Last week I was very fortunate to be able to take some time off and join my family for a trip down to Siesta Key, Florida. One of the big things that enticed me to go was that alluring promise of going to the beach. Despite always filling my purse, shoes and bathing suit with sand, I love going there to enjoy the sun and water.
Shadow is a big fan of it too. She loves rooting around looking for things to get into trouble and always ends up with a nose full of sand. You can't help laughing when a dog starts sneezing sand.
I prefer to spend my time laying back reading a book, people watching and hunting for little shells. The sand on Siesta Key Beach is about 90% quartz, which makes it have the look and texture of icing sugar. It is regularly groomed, but if you get there in the morning, there are usually still some lovely shells along the tide.
The sand is also wonderful for making sandcastles. My mom and brother grabbed some pails and sand shovels from the rental house and started making a large starfish.
Siesta Key 2011
Another wildly popular sandcastle was a giant "Coors" beer bottle that my brother made. People kept walking by, pointing and taking pictures.
My dad made his own "sand art" when he started feeding chips to a group of seagulls. They went wild and were stomping all over the place to make this beautiful design. He is always the one that feeds animals when we're away. You think he would have learned from getting rabies shots as a kid, but oh no, if you give him a cracker and a squirrel, he'll be there for ages trying to coax it over.
Although seagulls may be my least favorite animals to have at a beach, these little sandpipers are my favorite. I always love seeing them scurry together around the surf.
We were exceptional lucky this year to be down there at a time when all the babies were coming out to run with their parents. The tiny little ones are my favorites. I'm such a sucker for cute baby animals.
Another beach area that we went to explore was Point of Rocks, where people go to see wild dolphins feed. We weren't lucky enough to see any dolphins, but we did see them later on (stay tuned!)
Its a dangerous trek over sharp rocks, so my sister and I let my dad and brother be adventurous over there while we took pictures from the comfort of our narrow, slippery pier (its a miracle I didn't fall in).
While they were over there they befriended a fisherman who turned out to actually be from Quebec, Canada.
What are the odds of trekking all the way out to a rocky point and running into another Canadian?
On the way back I caught a glimpse of a beautiful crane walking, watching the fishermen to see if they caught anything worth stealing.
The beach runs for miles and so many of the white hotel fronts all look the same, so it was easy to forget where you came into the beach (and subsequently where you parked your car). Thankfully some of the fancy hotels set up these beautiful kites to direct people where they need to go.
I have to say that any place where the signs are little flying kites along the beach, is an okay place for me. There is a simplicity in the way of life in these beach communities that is incredibly alluring after spending so much time in a busy city. I guess this is one of the reasons that makes them so attractive for tourists looking to escape away from it all. You go there and its like being on a different planet. Few responsibilities. Endless opportunities for leisure. Oh how I wish I could just be a beach bum :)
Check back tomorrow for a post on going to a shark feeding at the local aquarium. Seeing one of my mortal fears chomping down on fish was more fun than I thought it would be!