You may think that the previous image was from some fantasy beer commercial, but no. It was honestly like that! I spent nearly half of my vacation under that very umbrella, watching the husband and kids play in the ocean and look for sea shells (or sea shovels, as my boy would say). Two treats that I thought made the whole trip feel exotic were the fabulous pina coladas and the mango on a stick. I want to try and re-create the mango flowers. They used a VERY ripe mango, skewered it, peeled it, carved it into a flower and then drenched it in lime juice and a sprinkling of salt, paprika and maybe chili powder. My mouth waters just thinking about it. It was an immensely relaxing trip. Good food, good company, great view, hours of lounging in the sun and water, and I even got to run on the beach. Twice! It doesn't get much better than that. (Image via)

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