Whirlwind Week

I dropped the ball on blogging for a while because a lot was (kind of) going on. Most of the goings on was my beach trip, which was made up of lots of food, alcohol, Netflix, and saltwater.

Before we went to the beach though, Jason graduated with his associates degree in nursing and will now sit for his NCLEX to become a registered nurse! This has been going on in the background (of the blog…foreground of our real lives obvi) for a couple of years now. Jason tried to continue to work full time, but nursing school is freaking rigorous and his 40 hour a week night/swing shift job in corrections was making it that much worse, so we decided to live off of my income for the rest of his school progress back in January of 2017, so that’s been fun. We made it work though, and we’re definitely set up better post nursing school. Jason already has a job lined up nearby at a big trauma center as an entry level ER nurse, and he’s super excited about his new job after 5+ years of working at a prison as, his words, “a glorified babysitter.” Nothing against working in a prison, but the one he was in was very low security and the night shifts were particularly dull, so the change in pace will be a nice change, even if he is still going to be night shift. He’s planning on going back to school in the next couple of years for his master’s in nursing, but we’re both looking forward to a break from school and an increase in paychecks in our household.

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He’s the cutest. 

We left for the beach on the 13th at 5am. So early. I did sleep through a lot of the drive. Jason gets up at 4:30 and goes to the gym anyway, so being awake at the early hour was no big deal to him. The first evening and next full day we were there it was pretty rainy. The timing was good though because we were both so tired from graduation, etc. that day drinking and watching Netflix in the condo was exactly what we needed. While we were at the beach we started and finished all of Jessica Jones season 2 and Jason watched all of Lost in Space while I slept in every morning. We also watched When We First Met on Netflix and went to fancy theaters in the area and saw The Quiet Place and I Feel Pretty. Theaters with recliners and service buttons where you can order food (or yet more alcohol) are where it’s at.

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Pollo Tropical ❤

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Okay, so I might’ve been a little snarky about the weather on day 2 when it was cold and rainy in Florida and pretty and hot at home.

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And then the clouds cleared and it rained for the rest of the week at home…to the point that parts of town flooded. Our condo is the one directly behind the leftmost palm tree. 

Despite how it may sound, we did sober up enough to go swimming and see dolphins out a ways from where we were. The waves were rougher than usual this year, possibly because the weather was so indecisive and it kept trying to rain again, so the dolphin sightings weren’t as frequent. That’s moreso because of my inability to swim/look at the same time than the possibility that they weren’t around, I probably just missed them. Jason jokes that I’m obsessed with watching for dolphins to the point that I stood in the water looking downshore long enough to burn only on the side of my body that was towards the shore. Whoops…

On previous beach trips we’ve cooked at the condo several times, mostly grilling out, but this year we were too excited about all of our favorite restaurants in the area (and pouty from not making it to the area in two years because of nursing school…) and decided to eat out a lot. We only ate in the condo a few times, and it was mostly either leftovers or take out. Don’t judge us. hahaha.

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We low key joke about opening a Tijuana Flats at home because we love it so much.

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It’s not a trip to the beach without Sea Hags. 

We were very fortunate to find a new condo that will be our go to when we head to this part of the world. We’d previously stayed at the same house for three years in a row because it was cheap ($600 for a week a block over from the water) and dog friendly! Now that we have three dogs, the odds of us taking them to the beach are slim, particularly because Ariel is SO scared of strangers. We’d have to rent a house with a securely fenced in yard because there’s no walking her to potty…she bolts when she sees a strange man. The only reason we’ve previously booked dog friendly places is just in case our dog sitter were to cancel, having the fall back of taking Sampson with us was nice. We never fly anyway, because between the cost of the flight and the rental car once we arrive plus my unending paranoia that something horse or dog related will come up to require us to come home outside of our scheduled flights, it just seems more trouble than it’s worth. I say that, but Jason drove the ENTIRE 24 hours of the trip this year, so his opinion may differ…

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I may have woke up briefly when we were going through Charlotte and not again until deep SC. 😉 

Anyway, I was very happy with our condo. It was small, but perfect for two. It was super clean and the AC worked great. It was also nice that we could sit on the chairs by the front door and watch the ocean whenever we felt like it, but we didn’t have to pay the oceanfront price.

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View from the condo. Note the barge thing way out on the horizon.

Speaking of the ocean, apparently they do this thing where they install new sand. If I sound uneducated about the process it’s because I am. Basically the shore was TINY and there was a big construction site with lots of equipment and pipes sitting down shore. The first day we just went ahead and got in the water where there was no beach, but the next day we walked further down (towards the beach bar rotfl) and saw that the new sand was in and fluffy af down there, so we went to that side of the construction for the rest of the week. There was a weird giant barge out in the ocean that lit up at night (in above pic). We think it might have been piping sand to the beach front way out? We really have no idea, we are from the mountains. ha.

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The amount of sand at the beach in front of the condo.

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MUCH better on the opposite side where new sand is in place.

We also did some shopping. I love Kohls and I had a fistful of coupons between the one they sent me for my bday and mother’s day and all the things, so I hit the clearance section pretty hard. Let’s just say that the Florida clearance section is always so much better than up here. What they don’t manage to sell in winter (sweaters and flannel!) are my favorite things for fall, winter, and spring, so I hit it pretty hard. I also got myself some comfy oversized sweat pants for lounging around the condo because apparently I thought it would be hot everywhere and didn’t bring ANY long pants to the beach with me.

We also did an escape room with friends who moved to Florida a couple of years ago and that was great fun! Jason and I went bowling solo the day before we left just to do something different other than swim and watch Netflix and enjoyed that as well. I won more games than he did, so I beat him. I was remarkably good at it despite not having gone in a few years, so now I think I’m a bowling pro and want to do it more. We basically had the bowling alley to ourselves since it was before lunch on a Thursday, so whenever I did well I did a little victory dance. I wasn’t dancing when I went to pay afterwards and had somehow ran up a $50 tab by bowling. Whoops. Apparently it’s a lot cheaper up here? We then had Taco Bell for lunch because it was cheap. haha.

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This place is the bomb. All the ice cream. One year we went and I’d forgotten they only take cash, so this year I was armed with ice cream money only to arrive and to discover that during our two year hiatus they’ve gotten up to speed and take cards now. ha.

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Okay, so we didn’t eat here, but there’s a schoolbus inside. It was a beer/wine tasting place two years ago and apparently only became the Taco Bus two weeks before we arrived so we figured we’ll give it a year and see if it is still around when we’re back next. 

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Our best meal all week. Pina Colada chicken and waffles with a pineapple gastrique and Jason had “the best shrimp and grits ever.” This was our last night at the beach. This place also has BOGO margaritas on Thursday nights. 

The drive home was mostly uneventful. There was some serious rain in Savannah and traffic slowed down because of that, but otherwise not bad. I did coerce Jason into stopping in Ocala because TACK STORES. There’s an awesome little consignment store that I love to browse but rarely find anything I need/can afford. The tack hoes down there have some NICE stuff. I did grab a bit for Paige in there because her normal bit isn’t western dressage legal and we need to become legal for something on the horizon. Also, there is a full store of just farrier supplies beside the consignment store, so I dropped in there and bought Copper a pair of the wedges he’s supposed to be going in, just in case I struggle to get farrier who ordered shoes to show up. Update on that coming soon btw.

I then wandered to Tack Shack of Ocala by foot because Jason dropped me off at the consignment store to run to Target for a new phone charger. I got stuck on the porch looking at all of their feeders when he caught up with my fb pin I dropped him so he could stalk my location. I picked out a feeder to try to keep the donkeys out of Joey’s grain and a dressage whip before going next door to the western building and grabbing a pink rope halter for Joey. Pink because it looked small enough for him and was only $5. Luckily he looks good in “raspberry.” 😉 We did find another Tijuana Flats on the way out of Ocala so we grabbed that for lunch then headed back to the mountains.

Til next time Sunset Beach!

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5 thoughts on “Whirlwind Week

  1. Mango chutney and plantains sound so good right now. As does day drinking and Netflix lol!! Sounds like y’all had a great trip.

  2. I would have done the same over the possibility of seeing dolphins! And OMG the food…for Tijuana Flats alone, I’ll eat out at every meal! Jealous. Lol 😉 So glad you guys had fun! Sounds like it was the perfect vacation!

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