This past weekend I traveled with my boyfriend to the Jacksonville, FL area to visit my newly relocated sister. I had never been to Florida. Given that the D.C. area has seen a slew of rainy days recently, any excuse for a trip to warmer weather, complete with the beach, sand and lots of sunshine, was good enough for me.
Our first full day there J and I got up and got a smoothie and checked out the fair trade gift shop. I got a ton of note cards with the artwork of Kelly Rae Roberts, who I love!!! Then we decided to take a walk on the beach, even though it was gray and overcast. I wanted to find the perfect seashell. We also got to see the adorable little sandpipers in action. After that it cleared up and we rode bikes for a bit. I hadn't ridden a bike in probably 10 years (unless you count the ones at the gym)! Two and a half hours in the sun and we both looked like lobsters. The Floridian sun did this Jersey girl in! Usually I go to the beach, burn a bit and by the next day it turns to tan. This happened on Friday and I am still a particularly horrid shade of fuschia.
Overall, the trip was a lot of fun. We got to visit St. Augustine for dinner at The Present Moment Cafe, which is an organic, raw, vegan restaurant (so surprisingly delicious!!!). We also walked around the little shops where I bought far too many greeting cards. I'm addicted. On Saturday we went to the Riverside Arts Market, which is cleverly housed under a giant bridge, thus providing much-needed shade, and the annual Dancin' in the Streets festival on Saturday night. Then J and I took a sunset walk on the beach and wrote our initials in the sand.
It was also very important for me to see where my little sister was living, working and building a new life. I am so glad that I got to see her, spend time with my wonderful boyfriend before we both start school this summer and explore a new place. Traveling with J only reaffirmed how much I value having him in my life. I fall more and more in love with him every day. This trip taught me that I need more regularly scheduled down-time and vacations so that I have the time and space to clear my head and come back to my real life recharged and ready to go. Being away from email, work, school, etc. did me some good. I rarely take the time to unplug and enjoy life without all those distractions.