Ringing in 2016 could not have been better, especially since I was spending it laying out on the beach and soaking up some sun in Florida.
Making new friends from different places definitely has its perks and this would be one of them.
I had never gotten a chance to travel to Florida before, but during my Europe journey back in June, I made a friend who happened to live in Orlando.
Not being able to help myself, I jumped on the opportunity to head down there for New Years, mind you, it being all the way across the country from where I am.
New Years on the beach, DisneyWorld, Universal.. the list could go on, but that was enough to entice me.
To start things off, we spent the start of New Years Eve by journeying out down New Smyrna beach at PJ's Seashack to see if we could catch a glimpse of some manatees, since we all love animals and it would have been awesome! We decided to try paddle boarding and paddle out to a cove where there could be potential. The water, sadly, was too murky and we couldn't see any, but surprisingly a small group of dolphins decided to crash our party and swim alongside the paddle boarders and kayakers around the inlet. It was a great sight to see, especially when there was a baby in the midst!
Of course, we did enjoy some nice beach time after this, walking out in the salty Atlantic ocean water and watching crazy fish jumping next to us. Bobbing with the waves and feeling the sun shining was a major highlight to this vacation, because that definitely makes it a vacation.
We headed to downtown after that to grab some food at Clancy's, the neighborhood Mexican restaurant which had a long wait, but was worth it. They had a nice little firework show after that which we stayed to watch and then we headed to find some fireworks of our own, sparklers to be exact. This was probably the most difficult thing we had to do during the day, because no one seemed to have an fireworks of any kind, anywhere. Until we spotted an actual firework tent, we thought we were out of luck. They ended up being generous enough to give us a bag full of fireworks for the price of just about $6. We headed home with our lovely stash of good and felt happy.
Again, it's not just enough to say, "Oh, we spent New Years at the beach," because when you think of Florida, you think of beaches. Honestly though, we were literally on the beach, watching fireworks and playing with the sparklers we just bought.
The sand was cool and it wasn't really cold out at all. The moon was rising and giving us a lovely glow to view everything in and it was truly picturesque. On the beach, New Years, fireworks in the twilight and the oceans waves providing constant background noise through the event.
I couldn't have asked for a better start to a grand vacation. Good friends and great times.
More to come as I'll share more on my time there, detailing Disney and Universal and possibly a little bit extra!
To be continued!
Cheers and safe travels throughout the new year everyone! Have a fabulous 2016!