I’ve only been to Florida once. I was in my early teens and we took a family road trip from Mississippi to Pensacola, in Forida’s panhandle. Fake Florida, really. Might as well still be in Mississippi or Alabama. I don’t remember the water being pretty or the beach looking particularly nice, but I do recall playing in the water with my brothers for a long time. Too long, actually, without reapplying sunscreen. It was bad. I had scabbed burns all down my arm and back. I was in constant pain, I couldn’t sleep in any position, and no amount of aloe would help. I didn’t care much for beaching after that.
I didn’t return to the beach until I moved to New York. Here, the beaches are only good as an escape from the city, not as a stand-alone attraction. The sand is coarse and unpleasant, the water is a gross brown color and frigid. The nicest beach I’ve been to nearby is in Cape May, which unsurprisingly is the furthest south out of the local options. I really enjoyed going to Wildwood in 2015 with Regina just prior to that Cape May visit, but the fun there is in its quintessential New Jersey-ness of the sprawling boardwalk, not the beach itself.
Wildwoods & Cape May NJ
So, I still wasn't complete sold on the idea of going to the beach. What’s different now?
If I had to guess, I’d go with:
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- All the travel photos I’ve seen of the Mediterranean, Caribbean, and Thailand’s gorgeous beaches and colorful waters
- Snazzy sailing yatchs. So classy.
- My affinity for rum and tiki cocktails.
- My fairly recent discovery of Tommy Bahama’s incredibly comfortable warm weather clothing, which now dominates my closet.
Oh Boy, Tiki Cocktails:
While I still don’t love the beaches here in the north, the idea of warm summer weather and vibes has really grown on me, and I’ve always wanted to travel to far flung tropical places. This trip was my first step in that direction.