Best Florida Beaches and State Parks

I don’t BELIEVE so much time has passed since I last wrote. I think I last left you on my way to Rainbow, which was so long ago, that I can’t even begin to write about it except to say that it was awesome—a truly beautiful experience in a beautiful place, with beautiful people. I’ll write more about it later. While I was there I wrote in my journal (like the old fashioned paper type) so I’ve got things to say, but not now. Quick update: Ryan and I finally made our way back east to good ol’ Massachusetts (my parents missed me…awwww), but just a week later we got back in the car and drove down to Florida, which maybe isn’t the smartest thing to do I the summer because it’s a freakin’ sauna down there (oh, and it rains quite a bit!) but we’ve been staying cool, camping out a lot where there are cool ocean/gulf breezes, drinking a ton, and crashing at the occasional cheap motel when it’s just too painful.

Meanwhile, I came across some great lists while I was researching where to go next and thought that since summer in Florida stretches on forever, these should be quite up to date even in a few months from now. So here ya go!

From Associatedcontent.com: The Best State Parks to Visit in Central Florida During the Summer:

From Placesaroundflorida.com: Best Florida Beaches:

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Literary Travels with Lacee Low… The Literary South

I’m from the South (Virginia/North Carolina) so…I don’t know. I’m definitely not an expert b/c I’ve barely been to any of these places, but I guess I feel some kinship or something to these writers b/c in school teachers always stress that they’re from the south and we’re from the south so we can “hear” what they’re saying better than other people. I don’t know if that’s true.

  1. Edgar Allan Poe Museum – Richmond, Virginia (FYI, there’s also an Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site in Philadelphia, and the Edgar Allan Poe House and Museum in Baltimore, but those aren’t quite South.)
  2. Booker T. Washington National Monument – Hardy, Virginia
  3. Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum – Key West, Florida
  4. Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park – Cross Creek, Florida
  5. Heritage House Museum and Robert Frost Cottage – Key West, Florida
  6. Margaret Mitchell House and Museum – Atlanta, Georgia

Happy travels!
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I feel pretty! Oh, so pretty!

Matthew (I always thought that was a sexy, solid name) and I spent like every second of every day together for the last week while I was in Miami. He even drove with me to Fort Myers Beach for 2 days so I could spend some time with Julie. I actually hadn’t even realized my luck – the family that Julie was nannying for had gone away for the week (to Amelia Island which is near my grandmother’s Jacksonville home, so I’ve been there a bunch of times, but that’s unrelated) leaving Julie (and us and like 4 other really cool people) their awesome beach front house and a kitchen stocked with food. (I wouldn’t ever ever ever want to be a nanny, but putting the day job aside, Julie’s got in made.) So Fort Myers was fun, needless to say—I felt like it was spring break all over again.

So don’t laugh at me, but I’ve been walking around in a blissful daze all week. I introduced Matthew to my grandmother immediately which is not something I EVER do. I think the last time my family knew one of my boyfriends (!) I was in like 7th grade.

The best part about this is that when I sit down to write about this, it all comes gushing out like a babbling brook, but in reality, I’ve been pretty breezy about this.

The remaining days were spent shopping at Sawgrass Mills Outlet Mall (a monster of a mall that’s shaped like a crocodile) and hanging out on Hollywood Beach. I have such a gorgeous tan and I am so ready to head back up north (I leave tomorrow morning) and move to NYC. It’s really soon! Just one more month to kill…

Matthew and I already said goodbye so I can spend the evening with Granny, and he’s still down here for one more week. Apparently he had two conferences (in physical therapy) in Miami two weeks apart from each other so decided to make a vacation of it. But then he’ll be back in NYC and we’ve already made plans to go to the Guggenheim Museum (he was shocked that I’d never been there and said we had to fix that right away).


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Jacksonville Jewels

I woke up early this morning and rode my bike over to Atlantic Beach (I’m in Jacksonville visiting my grandmother). I saw the most GORGEOUS sunset. I had brought my yoga mat and spent a good half hour (which is a long time for me!) doing my sun salutations (Surya Namaskar) facing the beautiful rising sun. I spent the rest of the day shopping with my grandmother who needed some new towels and some good walking shoes. We ended up going to The Avenues Mall and to Regency Square Mall — just so she could see every single shoe choice in the whole city!

My grandmother is always raving about Amelia Island State Recreation Area Beach. She likes taking the boats around the area. We’ll bring a picnic, and apparently there are dolphins nearby, so I’m excited about that!

Oh, and just in case anyone reading this is planning a trip to Jacksonville, I highly recommend The ZOO at Gulf Breeze & NW Florida Zoological Park and Botanic Garden. We were there a few days ago and seriously spent all day with the animals and flowers. I think I had read somewhere that it was a good place for kids, but I think it’s a great place for 20-somethings and their grandmas! Ah…I love vacation!


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