Honeymoon Island State Park in Dunedin, Florida
I saw an armadillo! For the first time ever! [Give me a break, Southerners, I’m from Colorado.] This armadillo was awesome, as was hiking the trails at Honeymoon Island on such a beautiful bluebird day. It is still disorienting to think that I am only a 20 minute drive from an island - from an entire friggin’ ocean! But the idea is growing on me.
Moccasin Lake State Park in Clearwater, Florida
This small state park is a short walk away from our new apartment. It has a little over a mile’s worth of trail and a good amount of wildlife [including my first Florida gator]!
Side note, I hear it is roundabout 5 degrees today in Colorado. There are only a couple of things I really don’t miss about home. One of those things is scraping windshields and watching my hair freeze in the condensation from my breath. I hope everyone is staying warm!
My First Foray into Salt Water Fishing - November 9, 2013
I caught mangrove snappers, a speckled trout, and a lady fish! And I’d forgotten how fun fishing is. We took our boat into the canals around Pine Island and through to the Gulf of Mexico. I saw wild dolphins and manatees for the first time, collected sea shells off the beach, and caught a mouth full of salt water while grinning widely into the wind!
First Visit to the Gulf of Mexico - Clearwater Beach, Florida
I’ve been to beaches before, but after living in a landlocked state for most of my life, visiting the ocean still feels like a new, captivating experience. Mountains have always formed my horizons, so it is comforting for me to see great ranges climbing into the sky and disappearing into the clouds. Oceans, in a completely unfamiliar way, are equally fascinating. The waves of the Gulf today seemed to lead to endless avenues of exploration. I could have followed that sinking sun over the edge of the Earth and beyond.