Spring sprung early in Florida, with our azaleas blooming in January, and it was freezing in the middle of March. Go figure!
We made the best of it and continued with our camping plans since we have a travel trailer with heat. (Our latest rv – a Jayco Octane Super Lite Toy Hauler has been great.) We can load a kayak, several windsurfing boards and some bikes inside the camper. And we still have room for kids and gear!
Our spring break adventure on the forgotten coast started with lunch (blackened shrimp tacos!) at Up The Creek Raw Bar and restaurant in Apalachicola, Florida. Then a quick stop by Oyster City Brewing Company to fill growlers, and then we were on the road to Port St. Joe.
Our waterfront campsite awaited us at Presnell’s Bayside Marina and RV Resort. We worked on our beach volleyball skills a bit (lots of room for improvement there!), walked the resort to survey the latest improvements (the pool is almost done!), and then relaxed out of the chilly wind for a while. The highlight of the evening was the sunset – and it was as amazing as always!
The next day, with the lure of miniature golf, we headed off to explore St. Andrews State Park in Panama City Beach. We have visited lots of state parks in Florida, but we had never visited St. Andrews. And wow, it was gorgeous! We surveyed a couple of the beach access points, including a beautiful pier and a lagoon area near the cut.
Next we geared up on our bikes to tour the rest of the park. The first stop was a deer chomping on weeds while standing in the small lake / swamp area. Ten people were standing around watching and the deer didn’t pay us any attention. Just kept eating! We stopped by an old turpentine mill, followed the nice walking / biking path, and on the way back we saw more deer, with one showing off his jumping skills.
After leaving the state park, we found a quick lunch and played two games of mini golf. It was a fun afternoon!
Dinner was at Triple Tails Seafood right near Presnell’s RV park. Everything we have ever had there has been great! This time we had delicious grouper fingers and cheese grits. The key lime pie is always excellent as well. Sometimes we get a whole one to go!
The next day, we did a bike ride through St. Joseph Peninsula State Park on Cape San Blas, saw some deer lounging in the brush, and then had a nice picnic on the gulf side to enjoy some sunshine. Definitely feeling like vacation now!
One of the highlights of our trip was a sunset horseback ride on the beach at Cape San Blas on St. Patrick’s day. We rode with Two Bit Stable. They are super nice people and very professional. The ride was great, the horses were awesome and the beach and sunset were memorable. I was riding the lead horse, a big handsome guy named Harley. Our daughter was on Happy, a gorgeous Arabian. And my husband and son were on Star and Sassy. Most of the horses are Quarter Horses. We highly recommend the ride – it was a fun family vacation activity.
The fun wasn’t over yet – the next day warmed up a bit so that we could do some paddle boarding and windsurfing. My husband and I paddled early. We saw a puffer fish, a sand bar filled with sand dollars and I even saw a small sting ray. In the summer we see a lot of marine life, but in the winter there is usually not that much to see. So the puffer was a treat.
Our daughter had one of her best windsurfing sessions yet! We all sailed a little bit although the wind never quite came all the way in. So, off for some more beach volleyball! Some nearby campers had two adorable Labrador retriever puppies that we got to love on some, which made the day all that much better! The day was topped off with pizza at Joe Mama’s Pizza and then s’mores back at the campsite.
It was a nice getaway on the Forgotten Coast. Hope to see you there soon!