Sunday, June 12, 2016

Our Sweet Island Vacation {Part 3}

We're up to day 3 of our vacation now! If you missed the first two days, click here to see what you missed:

Amelia Island, FL: Day One
Amelia Island, FL: Day Two

We started our day on a river cruise we had booked a few weeks earlier. I read great reviews of it and knew we wanted to hear more history of the islands in this area - we loved it! We wouldn't have appreciated the history of the area so much without the tour.
Cruisin' the islands on a beautiful day! It was great to get out on the water to see the islands from there. We cruised on Amelia River, in between mainland Florida and Georgia and the barrier islands.

This was the house in the movie Pippi Longstocking! It's on Amelia Island. 

A view of Fort Clinch from the boat. We toured it on foot the next day, so you'll see more photos to come of that place! 

Gorgeous views from the boat. 

Interesting fact if you like history-  Fernandina Beach (the main city on Amelia Island) has had the flags of the following nations flown over it since 1562: FranceSpainGreat Britain, Spain (again), the Patriots of Amelia Island, the Green Cross of FloridaMexico, the Confederate States of America, and the United States. It is the only municipality in the United States that has flown eight different national flags. Isn't that fascinating?! I loved learning about the history of this island. 

Between the trees, you can see wild horses on Cumberland Island, Georgia. Only 38 people live on that island, the southernmost island in Georgia, and the only access to it is by boat. Great names like the Carnegies, RockefellersKennedy's and more are tied to this island. 

 We also got the coolest experience ever which was seeing a U.S. nuclear submarine heading out to the ocean. The Coastguard is in the first small boat leading it out. This submarine is HUGE! I think our guide said these are 7 stories tall or something. It was a pretty AWEsome thing to see. He told us some neat stories about it and said the guys usually go out for 6 month stints at a time. Can you imagine? 6 months under water pretty much. We lucked out getting to see and learn about this! It ended up being an unexpected highlight of the trip for us. 

We got to see dolphins jumping around during the cruise too! I was so thankful we got to see them. 

Two dolphins playing. One dolphin swam right next to our side of the boat too which was the coolest thing! 

Once we were off the boat, it was time for lunch. Our 2 hour mid-morning cruise turned into 3 hours since we were delayed by the sub (along with our guide talking a lot which we enjoyed!), so we were hungry! 

This restaurant has homemade sangria, so I had to try it. It was pretty too!

 Side note - the PATIOS on this vacation were all amazing. There's such low humidity there that I could sit out on those patios all day. We only ate one meal inside I think (aside from breakfast each morning at our hotel). Eating the best food on beautiful patios was one of my favorite things! 

This photo hardly tells you how good this meal was. A turkey cuban and most fresh salad. As we reflected back on our meals, this one is a top favorite of mine during the whole trip! 

The food (yes - all gluten free for me!) was SO GOOD on this vacation. 

After lunch was an afternoon at the beach. Yesssssssss :) 

Nick had fun in the waves while I enjoyed relaxing on the beach watching him. 

Haha, yep that's Nick in that wave! We had some pretty good waves. 

 Our hotel provided chairs and towels for beachgoers. I wanted to be closer to the water so laid my towel on the sand to listen to the water. 

 I could spend lots more afternoons like this. 

The view from my spot on the beach. 

Here's the video I took to re-live the ocean once our vacation was over. 

Our hotel is the taller gray one on the upper right. 

Here's where we walk out to the beach from our hotel - and those are the beach chairs and umbrellas provided by our hotel. 

 The rest of the walkway to get back to our hotel. (Ours was the gray one on the right).

After getting showered & getting sand out of my hair:), we went out to eat dinner downtown. Ciao was so good. We both loved the atmosphere and our food! 

Seafood pasta for both of us. (yes, mine's gluten free!) The meal and patio setting were great. Our waiter was Italian which made it even better! :) He referred to me as "ma lady" in his accent and us together as "ma friends", we loved it. 

 Such a sweet, quaint downtown. You can see our restaurant (Ciao) in this one.

Nick enjoyed homemade ice cream from a cute little shop downtown for dessert. I got the most delicious homemade dark chocolates with different fillings like caramel or cashews or almonds. And peanut butter. Mmmmm, I could go for those again right now. 

That little ice cream/chocolates shop was quite the popular spot every day! 

We walked around the marina that night too. So pretty!

*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 

Today's Pinspiration:
Yep, that's exactly what happened as we thought about where to go for this vacation. 
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