spring break {staycation style}

13 April 2016

I feel like I've mentioned before how much Julia loves school and is routinely questioning why weekends have to be two whole days long because she hates to be gone for such an extended period of time from her dear classroom, I guess. So! You can imagine her horror when she was staring down a week and a half of spring break purgatory. It may as well have been an eternity in her little mind and gosh, I can't wait to explain the whole summer break situation to her. But, we made it. And it was actually pretty pleasant.

Simon took his first week off since he started his fellowship and a few of his college friends (including this traveling duo) and their wives (and one baby!) came down to spend some time in our neck of the woods which worked out perfectly. They rented a little beach house near(ish!) our house for the weekend so we went and hung out during the day and were able to bring the kids back to their cribs and beds at night.

Remember our teal kitchen? Maybe not but I still love that family of turquoise and would paint our house this color in a heartbeat. The house went by the name, "Tiffany's" ... get it? I thought you would.

Anyway ... the kids were in beach heaven and the weekend was really laid back. Adam and Leslie cooked gourmet dinners like it was no big deal, "this isn't even cooking!" they laughed after we all expressed how impressed we were while I had to introduce them to my paltry "cooking" standards and heartily disagree. It was funny because when other grown-ups roasted a pan of broccoli the kids were all over it but when I dare to do such a thing ... closed-mouth "nope" complete with a head shake.

Pat and Dev playing catch while Bosco looks on and contemplates going off the grid/towel and eating some sand (which he did and then never did again).

Before some Natty Light may or may not have made an appearance ...

I never understood why some beachside restaurants have thick, clear string (fishing line maybe?) strung all over the tops of their open air patios but after the kids brought some leftover hotdog buns out to the beach ... I got it. The gulls can smell a crumb from miles away.

Theo had an unfortunate, "you'll laugh later, I promise!" moment when a particularly brave seagull dipped down and grabbed his entire string cheese from his hand several trips ago and I think he's still scarred because that bird was going to get that cheese -- with or without Theo's hand. Theo eventually let go but he was prepared for the sunset descent this time around ...

handful of sand. that'll show 'em.

the sunset was so pretty that even Simon was moved to bust out his rusty cellular camera. teach me your ways, sunset.

Some of his friends hung around for a few more days and they were able to go deep sea fishing where everyone (except Simon who has always claimed to have terrible fishing luck) caught fish that we were able to grill and eat for dinner one night over at our place.

I contributed a pan of box made brownies and gave everyone a little taste of those aforementioned standards (but seriously - nothing I ever make will compete with these. ever).

They also rented bikes and pedaled all around Tampa which is apparently pretty bike friendly in case anyone was wondering.

And, that was that! Phoebe, who is usually a hater of all strangers, really loved having them around and still asks for them by name which is seriously high praise in her picky little book. If anyone's in the market for spring break numero dos ... we're here.

I'll even creep around and snap some high resolution keepers with my phone for you.

Happy Wednesday!


  1. The ultimate fudge ones are even better-serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream on top! Amazing!

  2. I wonder if anyone would notice if I just moved into that perfect little turquoise house on the beach? Looks like a place I'd never need to leave...

  3. Try the Dark Chocolate ones!! Even better!! And I agree with the ice cream tip :)

  4. Seriously. Mix two boxes of those brownies separately. One goes in a 9 x 13. Then a layer of symphony bars-with almonds and toffee bits--oh yes. Top with the other mix and bake. Life will never be the same.

    1. Um, yes. The Symphony bar with nuts and toffee is, indeed, life-changing, even without being layered in the brownies, but in the brownies?? My Whole30 participating self's mouth is watering just thinking about it. :/

  5. The Triple Chocolate is the bomb!! My kids would choose them any day over homemade. Loved the biking blog - my sister and BIL did a 4-month trip from FL to CA for their honeymoon a few years ago and blogged about it - we stalked them unmercifully, it was so fantastic!

  6. Tiffany's. Can't wait for your rendition, Grace. Also? I am a huge fan of anything Ghirardelli, so I'm not knocking it...BUT!!!

    If you ever want to go off the boxed brownie grid without any danger of messing it up, Google "Floats your boat brownies." Easiest, fool-proof recipe ever. And you can throw "whatever floats your boat" (har har) in there (my faves are chocolate-covered Heath bits + chocolate chips...because I'm healthy like that). My husband, who doesn't even like brownies, r-a-v-e-s about them.

  7. Hi Grace! Thanks for the blog mention, you're too sweet. Adam and I had a blast running around with you and Simon and the kids, and those brownies alone were worth another trip! :)

    1. Hi Leslie! And Grace! Grace, love your blog. Went to school with all the above and please say hi to Simon and Pat for me (studied abroad with them)! Leslie- if you are ever in Charlotte you have a place to say!

  8. Florida beachside houses are the cutest! I love how they are all such bright colors!

  9. I avoided those brownies like the plague this morning at Costco. I circled the aisle twice like....nooo...I mean yes...I mean no. I think about them all too often.

  10. Love the seagull photo with the bystander shadows. I spy you holding Bosco. Looks like a pretty nice spring break.

  11. Love these pics, wow!! I'm so glad you are living here now, Grace. This seems to be a great place for you and your sweet family! :)



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