June 16, 2013

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Spring & Summer Adventures

August 10, 2013

May thru July has been such a blast! In May, my family and I explored Florida wildlife and the beautiful beaches of St. Augustine and Anna Maria Island. In July, I craved the majestic mountains. So, we set forth to one of my favorite places - Estes Park, Colorado.
Three words to describe Florida: Engaged. Active. Splendid. My family and I spent six days in St. Augustine and then another six days on Anna Maria Island. There is so much to see and do, whether you are at the beach or in town.
St. Augustine, known to be the oldest European-established city in the United States, founded in the 1500’s, was full of history and the sense of old town reminiscence. Being a major tourist attraction, it was full of life and people from all over the world. We toured the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, St. Augustine Lighthouse and Museum, Cathedral Basilica of St. Augustine, a crocodile farm, just to name a few places. We took a horse and carriage ride through the oldest part of town, enjoying the views of Fagler College and many beautiful churches and homesteads throughout. St. Augustine Beach and Anastasia Island were joyful and beautiful as well.
Anna Maria Island is a seven mile island consisting of 3 towns and full of old Florida charm. It is a perfect place for family and outdoor fun. With many small resorts, bed and breakfasts, tourist shops, art shops, ice cream parlors, restaurants, fishing piers and numerous beaches, the possibilities of fun are limitless. The beaches consist of soothing sugary white sands and the Gulf water is warm and inviting. Every day, you will likely see beautiful birds of many variations; namely, pelicans, herons, sand pipers, seagulls and more. Each morning, from our beach condo, we were greeted with dolphins swimming close to the Gulf shore as if on patrol. Simply beautiful. The weekends tend to be busier with the locals coming to the island in order to take it easy after working during the week, as well as the out-of-towners enjoying their vacations. Once the weekend is done, everything calms down on the island. Anna Maria is also known for being a sanctuary for the sea turtles that come to rest and nest there. Such a special place for all.
Three words to describe Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park: Majestic. Delightful. Thrilling. Going there in July meant warm days with cool mountain breezes and an occasional afternoon thunderstorm. The thunderstorms didn’t last long though. We explored downtown Estes Park to enjoy the many shops and restaurants. We traveled into Rocky Mountain National Park and a few surrounding wilderness areas. We enjoyed the high country tundra as well as the  wild flowers in the meadows, lively waterfalls, shimmering aspens, mountain lakes, streams and wildlife galore. (bear, elk, deer, moose, marmots, picas, chipmunks, prairie dogs, hawks, buzzards, and more!)
If you’ve never been, I highly recommend visiting these places, as you are sure to be blessed by your experience. I’ve included a few photos with this blog. Be sure to look around my galleries for more photography goodness! You will find wildlife photos, scenic landscapes, and nature shots. Until next time… ~Rhonda

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