One Year on the Road

Coquina Rock Beach

Mossy rocks on the beach.

While we were staying in Ormond Beach, we drove north one day to a beach that’s filled with coquina rocks. Coquina rock is sedimentary rock formed entirely from compressed shells. Like sandstone, it’s soft and easily shaped by water. So coquina beach rocks often have water-drilled holes that make good hiding places for sea critters.

Beth and Don had found this place on a previous trip and thought we’d enjoy a beach with tide pools, so we all went off in search of it. We found it just south of Marineland. There’s a large parking lot just off the highway with a sign that says “River to Sea Preserve.”

Seagull watching and waiting.

We unpacked our picnic at a table up on the wooden walkway that runs along the top of the sand bank, overlooking the beach. It was chilly, but the sun felt good. Seagulls circled us, hoping for a handout. And when Kate, always the softie, offered a crust, there were suddenly dozens of them, swooping in to grab bread right out of Kate’s outreached hand.

The beach itself looked much like a rocky Northwest beach, and it was fun to climb around and explore. Florescent green moss grew like soft beards on the north sides of the rocks. You could see tiny bits of shells in the rock, almost like concrete. And it was interesting to imagine how the perfectly circular holes were formed.

Little Bear Photos

One of Beth’s bear shots.

Beth took out her favorite model for some nature photos: Little Bear. Little Bear is a tiny teddy bear that our mother gave Beth years ago. I’m not even sure how it started, but Beth is an avid photographer, and at some point, she started taking close-ups of this little bear with various backgrounds and props. Now she takes Little Bear on all their travels and tries to get at least one bear photo wherever they go. Once she lost Little Bear in Lake Placid and put up some posters for his return. He ended up traveling with a family for months, posing for shots on their vacations, before they mailed him back, a little worse for wear. Little Bear has his own blog, which you can follow here:

Beth’s shot of me and Kate.

Capturing Time

I love Beth’s photography, and she took some shots of me and Kate on the beach that ended up being my favorite portraits of us. Beth and I are funny when we go places together, both with our Nikons slung over our shoulders, crouching and zooming like a couple of pros. We’re similar in so many ways. We both love travel and adventure, and have both been obsessed with capturing our experiences –  with words, drawings, photos, and dramatically told stories –  ever since we were little girls sharing a room together and writing dutifully in our diaries every night. Next time we’re together, I’ll have to get Don or Kate to get a good portrait of us together.

Return with Fur Kids

Gypsy on the rocks.

We loved this beach so much that when we were coming back through the next week, after our visit to St. Augustine, we stopped for lunch again, this time with Gypsy and Bailey. There was plenty of room in the parking lot to pull in Bessie and the Toad (tow vehicle), and it was pretty cold so we ate inside. But afterward, it was fun to let the pets explore this beach with us. Gypsy is a little bit intimidated by the surf, but she loved checking out the tide pools and climbing up the sand banks. And Bailey… well, there’s nothing like digging and rolling in sand.

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