OK. So maybe my work dress code is pajamas. And I actually really like my boss. But the no clock? The no stress? The towel and the sea? Sign me up.
You might have noticed things have been a little quiet on the Chubby Vegan front for the last few weeks. We went away on a fabulous vacation with our friends. It was exactly what we needed to end our summer of fun. Things didn't go according to plan, but when do they? At the end of our trip, it was one we'll look back on with laughs, smiles and ultimately no regrets.
We rented a beach house on Seacrest Beach. It was located a few miles shy of Panama City Beach on the panhandle. If you haven't had the chance to visit this side of Florida, I highly, highly recommend it. We've been to a few different parts now and the beaches are simply magic. I know, I know, that's a really loaded statement, but I absolutely adore this area. There's always a breeze, even when its a jillion degrees out. The sand on the beach is like white. Like, so white and pretty that Pear made the comment "I didn't know the sand could look like snow!" And the water is flawless. It's that perfect hue of crystally teal, deep blue and clear. It should be known that I'm actually NOT a huge fan of the beach (give me some mountains and snows any day), so when I say I could retire to a place like this, you know it's totally legit.
And when we weren't at the beach, we were chilling by one of the four massive pools we had at the community our beach house was located in. It was a picture perfect set up. There was a large 'L-shaped' pool that two smaller kid-size pools attached to and at the bend of the "L" there was a massive round pool with a fountain. Every day we had somewhere new to explore and we shared the pool with maybe four or five families. While we were there we got into a nice routine. We'd go to the beach in the late mornings, the men would retire to the beach house and watch golf or football while the babies napped and the ladies (Pearyn included) sat poolside. I walked away with a pretty nice tan, but we basically discovered I birthed a bronze goddess. Seriously, Pearyn had the most impecable tan when we left the beach, and she had no desire to even get one! Not to mention the platinum blonde streaks she got from all her fun in the sun.
We got to explore while we were there too. We went shopping on the strip, ate at an amazing restaurant on the beach with the kind of view you'd see in a movie and went on an ocean "cruise." We got to see sea gulls, dolphins, jelly fish, starfish, all the awesome things you should see when you go to a beach! We were lucky to see a family of dolphins (I don't know what that's called) playing and swimming with each other. They did back flips and blew water out of their blowhole. All of this - from a boat - in the middle of the ocean. We picked sea shells from the shore, we built sand castles and we were able to decompress and just "be." The men went golfing and the ladies had a spa day, complete with a girl's night.
A lot of people are always surprised to find out the other family with us wasn't vegan - contrary to popular opinion, we're perfectly cool with nonvegan families. We don't go all "RAWR" and red paint on people who don't follow our lifestyle, that's silly. And we don't expect them to eat like us "out of respect" for us. We CHOSE to be vegan, it's not something we were forced to do. And it's something we realize not everyone wants to do either. It's silly, and quite frankly, it sends a terrible message out to nonvegans if they think we're keeping tabs on them and what they are or are not eating. On the nights we stayed at home and cooked, we made meals that were customizable depending on what everyone wanted. We grilled out, the nonvegan made potato soyrizo hash - not because it was vegan - but because it's what we had on hand for breakfast and it was DELICIOUS.
All and all, it was a vacation I couldn't have planned if I wanted to. We were blessed to do so many wonderful things - from laying in the sand (sometimes even with a cold beer!), to swimming in the pool, to hanging out with sea creatures in their habitat. And while Pear wasn't the most enthralled with the ocean, Braeburn got to see it for the first time. And seriously, his reaction, made it worth the 12-hour drive and then some. If you don't believe, watch for yourself!
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