My Happy Place 2015

Where’s the place you can go to that almost instantly brings a smile and a sigh of relief from the hustle and bustle of daily life?  Is it the beach, the mountains, your private oasis in your own backyard?  Is it sitting in a chair eating your favorite food?  For me, it’s the place where I can put my toes in the sand, walk along the shore of the ocean, and where I can simply sit and tune out the world for just a few days… happy place is the stretch of ocean between Miramar Beach and along 30A in Florida.

We recently returned from a week of much needed rest and relaxation and even after going for years……it never ceases to amaze me how magnificent the ocean is.  Maybe it’s how it forces you to sit and take in its power.  Maybe its how it invites you in to play.  Whatever it is, I sure do pray God has a few beautiful ocean beaches for me in Heaven.  Think about it….the world is covered in oceans…and each one knows where to begin…where to stop.  That is simply an amazing example of God’s power in creation.  The United States is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world.  From the beaches of Hawaii, to the rocky coastline of the Northwest to the soft, white sand that I call my happy place.

This year, with the move and then the uncertainty surrounding some medical issues, this trip was much needed.  The only problem every single year….leaving.

Here’s a little peak into my happy place and some of the 2015 memories from the visit.  Enjoy.

You just cannot go wrong with soft, white sand and emerald green water with hints of blue scattered throughout.

What does a Mom do when she is beating her men in putt-putt, why she brags, of course.

Each year, we make a visit to Cantina Laredo for dinner.  This year, it was especially tasty.  Finding Mexican food in Chicagoland has been difficult.

There’s just something awesome about being a Mom to a boy.  This college kid hit the jackpot on an arcade game at the Baytowne Wharf in Sandestin.  In his shopping spree, a Scooby-Doo was acquired.

Another tradition we have, is one morning we trek over to Another Broken Egg, Sandestin for breakfast.  Such good food.

Sadly, I didn’t capture a picture of one of the highlights of the week.  We ventured over to Seaside one day to eat lunch at The Great Southern Cafe.  First, we ordered the crab cakes with fried green tomatoes.  Then…I ordered the Grits a Ya Ya.  Oh my goodness.  I was certainly saying Ya-Ya!  Then..upon a recommendation from a fellow Florida fan, we ordered the Key Lime Pie.  This is NOT your traditional Key Lime Pie.  It’s Key Lime Pie taken to a whole new dimension.  I have been searching for the recipe from the moment I took my first bite.  Since I can’t share a picture of this heavenly treasure, I hope you enjoy the fabulous shot my son shared with me of our happy place.

This is a shot from our table at Dewey’s Destin, Harborside.  It’s one of our “traditions” and seems to be our last meal of the week each year.

On the way back to Chicagoland, we were able to make a stop in Athens, Alabama so that I could visit with one of my dearest, “for life” friends.  We met as locker mates back at Southaven Junior High and over the years formed one of my most cherished friendships.  Sherry Lunneal Clutter Raines, I adore you.  She is a cancer survivor and one of the most amazing women that I know.  Her story is simply amazing.  (And y’all know that’s a Cracker Barrel!  My favorite chain!)

Thanks for letting me share a peek into our happy place with you.  It’s time for my second cup of coffee on this “cleaning house” day…..