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.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Vacation Day IV - Neptune Beach

Day IV of our dog-cation was our last full day of fun.  We, of course, started it off with a walk and a swim on the beach.  I just love swimming in the waves-if swimming pools had waves, then I would swim a whole lot more often.
This is the underside of our umbrella.  Isn't it a happy picture?  I just adore rainbows! This picture may be showing up as the main picture for this blog one of these days!

Then, while my mom rested, my dad and I went looking for other beach shops.  We wanted to find another artsy area like the one we had been to the night before, but there wasn't much else in our area, unfortunately. We did find, however, a small shopping center called Cottage by the Seaside Shoppes.

"Shabby chic" is actually the style that I would like to decorate my future house in, so it was fun to look around.

My dad and I then ate at a local cafe and then went back to the hotel for our own rest.  Let me just say that I am thankful for naps!!!

Dinner was at Nippers Beach Grille.  Nippers was wonderfully dog friendly.  In fact, there were many people there with their dogs, which was fun to see.  I wish we could take our dogs out to eat with us where we live...

For my appetizer, I had a cup of conch chowder - chunks of conch with tomato, bacon, and peppers.
The chowder was really filling and I sort of regretted ordering it, as then I was almost too full to enjoy my entree, but I had never had conch before and I would have regretted not trying it.  Besides being filling, the chowder was great!  It was  a little spicy and I really liked the conch.  Yes, it was chewy, but it also had a slightly sweet aftertaste that I really enjoyed.

My entree was garlic crab mac and cheese and it was even better than it sounds!
The mac and cheese was very cheesy and rich.  I loved the crunchy crust on top and the garlic and spice infused in the recipe.  It was some of the best macaroni and cheese that I have ever had! I just wish the portion hadn't been so big and that it had come with a side of vegetables, like steamed broccoli to offset how rich the mac and cheese was.  Since I was on vacation, I couldn't take the rest of it home and I was barely able to eat half, which made me sad.


  We ended the day with another walk on the beach.
Wouldn't you just love to live near Beach Avenue?  Maybe you do and if you do, then I'm jealous!

Actually, my parents went on a walk and I sat and enjoyed the weather with Georgia, our dog.
I really love this picture of me.  I look happy and peaceful and I was.The weather was perfect, not too hot at all.  I enjoyed sitting there, feeling the wind blow in my hair and the sand beneath my feet.  Sometimes being fully present in a moment can seem like a curse, if the moment is something awful.  But when the moment is something beautiful, like an evening on the beach, being fully present in the day is truly a gift.  The next day was a boring day in the car, but I will remember my lessons on being present and mindful of my surroundings for a long time to come.  Hopefully, I will also remember my lessons on being grateful for what I can do, instead of centering upon what I cannot.  Above all, I am grateful for a great dog-cation!

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