Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Beach Weekend

It hasn't been long since our last camping trip, we didn't even really unpack from last trip, but this past weekend we had another lovely camping trip. I had originally booked a date in April but when I found out about a Scottish/Renaissance festival in Panama City Beach a few months ago I canceled our April trip and re-booked at St Andrews State Park for the weekend of the festival. I am so glad I did, we had a wonderful trip.
Panama City Beach is about 2.5 hours from us on the gulf coast. It had been a few years since our last trip to St Andrews so it was very nice to visit again. St Andrews is one of the pricier state parks for camping but it is worth every penny. The park is beautifully maintained, there are paved roads to the major attractions which are great for biking, the campground bathrooms are kept immaculate and are cleaned at least once a day, BEACH, and lots of cool wildlife. This was our first time camping on our own there, usually we share a campsite with my parents so we were able to grab one of the smaller sites. The site I booked had tree shade along the front and back and only one neighbor, the other side was an open spot for overflow parking and a dumpster/recycling area. I was a little disappointed we didn't see any marsh rabbits (usually we have a bunny visitor when we camp there) but we had deer that walked down the dunes and into our camp everyday.
The campground hosts were a nice young couple that had a old school bus.
Upon setting up camp we realized we hadn't brought the adapter for our electric cooler so we had to scramble. I had to send Hubby down to a Dollar General to get us a cooler and some ice for our food. Our electric cooler has been a life saver ever since we got it, we even had to eat out of it when our fridge died few months back, but the one downside to it is you can't put ice bags in it because if water got into the motor you would have a dead cooler. Luckily our forgetfulness only cost us about $25 for a cooler and ice. We needed a new small cooler for beach days anyway so it wasn't a waste. After we took care of the cooler we biked down the road to see the sunset. On the way we spotted a buck and further down the road a group of three deer which all turned out to be young bucks, they just had little numbs of antlers poking out.
Maxed out zoom in low light but hey, it's proof we saw them right?



An osprey silhouetted against the sky
After enjoying the sunset we rode back to camp, cooked dinner, and turned in early.

The wind was incredibly strong that night, it had picked up from the day when it was already quite brisk (it was double duty pitching our tents because the wind and we had to use all our tent stakes), so we didn't get much sleep since it sounded like a herd of raccoons armed with tree branches was trying to tear down our tent.

Friday morning I made pancakes and bacon for breakfast then we biked to the beach. It was cool and still a bit windy but I wore my mermaid leggings anyway. Because, mermaid leggings.


It's no secret why it's called the Emerald Coast, the water is the most glorious fade of green to blue.



 On top of the jetty
 Beach hair
How can we have just had our 9 year wedding anniversary?


Mermaiding

Hey Sailor Manatee Shirt- TeeTurtle, currently unavailable
Leggings- Disney World
 Shoes- Crocs
Even though it was chilly we had got ice cream bars at the little store then headed back to camp.


 This sweetie wandered into our camp after lunch, she probably smelled our peanuts.
Later in the afternoon we hiked down the trails by the turpentine still which starts out in pine flats then empties out onto the beach along the channel.


 A great blue heron on the beach
 The sand on the beach was mesmerizing, I wish I could capture how beautiful it was in person. It was streaked white and black and had little bits of mica which made it sparkle like glitter.
We sat and watched the waves and even spotted a group of four dolphins swimming along. Instead of taking the same path back we followed the beach back to camp.

Stay tuned for my next post with lots more photos.

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