke up.
I got a little work in while Charlie took a morning nap.
And then, we beached!
Charlie ended up LOVING the sand.
His sweet little shark beach chair is from Target & has a fin on the back of it-it's the actual cutest thing ever.
Just some Daddys playing with their boys!
We bought Charlie some cheap sand toys at Wall-Mart when we got down to the beach since we didn't have any; there was a scoop & bucket and this little plastic dump truck and he loved them all!
Just like with most of his toys, the dump truck ended upside down so he could spin the tires.
Daddy & Charlie had to take a little stroll through the sand.
He wants to take off walking SO bad, but isn't quite brave enough yet.

He adored the water and wanted us to let him go!
We brought his life jacket & honestly should've put him in it to take him near the water, but we had no intentions of going in deep enough where we would come close to letting him go.
I was just in awe of having the entire beach pretty much to ourselves. It was so, so beautiful.
The sunsets over those dunes & the gulf totally made all the work that goes into a weekend away from home (with a one year old!) worth it.
On Saturday, we headed down the 30A to Seaside for the Farmer's Market.
There were so many little vendors set up; we sampled snacks and chatted with the farmers about their wares.
It was a really joyful atmosphere, like Seaside always is.
I always love walking through the market they have set up and looking at all the bags, hats, jewelry, and clothes. I could spend a lot of money there!
And then of course, that afternoon we had to sneak in a few more beach hours!
The weather was mild, there was an awesome breeze, and we just soaked up our last little bit of beach time.
Snacks on the beach are the best kind of snacks!

There were some absolutely beautiful homes on the beach & that sunset below was just to die for.
I could watch that every single day & most likely never tire of it.
Now for what we ate:
Night One:
Hurricane's Oyster Bar-Christopher & I had been craving oysters for so long and theirs were really, really good. We devoured two dozen raw and a half dozen baked with crabmeat.
Day/Night Two:
AJ's Grayton Beach-This place was only about a 3 minute ride from our house, so we thought it would be a quick lunch idea. The food wasn't bad, but it also wasn't amazing. It seemed like pretty basic beach tourist food.
Goatfeather's Seafood Market-We decided to just grab steamed crab legs & boiled shrimp, potatoes, and corn from a local market and it was delicious. It was also much cheaper than a group of four adults going to dinner and we were able to put the boys down for bed before Chelsea and I ran out to grab the food and we could come back and sit on the screened in porch and enjoy the evening.
Coldstone Creamery-This is totally a chain, but there is one right next to Goatfeathers and so Chelsea and I snuck in a quick mom's treat while we waited on our food to be ready the first night! Their sweet cream flavor is my favorite!
Day/Night Three:
Bud and Alley's Pizza Bar-We were hunting our favorite taco stand, but they are doing so much construction in downtown Seaside right now that it was honestly a little frustrating to deal with.
Our friends also wanted to have somewhere indoors because their little guy was getting hot, so we settled for a patio with lots of fans at the Pizza Bar. The food was pretty good, I love a pizza that is not quite the "usual". I do wish Chris and I had shared & just gotten something Charlie would've been okay eating because it was really pricy. Also, the frose' that I ordered came with a paper straw which wasn't big enough to suck the pieces of ice through and so it was melted by the time I could drink it. Don't recommend that at all.
Goatfeather's Seafood Market-We ordered the same thing as the first night & y'all, it was still so good. I will say, things were seasoned and cooked better the first night so I think it depends on who's cooking. But you can also go in and order at the counter to make sure things are cooked properly and to your liking.
Morning Four:
We left out on Sunday morning, so Chris didn't ask me to cook him breakfast.
We ended up going to The Donut Hole and y'all-it was so good.
I got tomato gravy & biscuits with country ham and they were delish. Charlie and Chris both enjoyed their food, the service was really good, and we got some yummy (and inexpensive!) donuts on our way out for the road!

I think down the road (maybe in the Spring) I'll do a little guide on what we brought to survive our first beach trip with Charlie, but I'll wait on that one! If y'all have any other questions (or suggestions for future 30A spots to check out!) I would love to hear them!

Until next time. . .

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