(long post with photos..a lot of thoughts on food / weight / body image stuff have come up with this trip and there may be a part two coming on this post.)
I'm baack but still vacationing at home....and loving every moment. What a contrast with the vacation of last year. Last year we went to Hilton Head for the first time and were either ignored because we obviously didn't have big money or were accosted by people running across parking lots trying to sell us vacation trips or boat rides or tours. The beach was covered with jelly fish and our room was moldy. We left early, less than 24 hours after we arrived. Happily. When I returned home there was a phone call about a lifelong friend's mother passing and a request that we come to the funeral. So we were extra ok with escaping from that vacation.
This year, we hoped for a smoother vacation . So for half the budget, we went to coastal Georgia-St Marys, Cumberland Island, and the Okeefeenokee Swamp Park. Much better. Most of the people we encountered were genuine , nice, and laid back. This is up there in the top 4 best vacations we've had. Not bad for our 14th Wedding anniversary trip / vacation.
Cumberland Island -This is a special place
So special that we are planning a camping trip (our first together ) for the fall on Cumberland Island-(when there are less bugs). Cumberland is a national seashore and 'America's largest wilderness island'. The island has salt marshes, a river coastline, maritime forests of moss draped oak trees and resurrection ferns, and miles of coastline along the Atlantic ocean. Wildlife is supposedly abundant, but we saw a limited variety - wild horses, lizards, bugs, crabs, and birds. And that was still spectacular.
This was a very physically challengeing day and we were completley exhausted afterward. Constant calorie burn. We've biked on sandy trails on our own bikes before-my beloved easy to ride bike 'Flo". But these were sandier trails with rented cruiser bikes with foot brakes. I didn't fare well-no less than 4 complete wipe out wrecks in the sand and some very near misses. The rangers prep you before you arrive on the island that you can take shells and rocks only from the island , but are not to take or harm wildlife. Oops...I took out a small bush with one of my bike crashes. I was very lucky-just a few bruises and one very sore big toe. I was also still a little dehydrated despite all the water we packed in with us. One of the guides told us to expect a 4 hour roundtrip trip to the north part of the island. Yeah, that didn't work. We biked for 2 hours plus and then went to the beach and got sunburned. Then I had a lovely nap under the oak trees before tackling the southern part of the island where the ruins and more of the horses are. We could have just spent the whole day on this part of the island, and that is why we want to go back for a longer camping trip.
Wild Cumberland Island Horses and the Ruins
We chilled our second day and recuperated and just shopped a little, had a Subway picnic lunch, went swimming , and ate out at a marsh side restaurant, and then to see a movie "Cabin in the Woods" (weird). Lovely romantic day.
Final day and on the way home , we visited the Okeefeenokee Swamp Park. I would never , ever recommend this for the summer months. Heat and bug wise, it was tough enough for us in May. I touched a baby alligator, was stalked by a male adolescent gator, climbed a tower, and enjoyed a boat ride and a train ride. But I loved it. Fun. The pictures don't do it justice.
And then home. staycation time.
Vacation and time away from routine brings up the "who am I and what am I doing?" questions. And not always liking the answers. I'm not sure if others experience this , but whether I want it or not, it happens. I know it's the breaking away from the daily grind of life and experiencing the world and nature that does this.
Ultimately, I will recognize the reality of all that I have and what and who are waiting at home for me. Today, I'm happy with this and motivated even more to feel really good and move my body well and often. Time to stop blogging and start working on this.
I'm just taking a few days off work and it becomes a big existential experience.