It’s sadly been too long since our beach vacation, but I did discover the best beach towels ever before our last visit to my favorite place. They are from a company called Dock and Bay. The towels are ultra light and fast drying. Personally, I cannot stand coming out of the pool to find my towel is still wet from the last time I used it. It doesn’t get me dry or warm like that. I have bought too many towels over the years trying to find just the right ones. Finally, after way too much money and time, I think I’ve found it! They come in several sizes and shapes. They also come in a variety of colors. I love that they are soft to the touch and the colors are vibrant. Each towel comes in a canvas-type carrying case. We monogrammed the cases so we could keep up with whose was whose I also loved, loved, loved how they were packaged!! The plastic is biodegradable and says you could even eat it, but the directions say it doesn’t taste good so you shouldn’t. I just loved everything about these towels and the company. If you’re lucky enough to still have a vacation planned, go check out Dock and Bay Towels.
So many diets allow cheat days or cheat meals. The keto diet is not really one of those. You are either in ketosis and burning ketones or you are not. Coming out of ketosis and then trying to get back into ketosis can send a person right back to the days of the “keto flu” where they might experience headaches, nausea, extreme tiredness, and other unpleasant feelings. For me, each time I would take a vacation week off of keto, I would easily gain 8-10 pounds. I’ve been on three trips since starting back on 100% keto again. I easily stayed keto in Las Vegas. I ate wonderful meals consisting of things like cheese omelets with avocado, salmon, crab-stuffed trout, sautéed spinach, steamed broccoli, and Caesar salad. When I visited the beach I ate things like: grilled salmon and shrimp, buffalo burgers with cheese, avocado, and bacon, lovely gourmet cheeses, omelets, creamed spinach, crab, and a low carb peanut butter pie I made while I was there. On my trip to Disney World, I struggled the most to find Keto friendly foods. I did a lot of intermittent fasting through the day. We ate sausage without all the toppings in Animal Kingdom. We had the ribs twice in Animal Kingdom. I would eat cheese back in the hotel. I also brought almonds and Keto bars as well. I had fish and steamed broccoli at the Skipper Canteen restaurant in Magic Kingdom. I bought Babybel cheese and boiled eggs at the Contemporary Hotel. We also had a lovely charcuterie tray at the airport. I didn’t go off the diet even though it was pretty hard to find Keto friendly meals in Orlando.
I hope that this post gives those on a Keto diet encouragement that even on vacation, you can still stick to the plan. I guarantee that you’ll be glad you did!
On our drive to Hilton Head, I pack snacks for every person. The kids get things like Chex Mix, Fruit by the Foot, chips, Zone bars, peanut butter or cheese crackers, and basically things that are full of carbs. I don’t eat any of those things so I need to figure out what I might want to munch on for the trip. This time around, I packed jars of sugar free pickles, Keto Bars, almonds, and cheese bars. Keto and low carb snacks are much easier to find now, but consideration for how they travel and how your body responds to them must be given. If you’re on a low carb or Keto diet it is still possible to stay in ketosis while on vacation, but it does take a little more planning.
Everyone in my family loves a good deal. My daughters are very into fashion, but they always want a unique look. Whenever we visit Hilton Head in South Carolina we stop at Chella D. This consignment shop is a favorite and a much anticipated stop for our family. We love the ladies who own and run it. Donna and Carol are pure delights! If I lived in Hilton Head, I know I would be a regular. When a regular customer comes in they all talk and laugh and truly care about what’s going on with one another. Even though we only stop in once or twice a year, we are remembered and appreciated. This shop isn’t just a fun little shop, it’s full of treasures. Think Lilly Pulitzer, Gucci, Kate Spade, Armani, Versace, Jimmy Choo, and much more. We always leave with things we love and things we get for a bargain. If you make a trip to Hilton Head, plan a stop at Chella D.
We had already planned our annual Hilton Head trip and a trip to Disney World for 2017 when we decided that we needed to have one trip that included our eldest daughter. We didn’t want to spend a bunch of money and we had a very specific timeframe. I read that Dauphin Island, Alabama was voted one of the “must visit” islands by Southern Living. We looked at VRBO for a few days and then decided upon a newly constructed home right on the Gulf. The home was called “The Sea Turtle” and we loved it.
A few things make this island very unique. There are no major stores on the island. There is a small grocery store that is more than sufficient for almost everything you need. Wal-Mart is over the bridge and is quite far. One big trip to stock up on major supplies should be enough. There are very few restaurants on the island as well. We ate all but one meal at home. The kitchen in the house was very well equipped and provided everything we needed to make meals at home.
We rented a jet ski one day and had a wonderful time riding around the island. Some of the family enjoyed fishing. We all had a great time playing in the sand.
Everyone we met while we were there was so nice! Our neighbors even brought us extra fish they caught. This was yet another special thing about the island.
By far, the neatest thing that happened was that a sea turtle laid her eggs under the house. The volunteers with Share the Beach Dauphin Island came to the house and were amazing! The mama turtle had gotten confused due to the lights under the house being on. (On a side note: we thought we had turned them all off, but someone must have flipped a switch upstairs and accidentally turned them on again.) She was found in the ditch in front of the house. A huge group of people moved her, and she was put back into the water. Her eggs hatched on September 3. If you visit the Share the Beach: Dauphin Island Facebook page you can get a glimpse of her babies. We can all say that this was such an exciting thing to witness.
This vacation was one of the most relaxing ones we had in a long time.
Not that we really need a reason to psych ourselves up for a trip to the happiest place on Earth, but I love a fun countdown to create an even greater sense of anticipation. I started 30 days from our vacation date. Each day one of the children opened an envelope with the number of days left written on the front. There was a gift or activity written inside. The treats were all something that could be used on the trip. They included: Disney socks, pajamas, Disney trading pins, Disney movies to watch in the car, personalized coin holder full of quarters and pennies for the pressed penny machines, and a Disney themed gift. There were also Disney themed breakfast, dinner, and cupcakes on the countdown.
This is just a fun little way of celebrating a vacation before actually going on it.
Along with scavenger hunts, I like to pack little bags of treats and games for the trip. I like to get snacks and candy that I don’t normally buy. I always pack a coloring book and colored pencils in each bag. I try to buy a book for reading on the beach too. This trip, I bought books of questions to go through with everyone. (My husband and I actually went through some of the questions from the original book on our first outing before we started dating). My super creative daughter used our Cricut to put names or monograms on sand coasters to use on the beach. My goal with every trip is to get closer as a family, get away from work, and have a good time. These little bags are hopefully one of the little joys that I can pass along to my family.
Every road trip we embark upon I like to include a scavenger hunt for the ride. I make up treat bags and one of these hunts is always inside. It’s always fun to see what each car had a hard time finding and what they completed right away. We are headed to the Gulf coast and look forward to surf, sand, games, and memory-making galore.
Just copy, paste, and print.
Road Trip Scavenger hunt
2. Cotton growing
3. Liquor store sign
4. Corn growing
5. Montana license plate
6. 30A bumper sticker
7. Passenger sleeping (not in your car)
8. A car with a canoe or kayak on top
9. A little white church
10. A car with a dog in it
11. A car with a Disney something on it
12. Palm tree
13. Baby on board sign
14. A historical marker
16. Bike on a car
18. Sign for chick fil a
20. A hotline sign
21. Sign about hell
23. College or university
24. Something that says roll tide
25. A farmer working
26. A cross on the roadside
27. Car with an advertisement on it
29. A passenger who looks like they’re singing
30. Firework sign or store
31. American flag
32. Proud parent sticker
33. Boiled peanut sign
34. Bus of any kind
35. Sign about space and rocket center
36. Hampton Inn
37. Truck with cars on it
38. Cracker Barrel
40. RV pulling a car or boat
My husband and I visited Disney World a few weeks ago. We went without the children and only for a long weekend. We stayed off property because we had Hilton points. We stayed at the Disney Springs Hilton. It was decorated in a very contemporary way and I loved the streamlined look. Everyone at the hotel was very friendly. I would certainly recommend this hotel if you are looking for a place off property.
We arrived in the afternoon on a Friday and after checking in to the hotel and dropping our luggage in the room, we headed to Magic Kingdom. We stopped by the place next to City Hall to get our Sorcerer cards first. We played that for a while and then headed for the rides. We rode Big Thunder Mountain and It’s a Small World. We got great seats for Wishes. The fireworks are my husband’s favorite part; so he was so excited to watch them in a good spot.
After the fireworks, we went to find some other things to do. We love Laugh Factory and the Toy Story laser ride. It was very packed in the park every day we were there.
We visited Animal Kingdom and Epcot. Animal Kingdom was especially packed. We only went on the Kilimanjaro Safari; everything else was more than an hour wait. We went on to Epcot. We enjoyed the Art Festival. We are both BIG art fans; so we really enjoyed perusing the different pieces of art. We even purchased one. Noah was one of the featured artists and was there to meet with the people and sign his work. He was so engaging and incredibly talented! His story is amazing as well.
Both of us enjoy trying new foods and Epcot is a perfect place for this. We rode Living on the Land, which is one of my favorites. We also wore Soarin’. It’s the first time I’ve been on it since they changed it to the world version. It was nice, but I missed the orange grove so much!
We ate dinner at Rose and Crown one night and at the Captain’s Grille another night. My husband loved the steak so much at Rose and Crown. It is one of the older girl’s favorite foods of all time. The food is always good in Disney and both places were no exception.
One of the things we enjoy about going alone to Disney World is that we usually explore places that the children aren’t interested in visiting. If you ever wonder if this is a good trip for adults without children, the answer is YES!
Since my oldest is heading to college in the fall, it’s time for college visits. Her number one pick is in Baltimore, Maryland so we are headed there in a few weeks. We will only be there for about 30 hours, so I’m looking to anyone out there for advice. Where should we go? What should be avoid? Are there any places that are “must dos”? What are good places to eat?