Galveston Family Vacation 2018

Yesterday, a Facebook friend of mine posted asking for opinions on things to do in Galveston, Texas. Our family took a trip there last April, so I figured this was a good opportunity to share our experience!

This was actually mine and the kids first trip to the ocean! Galveston may not be the prettiest beach, but it’s only about a 10 hour drive from our house, so I’ll take a beach whenever I can get it.

We made a pit stop in Waco, Texas on our way there, but I’ll save Waco for another post. I made it to Waco two times last year and I have a lot to share about that later.

We stayed at Casa Del Mar in a condo, right across the street from the beach. Our condo number was 215 and the reason why I’m sharing that is because different people own the condos. Maureen was our host and she did an amazing job! She text me a couple of days ahead of time with the entry code and you could tell that she really loves renting out her property. Here are some pics I found online since apparently I didn’t get any of my own.

When we walked in we automatically felt like we were in a beach house. Her decorations are gorgeous and there was so much attention to details like beach toys, coffee pods, and lawn chairs available for guests to use. The only problem we had there was our BABY! She would not sleep in a pack and play and had to sleep between us. Which would be fine if she slept instead of kicking like a ninja all night. If she would have slept in the pack and play or a bunk bed it would have been a perfect fit.

As soon we were settled we ventured out to the beach. The kids and I fell in love automatically. The weather was perfect and we had a pretty empty beach since it was a Thursday in April! We ate dinner at the condo since it had a full kitchen, which was amazing. Such a great way to save money on a family vacation!

On our second day we got up early and went to the Bolivar Ferry so we could be taken to Crystal Beach. I had never been on a ferry so it was pretty cool to be able to pull up with our car and ride the boat across to the island.

We drove all around Crystal Beach. We spent the day stopping at a couple of beach access points to play in the water and hunt for shells before heading to Stingaree Restaurant and Marina for lunch. Everyone’s food was so good and what’s better than eating while watching the water outside? We finished lunch and drove around on the island a bit more. I love looking at the beach houses. What I wouldn’t give for a little turquoise house on the beach.

It was about naptime for Jordyn so we jumped in the car and headed back to Galveston. She feel asleep in the car so we continued driving around. We hunted down the Kettle House that was rumored to be a subject of an upcoming HGTV show. When we got back home we went to the beach, again, and then made dinner and decided to walk to the pier.

Listen, this was a dumb idea. It was a long walk from our condo. Like 3 miles round trip? With three kids? Stupid. We should have drove. We will mapquest our walks from now on. I guess it was one of those times where you show your kids; “See, parents do dumb shit too!” I did like that I was able to see a few statues that I had wanted to hunt down on our way there.

Look at this gorgeous memorial to victims of the Hurricane in 1900.

Anyway, my husband and our middle daughter are the only ones that like rides so we basically paid a small fortune for the two of them to ride on a roller coaster on the pier. If rides are your thing, you might find it worth the cost. They had fun riding but the rest us had to pay to get onto the pier so it was kind of a waste for the rest of us. When we got back to the condo we were dead from walking a 5k so we all went to bed pretty early.

The next morning we got up pearly and went downtown. Our first stop was the Dolphin Tour. The kids had been looking forward to this the entire trip so we were super excited to go. Annnnnd it was too windy to go out on the water. They shut the tour down just as we arrived. The girls were devastated and I felt like a total failure. This is where I learned that you should do important things on your first day of vacation just in case you can’t go another day. Hopefully we can take them on a Dolphin Tour next time we go the beach!

Instead of the tour we walked around downtown and shopped for souvenirs.

After our walk we stopped into Saltgrass Steakhouse for lunch. We got there right at opening and I found out that I love this chain restaurant. We had most of the restaurant to ourselves so it was a nice relaxing lunch. After lunch we went back to the beach for a while before deciding to head back that night instead of the next morning. Its hard to drive overnight but it’s so much easier to drive with kids while they are sleeping. We hated leaving the island but we had a great trip while we were there! It was a great first trip to the ocean!

Salty Mermaid Cottage- Tybee Island, Georgia

If you have followed my blog, my Instagram or my personal Facebook page for more than… um.. about 10 seconds you probably know that I am OBSESSED with Tybee Island, Georgia.

Last December, my husband and I took a trip to Tybee Island after planning the trip for close to 11 months. From the second I stepped foot onto the island I immediately fell in love. Our stay wasn’t nearly long enough and I had to fight back tears when we left. The beaches are so incredibly clean. The locals are extremely friendly and the laid back atmosphere of Living On Tybee Time is an amazing life goal in my opinion. I may or may not have been searching for local real estate and jobs before we even left Georgia.

Recently, I’ve started to follow The Salty Mermaid Cottage from Tybee Island on Instagram. I love any opportunity I can get to get a little glimpse of Tybee Island and drool over that amazing coastal community. And you can tell that the owner has put some much thought and love into making her vacation a tropical paradise for her visitors. The owner of the Salty Mermaid contacted me and asked if I would like to share a little bit about her cottage with my blog followers and I knew I couldn’t resist showing off her breathtaking VRBO.

The Salty Mermaid is an authentic beach cottage that was constructed in the 1940’s. It was actually voted Swankiest Costal Charmer on Tybee Island. Viewing the photos, you can see exactly why it won this title. The interior and exterior décor are everything that you would expect from a beach cottage.

Can you imagine sitting on this porch swing in the morning while sipping coffee and enjoying the beautiful sounds on the ocean in the distance? I don’t think I could resist curling up here up a good book! Or perhaps napping on a porch swing after a long day of playing at the beach or browsing shops downtown!

The interior of the cottage is just as beautiful. This space screams relaxation with it’s fresh, clean walls and whimsy décor! I can imagine lounging on the couch in the evenings to enjoy a little bit of vacation downtime.

The kitchen are offers plenty of space for cooking and dining so that a family or a large group of girlfriends can enjoy a home cooked meal of fresh seafood! Maybe alongside a few pitchers of margaritas.

The mermaid in me is OBSESSED with this mermaid statue by the pool.

After you’ve rested up inside, (or even before, I mean it is vacation after all!) the outdoor space offers so many fun opportunities. There is a gorgeous salt water pool, a 6 person hot tub, a cornhole court and a fire pit for you to enjoy during your stay. Also, in the covered entertainment area under the home you’ll find an outdoor shower, a private bathroom and a ping pong table. The mom in me thinks: The outdoor shower is amazing for cleaning off sand covered bodies after trips to the beach. Also, no one could complain about being bored while resting at the cottage because there is so much to do!

At the end of the day there are plenty of places for everyone to crash after a fun day on Tybee Island. The interior of the cottage offers 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, and it has sleeping for 8 people! How fun are these bunkbeds?

The other bedrooms are just as beautiful. I am obsessed with the TYB monogrammed pillows on the beds. What a fun touch!

As if this cottage isn’t great enough on its own, the location is perfect too! This is located mid-island, which is exactly where I would want to be when choosing my Tybee vacation spot. It’s just a 4 block walk to the ocean! On Tybee, everything is within walking distance since the entire island is less than 3.5 miles long. The beach, downtown and so many wonderful eating establishments are really only a quick walk or bike ride away.

If Tybee Island is on your list of places to visit, I highly encourage you to check out The Salty Mermaid! The hotels on the island are nice but I think a cottage is the best way to get the true Tybee Island Experience! If Tybee isn’t on your list, add it! You will not be disappointed in this gorgeous costal town. And one more thing, stop by and take me with you?

Anniversary Road Trip Tybee Island Part Two: Day 5

In December my husband and I took a massive road trip from Kansas to Florida and then to Tybee Island Georgia, our final destination. Yesterday I recapped our first day on Tybee Island and you can find that post here:

Our second day on the island we woke up and I said “Can we drive to South Carolina?” I just want to stop right here and give my husband props. If I was him, I probably would have throat punched me. I already talked him into this massive road trip, he drove the entire thing (I hate driving) and here I am asking to get back into the car. But, South Carolina was RIGHT THERE. We were so close to the border. But, he didn’t complain or even push back, he just told me we’d have to stop at Walmart in Savannah because he forgot to pack sneakers. I just want to say I packed an entire bag of shoes and only wore one pair.. and I forgot my Toms. So we got in the car, drove to Wal-Mart in Savannah and then drove to Hardeeville, South Carolina to get a drink at the gas station. Yes we are ridiculous but we marked off one more state on this trip! We visited 12 states on this road trip.

After we got back to Tybee we stopped at Tybean, the cutest little coffee shop. (I am currently kicking myself for not getting a coffee cup while I was there!) We got vanilla frappes that would make Starbucks ashamed of themselves. While drinking our coffee we walked around the Shops at Tybee Oaks and then we walked down to Seaside Sisters. The Shops At Tybee Oaks are full of items from local artists. Including amazing photography from all over the island and Savannah. All the shops were so cute and I loved the Mary Kay Andrews booth at Seaside Sisters. She’s an amazing author and has a rental property on the island. She was in Tybee while we were there but we didn’t run into her. haha.

After visiting the shops we parked the took the car back to the hotel and went walking. Tybee is not a town meant for driving at all and I’d rather walk down the beach than drive any day. Tybee has so many seashells and I saw a ton of Sand dollars! All the ones we found were still alive though so we didn’t bring one home. (If they are brown they are still alive, so you need to leave them there! Not only is it unkind to remove them from the ocean, it’s against the law!) It was low tide so it was a lot of fun to walk along the edge of the ocean and look at shells. It wasn’t terribly cold for December. I was comfortable in a t-shirt and cardigan!

We walked to the pier and then into town for lunch. Our first stop was Lighthouse Pizza and we shared a calzone. Next we stopped into Wet Willies for drinks! You can drink while walking around Tybee as long as it isn’t in a glass container, so we took our drinks to the beach and kept walking.

I loved the movie and the book The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks so I had to be a creeper and take a picture of the house where the movie was filmed.

Then, we walked back through town to our hotel to charge phones for a little bit! After a little break we walked down to Huc-A-Poos Bites and Booze and grabbed another drink. I got a Rum Runner this time…do you see where this is headed? And we walked back to the shore and followed it to North Beach Bar and Grill. We just wanted a snack and another drink but they closed at 5 that day. 😦

But I did get an amazing picture on North Beach that will likely be my new screensaver.

Since they were closed, we decided to head back to the hotel and change for the evening. It was New Years Eve so we planned to spend the evening downtown! We got ready at the hotel and called a cab because we had already walked so much that day. Tybee Island Taxi was there within a few minutes and our driver was so fun. She gave us her card so we could call when we were ready to go back. We ate dinner at Fannie’s on the Beach. I had a Pina Colada and a Po’ Boy, Justin had a Sex on the River and a Brisket Cheesesteak Sandwich. It was all so good! After we left we walked around a bit and stopped back into Wet Willies for another drink.

By then, I realized that I had been drinking straight sugar and alcohol all day. This was after months of basically eating keto, and consuming very little sugar. AND I usually drink like once a month. I am such a rookie. I felt HORRIBLE! I just wanted to sit down and not move. We ended up calling a cab and going back to the room. We took a nap and then walked down to the beach to watch the fireworks over the ocean. Honestly, I wouldn’t have changed that at all. From what I’ve seen the pier was crowded with lots of people and it would have been hard to get a cab and get back to our room. We had our own spot on the beach, beach chairs and I felt so much better by then. Walking 12 miles in a day probably didn’t help.

I spent months trying to figure out what to do for New Years Eve on Tybee Island and the internet was NO HELP, so here’s my advice.

  1. Definitely walk or take a cab downtown. There are a few cab companies on Tybee and none of them are expensive.
  2. Don’t dress up. Tybee is so low key and laid back. Jeans, comfortable shoes and a long sleeve shirt is perfect.
  3. Plan for a long wait to eat downtown. We got in to Fannie’s pretty quick, but when were left there was a long line.
  4. There are plenty of bars to hang out at it. Don’t worry about making a plan, be flexible and live on Tybee Time.
  5. It’ll get busy downtown and at the pier for fireworks. Most of the hotels are a great viewing area to see fireworks, take advantage of beach access if you have it and watch fireworks from there.
  6. Have fun! Tybee is now one of my favorite places. I can’t wait to go back. Even in the winter, even in the fog, it was perfect.

In my next recap post I’ll talk about our drive home and our stops along the way! See you again soon!

Anniversary Road Trip: Day 4 Tybee Island!

Hey there! I’m finally back with another installment of our recap from our anniversary Road Trip! Day 4 was one of my favorites because we finally reached our final destination: Tybee Island, GA. This is the location that started the entire road trip and I had been dreaming of setting foot on the island for almost an entire year. Tybee is just 20 minutes from Savannah, Georgia so we didn’t have to spend much time in the car that day.


When we arrived in town we just drove around the island to kind of get an idea of where everything was. For such a small island (the entire island is only a little more than 3 miles) there was a lot to take in. The quickly found downtown, some shops to visit, our hotel and the lighthouse! It was too early to check into our hotel so we went straight to the lighthouse.

Let me start out by saying that I am absolutely terrified of heights. My chest pounds, I get dizzy and I imagine plummeting to my death the entire time (anxiety is neat). But, I had been dreaming about visiting this lighthouse for so long, so I made myself climb it. This is Georgia’s oldest and tallest lighthouse. Ok, that maybe makes me question why I thought climbing it was a good idea.

It was a long climb up to the top. There are several stories and each landing has a window that you can peek out of it and maybe stick your face out of so you can catch your breath. Um. Not like I needed that or anything. The climb was hard, but I have to tell you, the view at the top was worth it. Even in the very dense fog it was still beautiful to be able to look around and see the island.

After climbing down the lighthouse and kissing the ground and trying not to cry we walked around to see the museum portion of the grounds. There was an old cottage set up to mimic the way it looks when the groundskeeper lived there in, I believe, the 1800’s. I told my husband it was Little House on the Prairie, ocean edition. We live just a few miles from Little House on the Prairie so it made me think of home.

The ticket to the lighthouse also gives you access to the cottages and the Tybee Museum in Battery Garland across the street. Also, we were able to leave our car at the lighthouse parking lot to walk across the street to North Beach. We walked along the beach for a little while before meeting our Savannah friends at North Beach Bar and Grill for dinner. North Beach was delicious. I had fish tacos and French fries. Yum!

After lunch we walked the beach a little bit more before heading into town to see if we could check into our hotel. We stayed at Desoto Beach Hotel. I still feel a little tricked because it’s advertised as Tybee’s only beachfront hotel. Almost every resort, suite, etc is located along the beach. But I guess this is the only one called a “hotel”. Hmmm… it was still a nice place to stay and I loved the direct beach access. I will say that if I was to ever go back I would want to stay in a cottage. I feel like this would have gave us more of a Tybee Island Experience. But, the hotel was clean and the staff was nice, and it was affordable.

Our room wasn’t quite ready so do our pre-check in, got our parking tag and went for a walk. You have to pay for parking everywhere in Tybee so if you can park at your hotel or cottage and walk, do so!

We walked along the beach to the pier and then headed into downtown. Our popped into a few shops before heading back to our hotel to change clothes and eat dinner. For dinner we walked to Agave Bar and Grill. Justin had an agave burrito and I can not remember what I had! But it was basically steak fajitas wrapped in a tortilla and covered in queso.

SO.FREAKING.GOOD. Also we each had like 2 strawberry margaritas which might explain why my memory is foggy. haha.

After dinner we popped into another souvenir shop (Waves Surf Shop) where I picked up a Tybee Island shirt for $5 on clearance. Then we walked back to our hotel and crashed for the night!

I really thought I’d be able to recap our entire stay on Tybee in one post but I was wrong! We did and saw a lot while we were there. Tomorrow I’ll finish recapping about our trip with a few more food recommendations and tips for New Years Eve on Tybee.