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

Henry David Thoreau

Lisa and Kate from Kansas are decorating Grayton Beach

Tuesday April 30, 2013
Site 9, Grayton Beach State Park
Santa Rosa Beach, Florida



Today is an all day beach day. And I do mean ALL day.


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We’re up and having donuts first thing so we can get on our way to the beach.  The donut report will be coming tomorrow after we’ve eaten them all.  I got half a dozen and we’re eating them one a day.
David thinks I should make it clear that the key lime is one donut and the orange creamsicle is a separate donut.   I say you already knew that but, just in case he’s right.   Anyway, donut report tomorrow.


We pile all the beach stuff in the cart, hook it onto David’s bike and off we go.  It’s more than 1/2 a mile over and I’m still reading that big heavy book on Walter Anderson’s art which I don’t want to carry.  :-)


Looks like a great day.  Light breeze, blue skies, and temps near 80.


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We take the cart and all its gear right to the water front.

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The sportbrella gives us shade from the sun and a break from the wind.  I’m as happy as a pig in mud.




Weatherman said no rain today but he didn’t say anything about these fabulous clouds.

Just look at that.  WOW!  Aren’t they something hovering just above the dunes.


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After a while, the beach begins to look like a sportbrella rally. 

That’s not us in the middle, we’re the last one.  Eventually there are 5 in a row.  We should circle them up and put a campfire in the middle.  :-))  

I think the folks right in front of us with the red one must have bought it on the way over here.  It still has the price tag hanging off the top.  Or maybe they are trying it out pending returning it.


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David’s off to try out the water.


The water is wonderfully warm.  The breeze is fine and you don’t even feel chilled when you come out.  No that’s Perfect!

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We take a walk down the shore line and find some terrific sculptures and their creators.


Kate and her mom Lisa and her dad are here on vacation from Kansas and the girls are creating mermaid sand sculptures.  Kate is homeschooled, so they can vacation when they choose and be together as a family any time they like.  Really wonderful I think.

The two created this mermaid yesterday and thought the waves would erase her but only one little piece of her tail seems damaged.  Isn’t she great??


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We chat with Lisa on our way down the beach and she graciously agrees to take this picture of David and I.   I want to get pictures of the two of them but Kate is busy at the moment so we walk on down the beach.  We’ll catch them on the way back.   They are going to work on an even bigger mermaid.  Perhaps I can get pictures of them creating it.


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Further on down the beach we see this really optimistic surfer. 

Look at these waves.  I mean really??  Surfing???  He did get up at least twice but fell off instantly.  Too fast for my camera. All I was able to get were pictures of him getting ready to go and going back out to try again.   I want to shout “get a boogie board, it’s smaller”. 


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I really don’t like to see anyone being allowed to drive on the beach.

Grayton Beach State Park actually has three areas.    One is the main park with two campgrounds, Western Lake, the boat ramp and beach access.   A second area across highway 30A has the Grayton Beach Hike and Mountain Bike Trail, 4.2 miles connecting with other longer trails in the Point Washington State Forest.  Not suitable for our bikes but for hiking you can put together any length hike you like.  The third area is a section the state bought fairly recently.  It was a failed development on the coast just down from the main park so they kept the roads and put 30 cabins on it.   It is further down the beach from the main park and is separated by an area of private housing.

Like St. Andrews, Grayton’s Beach is bordered on either end by condos and beach homes.   I intend to walk down to the cabin area past the private development on the west end but when we get to the state park line I see this and change my mind.


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Driving on the beach.  Really?  I thought we’d grown to know better than that by now.  When will we grow up??



My spirits are soon cheered though by another more hopeful sight.

At the end of this state park area the dunes of course stop dead in their tracks.  They’ve all been mowed down for development.  This isn’t true of all Gulf Coast State Parks but this is the second one we’ve been to where it is.   But like the other gulf beaches, Grayton has the signs for nesting birds.  Both information signs.


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and signs warning you to stay out of the roped off nesting areas.

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Unlike the other parks where we’ve seen these signs, this time we see more than just the signs.  The Least Tern is here.   Now that’s cool.  But I’m greedy, I want to see the Piping Plover too.  So I’ll keep a look out.


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David spots this thing on the sand on our way back. 

I look down.  Now those are some serious antenna.  After yesterday, I’m not even going to offer an opinion.  David says it’s some sort of beetle.  But if you are out there Judy or anyone else and you know, let me know.  I’ve never seen anything like this on the beach.  He was moving his right front foot up and back as though practicing some sort of dance step.


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I look up and like what I see.  Overhead, my favorites are on their way down the beach with the wind.


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We do make it back to Lisa and Kate who are working on another beach beautification project. 

They are having a good time.  Smiles, smiles and more smiles as they create.   It is just wonderful to see a mother and daughter playing together and enjoying each other’s company.

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They tell me they’ve put a starfish under her head as a pillow.  I give them the blog address and tell them to check out their pictures and drop me a comment.  Hope they will.   It was great meeting them. 


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Rain is predicted for all day tomorrow so I hope it doesn’t wash these merwomen away.  They brighten up the beach and bring a smile to the faces of everyone who sees them.   Thanks Kate and Lisa!


The day is getting later and hazier. 

Everybody is packing up and leaving.  But we decide to just stay around until the 7:20 sunset so we will be sure not to miss it today.  We eat a picnic dinner and see 4 paddle boarders paddling their hearts out going into the wind for some reason.   Is it a race?   Later at dusk we see them coming back the other way at a much more leisurely pace.


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It’s been sort of hazy most of the afternoon but by now, as you can see, that haze has really picked up. The clouds have thickened and it’s pretty clear we won’t be seeing any sunset.  But we stick around anyway.  There is only one other hopeful sunset seeker here, the waves are wonderful, the temperature just right so we wait.


7:23 is the time for sunset tonight. 

I take my picture at exactly that time.
And here it is. 

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We’ve closed the place down.  We are the very last beach walkers tonight. 

We take the cart out to the empty parking lot.  Put it back on the bike and pedal on home.


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We’ve had a wonderful day all day from about 11am until 7:30pm on the shore of the Gulf of Mexico at Grayton Beach State park.


  1. Sherry every time I think your blog can't get any better.......it does!!!!! I may never get there but in my mind through your eyes, I already have been. Thank you!

  2. Just love those clouds riding along some invisible wind current. How nice to meet a happy family on the sand too.

  3. Now I see how you can stay out on a beach all day. That tent is a great idea. It must have been wonderful seeing those clouds like that. Thanks for getting a picture for the rest of us to see.

  4. Laughing at myself because at one point I read it was getting "lazier" and I thought how much more lazy can these two get! Said in a nice way, ya know. Of course, it was "hazier," but I sure did enjoy sharing a lazy day at the beach with you two! I'd say you've got the routine down pat! Glad you had such a wonderful day!

  5. Now that was really a BEACH day!!! Love that Sportbrella...looks like a winner:o))
    The photo of you and David is really special!!! We are watching and taking notes. Seems Grayton Beach has much to offer;o)

  6. On my way out the door for work and I wish I was with you instead! It looks like your little critter is a longhorn beetle.

  7. I must admit, I thought the donuts were a combo of orange and key lime.

    I like the interesting clouds along the shore, a little ominous looking, but very interesting.

    Great beach day. One of these days, we are going to have to do the same thing.

  8. We saw huge areas of the beach cordoned off with substantial net barriers in Biloxi just for the Least Tern ... perhaps the birds will be there when you get to Ocean Springs. The beaches of Biloxi are highly urbanized, of course, but there was hardly anyone on them when we were there in mid-April.

  9. Your beetle appears to be a longhorned beetle one of the many that devour wood...

  10. Oh, another amazing beach day. Looks like David didn't run into any scary marine life at least

  11. Great pic of you two on the beach. What a delightful way to spend a day. Even if the sunset didn't cooperate.

  12. I'm another one who thought the donuts had both flavors in each.

  13. Um, I also thought the two were in the same donuts. Really nice pictures.

  14. Well I thought it was different donuts but odd flavors. Since you've used that sportbrella a few times now, how does it compare to that great beach umbrella that went for a swim? Like the sand art.

  15. Yes...I also thought it was key lime and orange creamsicle mixed. LOL. You've always said Dad and I were peas in a pod ;) The clouds look like smoke from a train - beautiful right above the dune line. So nice that Kate and Lisa can have such fun times together and create beach art. Makes for special memories for them :) You guys are really set for the beach - love the bike basket and the sportbrella - maybe it was a blessing that the other one sailed away into the surf. Maybe?? I also like the 'almost after dark' pictures on the beach - haunting almost.

  16. Hello Sherry and David...was nice to meet you yesterday. How wonderful it is that you get to follow your dreams with the one that you love.

    We thank you so much for including us in your blog and giving us the blog address. Your pictures and captions about the adventures at Grayton Beach are super!

    Thanks again for making our memories of Grayton Beach even more memorable. May each and every day you share together be better than the last!

    Your new Kansas friends...Lisa, Kate and Craig.

  17. sweet! that does look like a GREAT day at the beach!!!

  18. My kind of day. So glad you had perfect weather, sun, and almost no bugs!

  19. Really nice sand sculptures. And I'm curious too how your new sportbrella compares with your long lost beloved umbrella.


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