Road Trip to Florida

I’ll be heading to the Fort Myers area of Florida this weekend to spend the month of December and I’m so excited!  You may remember when I visited two years ago during my six-week Couchsurfing road trip through the Carolinas, Georgia, and Florida.  I’ll have my Nikon D5100 with me this time, so I hope to capture some amazing sights!  Here are some photos from 2012.  Most of these are from the Rosemary and Seacrest Beach areas on the Gulf…

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This resembles a spine…

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Rosemary Beach Art Festival

After my bicycle ride, I took a quick walk to the beach for a bit, back to the condo to shower and then to a festival that was going on in the common area of Rosemary Beach.

I wanted to show you the path I take to get to the beach…

At the festival, children were making art everywhere…

This lady is on stilts.  She’s not that tall!

More art…

Face painting is fun…

After my long day…it was back to the condo for some photo fun!  The lights are on since it’s the weekend!  I’m wondering if I should contact the owners and see if they want a photo…

Let’s see what Sunday brings!

Bicycling through Alys Beach, Florida

The stretch of pavement that extends 18 miles from Rosemary Beach to the West is perfect for walking and/or bicycling!  After jogging a couple of miles on the beach and having a healthy lunch, I set off to explore the area.

One of the areas you pass is Alys Beach…

Everything is white, blue or green!  Except for the yellow lines in the road!

I like the aura around the entry gates…

This home wasn’t in Alys Beach.  I’m not sure what development it was in, but I love the color!

I passed Camp Creek Lake and Deer Lake on the ride.  I think this is Camp Creek.

Rusty bridge and shadows love!

The day’s not over yet.  Tomorrow I have photos from an Art Festival and another fun sunset photo!

 

Bicycling through Rosemary Beach, Florida

Hopping on my bike, I set off to explore the Rosemary Beach area located four blocks east of my condo.  With over 500 homesites and a town center with shops, restaurants, and activities, you never need to leave home!

The town is a master-planned community and with its cobblestone streets and gas lanterns, has a definite European vibe.  I began to imagine the perfect couples with their perfect children, living their perfect lives in their perfect homes (kind of like The Stepford Wives), but then remembered no one is perfect!  Even on the beach you feel a bit out of place…me in my bikini…them in their one piece with a little skirt bathing suit!  Oh gad….what must they think of me…the interloper!

Rosemary is also known for its Bocce ball tournaments and the popular candy store, The Sugar Shak.

They have plenty of bicycles for hire…

The Town Hall and Post Office are charming!

A partial view of some of the shops…cafes…

The homes and condos varied in design.  This is one of the more modern homes…

The community has some beautiful common use areas…

No code…No Access!

This is another community two blocks from Rosemary…

I worked up an appetite.  Salad–Bread with Cheese–Vino!  On the balcony.  Life is grand!

After lunch…time to soak up some sun at the pool!  I think it made it to 70 degrees…just barely warm enough.

Tomorrow we’ll finish up my day with some absolutely gorgeous photos from my walk on the beach!!

I’m in Love!

I’m in love!  The colors in the gulf are surreal!  As promised in yesterday’s post, here are some images I captured walking to the beach and then with my zoom lens from the balcony of my condo…

Symmetry appeals to me…

Standing at the top of the steps…

These are from the balcony…

I have a Mac laptop with iPhoto and that’s what I use to tweek photos if necessary.  Most of these are the true colors that were captured.  I can’t believe how beautiful our world is!!

I’m a lucky girl!!

It was still early so I drove 4 blocks down the road to Rosemary beach, which is the cutest planned beach side development I’ve ever seen!  It’s upscale and trendy.  Not much of a night life…but there were a few places.  There was a musician singing and playing the guitar at one of the restaurant/bars that offered outside seating.

I stopped a lady walking by and asked her for suggestions.  Her name was Paige and as we were going over the options, she said I could come with her.  She was going to pick up pizzas and salad from one of the restaurants and taking it back to a friend’s home around the corner, where there were about 10 women celebrating one of them turning 50!  We had a glass of wine and then walked around the corner to the home/condo.  I really enjoyed talking with them.  I think they were surprised that Paige had picked up a visitor to bring back.  The condo was gorgeous and the women were well traveled and interesting!  Paige had attended the prestigious Vanderbilt University.  I love meeting new people and solo travel definitely encourages you to expand beyond your comfort zone!

Seacrest Beach, Florida…Ahhhh!

I arrived in Seacrest Beach, Florida at noon Central Standard Time on the 7th after a 7 hour drive from Savannah.  I remembered I had audio books on my I-Pod which made the last couple of hours go by quickly.  Seacrest is located in between Destin and Panama City beaches…Rosemary Beach is a few blocks to the East.

I’ve never been to the Panhandle of Florida and am delighted with the area!  The sand is soooo white!  I called a few Vacation Rental By Owner (VRBO) properties and negotiated a rate of $350 inclusive of tax and cleaning for a week’s stay!  The owner even included use of her bicycle during my stay because I asked.

This isn’t their busy season, but the weather is supposed to be 70-75 degrees during the day and 50-60 degrees at night.  Perfect for walking/jogging on the beach and bicycling on the 18 mile stretch between the beach towns.

This is the view from the balcony of my studio condo.  The ocean is a couple of blocks away.

There’s a “Murphy bed” (it pulls down from the wall/hidden behind doors during the day) behind where I stood to take the photo.

After I unpacked, the hot tub was calling my name!  I basically have the place to myself.  I saw one other person walking their dog.  I hope I don’t get lonely! 😦

I know…it’s hard to feel sorry for someone in a place like this!

The grocery is located about 5 miles from the condo and I purchased my week’s supply of food.  Eggs for omelets–homemade blueberry preserves–fresh strawberries, blueberries and yogurt for smoothies–Boar’s Head Chipotle Chicken lunch meat, cheese, and freshly baked bread Italian 5 grain bread for sandwiches–crisp romaine lettuce, avocado, tomato, red bell pepper, squash, and cucumber for salads–a frozen organic Mediterranean pizza–a frozen lemon & dill wild caught salmon–baby peas–a frozen P.F. Chang’s Shrimp Lo Mein dinner–Crunchy Shrimp Sushi–and Coco Lopez cream of coconut, pineapple pieces and rum for Pina Coladas!

After putting the groceries away, I ate the Sushi for dinner and noticed the sun was getting lower in the sky.  I was informed that the beach access was 1 block East and then 1 block South, but I shimmied through the gate of a community right across the street (bad Sherry)!

Here are my photos…

Can you say…Ahhhh!

p.s.  I realized there is no oven/stove here.  She does have a George Foreman type grill, a toaster oven, and microwave!