Every August since moving back to Texas, we’ve taken a family beach vacation. Sometimes it’s fairly close to home, other times it’s a bit more exotic. People always question why we’d want to go to the beach during the hottest time of the year…but the answer is simple: if I’m going to sweat my face off anyway, I’d rather be doing it in a swimsuit with my feet in the sand!
Besides, any beach is going to be cooler than Texas in August!
We also choose mid-to-late August because the crowds have died down, prices are typically lower, and it gives us a chance to connect as a family before the rush of school begins again. This year’s spot came about kind of backwards, since I first stumbled on rock-bottom airfares to Tampa, Florida, then started looking for beach towns in that vicinity.
We’ve visited several Florida beaches in the past, including Sanibel and Siesta Key, but I wanted something a little rustic and rough-around-the-edges for this trip. My darling friend Jen knew just the spot, since it’s where she and her family have been going for years…and Anna Maria Island was just as charming, slow-paced, and beautiful as I’d hoped.
We spent our days swimming in the clear-blue waters, playing in the white sand, taking long beach walks, napping, watching movies, exploring the little town, eating big dinners on the deck, and staring at sunsets. Everyone kind of set their own schedule, and we enjoyed time together, and alone. With constant stimulation, it was a blessing for everyone to unplug and live a quieter, slower pace.
Travel Tip: Anna Maria has a free, all-day trolley bus that runs the length of the intimate 7-mile island, so you could easily get by with no car!
It’s exactly the laid-back, flip-flop, easy-going, no rules kind of place we were looking for, and we savored every second of the precious time together. Thank you, Jen, for sharing your special island with us (and for some of these awesome pics!). We can’t wait to do it all over again!
Then it was back-to-school for this 4th and 9th grader! #doublegulp Gone are the flip-flops and swimsuits, and out came the school clothes and backpacks. In attempt to stay in our vacation frame-of-mind, they each chose a few new things to wear before we left, which were waiting for us when we arrived home! #thanksnordstrom #freeshippingforpresident Now that’s my kind of back-to-school shopping!
Do you have a special beach or Summer spot that’s precious to your family? Do you prefer slick or bohemian beach towns? I hope you had an extraordinary Summer, chock full of memories, belly-laughs, and too much ice cream. Happy September, lovebugs!
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