My Summer Road Trip: Family, Food, & Fun

This shop is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group™ and BJ’s Restaurants but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #BJsrestaurants http://cmp.ly/3/8vNxcO

ROAD TRIP!  Summer is the season, isn't it? This year we had a 4th of July trip planned to visit my sister and her family in north Florida... a 6 hour drive (yep, that's where I've been). My kids absolutely love it there. They ask weekly if it's time to go visit Aunt Shannon and Uncle Rodney yet. Very rural. Lots of 4-wheeling, fishing, boats, boots, and fun with cousins. Also, cool antique stores my sister and I occasionally get to treat ourselves to while the guys watch the kiddos. (My guest room mirror is from there) Our trip was set.

Then just before we left, I got the opportunity to visit BJs Restaurant and Brewhouse in Daytona Beach and try their new Big Poppa Smokers' BBQ (and some craft beer!). What goes better than 4th of July, barbeque, and beer?! BAM. Larger road trip was born. East to beer and BBQ, north for a quick visit to the in-laws, then west to see my sis. Pack your bags and go potty, it's going to be a long ride!

We started out in Central Florida and headed east to Daytona Beach. First stop was BJs for some Big Poppa Smokers' BBQ lunch. Since I had been to a BJs restaurant before for a few work lunches and happy hours, I somewhat knew what to expect. However, I had never been there with kids and was a little nervous. Would there be business guys there in suits giving me the stink eye as my kids stuck their fingers in the ketchup? As soon as I saw the coloring paper and crayons come out, my fears were at ease. The atmosphere was casual and lively with plenty for families as well as business people. Look at the fancy pants chocolate milks BJs even hooked the kids up with!
(Can we all pause and give BJs a big thank you for triangular crayons? Seriously. Best things ever. No rolling off the table!)

My husband and I ordered off the new BJ's Blue Ribbon Barbeque menu featuring Big Poppa Smokers' BBQ. The new menu is available until September 2nd and has lots of tasty options from ribs to salad and several sauces to chose from. 

We got the ginormous barbeque combo for two. Notice I cruised right by the Under 575 Calories selections (I'll be back for those on a lunch break). haha This is what vacation is all about people! Also notice that we could not wait the extra 20 seconds for me to get a picture of the complete platter. It smelled so good! We had chicken with the signature sweet sauce, steamed veggies, and wedge fries and even got ribs to go to bring to my sister's to share. :) The car smelled ah-ma-zing the rest of the day. :)

On top of the BBQ, there's a complete list of craft brew available to pair with your meal. And, since my husband is an avid beer snob home brewer (learning all kinds of new stuff about me today... yay for beer with flavor!) he might have been mildly excited about this. Plus he got to drink half of mine since I was the driver. Oh so frosty and refreshing.
(The hubs with his IPA)

And since I notice cool decor everywhere I go, I loved the contrast of the chandeliers right next to the giant TVs with soccer on. There was an even bigger chandelier in the corner, but there were people there and they already thought I was nuts with my camera. :) Check out the floors too! Such a cool mix of colors. Would you be brave enough to mix and match?
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After stuffing ourselves eating a delicious lunch we headed north and surprised my in-laws with a quick pop-in near Jacksonville. We were only there a few minutes but it was cool to see their surprised looks :) Finally, we loaded back up and made the long haul to north west Florida for our final destination.

The kids got their 4-wheeler fix, caught their first fish, had lunch on a boat, and enjoyed tons of cousin time. I did absolutely nothing and even took a nap one day! So cheers to summer road trips, good food, and family. Now it's back to work/crafting/painting/gluing/sewing for me!


  1. Ok, first I have to say I love you for using the word ginormous in your post, cause I used it in mine too :) And second, YES! We love the triangle crayons there too. Genius!

    Looks like you guys had a great time & your kids are adorable!

    1. Haha, it was ginormous, wasn't it?! :) Thanks! And yes, the triangular crayons should be a must at all restaurants!

  2. SUCH a fun post, Sarah! I'm a huge BJ's fan myself, so you really have me hungry for BBQ right now...and that's saying a lot for a gal who doesn't even like to think about lunch food until at least 1pm. I love all the details you included about the atmosphere like the triangle crayons and the chandelier and the mix-n-matched wood...you really painted a picture of the whole experience. Sounds like it was an awesome road trip for y'all! Yummy, too!

    The Thinking Closet

  3. BJ's is our go-to place when we have out of town company visit! Mr. B is a home brewer too and likes to try Bj's seasonal offerings when we go for lunch or dinner. Sooo going to have to hit up the BBQ specials before they are no longer available :-)

  4. You passed right by me! We're headed to the Daytona BJ's Thursday night. ;)

  5. Your husband and mine would be good friends. Too bad we don't live closer (we are in Alabama). My husband is also a home brewer but I care nothing about beer. Sewing, painting, woodwork, that stuff is all right up my aisle.