I knew that when we moved here that eventually I would make it to a FL beach at some point. I had been chatting to a gal about her weekend plans, and she mentioned she may hit the beach again. We got to talking how I had never been to the Atlantic Ocean yet, nor a FL beach yet, and thus a plan was born. I thought it would be fun to give you the insight of a new FL resident’s visit to their first FL Beach- enjoy!
Being the new kid in town, it is hard to figure out not only where the Beaches are, but which areas to park and enjoy them. I was happy and excited as we took the scenic route down 192 towards Melbourne- seeing all sorts of things I wanted to check out. Medieval Times was just down the road from me, as well as the “Give Kids the World” Village. Both places are high on my list to visit and check out, so I was super pumped to see them so close to home. It’s nice to know it’s a straight shot down 192 to get to them, and not take this road, to that road, etc…
We approached the Indiatlantic area, and I had butterflies at getting the chance to explore and experience something new. It’s like my own little high I get, that something different for the first time- nothing like it. We drove up to the A1A, which she reminded me that Vanilla Ice rapped about, and we found a place to park at a small area near the beach.
The minute we got out of the car you could feel the blanket of heat being wrapped around you. Slathering up in sunscreen and packing up all our goodies for the beach, we headed over the dunes, and I got my first look at the Atlantic Ocean. It was beautiful and it literally took my breath away- or it was the extreme heat, either one did it. A rather different experience than the first time I saw the Pacific Ocean- it was February in California, very cold, and windy. I got my pic taken on the beach with jeans and a windbreaker on while I tried not to get blown over- this experience was very different.
The minute we hit the sand, I swear to you I thought my feet were going to burst into flames. It’s not hot, it HOT. I am talking “walk-on-coals-at-a-lua” hot. I had sandals on, in fact, they were the ones I always wear to the Renaissance Faire- but just like at Faire, they kick up sand inside the top part of my shoe. So every so often it would get in and it would burn my feet- I learned to walk much slower as to not even have the chance to get it in my sandal, and that seemed to work out better.
Shalon is a Beach Expert! She knew what to bring and how to bring it. She had her beach umbrella, and then bought an anchor for it as well for in the sand. She said it is a must to have or your umbrella will literally be blown away. She brought us a small cooler that was big enough to store our vitamin water and snacks, but small enough to carry without it being a pain. Speaking of Vitamin Water, she recommends it because it has electrolytes in it and it’s a must have when sitting in the extreme heat. We had our sunscreen on, water proof of course, so it sticks to you pretty well, along with our sunglasses, towels, and phones so we could take pics while we were there. ***A note about bringing your phone- always keep it in a sandwich bag and out of the way of anything else you are touching, sand WILL get in them, along with the sun causing havoc if you don’t keep them in the shade.
After we found our spot and our feet weren’t completely burned off, we sat a bit before heading towards the Ocean. I wore my sandals to the surf because again, the sand was that hot- whereas she ran to it- brave, brave woman. I walked in, surprised at how warm it was, and loved the waves that came in. As we walked in deeper, the waves got bigger, and I just wasn’t prepared for them as I should have been. As they came at me, I would turn to face the beach so it carried me into it. I was trying to get past them breaking so I could just wade in the deeper end- but the Ocean decided it was more fun to mess with me. I got caught by one large wave that took me under, mind you in only 4 feet of water, but in that second I swallowed a bunch of salt water. Would you find It funny that I forgot it would be salt water? Remember, I come from the fresh waters of Lake Michigan, and although its much colder water, I never had salt in my lungs from it. All I can say is that swallowing salt water BURNS your throat, and it takes a good 5 minutes to either let it go away on its own, or to try and drink it away with some cold beverage.
By the time I had gotten out of the water to get something to drink, it was almost gone. I had learned my lesson, that even though I can swim well, I need to learn how to handle the waves here in FL. I decided that I enjoyed the beach a lot more than the water, so I went sea shell hunting for myself and the kids. She helped me find all sorts of them, but she said that you can find a lot more when it’s low tide. Nothing big, but a few small ones that I decided to keep to remember my day.
We were there for a couple of hours before heading out to drive past Cocoa Beach, and we visited the infamous Ron Jon Surf Shop that you see signs for the minute you cross the FL state line. It is a 2 floor store that has EVERYTHING for surfing and swimming you could dream of. We laughed at the oddities they sold, and laughed even more at the state of our beach hair the rest of the day. I can tell you folks that if you have naturally curly hair, and salt gets into it- it turns into a big, frizzy, mess.
We continued on through an Air Force Base and then the town of Port Canaveral, driving past where the Cruise Ships dock. Note to all, no Cruise Ships were there at all on a Saturday afternoon- but it was still cool to see where they come in. To see the water stretched out for miles and know that I was at the edge of FL was simply to cool for words. We even caught a brush fire off the highway on the way home- crazy!
I had an incredible day, with an amazing and kind friend. Thanks for sharing me with your beach world and giving me the opportunity to see the Atlantic for the first time- I will always remember it.
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