Posts Tagged With: florida panhandle

St. Andrew’s State Park – Take 2

Last year I wrote a post about the not-so-great experience we had at St. Andrew’s State Park in Panama City Beach, FL. The manager offered us 3 free nights if we would come back again sometime, so we took him up on that and I am so glad we did! This time we ended up with the best site in the park and it was amazing! Our site was on the end so we didn’t have a neighbor on one side which gave us so much space, and it was right on the water. I was up early our first morning there and was rewarded with the most beautiful sunrise. It was like God was painting the sky before my eyes that morning for about 30 minutes. The colors and reflections in the sky constantly changed while I watched the Master Artist at work.




Our campsite was on the lagoon side, but the state park is also on the Gulf of Mexico so in the evenings we went over to the ocean side to watch the sunset and play on the beach.




We were surprised to find out that our friends Kym and Galen from Fernandina Beach were in Panama City at the same time as we were. We kept missing them in Fernandina so it was so nice to finally catch up with them somewhere else.


My parents came to visit us there too which was lots of fun. The boys got Grampa out playing football on the beach with them. These pictures mean so much to me because my dad is 72 years old, and it’s so awesome to see him so energetic and playing on the beach with his grandkids. Just before Jake was born (over 12 years ago) my dad had quintuple bypass heart surgery. Every time I am reminded of that time, I am so thankful that he is still around to play with his grandkids. He is such a blessing to them!





Jake and Grampa walked way out almost to the end of this jetty before they had to turn around because it was getting dark.


I stayed behind on the rocks and watched the boats and birds.



We went on a short hike at the campground on Gator Lake, but we didn’t see any gators.


My sister always likes to pose my kids in front of signs like this to make it look like they’re breaking the rules, so we took this one for her. 🙂


Chris got to do some fishing while we were there too, but it was all catch-and-release since every fish he caught was so small.



We had a great time at St. Andrews and I’m so glad we came back to give it another try. Next up another Fulltime Families rally in Tallahassee!


Categories: Florida | Tags: , , , , , | 3 Comments

Gulf Islands National Seashore

Our last stop in Florida was in Pensacola Beach.  We stayed at Ft. Pickens Campground on Gulf Islands National Seashore.0305161203e

This place is perfect if you are looking for a peaceful, quiet and uncrowded beach.  Our campsite was just steps from the beach.  It was the most beautiful white sand beach, and we almost had the whole beach to ourselves.  It was rare to even see another person out there.  We spent most evenings on the beach watching the spectacular sunsets.



Sometimes during the day I took the boys to the beach to play in the sand or I just went by myself to enjoy a good book.  This was the perfect place to relax!





One day we saw lots of dolphins swimming in the waves and we saw this large group of ducks or birds floating down the current all clustered together.  It was a strange sight!


Even Fat Cat loved this place.  She wanted to be outside all the time; she even made friends with an armadillo!  I really wish I had a picture of that!


Gulf Islands National Seashore is part of the National Park system which means they have a Junior Ranger program.  There was a bike path from the campground to Ft. Pickens so the boys and I went over there one day to tour the fort and do some activities towards earning their Junior Ranger badges.


Touring the fort…






There was also a museum to tour where we learned about the birds and sea life that is common in this part of Florida and we watched a movie about the history of Ft. Pickens.



Earning new Junior Ranger badges…



We enjoyed this park very much!  I would highly recommend it if you are looking for an uncrowded place to go near the Gulf Coast.

Categories: Florida, National Parks | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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