Attempting to write a “Photo(s) of the Week” post while watching Star Trek is very difficult, especially for a Trekkie like myself. It may be necessary to pause Netflix for a few minutes on this rainy Sunday afternoon, so I can concentrate while documenting my recent day trips to some of Florida’s nearby Atlantic beaches.
I thought about shortening the titles of these weekly posts to POTW, and then I had a sudden realization and decided I didn’t want my blog to be associated with a sewage treatment plant. Don’t get me wrong. I’m very grateful for such places, but for a cooking/baking blog that might not be such a great idea. (Oh, dear.)
During last week’s visit from my sister and a friend, we tried to cram as many fun activities as we could into each day. We spent two afternoons at the beach, a full day exploring St. Augustine, and visited two of Florida’s beautiful springs. I’ll be sharing some pictures from our adventures over the next few weeks.
Day 1, Thursday, July 13th: After their 14-hour drive from a faraway place (my homeland) called Arkansas, my sister and friend were rather worn out, and we spent most of the day relaxing indoors and talking constantly. I took them to Walmart to pick up a few groceries, and there was some excitement in the parking lot concerning the palm trees standing in front of the store. I remember being enthused by such trees when I first moved here as well, but now I don’t notice them much anymore. My sister’s exclamation, “I wish we had palm trees in front of our Walmart!”, made me wonder how many beautiful things we miss every day simply because we get used to them and take them for granted.
Day 2, Friday, July 14th: We took a day trip to Little Talbot Island State Park. Little Talbot’s beaches are by far my favorites within driving distance. Other than the restroom facilities near the parking lot, there are no buildings on the undeveloped shoreline. When you stand on the beach, all you can see are sand dunes, waves, and some scrub brush in either direction. The water is also clearer than some of the other nearby Atlantic beaches. Little Talbot is rarely busy, but on our arrival that day we saw a tour bus at the first entrance (North Beach), and so we decided to drive down to the South Beach where there would be less people. The walk from the parking lot to the swimming area took about 10-15 minutes, but it was worth it. At the southern end of Little Talbot Island is the Fort George River Inlet. Swimming is not permitted near the inlet, due to dangerous rip currents and dropoffs in the ocean. Even where we were swimming I could tell that the current was strong, and cautioned the others to stay close to the shore for safety.
There is something so peaceful and refreshing about a beach that isn’t lined with condos, beach houses, and tourist traps.
This little guy (or girl, I have no idea) paid us a brief visit and posed for a picture.
Sharks’ teeth can sometimes be found on Little Talbot Island, but on that particular day I didn’t have any luck, so we returned to the car toothless.
Day 3, Saturday, July 15th: I knew that most swimming areas would be packed on a summer weekend, but the other places we hoped to visit would likely be even busier than the beaches. So, we decided to go to the beach anyway on Saturday, and save our other plans for the weekdays.
Even though I like Little Talbot, it’s a bit of a drive, so we headed to the St. Augustine beach instead. As I had suspected, there were people everywhere and no parking to be seen. The same was true of Vilano Beach. We decided to just start driving up A1A (state road along the Atlantic Ocean) until we found a good spot to swim. At that point, I was wishing I had just driven all the way to Little Talbot rather than fight the crowds. Finally we located a small parking area near Guana River State Park that wasn’t busy at all, and we were able to get in a little swimming and relaxation before heading back to the house for dinner.
The surf was higher than the previous day, with one red flag posted near the beach parking lot. We got in the water and enjoyed the waves, but stayed fairly close to the shore. I used some shells to make a lovely piece of artwork. 😉
Feeling tired and slightly sunburned, we returned to the car and headed home.
(To be continued next Sunday: Exploring St. Augustine.)