Well this week was nothing like our time at the beach. We spent yesterday at the Texas Children’s Hospital Emergency Room for our sweet Emma Bean who was low on fluids after fighting a cold, a virus and an ear infection. Her daddy and grandmother Lovey saved the day and comforted both Emma and me through it. We are on the up and up today though. Emma is acting busy, bossy and cheery and will prayerfully continue to improve. So, while she wiggles and waggles I wanted to share memories and reviews from our trip!
Boy, oh boy did we have a nice time in Seaside! Four couples and four babes under one year old. Yes! We had the most lovely time hosted by our friends Brad and Anne Marie Ratliff. Their son Hank was no slouch either, with the most wonderful laugh at every fake sneeze or silly face!
Emma was the only girl in the group and seemed to hold her own and boss them around a bunch, though usually only Hank lets her get away with it. If this keeps up, I know Emma will always have a group of protectors – and hopefully they will keep her out of trouble!
We spent a lot of time playing touch and go with nap schedules and feeding times, but in between we hit up Bud and Alley’s for dinner to celebrate Brad’s birthday. As Anne Marie says, before there were Seaside tee shirts there was Bud & Alley’s. It’s a classic. We went to the Roof Deck Bar for drinks before dinner and I loved their preppy twist on a Paloma. The food ranged from good to great, and we dove in to crab claws, steaks, fresh fish, gumbo, pasta, baked bread, hummus and tuna dip – every restaurant in Seaside serves tuna dip and you can get it at the airport, too. Why, I’d like to know?
Between Adam and me we ate through the entire line up on 30A:
At Pickle’s Beachside Grill Adam crushed the fries and an $8 milkshake.
We scarfed down Bud & Alley’s casual fare:
Bud and Alley’s Taco Bar: The Texan consensus was that the tacos were fine (guacamole was blah) but the margaritas were delish. I had one every day! Vacay!!
Bud and Alley’s Pizza Bar: The avocado toast and brussels sprouts were 5-star starters and I loved the spicy white pizza with mushrooms. The pizzas only come in one size so we accepted the challenge and mostly ate our plates clean. This was a fun night because we sorted our babies into Star Wars characters (Emma is a Jawa and no, I could not find a description of these little scavengers that sounds nice, but basically they are scrappy and bossy and short and the best) and Hogwarts houses (verdict is still out, but her Gryffindor and Slytherin parents accept her for who she is!). We are nerds. Sigh. Sorry to all the readers I just lost by admitting that this conversation took place.
Back to the point before I forget to mention the great lineup of food trucks:
Barefoot BBQ: The brisket nachos were our fave but that didn’t stop us from ordering the bucket of ribs and chopped sandwich to round out our meal. Emma ate brisket hand over fist, which shows you how tender it was. We circled back after lunch to order their pink lemonade to take to the beach and the owner looked at us in disbelief: “Surely you aren’t still hungry, are you?!” , she said loudly enough for people at the nearby tables to stare at us. Low profile achieved.
Melt Down on 30A: Everyone raved about the Smokin’ Turkey sandwich and I could not get enough of the Classic American Grilled Cheese – on Texas toast! The one with goat cheese and strawberry (new item not on online menus) sounded good but the proportions were off.
Wild Bill’s Beach Dogs: If you want a hot dog, get a hot dog. It’s the beach!
Frost Bites: We loved the frozen lemonade! It’s worth the wait behind a pack of teenagers who each pay separately with apps on their smart phones to get one.
Five Daughters Bakery: We met the owners and their five actual daughters. The story goes that the family planted one of their signature 100-layer donuts in the sand at Seaside in hopes of returning to sell their pastries in an airstream. They have brick and mortar locations in Nashville and Franklin, TN as well. Our pick was the “quinnamon roll”- it’s a cinnamon roll with pizazz and it did not disappoint!
Dawson’s Yogurt and Fudge Works and It’s Heavenly: I actually went to Dawson’s as a default because I was craving a cookie and could not find one anywhere up and down 30A. I got the basic chocolate and vanilla swirl with oreos and shared it with Emma and Adam. Sticky. But lo and behold, that night we wandered past the main square and found It’s Heavenly, which serves gelato and real, baked in the oven cookies! I got a chocolate chip cookie and a brownie shaped like a starfish. No sharing. Just kidding, we both ate them and my craving was sated.
Honorable mention: We did not hit up the Amavida Coffee and Tea shop because we drank drip coffee at home, but others in our group went and loved it.
With four strollers and two mini vans, this crew took up the whole side walk and rolled up to the beach like we owned the place. We rented beach umbrellas and chairs from Club Cabana Man for F.U.N. in the S.U.N.
As the waves got choppy and the rain set in with Hurricane Nate, we managed to take in a Win for Texas (vs. Kansas State) on our last night. Hook ‘Em!
Adam and I shopped the local stores for sunglasses and clothes with Emma Bean in tow, and even managed to fit in a work out or two at the private fitness facility while she-baby napped.
A highlight for me was meeting a local artist at an art show for 30A Artist Studios on Saturday night. The painter Polli Youngbeck (@pollipy) shared stories behind some of her paintings and explained that her faith in God carried her through tough times like the 2008 recession that wrecked her marriage and left her without a car. She depicts this time in her life through a lively picture of a bicycle covered in curious beach birds and animals. What a great reminder to give God the glory through hard times and good times. Talking with her reminded me of the Charles Spurgeon quote, “The God who has been faithful until now should be trusted to the end.”
This trip was a great recharge for our little family, and I loved the rest and good eats side by side with my Big Mister. Beyond that, seeing him care for Emma so well and without the daily routine cutting into our trio time was a treat!
Most of all, we enjoyed fellowship with friends who are in the same boat as us. First time parents flock together and learn and encourage each other greatly. We love y’all and your little ones, too!
“He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him. Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.” I Thessalonians 5:10-11
This verse is talking about living “awake and sober” (I Th. 5:6) for the day of Christ’s return, but is also fitting for a bunch of sleep-deprived parents with baby bundles on their minds and in their rooms. We are in this together!
FASHION AND GEAR GUIDE: My Black Crystal One Piece by CupShe, Adam’s Chromance Polarized Ray-Bans, Classic Birkenstock, Bob Sport Utility Jogging Stroller, UPPABaby Vista Stroller, Emma’s Baby Sun Hat SPF 50, My Illesteva White Shades
Have you traveled to Seaside, Florida or nearby? Do you want to? Leave questions and comments below. I would love to hear about your time there! #dearelizadiaries