Brent had a week-long semester break at the end of August so we planned a camping trip to the beach in Florida for a few days! Brent looked online for good campsites by the beach. He found St. Joseph's Peninsula highly rated as a beautiful State Park. You can camp within 100 yards of the beach plus have the shade of the trees in your campground. They also have showers (which is a must when you're at the beach). It turned out to be great and we just loved it. It was a little hot there, even in the shade, with it being the end of August and all but still really nice.
It was a bit of a nightmare getting ready to go. Brent did not feel well at all and so as he was packing stuff we ended up forgetting a lot of things because he was so out of it. It turned out to be okay (nothing TOO major was forgotten) but we were laughing pretty hard at how much we forgot. In his defense, we got a call from Chico's school at noonish while we were packing telling us that he had fallen off the playground on his head and cut it open. So Brent had to stop packing and went and got him and took him in to get it checked out. We watched him closely for concussion but he seemed okay, a little sad, but okay. We stayed the night in a hotel in Alabama and in the morning while we were eating breakfast, Chico started feeling sick to his stomach and ended up puking. After he puked he mentioned his best friend had a stomach bug too so we felt like that was probably the cause of his puking instead of concussion. He literally felt better within 10 minutes after puking and went on to eat a hearty breakfast.
We finished the long drive into the peninsula and as soon as we were there we started changing into swimsuits so we could head over to the beach.
Excuse Chico's bloodied bandaid on his head.
I kinda thought the kids would spend more time building sand castles because that's what we did a lot when we'd visit the pacific ocean. But here at the gulf the water was so pleasant that it was really fun to just swim the whole time! Our boys were little fishies in the water!
I love how Brent is out in the water with the kids capturing the waves hitting the kids.
She didn't spend quite as much time in the water as the boys. She liked being on the beach a little more.... fussing over her towel being straight on the sand... fussing about her goggles... etc.
We went on a walk along the beach and searched for shells, which by the way there are a ton of at this beach!
This next picture of Sanna makes me laugh. I'm not sure wether she's yelling or singing but I just love it.
I love her little foot prints in the sand...
They found little crab pinchers and were obsessed with them.
I don't know what these were but they sure looked cool in the sand.
I loved the palms mixed in with the pines. So different and beautiful.
Good food and good light!
I LOVE these pictures Brent took of the kids. He is so good.
We eventually got everyone showered and put to bed. I was sleeping fat and happy on my individual air mattress whilst everyone else was battling it out on thin pads on the ground. I am a light sleeper and at around 2:00 am I heard the lid to our food bin getting taken off during the night. I couldn't see very well but I figured it was a racoon, so I yelled out to the racoon to get it to go away. It just stared at me probably thinking, "what you gonna do about it?" So I opened the tent and threw a sandal at it and it climbed the tree, watching me all the while, probably wondering if I'd be dumb enough to let him back at the bin. I shut the bin and put everything in the van (which I apparently should have done in the first place). I realized while I was sleeping later on that there was something missing in the bin when I was putting the lid back on. I hoped it was my imagination but sure enough in the morning I reopened the bin and the biscuits for our breakfast that morning were gone! That little rascal! I had made a yummy sausage gravy and had it in the cooler ready to go for the morning and now no biscuits to serve it on! I had waffle mix so we served the biscuit gravy on waffles.... yeah not so good. But we ate it anyway and everyone was fine.
It was such a beautiful campsite. It was fun being on a peninsula, you had a beautiful sunrise AND a beautiful sunset. Gorgeous light spilling through the trees. LOVED IT!
It was AWESOME sleeping without the rainfly on. It was great to wake up during the night and stare at the stars above the gorgeous trees. And a shout out to our van. First camping trip we've taken it on. It was SO nice!
Anyway, here are the rest of the pictures from the morning during breakfast...
Brent found this crab in the morning while we were swimming and he caught it. He had a bloody thumb as a reward. Somehow his arm got ripped off, poor guy.
These pelicans flew by quite a bit. One time the flew really close low down by our heads, it was really neat to see them upclose like that.
I think it was on this day that we took a trip into town to get some seafood for lunch. We found a place called Toucans and got some crab legs and some shrimp. It sure was fun having fresh seafood again and it tasted so good!
When we were walking back through the campsite we found this little guy up in the dirt (not sand) so weird!
Sanna liked swimming out there some of the time. It was really cute to see her kicking her legs swimming around.
Brent and the kids had such a fun time in the water. There was some serious bonding going on. :)
I caught this beautiful scene while I was chilling on the beach with Sanna while the boys were out playing in the water.
I should mention that we saw a lot fish jumping out of the ocean that evening and I think I even saw a stingray!
Brent capturing more beautiful pictures.
Did I mention how good he is?
The next day was our last day. We got to the beach in the morning and there were absolutely NO waves. It was SO weird. It was a little disappointing at first but it turned out to be really fun because we saw SO many more creatures. We saw lots of schools of little fish, we saw these little fish that would swim around our ankles, we saw an angel shark (pictured below), and I saw what we think was a small hammerhead shark swim right up by the shore line. It was SO incredibly cool!
Some people were pulling him up out of the water to see him better and that's how we got a picture of it.
One thing we didn't get to see that would have been really cool was the baby sea turtles. Apparently if you went out onto the beach at 3:00 am-6:00 am you'd be able to see them leaving their nests and going to the ocean. Unfortunately we couldn't get out of bed to do it. Would have been neat. We were going to do it the last night we were going to be there but the kids were spent. We decided to leave that day instead of the next morning. We were able to drive straight through and made it home at around 2:00 am. I had the late shift in the car, I don't know how I stayed awake that late but somehow I did and we made it home safe and sound!
So if we are able to go to the ocean again we think we'd rather stay somewhere indoors next time since it's so hot out there even in the shade. The bugs were pretty bad too so it'd be nice to have some relief from that. We love camping and it really is so much cheaper to camp. We just understand why people have RVs in situations like this. :)