I talk honestly and openly about my experiences with mental illness, fibromyalgia, and chronic fatigue syndrome through the lens of feminism, fat acceptance and process theology. I also do recipe and book reviews. My mission is to spread the message that hope is always real for a better life, despite living in a world that is often very harsh.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Vacation Day III - Neptune Beach

I hope you like pictures!  On day three of our dog-cation, we as usual took a morning walk on the beach before checking out of our hotel and driving to Neptune/Atlantic/Jacksonville Beach (all three beaches are right together).  We spent most of the afternoon and evening strolling around this artsy area near the beach on Atlantic Ave.

I loved the streets lined with palm trees-it's so different from what I'm used to!
Here I am, posing with a panther!  Cats are one of my favorite animals and I just love this brightly colored feline, especially the octopus on the butt!
Here I am with a tortoise with the yellow submarine on his belly!  I love that he's just my height.  Don't we look like best buds with his arm around my shoulder?  By the way, I am wearing a tank top from Old Navy, a dress from Target, a shirt from Torrid (clearance!), and shoes from Famous Footwear.

We ate at a restaurant called Sundog.
I didn't know this but a "sundog," or phantom sun, is an atmospheric phenomenon that creates bright spots of light in the sky, often on a luminous ring or halo on either side of the sun.  That is your official new factoid for the day, if you didn't already know what a sundog is.

I had a shrimp po boy - lightly battered shrimp tossed in our secret recipe mild, medium, or hot sauce served open-faced on a Hoagie roll with shredded lettuce and tomato.  I ordered the mild version with a side of cole slaw.  The sandwich came piled high with shrimp, so I ate the top shrimp first before being able to take a bite out of the sandwich.  The shrimp had a little bit of a kick, but just right for me.  It was crunchy and yummy, but my favorite part of the meal was actually the cole slaw.  I wish I had the recipe, because it had sort of an unusual taste.  Very light and refreshing-the perfect complement to the slightly spicy po boy.

After dinner, we went on another beach walk.  
Georgia loves to roll around in the sand.  It must feel good.  I love watching her roll around-she looks so joyous and happy that I feel that way too!
Isn't this sweet?  It's two seats inside a heart, with the request to "Please don't disturb" inscribed in the sand nearby.  On our way back, I noticed that the seats were covered with towels and the heart was surrounded by lit candles.  Someone very romantic was preparing for a hot date!  But I am not jealous-I am happy surrounded by the love of my family and friends, even without the romance.

My parents went for a longer walk, but I decided to stay and take pictures, because my legs were hurting.

Here are my legs, being massaged first by the sea and then by the sand.

Once upon a time, I might have felt bad, like I was missing out, by not being able to complete the walk.  This dog-cation though, I have really embraced my disability in a way.  When I feel tired, I tell someone, so that I can get the rest I need.  I don't feel the need to whine or complain about it, but I just state what my needs are or how I am feeling very matter-of-factly.  I have made sure to take my medication every day, including something for pain, which helps a little bit.  I have not beaten myself up for the things I can no longer do.  So I can't do long walks on the beach, so what?  I've got an awesome imagination and a camera!  And even if I did not have a camera, I still have got the beauty of the ocean and the sky all around me to enjoy.  I have been really happy on this vacation and I think a lot of that has to do with a new level of inner peace and acceptance that I have found.  I am hoping to take this state of being into the real world with me tomorrow, as we head home.

I have one more day of vacation to write about-stay tuned tomorrow!  In the meantime, peace!

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