‘Til next time

I have just a few pictures from our last day at the beach, and then it’s time to get back into full-swing daily life. Our last day was spent at Grayton Beach State Park, a lovely and relatively quiet spot a few miles west of Rosemary Beach on 30A. It was nice to enjoy the beach with a backdrop of natural sand dunes rather than the usual beachside development. The biting flies were our least favorite feature, but those seemed to be present pretty much everywhere.

The kids were more than ready for an early bedtime. They slept soundly under Mimi and Grandpa’s care while we closed out our vacation grown-up style. We hung with Justin and Katie on the moonlit beach, watching distant fireworks displays at Panama City Beach and Destin, and indulged in late-night dessert at the local tapas and chocolate restaurant. That night, with my toes dug deep into cool sand, watching a shooting star as the waves lapped the shore, I wondered why we don’t live closer to the beach. (Then I remembered all those Florida summers of my childhood and was immediately cured.)

Now we’re back to everyday life, but a little richer with memories. The leaves are starting to turn here at home, and there is much to look forward to about fall in Tennessee. It might just be time to bake something with pumpkin.

That golden light, though

Day two at the beach was magnificent: perfect weather, fantastic home-prepared meals, pool swimming in the morning, a bike ride with my favorite budding cyclist after lunch, a lovely late afternoon and sunset at the beach, and priceless time with family throughout. Memory-making doesn’t get much better.

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Making friends, as she did everywhere she went today

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Rosemary Beach, day 4

Today’s beach photos are actually from Camp Helen State Park, a 1 1/2-mile bike ride from our rental house in Rosemary Beach. The beach front is another .6-mile slog on foot through deep sand, but the end result was worth it: wide open beach with hardly another soul in sight. Today has been a little cooler and breezy, great for flying the kite, hunting for sea shells, and basking in the sun.

Tomorrow we head home. No one in this family wants to go. I was talking to Corin about this being our last day, and I reminded him the purpose of trips like this is the memories we take with us. It’s a reminder to me, too, as we finish out our last evening and prepare for the long drive back to our daily routine.

My dad used to sing a Gaither Vocal Band song: “We have this moment to hold in our hands and to touch as it slips through our fingers like sand.” I’m infinitely grateful for photos and memories and beautiful family relationships forged over so many moments like these.

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