We took our camping "on the road"...to the BEACH!!!
We went to St. Joseph Peninsula State Park in sunny Florida. This park is located on the Gulf side, about an hour south of Panama City Beach.
After about a 6.5 hour drive, we pulled into our camping spot about 5PM on Thursday. The drive took us a little longer than anticipated - between 2 gas stops, a lunch stop, and the HOT weather (95 degrees) limiting our speed of towing (no faster than about 62MPH).
And this is probably gross - but somewheres around Eufala, AL we hit a LOT of bugs...yuck...
Anyway, after we arrived, we set up pretty fast, cooked up a quick dinner, and then walked over to see how close the ocean waves were...it was probably less than a 5min walk from our site!!
We walked down just in time to watch the sunset over the calm water. It was beautiful.
Also of course, being a peninsula, there is a bay side as well. The bay is super shallow a long way out in places (we'll get to that later) but it is not walkable from the campground.
On Friday, we woke up to birds chirping and (G-D) yellow flies buzzing. Those suckers BITE! So we cranked on our A/C and had breakfast inside the camper...lame, I know, but it was already really hot and the bugs were impervious to Deet.
Our friend Anna came down from Tallahassee with her almost-4-year-old Owen and spent the day at the beach with us. We had a ball!!! Owen and Jeff were two peas in a pod - they both LOVE LOVE LOVE the water and don't want to come out if they don't have to.
We floated on rafts, jumped waves, chatted, and totally relaxed. And - not too sunburned!
On Friday night, the bugs were having none of it so we decided to go into Port St Joe for a "date night".
We went to dinner at Sunset Coastal Grill. You can see why it's named that!
In addition to the view being absolutely amazing, the food was so incredibly good. Jeff had some sort of local white fish and I had the most excellent fried shrimp EVER. I don't usually order that dish (anti-fried) but it sounded good and was a specialty. I did not regret it! So, so yummy. So fresh and crisp and delicious...I'm hungry just thinking about it.
On Saturday, I learned to snorkel. We headed to the bay side and (upon advice of someone who had been there) walked a small hiking trail to a secluded beach area. We parked our stuff and waded in. Boy, was I glad for the water shoes! Those sea urchins were sharp - and the bay extended really really really far, so you could walk out and not hardly get more than waist deep.
We snorkeled, and snorkeled, and snorkeled...and snorkeled. We came up really often to talk and exclaim how much fun we were having. And, we took one break to eat a bit of our picnic lunch and reapply sunscreen back on shore (note to self for next time, put it almost IN the private bits because your tush literally sticks in the air the whole time). (Also note - not really photo of me and Jeff but wanted to illustrate the tush idea.)
After probably 6 hours in the water, we were pooped. We showered and headed into town again (damn bugs) to hit up Joe Mama's Wood Fired Pizza. So good! Food always tastes better when you're starving, but this was truly yummy.
On Sunday we woke up mega-early to mostly tear down so we could - you guessed it - snorkel some more! We went to a different area of the bay, and saw TONS of stingrays - one so big it startled Jeff really bad...but luckily no real "encounters".
We had soooo much fun and feel super lucky to have the beach only 6 hours drive away. It was a perfect way to spend a perfect weekend! We can't wait to go back soon.