Monday, March 18, 2013

{Travel}: Spring Break 2013.

One of the perks of my job is to be a big kid but still have a spring break. And oh do I love it! This year I got invited to take part in a beach trip with a sweet family that has come back into my life after several years. Life is funny like that. We went down to Florida to a wonderfully secluded beach and had the most relaxing time. A trip that involves sleeping in, eating good food, walks on the beach, nails at the Wal-Mart, and lots of laughs is my kind of break.

And now, get ready for the pictures...

Our first day was Sunday - we started the drive at 6:30AM and made it in time to have some sunlight on the beach.

We took a short walk on the beach. I loved how there were lots of trees right off the beach - so natural and non-commercial. You can see in the picture below that there also were these little natural streams that fed into the ocean. The streams were orange from the tanins and were different every day as they shaped and reshaped the sand.

Then we went over to another beach to look at the comet through a telescope and saw this beautiful sunset in the process:

The next morning was overcast and windy. We took a 4 mile walk on the beach and then sat out at the surf enjoying ourself. I didn't wear sunscreen this day since it was overcast... I should have known better. My face was bright red for a few days after.

The next day we went to a fun nature park called Wakulla Springs, which is the largest and deepest freshwater spring in the world.

We took a boat tour to look at their wildlife. We saw all sorts of birds, turtles, and gators.

{Gators on the log to the left in this next picture}
{Gator in the marsh in this next picture}:

Our boat guide was a sweet old Southern man and we learned a lot!

After our Wakulla Springs boat tour, we had the second of my new food experiences for the day at their restaurant in the hotel. The first was boiled peanuts from a roadside stand (yum!) and this time it was a "ginger yip," which was a milkshake with ginger ale and was ridiculously delicious.

On the way home we stopped at Alligator Point, which is a beach down the road from where we were. Alligator Point is known for their shells so we walked the beach.

When we got back to our house, we headed down to our beach for some time with low tide. At low tide you could walk out on the sand bars pretty far and everything was calm and serene.

We also saw some pretty sky colors that night.

We looked one way and it was yellow and orange. The other way was pink and purple:

Our last full day was fabulous - it was the best beach weather we had all week. One thing I loved about the trip was that the family's dogs came down to the beach with us. Here's Annie, who despite being 16 years old ran like a young pup up and down the beach, so happy.

Here is the path we took each day down to the beach. See all the natural grass and trees?

This day we came out at low tide. You can see how there isn't barely anyone on the beach. So calm.

This is the beach looking back from out on the sand bars. You can see the houses all lined up.

We walked out to the pier, seeing lots of jelly fish floating around out there.

After that we walked down to this natural area with fossils and Native American pottery relics.

 We also saw a lot of shells and wildlife, including this starfish:

The next day was time to hit the road. All in all, a wonderfully relaxing vacation!

In sand and surf,
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