Saturday, June 4, 2016

Our Sweet Island Vacation {Part 1}

Ok friends, here's the deal. We went on a great vacation and I took lots of photos. This blog is a bit of a scrapbook since I don't get to scrapbook anymore, so I'll post lots of my photos on here spread out over a couple of blog posts. 

We scheduled the vacation just over 4 weeks out, which was fun because it felt like it was coming so soon and we weren't having to wait forever for it. I had a different trip planned this summer to Utah to Young Living's essential oil convention. I LOVED it last year and would so love to be there, but as it got closer and we tried to plan my expenses out, Nick noted that we could take a trip wherever we wanted together for the same cost. We both thought about it, and the more I let that idea simmer, the more excited I got about a vacation for the two of us. We haven't had a true vacation just the two of us to go wherever we wanted since our honeymoon nearly 7 years ago. 

I researched places that sounded great and relaxing - Colorado, North Carolina, Tennessee - all beautiful places. I just kept thinking back to Florida though and how nice it would be to find a less busy beach to enjoy with other things to explore nearby. But I didn't want to be overwhelmed by too many things to do to enjoy it either. I wanted this vacation to be a relaxing getaway. I honed in on researching islands in Florida that aren't too busy, have charm, and aren't going to feel like Spring Break week with the wild young kids in bikinis everywhere. (Does that make me sound old?! ;)). I ended up finding the perfect island and researched everything about it and tried to convince Nick this was the place. Thankfully he agreed!

* Fast forward 4 weeks to the vacation* 

Even the views from the plane were beautiful on our way out to Orlando. There weren't many clouds the day we flew in, so for a while, I could tell we were flying over the gulf of Mexico, (I could even see cruise ships in the middle of the ocean below us!) and watched as we approached the FL coast. It was so cool! Not sure which islands these are on the west coast of FL. 

This was as we got closer to the Orlando airport. So pretty! 

Once we landed in Orlando, we drove our way to the island. In typical vacation style, we saw we were driving right by Daytona Beach so decided to stop at the beach to check it out! 

It was really beautiful. Definitely a busier area and busier beach than the island we went to, but I'm glad we stopped while we were driving by! 

Hey Daytona! 

After checking it out, we drove the rest of the way to our sweet island destination. It's a 3ish hour drive from Orlando (but was cheaper to fly into that closer cities). 

Hello, Amelia Island! This was the view of the Atlantic ocean from our patio. It was perfectly what I pictured and hoped for. I was so thankful! The beauty was so much to take in. 

We were so excited to have found a very reasonably priced hotel room on the beach with a balcony.  I took this short video of the view on our balcony on the last morning as we were getting ready to leave. That was the only day we had clouds like that. Such a beautiful view though. 

The weather was absolutely ideal during our whole trip too. And we could both feel how LOW the humidity was there compared to what we're used to. It was so nice! I could sit outside all day and not get tired of it. 

First time checking out the beach right outside our hotel. Sigh. 

We came to realize this island is pretty picture perfect. Plus, we didn't have to deal with lots of people nearby. There were many times the beach felt like "our" beach since we found many spots on the island with very quiet beaches. But on the flip side, we weren't alone on the island, haha:)

The view from where we ate dinner the first night - I'm so glad we did! Dinner right on the beach is a must-have on this island if you ask me. It was a huge perk this place was right next to our hotel too. 

Ocean-side pina colada. :) 

We split a combo platter and it was so good! Mahi Mahi, peal & eat shrimp, crab cakes for Nick, and fresh cole slaw. Makes my mouth water thinking back to it. 

This ghost crab welcomed us to the beach as we walked a bit after dinner! He does blend in quite well. 

*Here are the rest of the vacation posts*
Amelia Island, FL: Day One
Amelia Island, FL: Day Two
Amelia Island, FL: Day Three
Amelia Island, FL: Day Four 

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