Thursday, June 5, 2008

Reliving the Best Vacations - Part I

Today was our last day of school; within three hours, Beta was moaning, "I'm so BORED..." Ugh. So, I escaped mentally to some of our favorite vacations past. I guess you could call this a series, because I have a few favorites, and this is the first one that came to mind.

No phones. No television. The nearest store is 25 miles away. If you've never been to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in Florida, you must go. Now. Today. (It's a good thing hubby doesn't read this blog, 'cause I'd be getting a talking to for letting this little secret out of the bag!) We went to St. Joseph two years ago and left wanting to do a big 'ol U-turn, right then and there. The park offers tent sites for camping as well as some rustic cabins. We went for the cabins and somehow lucked out. Usually, you need to reserve these 10-11 months in advance. We must have been living right, because we picked up a three night stay that year within a few months of our hoped for dates.

As I mentioned, the eight cabins available are rustic. So, why was I happy to live without all of the amenities of a 5-star resort? The bay side of the park where the cabins are located seems so Old Florida. There are no towering condos or peanut peddlers, and the beach is basically all yours. About 100 yards off-shore there was a sandbar where we discovered all sorts of ocean life (some of which we'd never seen up close) including live sand dollars and starfish, a baby blow fish, blue crab, and countless fish. It was like being in one of those Jamaican resort commercials without all the froufrou--no guided tour or drinks with umbrellas; just honest-to-goodness exploring and enjoying nature up close and personal. Oh, and we also saw several deer.

The other side of the peninsula offered the more typical beach experience...sandy, white beaches (rated among the top in the United States, see 2002), again without all of the crowds and commercialism. It is a state park, after all. It was a short walk over the dunes...the DUNES...they are very get to the other side. As long as you aren't playing the part of pack mule to four children, it shouldn't be a strenuous experience. If you are...I'm sorry. I feel your pain. Literally. I felt it. :/

Ah, but the beach is not all. Bring your bikes and binoculars, kayaks or more about it here because I could go on and on. We are anxious to return since the youngest was still a baby when we last visited, which limited our recreational activities. Still completely worthwhile. Add it to your short list!


one day in the life of me said...

Sounds like just the kind of vacation I need this year. Hopefully we can make a trip there.

Wild Squirrel said...

Do won't regret it!