Food on the Beach

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to get back into the swing of things after a relaxing vacation?  I think I have discovered my destiny in life after my children grow up is to own a quaint, little seaside inn.
 {I would be a great beach bum!}
Our holiday to the beach was planned rather quickly.  With the jr. high school out for spring break (unfortunately college kids had their break several weeks ago), I decided that we all needed a break from work, soccer, band, rain, flooded yards, and laundry.  We took advantage of the many hotel points Audley has accumulated over the last several months with Hilton, loaded up the vehicle and headed off to beautiful Amelia Island, Florida.
It was fabulous having a week away from the reality of stay-at-home-motherhood!

 

Located on the Atlantic coast, Amelia Island is a beautiful and quaint island located on the Georgia/Florida state line.  This quiet coastal community is completely opposite Panama City/Destin/ Myrtle Beach which is why we chose this area to escape.  I don’t want 100 variations of the same beach shop every three feet and really despise the crowded beaches.  When I have a get-away, that is exactly what I want to do; GET AWAY!

 

We could not have requested weather any more perfect than what we had.  There were no crowds, no party-minded young people, just families content with having a good time.

 

And we definitely had a lot of  fun!

 

If you have tried to plan a vacation lately, you know that it isn’t cheap.  With gas prices out the roof and trying to fill up the bottomless pits that I call children money goes quick! But, there are ways to maximize the time and money you have to its absolute fullness.
Here are a couple of ways we were able to maximize our money on food costs……
  I packed a cooler filled with sandwich meats and cheeses, bottles of water, then fixed a bag loaded with chips, fruit cups, bread for the sandwiches, and other small snacks.  This kept us from having to stop at every convenience store we passed during the nine hour drive! A $1.00 can of Pringles (even cheaper if you use coupons) goes a whole lot further than .99 grab bags of chips, and a Dole fruit cup or granola bar is definitely healthier for a child to munch on.
Buying a case of water ($3.99/24 bottles) saves a bundle when you pay $1.50/bottle at a gas station!

 

Carrying simple groceries and snacks with us also served another purpose …. food on the beach!  Jumping waves, building sand castles, and tanning while reading a good novel really build up your appetite!

 

For eating out, we chose restaurants that were local, not chains.  Restaurants that feature products raised locally are my favorite.  There is something so appealing about eating the freshest of ingredients, ingredients that come from just down the road, not across the globe.
Yes, these can be pricey, but go at lunchtime!  Most of the time lunch menus are just as extensive as a dinner menu and half the price. When you are feeding five who all eat off the adult menu, dinner gets expensive!   I think that my children are well-behaved, but when going to a pricey restaurant at night, I don’t want the fear that they might disturb others who are dining.
Going at lunch allows their inner-foodie to enjoy a meal, at a lower cost, and I don’t worry as much if they might bother other diners.
Eating out for lunch nearly every day was an enjoyable break from the beach and touring the historic district.
right on the harbor in Fernandina Beach
For supper we made sandwiches and one night even grilled our own dinner out on the beach!  I bought steaks here before we left, and then we visited a local fresh seafood market and purchased shrimp.
 Local fishermen bring their fresh catch in daily to sell.  You can’t beat that!
Audley packed our small grill and we set up a little kitchen right on the beach for a fabulous supper as the sun set.
fresh Atlantic shrimp

 

And our chef of the evening …….

 

 

squeezing fresh lemon juice on the shrimp

 

 

 

Ribeye Steaks & grilled shrimp
It was great saving money on food, which allowed us the opportunity to do other things like play golf and check out some other local sites.
This week I hope to share some more of our holiday, including a great restaurant review!
Until then, I guess I will return to reality and begin one of the 99 loads of laundry waiting in the hallway!

10 thoughts on “Food on the Beach

  1. Jennifer, you take the most amazing photos and your photos of food are outstanding or maybe I'm just hungry. Audley makes an excellent chef on the beach. 😀 I love that your kids support your efforts, too. Great models all and do danged cute!

  2. do danged cute???? I do love alliteration though that's bit extreme. So danged cute, so very danged cute. Really, really cute.

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