Looking through the state park passport book recently, I realized something. The state is broken up into 5 regions (which you can see by clicking on the blog title), and I realized we had only visited 3 of the 5. The Panhandle is green, North is red, Central is yellow, Southeast is purple, and Southwest is blue. Green, red, and yellow are great colors, but last weekend we finally decided to add a little purple to our lives! That much was an easy decision. Exactly where to go was a little more time consuming. Ultimately we decided on the two northernmost 'purple' state parks, Avalon and Fort Pierce Inlet. Swimsuits were the uniform of the day, and we packed some veggie burgers and charcoal for a cookout. And then, along with Chris, we hit the road.
The drive down...2.5 hours...was uneventful, and once we got near the ocean Olivia was very excited. We found the first park, Avalon, and set up our spot on the beach:
The water in this part of the state is a gorgeous blue-green and is less than shoulder deep for a good way out. We took a mask and snorkel, along with the waterproof camera, in the hopes of getting some neat underwater photos...or just good photos in general. Here are a few:
We tried to collect some of the beautiful shells, but the waves were fierce! The beach was at a steeper incline than I'm used to, and the best shells washed away pretty quickly. This area has some of the best surfing, so I'm not really surprised.
Before too long we packed up and headed down the highway to Fort Pierce Inlet State Park. It's much larger than Avalon, and much busier. Our plan was to grab a picnic pavilion and grill out for lunch, and thankfully we were successful:
Between the gorgeous water, the tropical breeze, and the Latin music playing from the pavilion next to us, I honestly felt like I was in an episode of 'Dexter.' Minus the serial killing, of course. A few photo highlights:
While we were eating lunch we saw the world's luckiest pelican. A couple drifted by in their boat, the man fishing and the woman, well....feeding the pelican. It stayed with them for a good long while:
So after lunch (and of course, the requisite 20 minutes for our food to settle...;) ), we packed up our stuff and walked over to the beach. This time it was quite crowded, and we found a little spot not too far from the jetty. The guys swam out and relaxed in the water while Olivia and I hung out closer to shore:
Not too much later, we decided to pack up and head home. The weather was beautiful and we were having a great time, but it was Sunday and we had a long drive ahead of us. I don't think we were just a few miles down the road when Olivia fell asleep. I joined her before too long. Thankfully Rob is a dedicated driver, always taking the responsibility and keeping us safe on the road. Apparently we hit some nasty storms on the way home, but I was comfortably asleep, surrounded by the safety of my family.
And that's the way it should be.
* Chris and I both had a laugh when we took our books to be stamped at Fort Pierce Inlet. The ranger signed and dated them herself, which was a first for both of us!