Welcome to my "Florida" blog

Being a third generation Florida native, I'm completely enamored with the diverse beauty of this gorgeous peninsula. For most of the year the weather is divine which makes exploring its unlimited nooks and crannies fun and easy.

Wherever I go I appreciate nature and the world around me. Come along with me as I share the places I visit and perhaps a few other amusements I find interesting along the way.

(FYI: Every post prior to January 1, 2009 was previously published and imported from my garden blog)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Honeymoon Island

Finding good places to eat that are attractive and serve good food is always a good combination. It often requires a bit of risk taking if we stumble upon a site that 'seems' like it fits the criteria. Mr. Meems is better at trying new places than me actually... so I'm learning to follow along better all the time.

On a recent drive over to Dunedin we added one such destination to our short list of places we would drive to return to. We ate on the outdoor porch of an old renovated home turned restaurant. The grouper was good, the french fries were great, and the Key Lime Pie... eeehhhh... not so much. We didn't need any pie anyway. The steady breeze blowing off the Gulf waters made for a relaxing and leisurely time.

The small, quaint town of Dunedin is a brief 45 minutes from our house. Driving over St. Joseph Sound on the Dunedin Causeway all the way to the end will take you directly into Honeymoon Island State Park.

An evening to walk along the sandy beach and soak our toes in the Gulf of Mexico was the real reason we headed westward this day.

From the shoreline the city of Clearwater is visible in the distance. Across the water it lights up from the splashes of the sun's rays like tiny protrusions on the southward horizon.

At the beginning of this week there was an ever so slight change in the humidity levels. Did anyone else notice?

If you happened to get outside really early or late in the evenings, it was noticeably more bearable. Just that tiny difference is a good indication that the long transition into fall is sooner than later after a long, hot summer.

Being at the beach for sunset is a favorite activity any day. But this evening was just one of those special times. I know, I say that every time. What can I say? I'm a simple girl.

Honeymoon Island is a unique park. The Gulf beaches are bordered by mangrove swamps and tidal flats that are home to all manner of wildlife.

Soft shades and majestic colors reflect in the east as the sun sets in the west. The vistas change by the moment.

The brilliantly green plantlife that was true to color a short while ago on the sun-drenched beach evolves. In just minutes the richer, deeper colors are more prominent in the moving angle of the sun.

Every leaf, branch, tree trunk, reflection, cloud, stone, sand, and even the birds are swathed with glowing hues of golds, rose, and amber tones. All too magical for any man to dream of duplicating or even try to describe.

Then, as quickly as it seemed to appear that very morning, the ball of fiery orange drops beyond the horizon as the earth continues it revolution just like clock work.

It is difficult to decide which direction to turn. We don't want to miss a single thing. We watch the sky on fire in the west and turn to the east where the sun has taken all the amber tones with it below the waterline. A ceiling of richer blues and clouds reflecting values more intensely pink cause us to pause.

The most peaceful shadows and sounds and smells and breezes in this one place... all together wrapping our souls in the big arms of God assuring us once again of His power and presence in every good thing.

The beach always transports us worlds away from the ordinary. Not that there's anything wrong with the ordinary. But what a blessing that the simplest of natural settings, everyday occurrences and beauty beyond our imaginations can transport our hearts and minds to a completely restful state in the midst of a mixed up world.

We are learning better to breathe in the moments. We are learning better to be thankful every day for all of God's goodness.
Reluctantly, we walk away. Soon... we'll be back.


Alan said...

Great photos! Never been to Honeymoon Island, but it is on the list of must do's.

Floridacracker said...

Beautiful Meems. I definitely noticed the lower humidity this week. My predawn walks with Bear were almost chilly... by Floridian standards.

Island Rider said...

Even though I grew up in St. Petersburg, I have never been to Honeymoon Island. I think we need to take a trip up there! Beautiful photos. Thanks for sharing.

marmee said...

meems...you were able to capture God's beauty and share it with us in such a delightful way. i feel as though i just had a little escape to the beach myself...although i am many hundreds of miles away. i needed that beach fix.
i love your expressive descriptions of what was taking place that evening...in your heart mind and clearly your spirit.
happy summer days.

nanamoo said...

I noticed the humidity drop too here in central FL and the lake water feels different than it felt only last week.

The photos are gorgeous and as is the writing. Beautiful post!

Anonymous said...

simply beautifully captured shots...lovely!

ChrisC and JonJ said...

Yes-the first few days of this past week were incredible.At times,the sky looks like fall is fast approaching.
We love Honeymoon Island,too.Such a treasure to have so close by.

Sherri said...

I live in Tarpon Springs and visit Honeymoon Island often. If you make the trip, be sure to take the ferry over to Caladesi Island as well. The beach on Caladesi has no equal. Both islands have wonderful nature trails to walk and wildlife to view.

We are so blessed to live where we do. I noticed the sky is a deeper blue and the marsh grasses have started to turn to russet and purple hues. Autumn is definitely at hand.

Gorgeous photography in this post.

Meems said...

Thanks for stopping by FTLOF.

Are there any other standards?

Island Rider,
Funny how we miss some of the places so close by... we are doing our best to rectify that issue.

Glad you could take a little get away to the beach with us. :-) It was truly one of those "beach fix" nights.

Every Floridian must be keenly aware of even a smidgeon of drier air... it was nice out this evening, too. Hope for autumn!

Thank you.

One of these days we are going to cross paths at one of these near-by favorites. LOL

Thank you. We are continually in awe of how many wonderful sights there are so close at hand! We love Tarpon Springs, too.

Gigi said...

i've been a little distracted lately, so i'm late catching up on this blog. thanks for your reminder!
yes, i am totally jealous after our last Friday beach day was monsooned out. it is so rare for us to have a free day to bask in our coastal water shores, and to get rained out really bummed me! but that is also the story of this time of year, when summer storms remind us it actually is not autumn yet!
so thanks for the awesome pictorial trip to the beauty and wonder of our close-by beaches. some tourists pay thousands for the vistas that are available to us year-round. and we have so many choices, as your blog posters have noted. i love living in this part of the world!

Meems said...

Bummer your last drive over didn't work out. Don't despair... you have many more opportunities in the months ahead and those evenings promise to be even a little cooler. Oooohhhhh, I can't wait!

Susie said...

Thank you for reminding me how beautiful Florida is. I am in Orlando, and right now all I can think about is how hot it is and how I need to weed my beds, and how hard it is to motivate myself to get out there! When it's this hot in September, I long to live somewhere else!

Your pictures and comments are wonderful! Thanks again...Susie

Meems said...

I know it is hot but if you get out early or late you will absolutely LOVE being outdoors and enjoy our beautiful state. There is so much to see at every season of the year here. I do hope you get inspired to get your weeding done because it will make you love your garden that much more when it's done.

That said... believe me... I long for the cooler weather, too. It won't be too long now...let's hope.

Susan said...

Loved your photos on Dunedin and Honeymoon Island. We lived in Dunedin for 5 years and I really enjoyed the quaint downtown area and that restaurant. The mornings and evenings are extremely pleasant with the lower humidity. With September comes a definite change - hurray!

Meems said...

Oh, I am so loving the first hour or two of each day now that we cooled to the 70's in the overnights... it's like heaven after this summer. I remember now that you lived in Dunedin. Main street has kept its charm over the years... one of our 'really' favorite restaurants is The Black Pearl. We save that one for special occasions.

J - Pacha Mama said...

Great pics. We finally made it out to Honeymoon Island after 2 years of living in Tampa! The waves were calm and the water was warm. Perfect.

Ilona said...

Your colors are unbelievably beautiful! Made my first trip to Florida this month- I love your state:)

yours truly, snow bird LOL!