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Last weekend my hometown friends drove up to Tallahassee to celebrate my birthday with me. I wanted to do something that would bring my childhood friends together with my Tallahassee crew, so of course a beach day was in the works.
Usually when I get time off of work and plan an adventure with friends it consists of 7 hour drives across state lines to reach a climbing destination. I’ve grown to love the far corners of Alabama, Georgia, and Kentucky that are home to cliffside campsites and towering walls, but as a result my beloved Florida often gets pushed to the wayside.
I know I won’t stay in the sunshine state forever and that fact has been on my mind a lot recently, especially with graduation looming around the corner, so before I chase brighter horizons I want to take some time to experience the wonders that are right in my backyard. I have a tendency to bad mouth Florida (I mean who can blame me, with the huge mosquitos, soul-crushing heat, and humidity so thick it feels like you’re treading water) but at the end of the day this state is my home. And as an avid outdoorist I can’t ignore the fact the Florida is incredibly ecologically diverse.
So, I figured it’s about time I gave FL some love. This mini series on the blog is called Florida Spotlight, and it’ll highlight amazing places in Florida. Simple enough, right?
First on the list is Bald Point State Park. This is my go to destination for a beach day with friends, so I knew I had to take my hometown girl squad there for my birthday beach bash.
One of the reasons I love Bald Point State Park so much is that dogs are allowed on the beach. Koda had so much fun running around with Clyde and Django, and he actually swam in the water instead of just staying where his paws could touch the ground. Watching him swim was definitely a proud moment for me as a dog mom.
Side note: does anyone else think my dog looks ridiculous when he’s soaking wet?! Django, Adrian’s black and white corgi/cattle dog mix, pulls off the beach look so well while Koda looks like a wet chicken.
Even though it was such a beautiful day there wasn’t a single soul in sight at the beach; it felt like my friends and I had the entire place to ourselves.
It was almost as if a sunny and secluded beach was Florida’s birthday gift to me.
The best part of the trip was getting to share it with my friends, both old and new.
In some ways, that’s the beauty of Florida for me: it’s a comfortable mix of familiar and new. I can always count on the smell of sunscreen, the sound of buzzing cicadas, and the feeling of the sun on my skin, whether I’m frequenting my favorite beach or discovering someplace new.
I’m excited to spend more time exploring my home state, and I can’t wait to fall back in love with Florida.
Oh, and I couldn’t not include these goofy pictures of John and me. I mean, what the heck is going on in these?
Have you been to Bald Point State Park before? Let me know in the comments, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All photos in this post were taken by me unless otherwise specified in the caption. Header photo by Anna White.