Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Feeling Beachy (Ft. Walton Beach, FL)

I'm beginning to think that I feel most at home when we are near a beach.  It is the sea life...well, more like the beach life for me.  I feel more relaxed and I just want to spend more time outdoors.  There is just something about the salty air, the sand between the toes, and the sound of the ocean that calls to me more than mountains or desert.  Or maybe it is just the warmer weather.  It has re-energized me to where I am walking 10,000 steps a day or 5 miles if you want to know the distance.  I'm not sure how long I will keep this up, but I plan to take advantage of this energized me while I have it.  Even the humidity has not bothered me as much.  Which is odd since I remember disliking the humidity a lot when we lived here before.  I would swear mold would grow on a person if you stood still long enough.  eh, another good reason to keep moving, right?
We were stationed at Eglin and Tyndall AFB in the 80s.  Between the two assignments, we were here for nine years.  I was thrilled to learn we were going to Germany with cooler temperatures and mountains.  By the time we left, I had become quite tired of Florida's afternoon thunderstorms with heat and humidity.  Now, the penetrating heat feels so good on the ol' bones!
We spent a couple of days exploring the beach areas of Okaloosa Island, Panama City Beach, and Destin's beach areas.  Our favorite boardwalk was in Destin.  Below is a photo of a 170 year old Magnolia tree.  According to the sign, this tree was a prominent landmark for the local fishermen and boaters. This tree was so strong that Capt. Destin would tie his boat to it during hurricanes.
170 year old Magnolia
I love the way the tree has been preserved for all to enjoy.  All the carvings represent the sea that I am sure the tree has witnessed during its life time including the swimmer.

It must have been an amazing sight to see when it was alive and in bloom.

Destin had a boardwalk carnival feel to it with more class.  People were zipping over our heads on ziplines while others passed us dressed for an evening of fine dining.  There was music playing, huge screen TVs with sports playing (in a different area), stores, all sorts of restaurants including Margaritaville and food trucks.  Not to mention, the choices of sea sports from paddle boarding to deep sea fishing.  I'm sure I missed a few activities so you will just have to check it out for yourself.
1452Even the birds hung out at the boardwalk4
...I wonder if they are people watchers like me.  Probably not.  Just hoping for some leftover fish...

We spent a little over a week at Eglin AFB FamCamp which is located on the Choctawhatchee Bay across from Destin and Ft Walton Beach.  Our campsite was within walking distance to the bay's shore and a small base marina.  From the shore I could see across the bay to Destin and Okaloosa Island.  We walked down to the bay every day just for the view!
Sail boat ride at Destin
One thing I never tired of was the white sands and the blue-green waters of the Gulf.  So gorgeous!  The sand is so fine that it is almost like a powder.  It is soft on our bare feet and it squeaks when I drag my feet while walking.  Love it!
Okaloosa Island open beach area
We also did a quick visit to St. Andrew's State Park in Panama City Beach.  It was a little more hazy along the beach, but the birds did not mind it.
That one in the middle looks a little wind blown..

We moved to Suwannee State Park yesterday.  We are here for four days before moving farther East towards Mayport NAS.  I'm sure I will have a few photos to share of Suwanne River and the local area as well.

I have nothing new to show for my Cutting Board this time. I'm still working on all those mug rugs!  Maybe next time.
Happy Quilting!


  1. My family and I love the beach! It's always a good time.
    We used to have magnolias planted in front of our old home, and it was always so pretty when the blooms started appearing. And the pretty scent was nice (except the allergies weren't).

    The preserved tree looks really cool. I bet it was fun to see in person.

    I'm looking forward to your Suwanne River photos!

  2. Hi Sandy, I really enjoyed your post. I know exactly what you mean about being near the sea. The lovely salty smell and somehow looking out to sea puts everything into perspective. Great photos! Maggie xx


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