Need to get away?

In Wisconsin, the winters are LONG.  Like REALLY LONG. By March I find our family gets a horrible case of cabin fever.

We miss the sun, the grass, being outdoors.

We know that there is a long way to go until Spring really begins to feel like spring.

We need to head south, to get away.

Not only is it the cold dark days driving us to get away, but we also find our children are growing up way too fast.

You know what I am talking about you mommas!

With tweens, teenagers, and young adult children, when they are young it seems time is on your side, like there are years before they leave the nest.  But as they enter the teenage years, you begin to see the day they head out into the world on the horizon.

We have four children between my husband and I.

I have an adult daughter, as I am writing this she is a beautiful, ambitious 23-year-old recent college grad. She is taking on new adventures and has moved to the northwest.  I love watching her enter this stage of her life. You remember that time when anything was possible. When you work hard at your entry-level job, get your first tiny apartment all on your own, and head to IKEA to furnish it as best you can.  It is exciting and thrilling and scary all at the same time.

As her mom, I am thrilled for her but inside my heart misses her every day. She is so far from home. I count the days until I can see her.

My younger daughter is 14, in eighth grade. She is still a kid in so many ways.

I cannot imagine her in high school next year.  She is ready. And I am excited for her.

My older daughter was an artist, a musician, and love the theater.  It was her thing, her people, her place to shine.

My younger daughter is an athlete.  High school sports cannot come soon enough for her.  She has potential and dreams of playing college soccer. I can see already how high school is going to be one big whirlwind of practices, events, and games.  We cannot wait to watch her grow and come into her own. But I know from experience, high school will pass like a blink of an eye.

My husband has two children, a fourteen-year-old boy and a twelve-year-old daughter.

My stepson is also in eighth grade.  Right now he has ambitions of being a video game designer or a movie maker.

My stepdaughter is twelve and still young in so many ways.  But boy does she try to act like her older siblings, constantly trying to play it cool, keep up, and get everyone’s attention.  I have known them since preschool and I marvel when I look back at how far we have come- how much they have grown.

My husband and I decided a few years ago that we needed to savor this time, time is going too fast and in an effort to slow it down even for a little bit, we try to vacation every year.

One of our favorite places to go is Florida’s beaches.  One of our favorite spots is South Walton- Highway 30A. Rosemary Beach.

It is along Florida’s panhandle so the sixteen-hour drive is doable (not fun….but doable) and it gets us on the beach.  We have traveled to this place a couple of times and now call it one of our favorites.  Highway 30A runs along the coastline and is surrounded by a planned community with a bike path running along it.  There you will find some of the most beautiful beaches.  White sand, clear blue water- breathtaking sunsets.

You will quickly discover why it is called Florida’s Emerald Coast.

Here you will find nature at its best.  It has state parks filled with long-leaf pine trees, freshwater coastal lakes, and stunning sand dunes.  Renting bikes and riding the highway’s bike trail is a must. Riding along, at slower pace, you have time to take in the stunning views.

It has Good Housekeeping’s seal of approval for safety and cleanliness.  You will find families enjoying time each other and children of all ages running about.  There are a variety of rentals available- condos, hotels, and homes. But none of the giant condo complexes you find in other Florida cities. Development is happening all along the highway.

The communities were carefully planned and each town along the way has a special characteristic that makes it unique.  The old world European feel of Rosemary Beach, the white greek architecture of Alys Beach, the hometown feel of Seaside, and the Old Florida charm of Grayson Beach.  Each of the twelve communities along this stretch of beach are unique and beautiful.

Everything is within walking or biking distance.  At most you might take a short car ride to go from one end to the other.  On that drive you will find the most charming unique shops and award winning restaurants.  Emeril did a whole show on the food in this area alone. He has a restaurant here. You can make a quick stop at one of the food trucks, stop for lunch at one of the unique eateries, or book reservations for an elegant full course meal.

At night, you will see families coming together at one of the community’s many free evening events, concerts, shows, movies, and performances- you will surely find something for everyone.

We highly recommend visiting 30A.

We love it there. Our kids play in the sand and water for hours.  We bike, walk, run, shop, and just enjoy time together as a family.  I can’t help but get taken aback every time we visit.

My heart overflows with thankfulness.  Thankful for the opportunity to have this time.

30A- Visitors Guide- https://www.discover30a.com/about-discover-30a/visitors-guide/

Emeril https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thpOdFNkuG0

Find a place to stay- We recommend Benchmark Management of 30A