a quick trip to the Emerald Coast

Over the weekend Chris and I took a short trip to Florida. Allegiant offers round trip tickets to Destin and we took advantage of an opportunity to spend a few days just the two of us.

We left the rain of Oklahoma for the rain of the Gulf Coast. Our first morning in Florida the sun was shining, but then it pretty much disappeared until the day we left. We may not have left with a tan, but we left having had a lot of fun together.

Neither of us are much for sitting on a beach in the sun…we both need to be moving and exploring. Since the beaches were pretty empty, we took advantage of walking the shoreline in the rain and wind and all alone for the most part. I’m thankful I found a guy who will enduring pelting rain and hard sandy wind instead of retreating inside because he likes to see me smile.

We learned very quickly that if you aren’t staying in a resort or condo, it is pretty hard to find beach accesses that are also near places to park a car in the middle of June. We drove through all the picturesque towns of 30A – so dreamy and beautiful. Due to the weather the towns were super crowded, so we didn’t stick around.

Since we also had trouble finding beach access we decided to pull into a state park. It was gorgeous! One state park led to another state park and eventually we visited most of them along the 30A stretch.

We are definitely state park people. We soaked up the shoreline that was void of condos, beach houses, and development. I am sure those are so dreamy to stay in, but if you don’t have access to them finding stretches of beach without the buildings was just perfect.

While visiting the state parks, we scoped out campsites and made a list of our top choices to come back with the kids. Park rangers told us we need to make reservations almost a year in advance and several others recommend state parks we didn’t visit. Hopefully, we will be back.

Floridians – we may not have experienced a sunny day on your white sand beaches, but your stormy days are spectacular too!  I think my favorite aspect of empty wide open spaces – whether it is a country field or the ocean – is how small I feel. The things I let get under my skin and the things that I aimlessly wrestle to control suddenly come into brilliant perspective. Oddly feeling small in front of the vastness of the ocean reminds me that God sees me in the midst of this spinning world. For me feeling seen translates to feeling loved. I’m didn’t leave with a tan, but left feeling loved.

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