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Birthday Surprise: 36 Hours in Fort Walton Beach

Happy Halloween! I’m getting ready to head to a costume party (and can’t wait to post a pic of my costume…be on the lookout on Instagram!) but I wanted to share my quick getaway for my mom’s birthday surprise with you first!


Wheels up in Charlotte on Wednesday afternoon. The scenery was beautiful thanks to all the leaves changing.


Quick layover in Atlanta. Grabbed a soy latte and a Kind bar and knocked out my Chiquita post.


My second flight to Fort Walton Beach was SO lovely. I flew Delta and when we boarded they had the cabin lights off, music playing and fancy mood lighting going. I listened to music and worked a crossword puzzle and the short 40 minute flight was over before I knew it.


Arrival in Fort Walton Beach with this snack cart in the baggage claim area. I was so pleased by the service Delta provided this trip.

My dad picked me up at the airport and when we got back and I walked into my parent’s condo, my mom was so surprised. 🙂


I woke up Thursday (which was my mom’s birthday) to a beautiful day.


I went for a 6 mile run all around town.


Waterfront park downtown.


I was starving when I got back so I made a sandwich the size of my face (literally…)!


And then my mom and I spent a few hours at the pool chatting and reading. My dad came to visit us with the pups.


We took my mom out to a birthday dinner at Boshamps on Thursday night. It was our first time trying the restaurant after hearing great things. We tried to go when I was visiting in June but you just can’t get into these places during season.


My mom and I shared these oysters with bacon marmalade, feta and caramelized onions.


And snacked on my dad’s calamari. I loved the garlic-ginger mayo it was served with.


I selected the pan-roasted grouper for my entree. It was served over a feta cheese souffle (that was AH-MAZING) and braised spinach with housemade tomato jam and citrus butter (and lots of butter…yum!)


Birthday girl had the Cornmeal Dusted Grouper Pecan with balsamic grilled veggies, mashed red potatoes, pecans and sauce meuniere.


And my dad had The Original Snapper Destin which was served with jumbo lump crab, gulf shrimp, mashed red early potatoes, braised local greens, lemon butter and béarnaise.


We skipped dessert because I picked up cupcakes earlier in the day.


I stopped in the cutest local bakery. If you’re ever in the area, I highly recommend visiting A Cupcakery by the Sea.


On Friday morning I went for a long walk on the beach with my dad before packing up to leave. I love, love, love this time of the year at the beach. Everything is so quiet and peaceful and the weather is killer. It was high 70s, sunny and lower humidity while I was there.


My trip ended too soon and I found myself back at the airport with crossword puzzles, a soy latte and a Kind bar. I posted this on Facebook yesterday but I LOVE working crosswords on flights. I’ve been hooked on them since I was younger because my grandmother does them all the time.

Counting down the days until my next visit. So happy I was able to be there with my mom on her birthday!

Have you ever surprised someone or been surprised on your birthday?

What’s your favorite time of year at the beach?

{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Erica October 31, 2015, 8:51 pm

    My home! It’s so surreal that I was just there a week ago today. I already miss the water. Can’t wait to go back and surprise my parents with a visit sometime!

    • Jen DeCurtins November 1, 2015, 3:33 pm

      I love going to visit them because it feels like a vacation! It’s such a pretty spot.

  • meredith @ Cookie ChRUNicles November 1, 2015, 5:50 am

    What a nice birthday surprise for your mom! I need a quick trip down to florida already, I usually pop down to see my best friends but haven’t had a change this year.

    • Jen DeCurtins November 1, 2015, 3:35 pm

      It was so nice to get away for a couple days. Especially when Charlotte is cold and rainy like it is now!

  • Sara @ LovingOnTheRun November 1, 2015, 6:05 am

    Sounds like a wonderful birthday surprise for your Mom! What a beautiful area!

  • She Rocks Fitness November 1, 2015, 7:25 am

    I LOVE your Dad’s sourdough bread…HA! That sandwich is the perfect size…So glad you had a fun time…Enjoy the rest of your weekend! XOXO

    • Jen DeCurtins November 1, 2015, 3:36 pm

      It’s pretty amazing. I almost always bring some home to freeze. And so perfect when I was starving after my run!

  • Hayley @ Full of Life November 1, 2015, 2:14 pm

    This sounds like an incredible weekend!! So much good food and gorgeous beach time. I am the same way with crosswords. I started doing them with my grandma as a kid and now I do them on planes all the time 🙂

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