Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Coming to you from Grayton Beach State Park

Sunday April 28, 2013
Site 9, Grayton Beach State Park
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida




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We saw our last sunset from the pier at St. Andrews last night.

This is my favorite perch when someone doesn’t get it before me. 








   My favorite view.

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The broader picture I usually don’t take.








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This morning’s sky is gorgeous when I step out to await the sunrise.  Having the sun rising over water in my front yard is just a joy every single day.








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The sun is having a hard time with those clouds.  They seem to be gathering in on it.







I notice that Winnona has the sun shining into her front yard and the moon overhead all at the same time.   What a fine morning!


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Because it is a short move between St. Andrews and Grayton, 50 miles, I go running, take a shower, have breakfast and then we begin packing up.


We have a record pelican attendance at the rock breakwater today. 
All lined up directly across from our picnic table.
What I wouldn’t give for a really WIDE angle lens to get them all in a row.



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I must say that if all I did here was sit on my own patio with the breeze blowing on me and watch the birds fly in and out in front of my site it would be a lovely time.  Perhaps I should just lower my expectations for activities and give St. Andrews up to reading and close up pelican watching with a close up great blue heron and a close up snowy egret thrown in for good measure all to the music of the laughing gulls.



The downed tree is right beyond our picnic table.  It is amazing how close the birds are.


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While we are packing up, the funniest thing happens when David takes off the white wheel covers and is putting them away.   For some reason these big white things are very attractive to the pelicans.  Or else they’ve all got a crush on David all of a sudden.





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They get up from the rocks and fly out into the canal to get closer.  First 2 then 3 then 4, 5 and finally 6.

When he finishes one cover and leaves to go get another they start to swim away but as soon as he comes back with the big white cover and begins to fold it up, they come back.  What fun they are.  They make us both laugh.




Count em for yourself!

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Yes the twenty pelican send off, the fun antics of the birds as well as the lovely sunrises and the nice winds off the water during the morning while we are packing up have rose colored my vision at bit.   But it’s all moot.  I’ve booked next winter and so far, St. Andrews isn’t in the mix.



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Time to go to Grayton.   It’s a 35 mile drive so David takes Winnona on and I run some errands.  He wants me to stop at Thomas Donut and Snack Shop for what he claims are really highly ranked Key Lime and Orange juice donuts.   Hmmmm  does that sound good to you?

It’s sort of on my way.  I can take State Route 98, which he is taking, or County Route 30A which is the Beach Front Road.  Thomas’ is on the latter.  I set out.  Pretty soon the speed limit is 35 but the folks are all going 20 and 25……(are they all window shopping?)………….for the entire 15 miles to Thomas’.   I stop and get the donuts but they better be PDG after hardly being able to stay in 4th gear for so long.



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I quickly skedaddle back up to State Route 98 and find a Publix where I know I can get Almond milk and fairly decent whole grain bread.   The choice in the Panhandle for groceries seems to be Publix or Winn Dixie.  Publix does have some organic products under their own line called Green Wise.


Back on the road I soon pass Camp Helen State Park and closer to Grayton I see signs for Deer Lake State Park and Eden Gardens State Park.  That’s good to know.  If Grayton doesn’t pan out, we can do day trips and check out these others.


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I’ve booked all my campsites so far in advance, by necessity in Florida in the Winter, that I forget why I chose various ones and am often surprised as I was by a pull through at St. Joseph and water front at St. Andrews.   Our site in Grayton is not on the water, in this case Western Lake, but it’s one row back in the old campground.  Site 9.  Nicely private with dense foliage but a rather small site.  We learn that there is only one bathhouse for each campground circle, the old and the new.  And we also learn that the old bathhouse is undergoing renovation from September 2012 until July 2013.  Must be SOME renovation.   Doesn’t matter much to us since we’ll only be here 5 days but it would be a problem for two weeks without a sewer hook up if we couldn’t take showers in the bathhouse.


We get hooked up and leveled.  Time to make some food.  We use Joe’s Oat patties – the barbeque flavor to make wraps with lettuce and tomato.  Chopped kale lightly sautéed in with onion and garlic rounds out the meal.  Is it lunch?  Is it dinner?   It’s 4:00.  Who knows.



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We plan to save the awning and outdoor patio set up until after we’ve had a bicycle trip around the park to see what’s here.  But shortly after we finish eating the rains come.   And they aren’t kidding around.   Serious rains.  So it’s now 6:00 and I’m writing this.   And it’s raining.


More about Grayton will have to wait until tomorrow including the picture of the site.  Assuming it doesn’t rain.  If it does, we’ll drive the 50 miles up to Crestview and try to take care of getting Winnona and Ruby registered and getting me a driver’s license.  Someone asked if “we” were not becoming residents.  David’s medical insurance will not allow him to change states at this point but at least we can take half advantage of the benefits of getting the vehicles out of Virginia.


We may not have a picture of our site, but David has me take a picture of Grayton’s pale ale when he has one before dinner. He says he likes it very much.


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So now instead of bicycling around and catching the sunset, David is doing dishes and I’m reading aloud from Dreaming in Clay on the Coast of the Mississippi by Christopher Maurer.  It’s the story of four generations of the  Anderson Family and the creation and life of Shearwater Pottery in Ocean Springs Mississippi.   It’s still raining sometimes its so loud on the roof that he can’t hear me even though we’re only about 3 feet apart.


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We finished the reading aloud of Marjorie Stoneman Douglas’s great Everglades epic  River of Grass.  What a book.  Anyone who loves the Everglades or is interested in it or the history of the area will be remiss if they don’t read this one.

If we’re going to go to Crestview tomorrow, I’d better wrap this up and get filling out the paperwork for those two vehicles.

I’ll post pictures of the site tomorrow if it stops raining so I can take them and I’ll let you know the verdict on the donuts – key lime and orange creamsicle?  Really???



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  1. I'm waiting on the edge of my seat for that donut flavor report. Never heard anything like that for donuts. But then, that's why you travel, to find new things...

    I bet your wallet will breathe a sigh of relief after getting out from under that VA car tax. :c)

  2. What a kick those pelicans are. Wonder if they thought the tire covers were relatives. ;)

    Have you thought about taking panoramic pictures and letting the computer stitch them together. I do that all the time. Don't have a wide-angle lens.

    Those donuts sound, strange.

    Hope it stops raining.

  3. I loved every bit of this day, Sherry. Gee, should I be booking any Florida state parks for next Jan, Feb, and March right now already?? I am still trying to figure out when we will be where...

    1. I'm not sure I would have liked those donuts. You'll have to let us know how they tasted.

      That's so cute about the pelicans helping David. I wonder what that was all about?

      Good luck becoming a Florida resident. It was pretty easy for us, although we did it here in the Tampa area.

  4. How will your vehicle insurance work, with having 2 different state drivers licenses? Although you probably file a joint federal income tax return, you'll be a non-resident/part year resident of VA, so you may have to file MFS for your state return. I hate that the medical insurance companies make life so complicated.

  5. Interesting donut flavors :) Wonder what the pelicans were thinking about those tire covers? Lol.

  6. Your at my favorite area...Hwy 30A. Get a carry out of streamed shrimp at Goatfeathers. Try the Donut Hole on 98 up from Topsail. And Bruno's pizza! We've traveled 30a bike trail back and forth. Many cool spots...free concerts at Seaside.

  7. I bet those Pelicans thought David was going to clean some fish and they were going to get some treats;o))

    Well, you are not alone...yesterday, we left Raleigh in the rain and headed back to Cheraw...rain all the way and it is still raining today;o(( That is one large storm front!!

  8. I like Key Lime anything and I do like OJ also. So I think I would Like the donuts. I love the idea that you read books to David.

  9. Not a fan of key lime, but the orange creamsicle donut sounds interesting. Hope everything goes smoothly on your residency change.

  10. Those pelicans think he has one of those throw nets
    that the guy throw out to catch bait fish like mullit
    they always follow then around waiting for a hand out...
    sometimes they will even try to get the fish out of the
    bucket they carry around with them...I have been reading your
    blog for a couple years..but this is my first comment..just got
    my first RV and love it...not full time yet...

  11. The restaurant has the whole menu on the outside of the building!!
    Looks relaxing.

  12. LOVE pelicans ... I can sit and watch those guys forever ... isn't that interesting... the white wheel covers... nah ... couldn't be an attraction for THAT ... gotta be David ... and look at you Ms. Thing all sexied up there in short shorts! I haven't worn short shorts in .... hmmm.... looooooong time.

  13. Haven't had donuts in a long while ... will have to put this place on the list to check out those flavors.

  14. I am anxious to hear how you like Grayton. There is a Fresh Market grocery store in Destin if you need more options for organic food. Also, Seaside has a great Saturday farmer's market if you are still in the area. River of Grass is a special book for me as it was one of the last gifts my father gave me. Now that I have spent more time in Florida, I would like to re-read it. Your ritual of reading aloud is precious. I have friends who are reading all the children's Newbery Award Winning books to each other. I think you might enjoy doing that too.

  15. Great sunset/sunrise pictures - I mean how gorgeous! The pelican story is a funny one - such curiousity - I like the idea they just had a crush on Dad. LOL. Key Lime & Orange Creamsicle...yeah...that does not sound too good to me, but Grayton beer...I probably would have enjoyed that :)


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