mapped it: Port St. Joe, Florida

I haven’t had any serious time off this entire year until last week. I craved time away to restore & unwind. Greg & I intended to have a few long weekends while saving money for our next European excursion. Instead, we got the offer from our awesome friends, Aaron & Jen, to venture down south for beach bliss. That led us to St. Petersburg, Florida (better known as St. Pete’s Beach). Not only did it have the required beach, it also promised reunion time with college friends. So we packed our bags, loaded up the car, & drove the entire day to reach Florida in one go.

1st stop: camping in Port St. Joe’s

I’m not into camping. I did the Girl Scout thing and stuck with it, which means I’ve camped a lot. Guess what? It’s still not for me. It’s not the fact that you have to set up your sleeping quarters. It’s not even the fact that you get next to no sleep if the weather is difficult. It’s the bugs—every stinking time. I must have some sweet nectar running through these veins because mosquitoes try to eat me alive whenever I camp! Our close friends are campers though, so we tried to muster enthusiasm & give this camping thing another go for a couple of nights during this adventure.

The view might’ve been worth it.

St. Pete's-camping 4

There’s just something about the great wide open sea that beckons to you. The rolling wave upon wave sings you the sweetest lullaby and the way your toes just sink into the sand can feel therapeutic. When we first walked upon those white sandy shores of a nearly vacated beach, a storm cloud roared off in the distance, but the threat of its interruption couldn’t pull us away from that salty air. As the rain dissipated before it reached our shoreline, the best thing happened:

As night rolled in & our dinner plans became less solid, we sizzled some veggies melted in butter & seasoning… & that smell brought on the creatures. The sound of spatting & hissing right next to our picnic table alerted us to our first visitors: the raccoons. Aaron scared them off, & yet, we heard another rustle in the bushes. Our flashlights found an armadillo wandering into our midst. Last but most definitely not least, one final journey to the bathroom sealed the deal for my stance against camping. We found adorable little tree frogs clinging to the walls, & as Greg leaned in a little closer to what he thought might be another darling little green frog, he clued us all in to the GIANT SPIDER. We’re talking a kills-prey-from-jumping-underneath-a-bush type of spider. While Jen & I try to contain our panic, Aaron informs us (because he’s bizarrely fascinated with the thing) that it has babies on its back. Yep, I’m done. No thank you. Camping, you & I are through.

But ohhhh….that beach! You can’t just find that kind of beauty & seclusion anywhere. Mmmm…might’ve been worth it.

St. Pete's-camping 6

Come back for a visit next Monday to meet this guy & learn my favorite part of our seaside visit.

St. Pete's-camping

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