I Am So Happy Right Now!


Note: This post was written 07.22.20

Like really happy.  Like the happiest I have been since COVID stole our lives from us.  I needed this trip, and I am so glad we are here.  We are really enjoying each other.  I am a self professed cultural junkie, but this trip has me connecting with nature.  Not in the adventurous way of hiking or kayaking, but in the lazy way of floating in the Gulf of Mexico or sticking my chair on the edge of the water and being mesmerized by it.  Rob and I were commenting that we have never spent so much time in the ocean before.  The water here is so inviting, it is hard to ignore.

Connor found this perfect seashell on his very first trip into the ocean, and Rob has been looking for shells ever since.  There really aren’t many shells here though, so it is going to be hard to top Connor’s find.  Rob is really shell-ous!

You know what else I love about nature, sunsets.  I know since we are on the west coast of Florida, we should be seeing sunsets over the ocean.  I thought I would walk the two minutes to the shore each night to watch it.  Unfortunately, the part of the coast that we are on faces south.  However, I am not complaining since that means we get to watch some incredible sunsets right from our patio over the coastal dune lake (these types of coastal lakes only exist in five places in the entire world btw).

As I have mentioned before, vacation rentals are not really part of the travel advisor planning process.  You often do not know what you are getting and not all rental owners are as reliable as I was as a vacation rental owner.  However, there is a new program with one of my travel partners that allows me to reserve VRBO Premier Partner properties for my clients.  We are currently staying in one of the Premier Partner properties.  It is a very comfortable, well stocked, beautifully updated and decorated property where I feel safe because we are not coming into contact with heaps of people every day.  I think you can stay at hotels safely with some modifications, like not going into elevators, but for now we are sticking with vacation rentals.  Here is a little peek of where we are staying.

I just want to sign off by saying this.  If you think your family can benefit from a few days away, I believe you can do it safely.  Part of me worries about coming across as irresponsible, but I am a really responsible person so I have to have faith that we are doing what is best for our family.  We truly are having a wonderful time.

It’s kind of hard to pick a Wanderlust Inspiration when you are being inspired in your current location.  However, I did think of a photo to share.  Our first vacation with the boys was when they were four months old and we met some of Rob’s Indiana ‘framily’ in Clearwater.  I started thinking about this moment when the boys witnessing their first ever sunset over the ocean.  We East Coasters have seen a few more sunsets like these over the years as we have traveled the globe.  Some may think it is cheesy, but I just love when you are in a crowd and people start clapping as that last sliver of sun fades into the horizon.  I love that people want to physically show their admiration for this big, beautiful world.

I know I normally feature a domestic property to feature each week, but I had to share the excellent spot we found to socially distance ourselves yesterday – Grayton Beach State Park.  We were prepared to pay as we approached the gate, but they informed us that Walton County was covering all entries that day.  How lucky was that?  They were limiting the number of cars able to enter which helped cut down on the crowds.  Right at the entrance there was a bit of a crowd so we just walked down a little bit to where everyone was properly spaced out and enjoyed our day.