David and I spent 2+ days in Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island for our anniversary. The days for me centered on four things: my husband, of course; handlebars (for alliteration purposes) of our tandem bicycle, on which we traveled many a mile; horses, which we rode down the beach via a stable called Kelly Seahorse Ranch; and lots of yummy, honest-to-goodness Southern seafood.
Husband: David is a really great guy. Of course, why else would I have married him? Not for his money, that’s for sure. We’re poor missionaries and don’t see that lifestyle ending anytime soon. He’s handsome, funny, caring. He’s a great dad–even by his 15-year-old’s estimation. That’s saying a lot. When his parents separated three years ago, he didn’t hesitate one bit in opening our home to his mom, even though it makes our eventual “empty nest” not so empty. He’s often putting others’ needs and desires above his own: the fact that we have any pets at all is testimony to that.
Handlebars: Many years ago, on a trip to South Africa, David and I came across a tandem bicycle for sale in a bicycle shop. Turns out, there’s a Peugeot bike factory in South Africa, so the cost was way cheaper than we could have gotten one for here in the States. Since then, we have enjoyed many hours as a tandem twosome. This trip was no different. Though we only had two full days, we spent several hours of that on our bike, enjoying a ride on the beach, through Fort Clinch State Park and along AIA in Fernandina Beach. David’s passion is cycling, and I enjoy it, too, so this was a fun activity for us both. We’ve had that bike longer than we’ve had kids!
Horses: Something I’ve always loved, for as long as I can remember, is horses I still hope to be able to get one some day, but that looks like another one of those dreams that’s going to stay just that: a dream. So when David asked me what i wanted to do and where I wanted to go for this getaway, my first response was, “I want to ride horses on the beach.” So I googled “horseback riding on the beach, Florida,” and got a hit for Kelly Seahorse Ranch.
This wasn't the actual horse I rode. My horse was named "Blaze" and was a wonderful russet color. But he wasn't out yet when we were allowed to take photos before the ride. This guy's pretty handsome himself, though.
This ranch offers the only on-beach horseback ride in the area, and possibly even the U.S. We had a great time with 3 other couples and 3 guides riding about 6 miles along the coastline on Amelia Island. David had been on a horse only once before, and that was just barely, and I only get to ride once every couple of years. Oh, how I would love to make it a regular event. Morgan, my 9-year-old, just started taking riding lessons, and I find myself envious at every lesson, wanting to join in. Ah well. Maybe someday. Thanks for the memories, Blaze.
Honest-to-goodness Southern Seafood: I didn’t take any food pictures, sorry to say, but we have so far enjoyed crab cakes, vegetables Southern style, which means squash casserole, broccoli rice casserole, cheese grits, at a place called Barbara Jean’s, and dinner at the Marina Seafood Restaurant, where there was a live music event going on. As soon as I get this posted, we’re going to go have brunch at a place called Bright Mornings Café. I love eating out!
But soon we’re headed back to reality. School, work, cooking and cleaning await us. But so do our kids. Days away are a wonderful thing, but our reality isn’t so bad either.
Forgot to post my thankfulness list yesterday, so I’ll double up today:
73. my tandem bike
74. perfect weather
75. my texting girl who just randomly pops in to say “hey.”
76. someone else doing the cooking
77. our comfortable van