While things are completely unsettled all over the US, this year we decided to STILL go on vacation. I think it’s important that people still take time off and take time to relax. We however, decided to drive to the beach in the middle of a pandemic mostly due to being unable to rearrange vacation time. We decided to visit Panama City Beach because my husband (who doesn’t like change) was familiar with the area. So here’s a quick review of our week in Panama City Beach, which by the way had the same, if not lower amounts of cases than the city we live in at the time.
We packed up the car and headed south. We decided to drive through the night so we didn’t have to deal too much with the kids needing occupied in the car or being awake, though we didn’t escape the dreaded “are we there yet” which was started by Olive about 5 minutes into the trip. I couldn’t tell if she was super excited, really just didn’t understand time, or was conned by her sister to keep saying it. But both girls probably stated that about 7000x on the way there. So that was fun.
After about a 12 hour drive, we hit the bridge into PCB and were there! But we couldn’t get into our condo for a few (of the longest hours ever) so we decided to make a quick stop at the beach before grabbing some breakfast.
The girls first stop at the beach was magical. They’ve never seen the ocean before and we didn’t really give them much to go off of. But they loved it and didn’t want to leave. They even soaked themselves, I think in an attempt to have to stay and skip breakfast, but we had all the luggage in the car still.
When we travel we try to eat places we cannot get anywhere else – so no chains – but with COVID happening, we did notice LOTS of places that weren’t open anymore which was kind of sad. But the first place we chose to eat was a diner. And at the diner, we were starving so I can’t even tell you if the food was really good or we were all just really hungry. It was gone in no time.
*I will say that one of my stipulations for saying I’d go on this trip in the first place was that we had to eat outside or take things back home, but once we got there, we realized this might not be able to happen every time so we did our best with the mask and I was actually pleasantly surprised at how well most of the restaurants were doing with the social distancing and capacities. More on that another time.*
All week we ate at pretty great places including…
We also had a lot of fun!
Went on the Pirate Ship…
*this was the only thing we did that wasn’t 100% socially distanced- Adults did pretty well with the keeping of space, but that wasn’t the case for the kiddos – however, I didn’t ever feel uncomfortable with the situation*
Searched for Crabs (with no luck)…
Visited St. Andrews State Park…
And had lots and lots of pool time…
We even witnessed a water rescue which was super intense and completely heightened my already high water sensitivity!
Overall we had a great vacation and I hope to recap a few highlights over these next few days. Everywhere we went we had masks, hand sanitizer, and did our best not to touch a ton of things… We also waited in lines much longer than normal due to all the social distancing and CDC guidelines in place. We took many stairs at our condo instead of the elevators and we left when we felt uncomfortable.
We’ve now been back for about a month with no symptoms or any signs that we may have picked anything up. We did make it so Ella had 2 weeks before going back to school, just in case. So basically what I’m saying is that we did travel successfully during a pandemic. It wasn’t always easy and it wasn’t always comfortable or even how we’d planned for things to be, but we made it work and you can too. Check out Visit Panama City Beach for more info on things to do where we were!
Have you taken any trips this summer? Long road trips or short ones? Or do you have any planned?
We have some more travel coming up at the beginning of October so, while we’ll be staying a little closer to home, we are looking for suggestions!