We've been hanging out in central Florida since last August, when I got my braces, and were long overdue for a vacation. We did have one brief trip to Mississippi to evacuate from Hurricane Irma, but other than that, we have been stuck in one place for a long time due to my orthodontist appointments and in order to avoid the cold winter weather in so much of the US.
You might think that being retired and full-time RVers, we're always on vacation, but for our nomadic spirits, anywhere we stay for months at a time can start feeling a little stale. Especially an RV park that feels a lot like a trailer park. Although we have very nice neighbors, there's not much privacy, and we're near a busy road so hear traffic and sirens off and on all day. We were craving a dose of tranquility in a more natural setting.
By mid-April we hoped it would finally be warm enough to head a bit north for a week between my appointments. I had been lucky enough to book a site at Grayton Beach State Park, which must have been a cancellation, as the rest of the park was fully booked, and Florida state parks near the beach book months and months in advance.
It was a longish drive at six hours, never pleasant in a motorhome, but once we arrived, all the stress of the road fell away, and we immediately settled into this pretty, green park. We only had a neighbor on one side, and there was enough foliage between sites to provide privacy. Best of all, we could hear birds singing instead of traffic!
Here's Pearl, parked in our site. The natural area to the left was perfect for walking Paisley. (Unfortunately, dogs aren't allowed on the beach.)
The best part about this park is that you're only about 2/3 of a mile, for us an easy walk or pedal, from truly the most beautiful beach I've ever seen in the US. This part of Florida is known as the "Emerald Coast", and the water is as shockingly turquoise as that in the Caribbean when the sun shines during the day. Maybe even more astonishing is the blindingly white sugar sand. We were transfixed by the beauty here.
Here's a view of Western Lake from along the park road to the beach. The signs warning us not to "swim with alligators" worried me a bit, so we limited ourselves to picture taking.
Before we even knew about the daytime turquoise water, here's what we saw of Grayton Beach on our first evening, near sunset. We enjoyed walking on the shoreline, watching the shorebirds, and finally the sunset.
We'll share some more about this area in subsequent posts. In addition to many long beach walks, we discovered some fun bicycling routes, explored neighboring beach towns, and enjoyed wonderful food, which made for the perfect vacation.
Oh, and that daytime view of the beach? See, what did I tell you?
Emily & Barry
We're a long-married, early-retired couple who are currently traveling as nomads with no fixed home base. After years of living in North Carolina (Emily's home state), we spent 18 months living oceanfront on Ambergris Caye, Belize, a year road-tripping the US in a Honda CR-V, a year in Playa del Carmen, Mexico, and are now roaming North America in our 32' motorhome, Pearl, following warm weather whenever possible.
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