Last night, I opened up my book to do some reading before bed. A pile of sand fell from the pages onto my face and all around me. You know you just got back from a great vacation when you don’t even mind a bed full of sand because it reminds you of the beach.
My family and I just returned from St. George Island, Florida. We stayed at one of the “pencil houses,” tall, narrow homes with one room stacked on top of another. Our house was near the lighthouse in the center of the Island and we were able to walk to everything in the small downtown.
In the morning, Sister, Nannie, and I took walks down the street and picked out our favorite beach houses. Our family went to St. George when Sister and I were little, so it was fun to find houses that we thought we remembered from past visits.
During the day, we enjoyed our little stretch of beach. By some miracle, no one got sunburned too badly. I read three books, took a few long beach walks, and looked ridiculous in an inner tube blissfully floating down shore capsizing again and again in the choppy surf.
A flock of birds “befriended” me when I made the mistake of taking an ice cream cone down to the beach. At first, here wasn’t a bird in sight. But as soon as my feet hit the sand, screeching birds circled over my head like I was the villain in a disney movie. Sister (who is already afraid of birds) was horrified. I wasn’t about to reinforce the behaviors of these naughty flying friends. So I pointedly finished my ice cream and the birds eventually settled in a circle around us, glaring and waiting for the first sign of unattended food.
On the bay side of the island, the water and wind were much calmer. Ocean life like this little crab friend were easy to find along the shore. On this beach, all of the pretty shells had residents. A few lazy jellyfish drifted near the shore.
One of the biggest accomplishments of the week was completing not one, but two puzzles. My family always considered ourselves a one-puzzle-per-week-while-at-the-beach kind of crew, but I guess we were on our game this week. We finished the first 1000 piece puzzle in a record-breaking three days. Then we found another puzzle, left behind by past vacationers, that we finished even quicker. The second puzzle didn’t even have a picture to accompany it – it came out of the tv stand in a plastic bag.
St. George island is not a place you go for a packed itinerary. It is a place you go to avoid having to do anything at all. Sure, we enjoyed a great dinner and trivia (4th place!) at Harry A’s. We ate some late night ice cream at Aunt Ebby’s (and by late night I mean 8pm). But most of the week was spent just relaxing and enjoying time together as a family in our own little piece of paradise.