On the Way to Aqua

Sunset on St. Pete Beach
Sunset on St. Pete Beach

Beautiful as the setting sun can be, we let it set on St. Pete Beach without us on Friday and checked out a day early from the dismal condo we’d rented. No regrets, as this plan had the added bonus of shortening our drive on Saturday. We spent Friday night in Crystal River . . . . ↓

Lunch overlooking the Crystal River
King’s Bay of the Crystal River

. . . on our way to the Aqua Condominiums in Panama City Beach.      Saturday’s drive was long, but there wasn’t much traffic for most of the way along the Big Bend Scenic Byway Coastal Trail.

We passed places with names like Apalachicola and Ochlockonee Bay, and carefully drove by Tate’s Hell State Forest–must be a reason for that name. We finally  found EVERYBODY AND THEIR MOM in Panama City Beach, apparently all in their cars . . .

Longhorn Steer Car in Panama City Beach, Florida
Longhorn Steer Car in Panama City Beach, Florida

. . . since it was nearly impossible to even make a left turn. Be sure to note the Longhorn Steer car.

The beach, on the other hand, is not really that crowded.

Cloudy Day on Panama City Beach
Cloudy Day on Panama City Beach — view from our 7th floor balcony

When we got into the condo I noticed all the clocks were an hour off. Someone had neglected to spring ahead, I thought, so I helpfully went around and changed all the clocks. This morning I woke up to discover my phone had finally updated, and now the clocks were an hour off the other way. Oops. Turns out we’ve driven far enough west that we’re now on Central Time. Sheesh. Yes, I changed all the clocks back to the correct time. Gulf from Panama City Beach Condo

Really reminds me we’re on the road home.  The compass in the car says N, or W or NW nearly all the time now, and in a few days we head inland for good.

It’s cool and cloudy here at the moment, and a bit more jade than aqua . . . →

. . . but we can still enjoy the shimmering afternoon light on the sea and I’m hoping for a few more spectacular sunsets.  Late Afternoon on Panama City BeachSunset from Panama City Beach Condo Balcony

There’s something about the vastness of the sea and sky together that is both humbling and soothing. I’ll miss these views and colors, but I am beginning to long for home. Until then, I’ll soak it all in this week and share the best of it with you.

I could never stay long enough on the shore; the tang of the untainted, fresh, and free sea air was like a cool, quieting thought. ∼Helen Keller

The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever. ∼Jacques Yves Cousteau

The mountains are calling, but the sea hasn’t seen the last of us!

There is one spectacle grander than the sea, that is the sky; there is one spectacle grander than the sky, that is the interior of the soul.
∼Victor Hugo

4 thoughts on “On the Way to Aqua”

  1. Just stumbled across your very interesting blog. And I’m curious to know what language school you used in La Rochelle — am just starting to research some possibilities in several places, including that general area. Lovely photos.

    1. Thank you! In La Rochelle I studied at Eurocentres, 20 hours per week, for several two-week sessions. It was very helpful for a while, but after I got to the higher intermediate level, I found it most helpful to work with a tutor. My main weakness now is comfortable fluid conversation, so I needed more one-on-one time. I’m pretty disciplined with independent study and I read books in French as much as possible, so I’m already working on written grammar and reading comprehension. A tutor two or even three times a week was less expensive than classes, and didn’t take as much time away from my time with my husband. That said, if you’re just starting or even a lower intermediate French speaker, immersion in a class situation is probably best. If you can stay with a host family all the better.

      1. Thanks so much. I’ve wondered whether working with a tutor would be good, as I need the conversation, and it sounds like just the thing!

  2. que ce soit ces magnifiques couchers de soleil, ou ces belles plages à l’infini, je ne m’en lasse pas. Photos magnifiques, couleurs clarté invitation au calme. Merci et bonne route

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