Florida Part 1 – Panama City Beach, Crystal River and St. Petersburg

IMG_2889

We LOVE Florida as it has our two favourite things – sun and beaches! Now we just have to figure out how we can retire early there…

Here’s our first recap of our time in Florida – in this post we cover Panama Beach City, Crystal River and St. Petersburg.

Welcome to Florida!

Welcome to Florida!

We drove from the State of Louisiana, through the States of Mississippi and Alabama and into the sunshine State of Florida. We decided to take the longer scenic back route along the coast. It was spectacular and the beaches were just as we imagined – white sand and crystal clear blue/green water. We detoured through a small town called Seaside which was where part of the movie The Truman Show was filmed. It was a surreal place and the houses so different and colourful. I found my dream home there! We continued down the road to our campsite at Panama City Beach which is a small city popular with the Spring Break crowd. It reminded us a little like the Gold Coast. The beaches were beautiful and within 30 minutes of arriving at our campsite Bryce was in the water. The next day we woke early and headed to St. Andrews State Park, which is home to one of the best beaches near Panama City. The water was crystal clear and perfect for swimming. Plus Bryce had a ball snorkelling.

Baby Manatee

Baby Manatee

Around lunch time we hit the road again with our sites set on Crystal River – home of the Manatees! Again we took the scenic route down the coast and it was worth it. We found a campsite at Crystal River that evening and settled down for the night with the resident alligators and turtles. The following morning we woke at 5.15am to get ready for our anticipated swim with the Manatee. It was awesome! Manatees really are wonderful creatures and it was such a privilege to be able to swim with them. We even got to touch them when they came close. Manatees are very protected so you are not allowed to chase them in the water, instead you have to wait for them to come to you, which they do as they are quite curious creatures. The tour guide said they have personalities similar to cats which of course I loved. The highlight of our Manatee trip was witnessing a mother Manatee nursing her calf. Swimming with the Manatees was definitely one of the top experiences of our trip so far.

Mantee/Bryce!

Mantee/Bryce!

After our swim with the Manatees we hit the road again. Our original plan was to head to Orlando to go to Disney Magic Kingdom. We decided to alter our plans since we had already spent three days at Disneyland in Los Angeles. Plus we figured we’d need more than one day at Magic Kingdom so promised ourselves we’d go there for a long vacation at some point in the future. So instead we headed down the coast to a campsite at St. Petersburg which is close to more beautiful Gulf Coast beaches. We are glad we changed our plans as it gave us more time to enjoy the beautiful Florida coastline. It also gave us a chance to go to Caladessi Island State Park by ferry which is home to one of the top beaches in all of America. It was stunning and we spend four hours swimming, snorkelling, reading and relaxing. I must have finished at least five books in the last couple of weeks due to all the downtime relaxing at the beach! Bliss!

That is all for Part 1 of our Florida blog. In our next Florida blog we’ll fill you in on Miami, Key West and St Augustine.

New Orleans, Louisiana - Panama City Beach, Florida - Crystal River, Florida - St. Petersburg, Florida

New Orleans, Louisiana – Panama City Beach, Florida – Crystal River, Florida – St. Petersburg, Florida

5 Comments

  1. I DO LOVE YOUR REPORTS SO WEL WRITTEN ANNABEL ,WE THOUGHT A LOT ABOUT YOU TWO AS MAREWA GOT MARRIED IT WS A FAIRY TALE I LOVED EVRY MINUTE OF IT I TRAVELLED WITH DEREK UP AND DOWN SHE LOOKED STUNNING VERY MUCH LIKE VONNIES DRESS LACE IN 1981 TO J.B.SHE GAVE ME HER FLOWERS AS THEY FLEW TO FIJI.WE COAUGT UP WITH DAVEY PARENTS,FOR LUNCH AT OMARAMA MR SUNDERLAND WANTS GRANDCHILDREN HIS REMARK TO DEREK WAS MAY BE SOME YOUNG ALL BLACK IN THE MAKING AT XMAS TIME HE IS NOT VERY WEL I LOST MY SISTER TANTE NEL ZR PETRA ON SEPT.THE 10TH. I LIVE IN MY NIEUW HOME,LOVE IT COME HOME IN 2014. WAS GOOD TO SEE YOUR PARENTS.LOVE TO BRYCE AND YOU ANNA.

    • Hi Ma
      Marewa’s wedding sounded beautiful – I have seen a few pictures. I am glad you had a wonderful time in Queenstown with the family. I am sorry about your sister Ma – sending lots of love to you from the USA. We can’t wait to see your new home when we come back in a year or so. We are in New York at the moment – it is wonderful.
      Miss you lots.
      Love Annabelle x

  2. I read a lot of interesting posts here. Probably you
    spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save you a lot of time, there is an online tool that creates readable, google friendly posts in minutes,
    just type in google – laranitas free content source

  3. I read a lot of interesting posts here. Probably you spend a lot of
    time writing, i know how to save you a lot of work, there is an online tool that creates readable, SEO friendly posts
    in minutes, just type in google – laranitas free content source

  4. Hey – I was checking out your site and I’m impressed with how clean and professional it looks.

    Adding video to your website has become an absolute MUST. Even something basic that clearly defines exactly what it is you’re offering & why work with your company vs competitors…

    My team, based out of Toronto, Canada, creates quality animated explainer videos. Our award-winning videos are proven to increase customer engagement and decrease user bounce rate.

    Email me back for some explainer video samples, pricing, or just to say hi!

    –Tara Campbell
    Email: Tara.c@vidthebiz.com
    Website: VidTheBiz.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>