A Simple, Beautiful Life – Paul Landry

A Simple, Beautiful Life

I AM BACK! You’ve heard me right!

I know it has been quite a bit of time since my last blog post, and for that, I apologize. There are a whole lot of moving parts to running the biz, and I am still doing my best to juggle them all. With all that in mind, you can only imagine my excitement when my best friend since junior high invited me on a beach getaway for the Fourth of July.
The destination...Seaside, Florida: a.k.a the most quaint little town in the South. Seaside is the brilliant brain child of Robert Davis, and known as the world's first new urbanist town. The town is master planned to encourage community and small business development, with its charming Carribean/West Indies design. 


I arrived bright eyed and bushy tailed on July 2nd just in time to join the crew for a delicious dinner at the fun filled Fudpuckers; a beach bar & grill just to the West of Seaside, in Destin. I opted for the grilled chicken sandwich with coleslaw and a big ole glass of unsweet iced tea. They are known for their live gator shows and their delectable seafood platters, but after 7 long hours in the car, I was feeling fairly simple in my appetite. 
By nights end, we arrived back in Seaside without too much traffic, and settled in to our beach house. My morning was kickstarted at 6:15 am (too early for vacation if we’re being honest) with Blair dragging me out of bed to get coffee and cinnamon rolls in town. It was a short two minute walk through the art district to the main commons and the tasteful smells of Amavida. A locally owned, organic coffee shop, Amavida does everything right to provide a light, fun and most of all, delicious atmosphere inside. Bathed in beachy shades of pastel, and with plenty of common seating, it was a no brainer for Blair and I to enjoy our breakfast there, before bringing the rest of the goodies back to the house for the others. 
My Order: 
Cafe-au-lait ~$4.50
Organic Cinnamon Roll ~ $3.95
Blair’s Order: 
Soy Latte ~ $4.75
Organic Cinnamon Roll ~ $3.95
Almond Croissant ~ $3.00
To almost nobody's surprise, our morning jaunt to the coffee shop would become a daily occurrence for the rest of my stay. 

We couldn’t have arrived any sooner back at the beach house before we were jumping into our bathing suits, loading up the Yeti, and cramming towels and beach chairs into the car to get on down to the beach before we lost our precious spot on the beach.

Santa Rosa Beach, the official name of beachside portion of Seaside has the whitest and softest sand i’ve ever set foot on. Seasides location on the panhandle of Florida affords little wave action, and instead shallow, crystal clear waters perfect for a casual beach day. 

We could only be bothered to leave the water by the rumble in our stomach. It was two o’clock, and the smell coming from the Airstream-converted food trucks lining main street were too much to resist. I had no particular direction for food, and took my time roaming up and down, reading the menu’s, before settling on the Barefoot BBQ.

Seaside, in all its grandeur, can be a little pricey, and it caught my attention that an entire entree with two sides was a mere $12. I went for the mouth-watering pulled pork on Texas toast with pineapple coleslaw & potato salad. As i was coating my meal in their signature barefoot sauce, I caught myself …. Since when did I become a BBQ man? Nonetheless, it was amazing, and I would absolutely recommend. 
Back to the beach we went, full of lunch and ready for a good snooze. We were lucky enough to have a private beach access included with the rental, so getting on and off the beach as well as swimming in the water was never over crowded. We enjoyed a few more hours out in the sun before calling it a day, and headed back to the house for dinner. 


Now for the entire reason any of us were in Seaside in the first place...THE FOURTH OF JULY! Celebrating the founding of our country is not to be taken lightly in this beach town, and by 7 am, the streets were chock full of cars, people and bikes all jockeying for a spot on the curb to watch the parade. Breakfast sandwiches (I can never pass up a bacon, egg and cheese on a croissant) and iced coffee in hand, the crew and I staked out our position and got our America on.   

The parade was exactly what I would expect from small town America, and I couldn’t have been happier. There were tons of fireworks and police cars showing off their lights, as well as all the local businesses creating their own float to show their patriotism. There was even a Miss Seaside and Little Miss Seaside in classic convertibles. All in all, it was the perfect showcase of what makes this country the best on the planet. 


After the parade, some beach time and a quick lunch break, we decided it was best to get on over to the house for firework prep. There was food to be cooked, showers to be had, and outfits to be ironed. By 6 pm, we were all hurriedly moving up the four floors to the rooftop deck to get in our part of the action. Our beach house overlooked the beach and the main amphitheater, allowing us an excellent view of where the fireworks would be launched. Mix all that in with live local bands, and I was in heaven. The Firework show was stellar, and had a great array of different pyrotechnics to keep everyone happy.
My last day in Seaside was spent shopping around and staying cool. I picked up a new pair of shorts and a classic Seaside Tee to prove I went.

We ended the day at the Great Southern Cafe. The Cafe is by far the most popular restaurant in town, and required an almost two hour wait to seat the eight of us. Every single thing they brought out was amazing and so tasty.

Our Meal 
Flash Fried Calamari ~ $11
Blue Crab Claws w/ pita bread ~ $14
Best Burger ~ $13.5 

Grass-fed beef ground fresh daily, served on a kaiser roll with romaine lettuce, tomato, red onion, pickles, & our zippy sauce on the side
(I added a fried egg on top for $2) 

Seafood Celebration ~ $28

Grilled fish, blackened shrimp, and fried oysters with two hush puppies, smoked-corn tartar sauce, and two Southern sides

Balsamic Salmon ~$24

Fresh grilled salmon, balsamic glaze, feta-caper relish, sautéed green beans, and mashed potatoes.

Grits a ya-ya ~ $21

Blackened shrimp, sauté of smoked bacon, spinach, portobello mushrooms, and cream on a bed of smoked Gouda cheese grits
 It was the perfect way to end such a perfect stay. 

Until next time Seaside,
P. Landry, Founder

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