Wrapping up the Florida Beach Review
Well Im on my way to Crete for a new adventure and beaches review - I have quite an itinerary planned. Stay tuned for some great footage and personal experiences on this south Greece island. Here is my wrap up for the Florida beach review.
I visited Clearwater Beach, Lido Key, Siesta Key, New Smyrna and Panama City Beach in just a few weeks. For my beach fans wanting my opinion of a good side by side comparison, read on ...
Those that know me know its about the color of the water and the powder of the sand that makes me the quintessential beach snob. Having said that, there are a few factors that seemed to come into play when I was really focusing on the comparisons.
I own an Airbnb in Panama City Beach and although I like the vibe of Destin a little better and the water seems to be consistently calmer and a little greener, there is still a charm to Panama City Beach that grows on me. I can see how people want to go to the same place again and again. I thought I would always want to try a new place but familiarity seemed to carry a little more weight with me than I expected. I was also there for two weeks working so I settled in a little bit to a routine. What I love about PCB is the friendliness of the southern charm personalities. My family is from South Georgia, and they truly are the salt of the earth. A couple miles west is Rosemary, Alys and Seaside and although the beauty of the architecture is exquisite, the people are less outgoing than PCB. Being a Yankee from a southern family I can fit in both places but something about the disarming level of warmth in PCB seems to disappear as the price rises on 30A area. The ocean was a swimming pool one week and double red flags the next for a day. Great for those who like waves, but the current was quite a workout.
The best part was getting to spend time with my girls and two grandbabies. My 3 yr old grandson Bowen and 1 yr old grandson Pace were entertaining and hilarious and incredibly well-behaved. My daughter is an amazing mom with lots of energy. I can't remember if I had that much when I was her age or not. We went go karting, shopping, beaching and eating for three days. My heart was full - my daughter made the cutest personal tshirts for me and the boys that made me feel super special. She is very thoughtful like that - those little details are something I loved to do when they were little and they have adopted the thoughtfulness and creativity and surpassed me.
The West Coast of Florida carries pretty green water - just not quite as pretty. Sarasota is gorgeous in its architecture and some great restaurants everywhere. I thought the walk to the water in Siesta Key was just too far, but Lido Key was just right. The vibe felt more typical Floridian to me which is where I do feel at home. Both carried something slightly different and it's a tough call between the two.
New Smyrna brings back fond memories of my children being younger and family trips. We went to Daytona Beach almost every weekend as we attended church there and owned a timeshare. New Smyrna was considerably closer in the later years. My close friends, with whom I stay, make my vacation always feel special. I can't explain it it's just a heart connection and state of peace and rest in their home that will forever be a visiting spot for me. It's a redemptive long-term relationship for me that always makes me emotional. They love me and I them and they walked through a lot of my difficult years with me as well as raising our children together. I am grateful. This always colors my New Smyrna trips in a positive light. The water is not pretty but a little cooler in the hot summer months. You can drive on the beach in places and the sand is packed - beach walks are a little less of a workout than in other places for this reason. The Atlantic still holds a spot in my heart even though I would choose the west coast and panhandle for aesthetics and personalities.
I am surprisingly content living out of a suitcase - it's hard to explain this season. I know the Lord is up to something and I am just taking life one trip at a time. I can tell by how hard it has been to let down (I have still worked and had to deal with some work stress) that this sabbatical is much needed and I'm anxious to see what comes next.
Stay tuned for my review of the Island of Crete in a couple weeks - could be my new favorite place. Already finding flight favor. I will hop over to Santorini. I will make sure to rewatch Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants again first
My discovery is that is it better to book shorter nonstop flights and take a break where I want to. I am flying to London from Orlando nonstop and a couple days later flying nonstop to Greece and then back to London. Then I'm off for a visit to see friends in Scotland before heading back to Florida. Keep Ya Posted.