For whatever reason, I have always loved the ocean. So when our group of friends started prepping for a trip to Florida for Memorial Day weekend, I could hardly contain my excitement.
Our friend Hans generously offered to let everyone stay at his family’s condo in Ponte Vedra, FL, where we had about a thirty-second walk to the beach. Fortunately, we didn’t see any storms that were previously forecasted–although these clouds might suggest otherwise. But isn’t it beautiful?
Despite the number of beach trips I have under my belt, I had never been to the beach at night until last weekend! So, with the aforementioned thirty-second walk to the beach, I jumped at the chance when my friends suggested a nighttime walk. We grabbed a few flashlights/phones and made our way to the beach.
I can’t remember the last time I saw so many stars. And to see them over the ocean? Absolutely breathtaking. I could have stayed there for hours.
When Drew said that we should look for crabs, I thought he was joking…but there were tiny crabs crawling everywhere (and a few huge ones)! And they’re surprisingly fast. We joked that they were the spider cheetahs of the sea. When they scuttled away to their holes in the sand, we said they were just trying to live their best crab life. #bestcrablife became our vacation hashtag and the obvious catchphrase of the weekend.
Oh, and for anyone worried about getting pinched: the crabs were harmless, and we only saw them at night. They simply ran away if they knew we were coming. I felt bad for startling them and potentially hurting their eyes with our flashlights, but I figured some minor stress was better than stepping on them.
On Friday and Saturday, we spent more time in Jacksonville. After some beach time, we headed for Bold City Brewery and then made our way to The Hourglass Pub to see a comedy show. Hourglass Pub is like nerd heaven during a night out. In addition to their bar, they have bookshelves, an arcade room with a TARDIS door, and N64 games you can play for free!
They also had a pet tarantula in a glass case, but I kept my distance because spiders aren’t really my thing.
On Saturday, we visited the Cummer Museum to see a few art exhibits and walk through their gardens. We also spent waaaaay too long in the kids’ section playing this electronic painting game….
One kid kindly complimented Drew’s cat (it’s Constable Chubs, obviously) and showed us how to print our next picture, which we are planning on framing.
That evening, we took a tour at the Catty Shack Ranch, a wildlife sanctuary for big cats. Catty Shack rescues animals from zoos that can no longer care for them or from private owners that were illegally keeping wild animals. Once a cat finds a home at Catty Shack, they stay there for life–no buying, trading, or selling takes place. It truly is an amazing organization.
Sunday was our designated day to spend all day at the beach/pool. I think we put it to good use, as you can see by our construction project.
The ocean kind of destroyed our fortress, but at least the pyramid was safe for a while.
Needless to say, I had a wonderful time and I’m already missing the sun and the sea. Hopefully we’ll meet again soon.