While in Florida I wanted so badly to go to the Atlantic and the Gulf - then I would have seen all major bodies of water bordering the US. But with the necessary 500 some-odd miles we had to drive to Alabama for the wedding and then drive it again back to Orlando for the flight home I wasn't sure if we would be able to. Since Robert drives when we're together it was up to him, and he doesn't like spending his vacation driving. I can't blame him. Who wants to fly cross country and then drive all over the place. Doesn't sound too relaxing.
But after some coaxing and some study of a map of Florida for the shortest distance to the Atlantic (figuring we could get the Gulf trip really easily from Dothan, Alabama - supposedly only 30 minutes from the gulf) we loaded up the cars and headed to Melbourne, FL - straight across from Orlando.
It was about an hour drive, but very easy (thanks again to Florida's super smooth roads) and with pretty views. When we got there we found parking easily, but it was metered parking and we only had enough change for 1 hour for each car. And 1 hour turned out to be just enough for that visit.
The waves aren't anywhere near as big as Oregon's (and probably a lot of the Pacific coastline) but they hit A LOT harder! It was SO loud! There was a nice breeze to keep you cool so you don't really notice just how hot it is. The sun was bright and even with the sunscreen we all got a tad pink.
The sand is less like sand and more like crushed sea shells and there are tons and tons of sea shells for you to gather. Carus went crazy gathering tons of little sea shells to bring home. We had to limit her and comfort her with the fact that I was getting some of my own too.
The kids weren't in their swim suits, which sucked because the water was warm and it would've been nice to go wade out in it, but was good because the pull from the tide was so strong. An adult was holding a kids hand the entire time they were close enough for the water to touch and everyone's feet would sink and be pulled on with each wave.
Peter, Charley, and Carie had their swim suits and went out in the water - not too far. They said the tide was more gentle a little ways out. I just love that picture where Peter is holding out his arms to Carie. She had just been knocked over by a wave and wasn't too sure about going further out.
So back to the car and just as we were starting to back out Adam remembers he forgot his glasses on the beach. I run back to the beach and look all over, but do not see them. Go back to the car and Robert goes to look (yea, I can be that bad at looking for stuff). He finds them, barely. He just barely noticed the very tip of the ear piece sticking out of the sand. They were completely covered and surprisingly just dirty and not at all messed up or broken. It wouldn't have been too big of a deal if he had lost them since he was due for new ones, but still better if he doesn't get in the habit of losing them.
On our way back to the vacation house we ran into a storm. This picture was just before it hit and when it did it hit hard. We went from 80 mph to 20 mph and barely able to see in front of us. Click here to see what that looked like.