Beautiful Beaches

Beautiful Beaches

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This should come as no surprise, but…

I am a lover of the beach.

The smell of the salt air.

The sound of the waves crashing on the beach.

It is here that my soul finds peace.

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All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea – whether it is to sail or to watch it – we are going back from whence we came.

– John F. Kennedy

So I found it fitting that as I prep our gear for a family vacation to the beach, this photo would show up on my timeline of memories.

The three loves that I gave birth to standing at the ocean’s edge.

And then it’ s as though the water gods came together for a perfect combination with some challenges that I participate in… Nikki at Flying Through Water has a creative prompt this week of Love and the new photo challenge for the week is Transient.

Most coastal towns have a tendency to be transient in nature. People coming and going.

But also the beaches themselves are transient when you consider it from the definition of  always changing or moving around.  Whether it’s a change in the sand at the shoreline, the seashells left upon the shore, the view at low tide or high…

Always changing.

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Live in the sunshine, swim in the sea, drink the wild air… -Ralph Waldo Emerson

A quick background on me, in case you are new to my blog. I spent the first 30 years of my life in Naples, Florida.  Naples is located on the Gulf of Mexico and famed for its powder white sand and millionaires. My family has lived there since the 40’s, back when it was still a sleepy little fishing town. Before 5th Avenue and 3rd Street became worldwide shopping destinations and before Port Royal and Aqualane Shores were synonymous with the rich and famous.

However, if you think Naples is filled with only the rich and famous, you would be mistaken.  There are plenty of people who are working hard to make ends meet and getting to relax at one of the beautiful beaches is a lucky perk of living in its proximity.

Of course, another of Naples’ claims to fame is the fact that since it is located on the West Coast of Florida, there are gorgeous sunsets at the beach.

The water tends to be warmer than the East Coast and I swear there is more salt because I float so much better in the Gulf.

 

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The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. -Jaques Cousteau

In 2008, we moved to Okeechobee, Florida for 2 years (where I met some great people, but sorely missed the smell of saltwater) and then we moved over to Sewall’s Point, Florida (with local beaches including the photo above) and lived there for the next 2 1/2 years.

One of the thrilling things about moving to the east coast of Florida was that this was the Atlantic Ocean… meaning there were waves. What the East Coast lacked in soft, powdery sand, it made up for in power. We frequented the beaches of Jensen Beach and Stuart and learned how to surf. These were pivotal ages for my children and there is still a piece of them that considers this home.

The town has a very laid-back vibe and is filled with friendly people. Perhaps that is why  in 2016, Stuart was named America’s Happiest Seaside Town by Coastal Living.

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Why do we love the sea? It is because it has some potent power to make us think things we like to think. – Robert Henri

When we moved to Roanoke, Virginia four years ago (in case you are doing the math… I’m turning 40 in September), I knew that trips to the beach would be necessary for my soul. This would be the farthest I had ever lived from salt water. We visited Virginia Beach and perhaps it just so happened to be the weekend we traveled there, but it was too crowded for my taste.

So we began looking at the Carolinas.

And we stumbled upon Carolina Beach, North Carolina (pictured above).

One trip there and we were in love.

It has been the destination for our family beach trips for the past three years.

Last year we almost bought a beach house there, but then the thoughts of the rapidly approaching college expenses for three teenagers made us reconsider.

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I need the sea because it teaches me. -Pablo Neruda

Being from South Florida, I had never experienced the sight of tidal salt marshes or sand dunes.

When I cross those dunes and feel the ocean breeze upon my face, I feel a slowing of the frantic pace of life.

That is not to say that it is a quiet town. We originally chose it out of those along the Carolina Coast because it has a boardwalk and we thought that lively spirit might hold the interest of our teenagers.

And it did.

During the summer, the town has music, carnival rides, fireworks, movies at the lake… there is constantly something happening.

As with many coastal towns, there are shops along the boardwalk and in the town that close their doors when the hustle and bustle of summertime comes to an end.

Even then, that doesn’t stop the breeze from carrying the scent of saltwater.

It doesn’t stop the ocean from kissing the shoreline.

And it doesn’t stop my soul from finding peace in its presence.

I hope that you’ve enjoyed the views from some of my favorite beaches.

I have many more to explore, but these three will always hold a special place in my heart.

Do you have a favorite beach?  What makes you love that beach?

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Let your light shine!

Amy

36 thoughts on “Beautiful Beaches

  1. I am a fan of beaches too. I grew up on a island in the San Francisco Bay. I have visited beaches in Delaware, beaches on the Atlantic and Gulf side of Florida and Texas, and beaches along the California coastline. Now that I am land locked,I enjoy my coastal escapes!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I have heard that the beaches in Delaware are beautiful. I’ve considered heading up that way. I’m just nervous that they’d be too cold for me since I’m really a Florida girl. 🙂
      I haven’t been to any beaches in California although the kids keep begging to go.
      Land locked was definitely a strange feeling at first. I’ve become more accustomed to it, but I do love my coastal escapes!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This post sang to me, and I understood where you were coming from as I love the beach so much. I feel like it is almost a spiritual thing for me. I can’t handle not being close to it for long. My favourite two beaches are very close to home. Tahunanui beach is our local and another beach 40 mins from our town called Kaiteriteri beach in the Able Tasman. The sand there is golden, I’ve never seen sand the same anywhere. When I was a kid my grandparents camped there every year and we would spend time over there, camping and heading to the beach everyday. Now, we go for day trips with the kids and plan to camp there sometime soon. There is nothing quite like spending time at your favourite beach. I love your photo’s. Beautiful!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. You have some beautiful photos here, and your love for the ocean comes through loud and clear in your words as well. I’ve always been an Atlantic ocean girl (now far from east and west coasts but close to the Gulf), and I know I’ll have to travel to get my fix a few times a year.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you Deborah.
      Prior to moving here, the farthest I lived from the beach was an hour and those were the 2 years in Okeechobee. My heart will always long to return nearby to one and I suspect that someday I will. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m not a beach bunny, but I do have a very strong affinity to water. What you feel for the sights, sounds, and smells of salt water, I feel for fresh water because that was my childhood experience. I can’t imagine not having a body of water nearby … lakes, rivers, creeks – it doesn’t matter. The call of water is strong!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I do think childhood experience plays a strong role. There is a nearby lake here that is very popular. I plan to head out there with my paddleboard at least a few times over the summer. I like these northern lakes because, unlike in Florida, they don’t contain alligators! And for paddleboarding, I prefer that the current isn’t fast (unlike ocean waves or the local rivers)

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  5. As much as I am a lake, forest, meadow sorta person, I do love the beach. When it’s cloudy and cool, you know. I love the salt air and my skin loves the sea.
    I think my favorite beaches are also south, because I’ve spent more time with them. Like you, I prefer the less crowded, okay, pretty much desolate beaches, so I’ll say Sanibel Island. I like the forest part of Bowman Beach, but I hate the shells cutting my feet… Jekyll Island’s nice and quiet… But yeah, Sanibel. In August, from the cottage, when The Mister and I pretty much OWN the beach ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    • Living in Naples, I have never been to Sanibel. I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about it. Since I’m a seashell loving girl, I need to put it on my places to frequent now that I live away.
      I do love lakes, forest, and meadows too. Before we moved to Virginia and would visit, I always felt like the forests there looked like enchanted forests.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is great, Amy. Thank you! Love your three boys side by side like that. And the photos by your summer beach visit in North Carolina are exquisite. So lovely to reconnect with you via Nikki’s creative prompt. 🙂 Have a blessed rest of your weekend and glad that you found a place that helps you have an experience of peace! — Debbie

    Liked by 1 person

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