I came across these old blog posts that I wrote during my trip to Indian Shores Florida in August of 2015, and I couldn’t help but share them with you!
Here’s the first, from Monday, August 31, 2015, just days after my twenty-first birthday:
I arrived in Tampa Bay, Florida with my dad, Alex, and Tamara on Saturday morning after a two and a half hour flight from Buffalo. I waited with baited breath to finally arrive at the condo we rented for a week in Indian Shores, mostly to see the ocean and only slightly because I was exhausted from twenty-four hours without any real sleep. Though I had seen this same body of water as a two-year-old in Cuba, this was the first time I am able to appreciate it – as a fully functioning adult with an active long-term memory, that is.
We have arrived in the midst of Hurricane Erika – though thankfully the actual hurricane is not touching ground here; we are only experiencing interspersed torrential downpours. The skies were clear when we pulled into the condo’s parking lot. So, it was almost immediately upon walking through the door that we changed into our bathing suits and ran out to the water directly behind us.
The ocean is so amazing, I can’t believe it! It was better than I imagined it would be. I want to spend all my time by it, looking at it, listening to it. I also think I need to move by one, I’m so enthralled. The pelicans, the palm trees, the fish in schools by the thousands and stingrays both lining the shoreline. Even the baby seagulls are adorable. The best part I must say, is that I’ve been kickstarted into writing more; I’ve started a brand new journal with an anchor on the cover (given to me by Marta for my birthday) and have also begun a short story / poetry book (in a leather journal also given to me by Marta, but as one of my gifts from Christmas of last year). With a view from the back balcony (and master bedroom) like the picture below, you can clearly see why I’ve been so inspired.
My first days here, aside from the grocery shopping we’ve done, involves taking pictures with my Polaroid camera and lying beachside trying to tan when I’m not floating in the ocean. Yesterday afternoon, I went to Walmart to buy some watercolours, pastels, charcoal, paint brushes, a few canvases, and a sketchbook. I plan on being as creative as possible with all this newfound creativity flowing.
Stay tuned for my next post this week with updates from this Florida family adventure, along with any new art pieces I’ve managed to create (we’ll see how well that goes)!
Lastly, here is the view from just outside my bedroom. Beautiful, huh?
Here’s the second, my favourite of the two, written on Thursday, September 3, 2015:
I’m sitting on the balcony of the condo as I write this Thursday’s post; the sun has set over the Gulf of Mexico and only hints of what was daylight are visible behind the stretched cottony clouds; a blend of pink to orange to yellow to light blue and right into the deep navy of nighttime. Lana del Rey’s sings Off to the Races and fades into Blue Jeans, then Video Games from Tamara’s iPad while she sits beside me. Her beautifully melancholy voice is synchronized with the soft rolling of the waves some eighty feet away from us. As I half sing along and half write, I find that my mind is so at ease. It’s weird, to be honest. When was the last time I didn’t think about a million things at once? I wish I could sit here doing this every single day (including sipping on this gin, Sierra Mist, orange, and lime concoction Tamara and I made). You almost can’t be sad here and I really, really appreciate that.
What have I been doing the past few days? Well, the obvious is spending as much time as possible alternating between romping about the ocean and saturating ourselves with the sun’s rays while reading a book. And tending to some sun burns. And overusing my new selfie stick. And in disbelief that it’s already September.
We’ve also meandered along St John’s Pass and through the various little shops lining the coastal palm tree-lined street. We even had dinner at Bubba Gump’s, which was really neat (the shrimp mac and cheese appetizer and shrimp scampi entrée I had were delicious)! Wednesday late afternoon was spent in Clearwater exploring the shops there. In between this, I’ve also done a pastel and charcoal drawing, the latter of which I am more impressed with.
I suppose there isn’t much more to say right now. I’m too mellow to write much more.
Have you ever had a blissful ocean experience? Tell me all about it in the comments!