Pensacola Beach, Florida. December 2013
Would you believe I’ve lived in Texas for over 16 years and have never (to my recollection) seen a live armadillo? The ones I have seen, have all been squished by the side of the road… Spotted this little guy (or gal?) on our way back from Fort Pickett. and luckily I had my camera ready and was able to get a few pictures through the car window.
One last look before we had to pack up and head back home to Texas…
Wish I’d never have to leave…
I could spend all day there…
These little guys were so cute, and so much fun to watch as they ran toward the water, had a little snack, and then ran away as the waves came in….and then did it all over again. Not sure what kind of birds they are, sandpipers??
Sara wanted to chase this one…probably not a good idea!
(Taken with my iPhone)
Of course we had to stop when we saw the beach access sign 😉
My three favorite shots from Fort Pickens
Not much to do on Christmas when you’re travelling and not visiting family…and everything is closed, so we decided to check out nearby Fort Pickens
Lost in thought or bored? I’m going with bored 😉
A beautiful sunrise at the beach is the next best thing to a white Christmas (to me anyway 😉 )
Both by Sara, although she had a little help from me finding seashells for the heart. Had to work quickly so it wouldn’t get washed away before it was finished.
Pensacola Beach is ideal for sunrise AND sunset shots!
View from our room…time to head down to the beach…
Margaritaville Beach Hotel at sunset
Ripples in the sand
Looking for seashells
I always wake up really, really early, and if you’re at a hotel right on the beach, what better to do than bundle up and head out into the cold to photograph the sunrise? It was just me, myself and I that morning.
And the view from our room….a bit after the sunrise, and after breakfast and a hot cup of coffee or two to warm up
During our summer vacation in Florida, we decided that we would come back when the kids were off for winter break. One was excited, the other one….not so much (but she had to come with us anyway 😉 )
We decided on Pensacola Beach, even though it wouldn’t be warm enough to swim. It was COLD and WINDY, with temperatures in the low 30’s in the morning, and probably around 50 in the afternoon, but it was still beautiful, and the cold certainly didn’t stop us from venturing out for walks on the beach. Sara often came with me very early in the morning, to take pictures of the sunrise, and look for seashells. Melissa on the other hand didn’t go out unless we didn’t leave her any other choice (that’s teenagers for ya 😉 )
These photos were all from our first day (Dec.23)
Holiday Inn Express, Pensacola Beach. As you can see, the hotel is right on the beach, and best of all, ALL their rooms have a Gulf front view!
The view from our room
Of course we didn’t waste any time to get down to the beach!
Just a hint of sunset colors
We’re off to spend a few days in Pensacola Beach, Florida….at a hotel right on the beach…..with Gulf view! I can’t wait!
It will be too cold to swim, but that’s OK with me, I prefer long walks on the beach anyway.
Trevor might be coming with us 😉
On our way back from Florida we took a little detour through New Orleans. We didn’t spend a whole lot of time there because we arrived in the afternoon and continued on the next morning. We had to stop at the famous Café du Monde for beignets and café au lait.
One of my favorite Florida pictures…..my girls, walking along the beach, and it almost looks like they’re holding hands. Which they are most certainly NOT! 😉
(Taken with my iPhone)
I think if you ask my 10-year-old daughter Sara, she’d tell you that one of the highlights of our Florida vacation this past June was visiting Winter at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium in Clearwater, Florida….. and if you’ve seen the movie Dolphin Tale, you know who Winter is. (If you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it, it’s such a good movie!)
After we got back from Florida, Sara asked to have the movie added to our Netflix queue so we could watch it again and see all the familiar places. A big part of it was filmed at Clearwater Marine Aquarium, although it had a facelift since then.
Winter, with her prosthetic tail
Two of the stars of the movie 😉
A still from the movie….
….and where it was filmed
Free shuttle busses take visitors from the Marine Aquarium to the movie exhibit (and back again of course!)
One of Winter’s prosthetics that she has outgrown
That.Was.Awesome!!! Highly recommend it…and if you can afford it, take a private tour on a small airboat, not a big one like we did, because that would be even more awesome!
I left my Nikon safely in the car and all these pictures were taken with my iPhone
Our tour guide. He was funny….and knew all the alligators by name
Key West Lighthouse
View from the top of the Lighthouse
Southernmost Point in the continental US. There was a loooong line of people waiting to pose for pictures and I decided to just take a quick snap between tourists 😉
We spent two days in the Florida Keys this past June. The first day we drove all the way to Key West, and on the second day we spent some time at Bahia Honda State Park at the beach.
The view from the top of Key West Lighthouse. The house with the red roof is the southernmost house in the US.
What a lucky day it was when we visited Cape Florida Lighthouse on Key Biscayne. They were just about to lock up the lighthouse for the day, but said that if we made it quick, we could climb to the top. I don’t think we ever climbed a lighthouse faster than this one and practically ran the 119 steps to the top. Melissa doesn’t like the tight spiraling lighthouse steps and chose to wait for us at the bottom.
First glimpse of the lighthouse above the trees
Ocean view from the top
Walking away from the lighthouse, in search of the beach
Lighthouse view from the beach access