The title of this entry should not be Honeymoon Island State Park. It should, in fact, be Anclote Key State Park. It was our original destination. Unfortunately, we didn't make it to Anclote Key, despite our best efforts. We made it this close:
Anclote Key is the little island in the distance of this picture, off the coast of Tarpon Springs. Three miles from the county park we were going to launch our kayaks from, our plan was to enjoy the last decent weekend weather by camping out on the beach there. There is no charge to camp on the island....you just have to get there. The only stipulation is that you have to call the resident park ranger and let him know your plans. And so I called Ranger Chris from the park and told him we were about to launch. I wasn't quite prepared to hear, "Well, why would you want to do that?"
As it turns out, the wind was strong and there were whitecaps in the water. If it was just the adults, we would have powered through, gotten soaking wet, and set up camp in the near-dark. Olivia was with us, however, and I decided to listen to the Good Mom angel on my shoulder. We would not be attempting our journey on this day.
So, here we were, three hours from home. Rob, Olivia, and I had driven down with our kayak on top of the new car:
Chris had joined us with two kayaks on his car as well. Since our original plan was to camp, we called another state park nearby to check for availability. Being the post-Thanksgiving weekend, there was none. I got a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach that we were stuck, and I was kind of right. In the end we ended up driving home, but I really wanted to make the trip worthwhile. Since Honeymoon Island State Park was only a few miles down the road we headed there. It was so late in the day, though, all we could really do was take a walk on the beach. Here are a few photos:
That last picture is of a sea sponge. Tarpon Springs is the world's largest purveyor of natural sea sponges, and home to the world famous Sponge Docks, and we saw several sponges washed up on the beach.
There was a wedding being set up as well. I liked the steel drum, personally.
Maybe the trip didn't go as planned, but we still tried to make the best of it. We were blessed with a beautiful sunset, which we don't get to see on the East Coast of the state. I took many pictures. Here are a few more:
The batteries were starting to die in the my camera, but I managed to get a few more pictures before they finally gave out.
I just realized you can see Chris's reflection in Rob's sunglasses.
On our way back up the beach we stopped for the wedding. I thought it would have been rude to continue on, so we waited. When the bride and groom finished their vows and kissed amidst the applause of their closest friends and family, we marched on. So it may not have been the trip we were expecting. And sure, we only took a walk on a beach in a park that offered so much more. But I felt small beside that ocean, in awe of the sun bidding us farewell for the night. I was surrounded by the people I love. The plans and all that other stuff can be fulfilled later. The quiet reflection was what I needed right then. And I can't argue with that.
EDITED TO ADD: Many thanks to my editor-in-chief Robby for pointing out that I made a Freudian slip in my title of this entry. While I didn't mean to post it as HoneymooD Island, I do rather think it fits. It stays. Enjoy the giggle. : )