Skip to content
home | things i like | florida


    This past weekend I took a whirlwind vacation to the gulf coast. My college girls like to get together once a year, trading off between where each of us currently live. This year one of our friends has just moved to Niceville, Florida {yes, it is nice} so we decided a little getaway to the sunny beach seemed perfect.


    I had never been to Florida and I was most excited about seeing what a southern beach looked like.

    I was not disappointed. It is gorgeous.


    The water is clear and warm, the sand is white and fine : it really is quite tropical.


    My best friend brought her littlest, who took a nice little nap on the beach while the mommies played in the ocean.

    On Saturday, we unexpectedly took a day trip to the cutest town I’ve ever seen {Seaside, Fl}.

    image image

    We spent some time at the beach :

    beach view

    : as well as some time peeking through the little shops.


    in the store

    My favorite store was The Art of Simple – a bright and cheery shop with a great mix of art, shells and fancy soaps and candles.  Plus, the owners were so enjoyable to chat with.



    I wish it did not take me an entire day to travel from the Pacific Northwest to Northwest Florida or I would be back as often as possible.  If you live closer than I do and need a beach getaway, click here to learn more about Seaside. I think you’ll love it, too.

    I am now back home where wearing sweaters and drinking Pumpkin Spice lattes takes the place of sipping pina coladas, playing on white sandy beaches and wearing swimsuits and flip flops.   It is crazy how vastly different the weather and geography is in different parts of the same country.  And I’ll tell you what : I’m not too far from being convinced you southern ladies have the better deal. Y’all are pretty friendly, too.

    {p.s. I purposefully left my computer at home so that I could just enjoy my girls, so if you are waiting for an email response, I promise it is coming! I’m catching up today :}

    60 thoughts on “florida”

    1. I grew up in Grayton Beach, right beside Seaside. My Dad built most of the homes in Seaside. I of course have lived away from home –Florida for 1 2 years as a military spouse. I’m happy you were able to visit my hometown. I’m also at home in the cold fog of San Francisco! Imagine this when I grew up there, the roads were dirt roads! :)

    2. You were so close to us!! We live in Pensacola!! :) Looks like you had a great trip! My boyfriends grandmas house is in Niceville and we love Seaside too!!

    3. i don’t know how i missed this the first time around…i love seaside. that’s our family’s vacation destination. i have followed Simple for the last 12 years as they’ve moved a few times. love what they’ve added over the last year or two.
      it sure is a little piece of heaven down there!

    4. im sure sure sure you already know about this store.. but incase you haven’t, it has your name all over it. Watson Kennedy on 1st street in Seattle.. I live just across the sound in Poulsbo. I am always walking by this store when I walk off the ferry.

    5. So glad you could experience our beaches. From B’ham, Ala. that area is the beach we go to also. Hard to beat the white fine sand in my book. Hope you come back soon and often! ~V

    6. We love the gulf coast of Florida. Seaside is such a neat and fun little community. We have vacationed many times in Destin, Seaside, Seagrove Beach…all those are such nice spots to visit.

    7. I’m from MS and grew up in Florida every summer (and still do!!) Seaside is one of my favorite places on Earth!! glad you enjoyed it! you’ll definitely have to go back again!

    8. love Seaside! we go there once a year and to a friend’s house and have a couples getaway. of course, one of the days allows for a golf trip for the guys and a shopping trip for the girls…love those little shops. like someone else commented, i want to come to your side of the country!

    9. I grew up on the Gulf Coast as a child and now live in California. My family and I vacation every year in Seaside. Its the best family vacation ever! Especially with little kids. Mommy gets to relax and the kids can play all day in the nice calm surf. Not to mention the most charming shops. I get so inspired every time I go. I have never been able to get that Florida tan in California. Something to do with the sugar white quartz sand I guess. So glad you had a great time.

    10. Oh cool! I live in Niceville! I have lived here all my life and never want to leave. Beautiful community, friendly people, wonderful place!

    11. Looks amazing. It’s so nice to go on a trip and come back feeling all relaxed. I just got back from a trip to Paris (blogged about it today if you feel like reading) and it was awesome!

    12. I grew up in Niceville for 27 years-we are military and would do anything to get back to the bases there! Loved it-glad you enjoyed it!

    13. Hooray! SEASIDE! I’ve been going there since I was a little girl. I miss it so much now that we live 13hrs away. It was the “first beach” for our oldest two. How nice to see pictures of it now. :)

    14. I live in Alabama, and so love the Florida and Alabama beaches. Seaside is such a beautiful and relaxing area. As for us Southern ladies having a better deal, I would gladly trade some heat for cooler temps. I’ve always wanted to visit your area, and hopefully will get the opportunity soon. Glad you got to visit the Gulf Coast, and y’all come back now, ya hear!

    15. I live in Pensacola and enjoyed Seaside’s Annual Garage Sale a couple weeks ago on the first Saturday in October. Seaside also has a Spring Garage Sale. Maybe you can come back in the Spring. Always enjoy reading your wonderful blog!

    16. fun to see a pic of you girls! Gosh, that looks like an amazing place! putting it on my list of places to visit! Btw, one of your cousin’s (who is getting married… or just did?) bridesmaid was the wedding planner at the wedding I was in, in California this last week. Her name is Nicole. Ryan was talking to her husband– found out they went to APU… and somehow the conversation came back to your blog… (how we both love it) :) Fun couple… young couple (graduated from APU in 2007)…when and how did we become the old ones?!

    17. Aw! Seeing photos of those gals just warms my heart. I can’t help but smile any time I see Reagan’s face. Haven’t seen her since her wedding! That first photo of all of you is like an instant time warm to Adam’s Hall and all the wonder of college. I love that you have remained so close with your core group of girls. A treasure not to be taken for granted.

    18. I’m going next weekend! Reading this got me so excited. I love it there! I will visit that cute store. And also Dejavu. Did you go there?! Very cute clothes!

    19. I moved to the lovely and rainy Bonney Lake three years ago from the south! I am VERY partial to the south and a true southern girl at heart! So glad you got to visit! I used to vacation in that part of Florida every year!

    20. Seaside is the best! We go every year! The Alabama/Florida gulf coast really is amazing. I think people from other parts of the country are always surprised at how beautiful it is.
      Glad you enjoyed your trip! :)

    21. It’s very cute to hear your first impressions of Florida! Living in Atlanta, it’s our backyard and my parents are in Amelia Island (another beautiful place for you to check out!). Seaside is amazing-too bad you didn’t run into Simply Seleta or Urban Grace, ha ha!

    22. So glad you got to be with your friends! I love girl time! I also love Seaside!! I have family that lives in Panama City, so when we go visit them we always have to make time to go to Seaside for a day.

    23. So happy you got to get away and see Florida! We are from Ohio originally. Growing up in the midwest; driving down to FL was the thing to do. We have been all over FL and have never been disappointed. Whenever someone here suggests going to the beach here, I am more likely to decline since the beaches here are NOT the same a s the beaches on the East Coast/Gulf. Hope you get to go back with the family and enjoy it with them!!! Loved the pics and the info on Seaside. :O)

    24. So glad you got to experience one of the best beach areas on earth. Hopefully you caught a few of the many antique stores, too. Seaside is a dream!


    25. I’m so glad you loved Florida. The area you visited is indeed lovely. We may get hot in the summer, we may not have seasons, but Florida is my home and I love it.

    26. I live 1/2 mile from Seaside. So glad you enjoyed our area. It takes me 8 minutes to walk to the beach! I live in a little piece of heaven and am so very grateful. Come back anytime! I’m sure you learned a lot about our “Southern Hospitality!”

    27. Have stayed at Seaside as well as many other places along 30-A. It is beautiful any time of year. Our favorite is Rosemary Beach… much like seaside but not near as crowded(especially in the summer). We have been going there for 7 years now! So glad you got to come south and enjoy it! Hope you experiencds what we lovingly call “southern hospitality”. I don’t know of anything else like it!

    28. That is where I graduated from high school and my mom stills lives. It is a “Nice town, nice folks, have a nice time” (sign when you enter town) kind of place. We live in Alabama now and wonder everytime we go home to visit why we moved! Seaside is a sweet little town and Rosemary Beach just down the road is wonderful too. So glad you enjoyed your weekend and you’ll have to go back soon-nothing like the sugar white beaches.

    29. So glad that you got the chance to get away and to visit somplace new!!! It looks like you had a great time. We all need to take the time to re-charge with the busy lives we lead. Yes, I love the fla beaches, too.

    30. How fun is that!! I think it is great that you all get together once a year and keep those friendships going. Fun to see those other girls too:)

    31. My husband and I got married in Seaside, Fl. We vacation there at least once a year… we just missed you by 2 weeks! We are definitely lucky to only live 5 hours from those gorgeous beaches! Glad y’all had fun!

    32. The panhandle (that’s what us southerners call that strip of FL beach) is so incredible! We go there every year…best water and sand around. Glad you enjoyed it!

    33. Love Seaside! That whole group of beaches is beautiful. They’re called “The Beaches of South Walton” or “The Beaches of 30A.” They have a bike trail that goes on for miles. Love it!

    34. Seaside is our annual vacation spot!! Nothing beats Florida’s gulf coast beaches. They are just beautiful. I’m so glad you visited Seaside — it seems to be very ‘you’. On another note, PLEASE bring back ‘what I wore’ for some much needed fashion inspiration. I love how you put things together!! Pretty please?

    35. I live on the coast of Alabama (about an hour away from niceville) and our beaches are exactly the same, but I NEVER make the time to go to them. Think we went 4 times this summer. Really need to make more time before it is too cold!

    36. Ive always wanted to visit Seaside, you know that is where the movie Truman was filmed? We live near Pensacola and LOVE the beaches in NW Florida. Glad you had a great time.

    37. What a treat! It’s looks so lovely…haven’t been to Florida since I was young, but my husband just applied for a job there… you make me think Florida might be a pretty good idea. : )

    38. Wow! What a trip for you! My family and I visit Destin, Florida several times a year and just can’t get enough of it. So glad you liked it. I am the reverse of you. For the first time ever, my family and I will be making our way to a California beach over spring break. I am sure I will find it as fun as you found Florida.

    39. oh I am so glad you were able to go visit!! My “second home” as our family has vacationed in the area for over 18 years. We love it there. Seattle isn’t bad itself but there is nothing like the sugar sand wiggling between your toes!

    40. Glad you enjoyed your trip! Seaside is such a perfect, quaint, little town. It makes me so happy. They filmed The Truman Show there years ago and that’s when I first got hooked on it!

    41. Lucky you went when you did and not this past weekend, it has been non stop raining for 3 days! Glad you had fun and got to experience the gulf beach!


    42. So glad you enjoyed your time in the South! I’m in Nashville, TN, and am heading down to the Seaside area with my girlfriends this week – I can hardly wait!

    43. I’m a Florida girl through and through! But as a Florida girl, I long for those beautiful trees with their reds, oranges, and yellows, boots and sweaters, and pumpkin lattes too :) So nice to hear you enjoyed the Sunshine State!

      1. I also am a northerner who moved to FL while my hubby is in seminary… and boy are we homesick right now- FALL time!! Miss needing to wear a sweater and actually enjoy drinking a hot latte! Sweating gets old pretty fast… but I know we all need to enjoy where we are at!

    44. About 4 years ago we rented a house very near Seaside. We drove there several times. It is beautiful. Funny, I want to visit your coast though :) And it would be a trek from Ohio…

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *