Florida beaches and tropical storms

**Warning: This post will be photo-heavy**

Recently, Entrepreneur and I booked a trip to Florida. Why book a trip to Florida during hurricane season you might ask. Inexpensive airfare and an invitation from family and friends to visit. We rolled the dice.

Our first stop is Jacksonville Beach to see our daughter, her husband and the grandpups. Weather is windy but warm. Hurricane Nicole is still way out in the Atlantic Ocean, not threatening anyone.

We opt to spend Friday night at the Day of the Dead Lantern Parade at the Jacksonville Arboretum. The Dia de los Muertos is a remembrance celebration for relatives who are no longer with us. This celebration of life helps a person feel closer to their loved ones and reminds them they are not truly gone if they are not forgotten. Costumes are encouraged but they had to fit the theme…so no super hero, Disney princess or Freddy Kruger costumes allowed. Think sugar skulls, colorful, traditional Mexican dresses, big feathered hats, flower crowns and skeleton face paint.

The arboretum is lovely. Spanish moss hangs from old oak trees and the grounds are full of flowers and other natural areas.

Luminary bags line the walking trail and glowing lanterns hang from trees after sunset. Laser lights project up into the forest and on the walkway. Each guest receives a paper lantern and light to carry throughout the park.

The next few days are spent relaxing….and eating! We are treated to fantastic Mexican and BBQ restaurants. One night, we stay home and enjoy prime rib and fresh shrimp just off the boat in Mayport.

The beach is windy and it’s evident Nicole is starting to move closer to the east coast of Florida.

We watch the storms out in the ocean. It doesn’t seem to bother anyone on the beach….us included.


The grandpups, Birdie and Roscoe are excited to have visitors.

On Sunday we move on to Anna Marie Island on the west side of Florida where friends are renting a Vrbo house for a few weeks. Pineapple Cottage is a lovely four bedroom home with a backyard oasis to die for.

It even comes with a couple “pool boys.”

Anna Marie Island is a cute beach town that is very clean with restaurants, shops and, of course, beaches on both sides. Sharon and I tore ourselves away from the pool to explore a few beaches.

Someone has an awesome sense of humor with this privacy wall.

Sand as fine as sugar and as white as snow line the coastline. As you can tell, the outer bands of the hurricane are beginning to roll in and the skies are spectacular.

Tuesday’s sunset is stunning. Accompanied by a pina colada, it was perfect.

Hurricane Nicole hits the east side of Florida Wednesday evening and begins her march across the state as a tropical storm….but not before I get in a little shelling before the rain begins.

By Thursday morning, the day is a wash out with 30-50mph wind and driving rain. Honestly, the tropical storm is similar to a good old-fashioned Midwest spring or summer thunderstorm. We lose power for a little while, but nothing that rises to crisis level. By Friday, the skies are back to being clear and sunny just in time for our flight home. But we can now check “weathered a tropical storm” off the list.

I’m linking up with Brian’s Home for Thankful Thursday because I’m thankful to have been able to see our daughter again. Also, time spent with friends is always something in which to be thankful. Lastly, I’m thankful the storm did not cancel our flight home and the island didn’t sustain much damage.

In 24 hours we went from sunny and 80F to cloudy, 40F and our first Missouri snow. Not too terribly thankful for that abrupt change in weather!


10 thoughts on “Florida beaches and tropical storms

  1. What a lovely visit you had. I love that home and that heavenly back yard. Wow. So beautiful.

    Aww on the pups. They always love all the love they can get.

    Have a fabulous Thankful Thursday, Lisa. Big hug. ♥

    Liked by 1 person

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  4. Wow, what an amazing and adventurous trip to Florida! I really appreciate you taking the time to share your experience with us through this blog post. It was great to see the pictures and learn about the Dia de los Muertos celebration, and I must say the sunset with a pina colada sounds like the perfect ending to a day at the beach.

    I’m glad to hear that you and your family weathered the tropical storm and that everyone is safe. It’s always a great feeling to be able to spend quality time with loved ones and make new memories. I’m also thankful to hear that the island didn’t sustain much damage and that your flight home wasn’t cancelled.

    As someone who is planning a trip to Florida soon, your post has been very helpful in giving me a better understanding of what to expect during hurricane season. I’ll make sure to keep your advice in mind when making my travel plans.

    Thank you again for sharing your story and I wish you all the best on your future travels!

    Liked by 1 person

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