Monday, July 28, 2014

Beach Vacation

We have always lived close to the beach. Jon even more so, being from San Diego and Virginia Beach. We kind of took it for granted that going to the beach was so easily accessible...  until moving to Memphis and being utterly landlocked. No beaches, no fresh seafood, no sandy dunes to stroll.

While there have been many great joys and blessings in making Memphis home, the stress and weariness caused by our grueling pace had worn us threadbare. We decided that it was most assuredly time to return the sea.

The nearest beaches to Memphis are on the Gulf Coast, about 8 hours away. A previously uncharted region of the world for us, we sought out recommendations from friends. Overwhelmingly, people said to the beaches in Florida along Scenic Highway 30a were the best. I'd have to say we now agree. After convincing our dear friends, the Biggers to join us, we settled on a great place in Seagrove Beach. We loaded up the cars, said goodbye to the pups, and caravanned southward.

It was more relaxing and restorative than we could have even hoped. Somehow, the sun and sand and salt and sea seemed to heal all wounds. I am still in awe of how the ocean being so big can make me and my worries feel so small.

We spent so much time just relaxing on the beach and swimming in the crystal clear waters. However, being that we are of the paler variety of human, we all began to look a bit too much like lobsters and needed to rethink our plans a bit. A few other activities that we enjoyed were leisurely reading in the shade, exploring the local towns, going on long bike rides, painting with watercolor paints, hunting for shells, eating delicious foods, and a good deal of people-watching.

One of our favorite parts of the trip was the sunset kayak tour that we took of the coastal dune lakes. While we did not take any photos for fear of ruining our cameras, here is a short video I found depicting some of the beautiful things we saw. If you ever happen to be in the South Walton area, definitely take a tour.

We had so much fun getting to know Matt and Lauren better. Plus, it's good to know we are not the only weird ones around here. :)

Nice one, Matt.

I don't think we have been this relaxed and happy in a long time. So thankful for good friends, restorative vacations, and the vast riches of the sea. Oh, and fish tacos. Can't forget those.

I will close with a poem, as it seemed to say far more than I was able.
I need the sea because it teaches me,
I don’t know if I learn music or awareness,
if it’s a single wave or its vast existence,
or only its harsh voice or its shining
suggestion of fishes and ships.
The fact is that until I fall asleep,
in some magnetic way I move in
the university of the waves.
-Pablo Neruda 

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