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A Little Less Talk, A Lot More Action – Florida Style

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Again, we haven’t spoken for weeks.  I’ve been in Florida for Spring Break with my family.  You know, every year we go to watch a few of my sister’s softball games, visit my Godparents, hit the beach, and possibly a park.  Since there’s absolutely no way I could cover everything in detail with just one post, I figured you’d enjoy the pictures more anyway.

We left after Momma FF got home from softball practice around 6pm on Friday night.  The SIXTEEN HOUR car ride was probably the biggest challenge.  Yes, we stopped on the way down to stay overnight in a hotel after driving about 1/2 way.

We slept until Poppa FF felt rested enough to haul us the rest of the way to Florida.   Ate breakfast at the hotel,

Annnddd we were back on the road in no time.

Sunday morning I got up to go for a run, showered, and got ready for the day.   Poppa & Momma FF graciously treated the family to tickets to Hollywood Studios in Orlando.

Let the magic begin!  This year, we were super excited to have two special guys with us on our family trip.  JD, my adopted brother, and my amazing fiance, Jarid.

They provided entertainment, laugh, & love throughout the entire trip.

The weather was a bit shaky.  It rained on and off almost the entire day, but it didn’t put a damper on our fun!

We breaked for lunch around noon, pretty much in order to get out of the rain.  The only place we found inside, was a super swanky restaurant.  We had no idea what we were in for when we saw the prices.  Literally, all of the entrees were about $35/person.  When you’ve got six people in your party, that adds up pretty quickly.

I opted for the $15 cobb salad, as did Momma FF & sister FF.  I nixed the cheese, bacon, & eggs and stuck with chopped romaine, turkey, avocado, tomato & chives.  I had never eaten a salad that was so finely minced before!  It was VERY good…just not $15 worth good 😉

Poppa FF & Jarid each got the stuffed chicken.   Not exactly sure of the description.  I think it was stuffed with ham & cheese if I remember correctly?  The portion sizes weren’t impressive for the price, but it’s to be expected, I suppose.  JD got the duck, but I didn’t get a photo.

Regardless of the fact that we were freezing cold and sopping wet, we had a blast perusing the park the rest of the day.

Toy Story

Pirates of the Carribean

Indiana Jones

The set of a special effects action scene

The Wizard of Oz on the Great Movie Ride

The Little Mermaid

Alice in Wonderland costume

I had to!

Beauty & the Beast

Rock N’ Roller Coaster

Star Wars Tours

Jarid in the Tower of Terror

Special effects boat dock set

 

I was so excited when I found out that there’s a 2nd Tangled movie in the works! Tangled Ever After…cannot wait!  haha.

The Muppets Fountain

My cup of no-sugar-added, fat free vanilla that was free of charge from the sweet vendor in the park! Later on, Poppa & Momma FF treated us all to coffee, too!  It must’ve been a vanilla kind of day because I ordered mine with sugar-free vanilla syrup then, too! 🙂

Paradise Part 2

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While every single morning at the beach began with a workout of some type (running/biking; usually both)

every single night at the beach ended with dessert as it should, right?!

Considering the fact that our house was within 1/2 mile (walking distance) to the nearest ice cream shop, Fat Boyz, this should be no surprise.    More so, there was a place that I couldn’t resist.  American Pie, a little shop in Nags Head (all home-made!) made a “no sugar added vanilla” which tasted like Pillsbury icing from the can that I couldn’t resist.

 Breakfasts before these morning workouts consisted of coffee &

Ezekiel cinnamon raisin sprouted english muffins with a Laughing Cow cheese wedge mixed with Splenda smeared on top .  It was like cream cheese frosting.  After the workout, it was About Time for a protein shake with spinach blended in I don’t have any pictures, because I think the blog world has seen quite enough green drinks.

Beach time was next on the agenda. 

I made it there by about 11 (if not earlier) every morning, breaking around 1 or 1:30pm for lunch.

This was a typical plate of mid-day eats consisting of a turkey sammie with lettuce, tomato, hummus, and onion on Nature’s Own whole grain bread. 

On the side I had some fresh seasonal fruit, because at the beach, nothing tastes better!  Strawberries and cantaloupe were on the menu this particular day.   Watermelon was another favorite!

The rest of the afternoon was spent basking in the sun, typically, causing me to turn into one big freckle…a happy one, though.

 After showering, I usually hung out with the family and helped get dinner ready…when we ate in, it was mostly things like this.

No, that’s not baby food…that would be my Amy’s Organic low-fat split pea soup and a huge monstrous salad with homemade honey mustard dressing (mustard +S & water to thin). Carbage came later in the form of hummus toast 🙂

One night after dinner, we hit up the sand dunes for a spectacular view of the sunset.

At the sand dunes, they have a hang gliding school, and I swear, one day I’m going to try it. 

Could you imagine gliding in the air off of a sand dune with a view like this one?

…yeah, it’s that gorgeous.

Morgy & I thoroughly enjoyed the sand between our toes after trekking up-hill to get to the top of the dunes.

Momma & Poppa FF got a nice little shot together with the moon in the background.

Anndddd recap #2 : complete! (:  Still lots to show you, so come back for #3 tomorrow!

Paradise Part 1

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I know it’s taken awhile for me to get these pictures uploaded, so let’s get things started, shall we?  Before the vacation could start, we went to support our cousin, Allison at her graduation.

She is a great soccer player and will be attending PSU Harrisburg next year, joining their team!  It was pretty cool that my Dad had the opportunity to present her with her diploma since he’s on the school board 😉

Afterward, there were photos and tears.  The party came to our place afterward for a campfire & reception.

Before I left for vacation, the boyfriend took me on a date.

Since we wouldn’t be seeing each other for about a week & 1/2, it was deemed necessary to have a date night…this was complete with chinese food

steamed mixed vegetables with shrimp

and Kung Fu Panda 2…in 3D 😀

[source]

After a wonderful send off, it was time to get the roadtrip started…My sister, Myranda & I were driving down together in a car by ourselves for the first time.  Typically, we go with our parents, but they were going to a tournament of my youngest sisters’ first and wouldn’t be getting to the beach until a day later. 

When we arrived in the Outer Banks, it was about lunchtime, and this little guy was hungry so we made a pitstop at Pizza Hut.  We had been traveling with my Godparents, my best friend, and her family…which included Bowman 🙂  His first beach trip was SO exciting!

Anyway, lunch looked like this…

Not too bad for a Pizza Hut salad bar, huh?  My thoughts exactly 🙂

When we finally were able to check in at our beach house, I decided to take a tour so you all could see it.

Welcome to Blue Point at milepost 16.8 in Nags Head, NC. 

There were three floors, of which, my bedroom was on the second. I was bunking with Allison (my cousin), and my two sisters…plus, my sister’s boyfriend, Braxton.

We were right across the street from the ocean and could see it from our deck. 

The kitchen was on the top floor,

but there was a little mini prep area on the 1st floor that I took full advantage of using for my grocery stock. Yep, you better believe I brought my Oster blender. How else would I make my protein shakes in the morning?! 🙂

 I filled the cupboards with goodies from home, too!  Most mornings, my Godfather picked up donuts for the house to nosh on for breakfast and dinner, most people in the family went out to eat, except my immediate family.  It was just fine with me because cooking and meal prep is limited while I’m at home due to such a busy schedule.  It was nice to have time to prepare and sit down to enjoy my meals while on vacay.

The goods included: Fiber One cereal, Coconut Macaroon coffee (a la Target), Seaweed Snacks, Nature’s Own whole grain bread, Udi’s Gluten-free Vanilla granola, Eat.Think. Smile Crispy Thins, About Time protein powder, xanthan gum, dark unsweet cocoa powder, vitamin water zero, mini clif bars, Pepsi Max, oat bran, Amy’s low fat split pea soup, and some various light dressings.

The game room/pool table, also in the same vicinity as the mini kitchen.  That little table is where I ate most of my lunches!

Most of the time we were there, either baseball or the weather channel occupied the television, with the exception of Monday night, which obviously had to be on ABC for the Bachelorette.

Just another shot of the family room….I’ve always loved how summer homes and beach houses are decorated.  Such bright, happy colors 🙂

As usual, the house also had a pool and hot tub in the back, which the kids took full advantage of.  I spent most of my time on the beach (I can go to a pool anytime, right?), but I did get a nice pool workout in on the last day we were there!  I think this was the first year I didn’t step foot in the hot tub! 

After the tour, everyone settled in, unpacked, and ordered pizza…

I put my freshly bought produce to good use and whipped up a yummy dinner that I’ve been wanting to try for EVER now. 

KELP noodles, a la Elise (<–genius)

  • mashed peas
  • mashed avocado
  • rinsed kelp noodles

For those of you wondering, I’ve been trying to incorporate foods into my diet that have been linked to thyroid health, since I read the book “Must’ve Been Something I Ate“.  The winner of the book still hasn’t claimed her prize, so I’ve decided to pick another winner…

CONGRATS, MARIE 🙂  Please email me your address and I’ll ship you your prize book STAT!  You guys really should check out her blog, Chocolate-Covered Chaos.  It is awesome! 

Annnnnd there’s recap #1!  Stay tuned for numero dos!

XO.

The Sunshine State: Part II

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We woke up bright and early Sunday morning for a magical day, which always starts with a magical breakfast, of course.

I purchased some Kashi frozen waffles at the grocery store the night before  and supplemented with a smooshed banana and my packed stash of peanut flour.  I’m fully aware that this isn’t a pretty picture, buuuut who has time to worry about visual food appeal when they’re getting ready to go to Disney World?! 😀

It cracks me up how cheery this ticket lady was at 8AM.  I even managed to snap the picture mid-smile.  I guess it isn’t difficult to have a positive attitude when you’re working in such a happy place.

There were two ways to the kingdom once your tickets were bought…you could take the monorail, or the ferry.

Obviously, we chose the more scenic route.  It was a bit chilly at this point, so I was bundled up in a jacket, but everyone else was comfortable!

From here on out, I think I’ll let my photos do the talking and just allow you to enjoy them 🙂

Aunt Teena, Dumbo, & I

Morgy

Momma FF & Tori

The infamous castle

Princesses galore

The parentals and Trey

Themed garden sculptures

Tomorrowland

My sister’s boy and the little ones

His and hers restrooms 🙂

And finished off with an amazing fireworks display ❤

More on the rest of my trip tomorrow!

XO.

BEACH Recap #4

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Soooo here are a few events that went down after dinner a few nights.  Mini golf is something the family does EVERY year.  One night we usually go all together, and one night we go with just our family.

 

Professor Hacker’s Lost Treasure Golf is the traditional course that we take the entire family to together.  We ride up a train to the top of the course complete with waterfalls and caves entwined between courses.

The other night, we went to a pirate themed mini golf course called Mutiny Bay. 

After golf, we hit the ice cream place called Fat Boyz, where my Mom adoresss the chocolate soft serve.  Randa (middle seester) got a root beer float, Morgy (youngest seester) ordered a chocolate milkshake, Momma FF ordered a chocolate waffle cone, and Poppa FF ordered a peanut butter chocolate fudge sundae, while I got a Sugar Free vanilla in a dish.

THIS, however was NOT my ice cream.  It was BUTTER at a restaurant!  Haha.  Isn’t the resemblance ridiculous, though?!  Now I know why they use it for food photography!

Here’s my ice cream bowl:

We also brought back some ice cream for my Godfather (T.T.).  My Mom had the idea to get a photo together because when I was first born, my parents and I lived with my Godparents until our house was finished being built.  He used to sit me on his lap every night and feed me ice cream! 🙂

Ohhh, the good old days!

Speaking of GodFATHER, we were at the beach over Father’s Day, which meant I took along the gifts for my Godfather & Daddy.

For my Daddy, I framed a photo of he and some children in Nicaragua and got him a cute outfit for summer!  For my Godfather, I snagged a giftcard from Red Lobster.  I hate being away on vacation over holidays like that because I feel like they’re robbed of the time & effort usually put into a special day like that, but they didn’t seem to mind!  I got to spend quality time with each of them, so it was a great day.

As I said earlier, we did do some shopping while we were there, and I saw these cute mugs with stir spoons built right in, which reminded me of Kath’s Ramen Bowls!

We also saw and made lots of immature jokes about the “Try My Nuts” store, which actually sells some stellar looking stuff like gourmet nuts, condiments, and funny t-shirts.

Next Post: Post Beach Softball Tournament

BEACH Recap #3

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Nowwwwww for the fun part.  Dinners!  I went out to dinner most nights, but my Mom knew that everyone in the family couldn’t afford to eat out every single night, so she was sweet and prepared four meals herself to offer to everyone.  The four meals were baked chicken with green beans one night, beef roast & baked potatoes one night, lasagna one night, and ham with mac n’ cheese one night.  I didn’t eat anything that was made, but I DID have some epic dinners while on vacation.  

I’d venture to say that my last meal there was probably my favorite. 

We went to Tale of the Whale with my Godparents, which not only was the greatest company anyone could ask for,

but we also had a terrific view & killer meal.

I started out with a side salad with red wine vinegar on the side and for my entree, I ordered the steamer special! 

Maine Lobster steamed and stuffed with jumbo lump crab meat.  Holy cow.  It was phenomonal.  The crab meat was actually the best I’ve EVER had.   I wasn’t quite sure what to expect with lobster meat, being that I had never tried it before, but was pretty satisfied with the taste.  It was a little too rubbery for me, texture wise but still delish, none-the-less.

I think I’ve consumed enough seafood to last me the rest of the year, I think you’ll probably agree with me!

Second favorite meal of the trip was dinner at Sugar Creek.

Again, I stuck to the steamed entrees, but this time I got the steamer bucket!

Steamed crab legs, mussels, clams, shrimp, and crawdads with a side of steamed corn on the cob & red potatoes. 

I couldn’t eat all of it, but saved 1/2 the corn and all the potatoes & shrimp for a meal at the house!

I did, however chow down on the red & green pepper rings that were weaved in and out of the seafood!  The butter was SO unnecessary.  SHAME on anyone who would ruin this yummy platter with that stuff!  Haha.

The aftermath 🙂

Another night, my family went to dinner at Captain George’s, an incredible, buffet style restaurant with TONS of delicious options. 

We definitely ate our money’s worth in crab legs, but not before we had a photo sesh outside the restaurant while waiting to get in!

Momma & Poppa FF

Us three girrrrls.

Check out these stats I found on the restaurant website! 

Is that crazy or what?!? I definitely stayed away from all the cookies & fryer oiled foods, but didn’t hesitate to indulge in plates like these:

I figured out after snapping the picture that the mussels were drenched in oil (see the glare?!) so it was ashame, but I didn’t end up eating them. 

Alot of the items on the buffet line were already in butter & oil, so I stuck to mostly salad, crab legs, and steamed clams!  It was all really good though! 

Plus, they had fresh fruit for dessert! 

Mmmmm. Honeydew, watermelon, and cantaloupe!  My summertime faves!  They were ESPECIALLY ripe here, for some reason which made them extra juicy & sweet!  ❤

The little sisters came back with delicious looking stuff from the dessert bar that they said was pretty rockin’, too.  I couldn’t help but take a picture!

After this dinner together, we did a little shopping! 

We didn’t actually buy the hats, but we did get these cute bracelets to match!

“hope, faith, & love”

 

Next post: FUN extras & outings in the Outer Banks!

BEACH RECAP #2

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Each morning at the beach began with SOME type of workout, sometimes two!  I love being on vacation with the ability to take my time getting to my workouts and sleeping in.  It’s the best of both worlds, knowing that there is NO set schedule of things that NEED to be done.

Most mornings, I ran a mile or two and came back to the house for an ab workout and a bike ride with my parents!  They’ve really been staying on top of their fitness, too! It was nice getting some cardio in with good company! 

Breakfasts consisted of things like greek yogurt messes, larabars, & wraps with sonoma jacks smeared in the middle.  All of which, somehow managed to escape my camera??

By the time we got back from our bike rides (varying from 10 miles to 16 miles), we were ready to slather up in sunscreen and hit the sand.

The “not-so-little” sister playing in the sand

We had BEAUTIFUL weather for the entire week.  In fact, somedays it was SO hot that the “heat index” fell under the “dangerously hot” category according to the local weather stations.

The houses we rent are always within walking distance to the beach.  Some years, we actually get BEACHFRONT houses.  This year, the beach access was right across the street.

Typically, we stay on the beach until about 12:30 or 1PM and then come back and break for lunch. 

Unlike breakfasts, lunches were almost ALWAYS photographed 🙂  Pretty basic, yet satisfying & fresh!

I actually biked to the grocery store there pretty frequently to pick up whatever I was craving.  Fresh fruits & vegetables were always in abundance at the beach house! 

Many times, I threw together a wrap with some sort of protein (hummus, turkey, egg whites, etc) with veggies & a light flat out.

Broccoli slaw bowl sprinkled with salt & pepper with an egg white flat out wrap with sprouts & hummus.

My Godfather brought along some of the BEST tomatoes I’ve ever had.  He buys them at the Gratz auction.   They were SO sweet & juicy!  Sprinkled with salt & peppper, tossed with diced cucumbers they were UH-mazing.

Veggie plate (sliced red peppers, sprouts, cukes, broccoli, tomato, & snap peas) drizzled with Roasted Red Pepper Hummus sauce along side a light Flat Out with Sonoma Jack’s + SF jelly & Chobs; Coke Zero.

I drank TONSSSSSS of water each day, which was definitely a good thing.  I did, however treat myself to some Diet Green Tea & Coke Zero.  Yes I know, aspartame = chemicals.   Moderation was key!

Veggie bowl with cukes, tomato, yellow pepper, & alfalfa sprouts drizzled in Roasted Red Pepper Hummus alongside Chobani + Fiber Select & SF cherry preserves.

Everyone got a kick out of the fact that I ate SOOOO much food.  They couldn’t believe how I could stomach SO many greens.  Haha.  I felt like I had an audience everytime I put together my lunch! 

While they stared blankly at their boring ham sandwich on a potato roll, chomping on Middlesworth potato chips and cookies, I happily scarfed down every last vegetable on my plate, savoring the freshness of each!

Leftover chunk of white turkey meat with a light flat out smeared with sonoma jacks on top of a huge salad of broccoli slaw, carrots, cukes, & tomato with baby spinach as the base

After lunch, we headed back to the beach with happy bellies.  Somewhere between 3-4PM I usually had a piece of fruit like a nectarine, apple, or plum! 

The first few days, I was devouring watermelon, but it was soon gone because of how much everyone enjoyed it! 

Nothing quite as refreshing as fresh cut watermelon at the beach!

I mostly like to lay out and tan while I’m in the sand, but a few of our clan brought a football & frisbee. 

We later discovered that there was a SAND bar out in the ocean if we swam far enough (which also made a great workout!). 

 

Next up: Dinner & other noteworthy beach activities!