day 4/beach 4: Tomaka State Park and Ormond-by-the-Sea

After our adventures at New Smyrna on day 3, we headed north to Tomaka State Park. We did some true Brandon/Michelle location finding (ever heard the one about how we missed out on downtown Seattle our first time up there by one HALF of a block? not even a full block!) and went completely around the park before actually finding the entrance. (not even lying here, babe. I google mapped it a second ago--before we hit up those people for directions at the blind store on the highway, we were driving on the western border of the park. except now I can't remember if it was a blind store. let the tall tales continue.) But once we arrived, we had nothing but success. got the tent up, went back into town for dinner (gotta love camping any place other than wyoming), then came home, hung our wet towels, and went to sleep.

it wasn't until the middle of the night sometime that I remembered I'm not a good camping sleeper...a little too cold, a little too aware of the distance from the tent to the bathrooms, a little too concerned about my must-be-cold-even-though-they're-asleep-with-rosy-smiles-on-their-faces family members. let's just say it was a long, elbow-burning night for the mama.

The next morning we went on a nature walk that took a little longer than expected. (here's some scenery before I get into the real story. dad or emmygirl, here's a painting for you):

Brandon tried to warn me, tried to give me other, shorter options, but oh no! I wanted some exercise. until about 1/3 of the way in when i was already spent. and that was just me; just think about how the kids were by that point. in fact, I'll show you how at least one of them was doing:

Yes that's annie wailing in the the foreground and me and big brother walking [far, far] away from her. I believe these are some of the only pictures brandon has actually enjoyed taking..and all the while giggling and saying, "You want a family vacation? I'LL SHOW YOU A FAMILY VACATION!"

I promise I came right back and helped. I did. And then we walked the 3 miles home. :)

And since I'm exaggerating, maybe I should rephrase that to "8 miles home." nope, 3 sounds bad enough.

If you go on a trip with me in the future, please know, I make poor decisions. I go wrong directions. I advise poor roads to take. I poo poo the idea of taking "just a short little nature walk." I admit to it all.

But then I also have to admit that I DID make one good decision that last morning as we were driving away from Tomaka: I had us go left at a T, which got us onto the A1A, which led us here:

A dream of a little place, right on the coast called Ormond-by-the-Sea, which reminded me of driving up the coast of Oahu with its gorgeousness to the right and ghetto-ness to the left. It was yucky enough of a day that there weren't that many folks out, yet warmer than it had been our whole vacation, so we were happy as clams. We had just been told our evening holiday plans had been bumped up to the afternoon, however, so we didn't spend more than about 20 minutes here..but man, it was beautiful. the coquina-like sand, misty water and air, and beautiful gray-white skies were really breathtaking.

And can you believe all those sea shells?

Zane didn't want to do another beach day--he was trying to admonish Annie on our way up A1A: "Now Annie, there are NO beaches today. NO beaches, do you hear me?" But the minute his feet hit the sandy sandy up-from-the-water sand, he was hooked once again. In fact, he was the hardest to pull the heck out of there.

So, our pretty girl got her last outing to the beach after all:

Then we breathed in one or two last gulps of sea air, hopped in our car and headed the rest of the way home!

Happy New Year's Eve, we said to each other! That night we were all in bed by 9:30pm. warm, close to the bathroom bed. a glorious end to a glorious (and slightly exhausting/taxing/never want to do that again feeling) trip.

Now, who's game to join us next year?


Crystal said…
Can I say that I am completely jealous of your taxing/tiring/to far away from the bathroom vacation.
Ann Marie said…
I would definitely be with you next year except I probably couldn't sleep while camping in Florida - too warm. :)

It's so fun seeing how cute your family is! Annie is getting wayyy too big. It sounds like you are all doing very well (from your newsletter) and I LOVE your new family pic! Darling. Anyway, I hope to see some pics of all your creations you've been sewing!