Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Beaches, beaches everywhere!

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I think it would be hard to visit Florida and not walk at least one beach. We got lucky and visited four.

After Bok Gardens we made a beeline for Honeymoon Island State Park in hopes of seeing the sunset. Traffic through Tampa was brutal.

I’m glad we got to see this.

We barely made it, paying our $4.00 entry fee and rushing to find a parking place as the sun was beginning it’s rapid decline into the Gulf of Mexico.

Time to pack it up and head home.

Lots of people had obviously spent the day at the beach and were packing up for the evening. We didn’t look like beach goers in our shorts and running shoes, but I didn’t care.

Even after the sun was gone these umbrellas glowed.

It just felt good to be near the water.

We had to head north for a bit to find a hotel, but the next morning we went in search of more beaches and a chance for me to put my feet in the water.

We started at Fred Howard County Park in Tarpon Springs. We thought maybe it wouldn’t have a fee. Silly us. I think it was $5.00 to park in their lot all day.

Busy day at the beach!

It was a Sunday and the beach was already crowded when we arrived. Luckily we found a parking space, then wandered down to the water, weaving between umbrellas and blankets. I was a bit disappointed, the shore was filled with old weeds and the beach was overwhelmed with people.

Just ignore all those people over there.

Still, some found their own bit of peace with their toes in the water.

On the other side of the small island there were a whole lot of toys to be rented. I’d never seen the big bicycles before. They were sort of like paddle boats.

Work those quad muscles!

The island was at the end of a long causeway which we walked a bit to see what the fisherpeople out there were catching. Along the way we saw more than one group of people sunning on blankets in parking spaces.

Future dermatologist patients.

Not my idea of a great way to enjoy the beach! By the time we walked back to the car the parking lot on the island was teaming with vehicles circling, looking for a space. We gave our space and ticket to a grateful family and left, looking for longer beaches, softer sand, more space.

We found all that at my favorite beach of the day, Clearwater’s Sand Key Beach.

My first glimpse of the beach made me smile.

It was crowded too, but there was a long white beach with a clean sandy shore just begging to be walked.

The water was so enticing that I was out of my shoes as soon as we arrived.

And the further you walked the less crowded the beach was. Down a ways was a place where people were flying kites. We had to walk at least that far!

I woldn’t mind living in a condo on this beach. As long as I didn’t have to drive anywhere.

We walked a long way, me in the water as much as I could be.

Turquoise water, blue sky, white sand. Can’t get much better.

Eventually we went to find lunch, and then on to our last beach of the day, on our last evening of our trip, to see what the sunset might bring at Madeira Beach a bit further south.

An interesting breakwater caught my attention right away.

We had a longer wait for the sunset than the night before, and it was windier and getting chilly. I looked for things to photograph to keep myself busy. There’s always something.

It was kind of chilly but that didn’t stop these two from having fun in the waves.

The sun was hiding most of that last hour behind clouds. But once in awhile it would break free and light up the buildings further south of us.

The colorful buildings warmed in the evening light for a few moments.

A few other people waited on the beach for the sun to set too. And the balconies of the condos and hotels behind us began to fill up with people, some with cameras, some just watching.

I kind of wish I’d gotten an email for this couple so I could send them the picture.

Everyone waiting for the evening ritual.

And finally it happened. The sun dropped below the band of clouds and lit the sky and beach and water with a golden glow.

For a few minutes everything turned pinky gold.

It wasn’t as pretty as the night before up on Honeymoon Beach, but it was worth the wait.

A little explosion of joy.

And when the sun had sunk beneath the waves we turned and slowly made our way back to the car. The trip was over, nothing left to do but prepare for our flight home.

Another day closes it’s eyes.

It was a good trip, this time in Florida, but we were ready, almost ready, to face the snow and cold in Michigan, knowing that flowers were blooming somewhere, and spring couldn’t hold out forever even up there.

Bye bye Florida, see you next time.

Besides, Katie-girl was waiting. Time to go home.

I’m WAITING people!

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

24 thoughts on “Beaches, beaches everywhere!

  1. What a beautiful post, Dawn. I have bookmarked these places to go as this is not a part of Florida we visit much. I have a yearly work conference in Orlando, but……work. Not much time to see anything else. So glad you enjoyed your time here.

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  2. I miss the ocean, I bet that felt good to get your toes in the water.

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  3. Love Love LOVE your beachy photos! All that white sand reminds me of Gulfport though the water there isn’t turquoise; it’s more murky. And I got a good laugh from your caption “future dermatology patients” — yep, so true, especially if they’ve lathered in baby oil, ha! Bet the princess is glad her peeps are back home!

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  4. Great photos! How I would love to be one of those people on a balcony overlooking an ocean and a sandy shoreline, watching the waves break as the sun sets in all its glory, glass of wine in hand.

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  5. Hahah, these are beautiful pics but I rushed ahead to see Katie, lol! Next trip, doggie beach 😂😂😂

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  6. Excellent beach photos, sunsets and otherwise! I think the place we liked best around Tarpon Springs was the Anclote River Park. Not a huge beach, but just wandering through the shady park and hearing all the different languages spoken in the picnic pavilions (English, Spanish, French, Russian, etc.) made us feel very cosmopolitan. https://www.google.com/search?client=safari&rls=en&q=tarpon%20springs%20FL%20parks%20and%20beaches&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&npsic=0&rflfq=1&rlha=0&rllag=28158886,-82766938,2654&tbm=lcl&rldimm=9699731442844768226&ved=2ahUKEwiC-rX58PDgAhVaHzQIHbKjBv0QvS4wAXoECAAQKg&rldoc=1&tbs=lrf:!2m1!1e2!2m1!1e3!3sIAE,lf:1,lf_ui:1#rlfi=hd:;si:9699731442844768226;mv:!1m2!1d28.2050581!2d-82.732574!2m2!1d28.0853276!2d-82.8515223;tbs:lrf:!2m1!1e2!2m1!1e3!3sIAE,lf:1,lf_ui:1

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    • Looks like a beautiful place! You would also enjoy Bok Gardens, between Tampa and Orlando, dogs are allowed there too, for a $5.00 fee. Lots of big live oaks and beautiful gardens to explore.

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  7. Parking lot sunbathing. That’s just sad when the beach is only steps away. People are funny.

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  8. Wow! Those oceans sunsets are amazing! I SO want to be there!

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  9. Nice to feel the sand between your toes. Beautiful sunset. I’m sure Katie will be happy to see you.

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  10. There is always something special about beaches – although, personally, I prefer the less crowded ones. You capture some beautiful images at the different beaches you visited.

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  11. I love a beach! We were stationed in Tampa in the 1970’s. Your photos are wonderful!

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