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  • Writer's pictureLynn Weathington

Wasn't it cold on the beach?




This is the question I have been fielding over the past few days. Yes, it was chilly at times, but guess what? I was ON THE BEACH...in January...when it was freezing back home...and it was delightful!


I love the beach...I love the sand and the coastline and the myriad of shells...I love how the salty air opens my sinuses in a way that nothing else does...It seems to recharge my batteries and reset my internal clock.


I always get introspective when I go to the coast. A God who created such a massive thing as the sea also knows how many grains of sand are on the shore! And since God is all about the details, He knows our needs and what is best for us.


One of the things I love to do when on vacation is explore, and we certainly did a lot of exploration during our trip. Neil and I discovered the Gulf Islands National Seashore, a crown jewel of the National Park Service. Miles and miles of unspoiled shoreline greeted us as we traveled to Fort Pickens, where we climbed on ancient fortifications and batteries to marvel at how the early defense of our fledging country relied on a series of structures like this one. We also enjoyed the vantage point of the western side of Santa Rosa Island for another reason: it is one of the best places to view Pensacola Lighthouse.


We had a storm come through one evening that spawned tornado watches, but thankfully, no cyclones developed overnight. However, in the aftermath of the wind and water event, the calm, lapping waters of the previous day became crashing waves that pounded the coastline.

After breakfast, we returned to our accommodations, and I said, "Hey, I wonder what is on the other end of the island?" We didn't have a timetable, and as the sun tentatively appeared behind residual storm clouds, we drove east. After passing the remaining high-rise condominiums, we found ourselves, again, on the Gulf Islands National Seashore, only this time, it was the Santa Rosa section. It was even more breathtaking than our previous day's drive.


The Gulf of Mexico that morning had turned into a light emerald hue that sparked like diamonds when sunlight danced upon its waters. I can only compare the color to an old Coke bottle from decades back. I'd never witnessed such natural beauty, with the green sea, sugar white sands, and dark clouds from a passing storm contrasting against the rising sun. As I continued to "ooh and aah" at the scenery, it was then that I realized this was the reason why I was drawn to a visit to Florida in the last week of January.


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