Panama City Beach Vacation

img_4054There is no better feeling than the anticipation of an upcoming trip, and no worse feeling than when it’s over. Andrew, Ellie and I just returned from an amazing stay in Panama City Beach with my family last week and I’ve struggled hard this week to be happy and motivated back at work. Who wants to sit in front of a computer all day when you’ve just been laying on a beach?

Needless to say, it was a great week, with lots of catching up with family, watching the waves roll in and sightseeing. The weather was mostly perfect, and on the days we had rain we checked out the local attractions until the storms passed.

We stayed at the beachfront Princess Condos on the east side of PCB at Laguna Beach for 8 days. The first two days and the last two days the water was perfect for swimming so we stayed pretty close to the condo. Ellie was apprehensive about walking on sand at first. She lifted up her little feet, looking at the sand like, “what is this stuff?” It was so cute! By mid-week, she had it figured out and spent the rest of the time running up and down the beach like she owned the place.

This was also Ellie’s first time in a swimming pool, and Andrew was a good teacher, making her comfortable in the water. We got her a puddle jumper to help her float. I didn’t know this before, but puddle jumpers are coast guard approved and can be used as life jackets on boats. It came in handy later in the week. Ellie spent as much time outside the pool playing peek-a-boo and exploring as she did inside it.

We spent our evenings hanging out in the condo together and out on the balcony watching the sunsets. The balcony was my favorite part of the condo. It spanned the entire length of the unit and had plenty of space for all of us to mingle and for the kids to play.

Tuesday morning was rainy and the beachfront was closed for swimming, so a few of us went to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not. Andrew didn’t want to go, so he and Ellie stayed home. I had never been to a Ripley’s museum before and was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I think the adults in the group enjoyed it more than the kids actually.

The beachfront was still closed Wednesday morning, but it wasn’t too rainy so we decided to check out Gulf World. The dolphin show was the highlight of the visit. The kids loved seeing them dance, blow bubbles and jump high out of the water. DSC_7631

Thursday morning we rented a pontoon boat to nearby Shell Island. The kids loved finding hermit crabs and sand dollars, and we liked the untouched beauty of the island. It’s protected so there are no resorts, condos or retail businesses on the island.

Friday night Andrew and I went with Morgan and Ethan to Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf, and it was probably the best mini golf I’ve ever been to. We had so much fun! Ethan gave Andrew a run for his money, but Andrew came through in the end.

Mom and dad watched the kids for us while we went out and this was what we came back to:img_4211

We spent our last full day on the condo’s beach. The sky was beautiful and the water was super clear so it was the perfect way to end our trip. Ellie had the time of her life with her cousins and grandparents and we can’t wait to take a family trip like this again. I didn’t get through all of the clothes I brought for Ellie, so we have to go back just so she can wear them all!


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