Fun In The Sun and Treasures From The Gulf of Mexico Part 1

My husband and I both took a week off from work for our honeymoon.  We were determined to get out of town but didn’t make plans or reservations anywhere, road trip anyone?!  I snapped a picture of the Atlantic before we took off, it was was a gorgeous morning and I wondered if we would end up somewhere as beautiful as this…

imageWhen you live in a resort town where others come for vacation, where do YOU go for vacation?  Well, I had never seen The Gulf of Mexico so we headed West – destination to be determined!  Three and a half hours later, we ended up here…

Bellaire Beach, Florida

Belleair Beach, Florida

Belleair Beach is situated on a barrier island located in west-central Pinellas County, with 4,500 feet of white sandy beaches.  It is one of the last strictly residential beach communities in the county, which means there are far less tourists, and that is exactly what we were looking for!  My husband works in management at an ocean-front resort (The Driftwood Resort) and deals with tourists every day, so getting away from that madness was key for us.  A fun fact for the baseball fans out there; Ryan Howard of the Phillies is building his multi-million dollar, 34,000 sq ft beach house on Belleair Beach (click HERE for pictures).  It is a monstrosity, looks more like a grand hotel than a single family home, but don’t get me started on how over-payed professional athletes are!

We arrived in Belleair Beach around 4 in the afternoon and landed at a quaint little place called Belleair Beach Resort Motel, where the back porch of our room led right out to the beach…image

I could barely contain my excitement at seeing The Gulf for the first time, it is gorgeous!  When my feet hit the water I started laughing, it felt like bath water!!!  For those of you unfamiliar with the Atlantic vs. The Gulf (as I was), The Gulf is about fifteen degrees warmer than the Atlantic.  The water was around 85 degrees and the temperature outside was 90, it just felt so strange to me!  (I grew up vacationing with my family where I now live on the East coast of Florida, so I am used to the cold waters of the Atlantic)  Another huge difference was the beaches, there were so many shells on the West coast!

Bellaire Beach, Florida

Don’t get me wrong, there are shells on the East coast, but they are mostly broken from crashing around in the waves before landing on shore.  The Gulf is nowhere near as rough as the ocean, so the shells just roll up onto the beach during high tide and are left exposed during low tide.  Or at least that is my understanding of things, haha!

Day 1 Treasures

Day 1 Treasures

I could not believe I found that partial sand dollar, I’ve found small pieces before but this is nearly half and I love the barnacles on it!  If you haven’t realized it yet, I am a total ocean/beach geek and fly my freak flag proudly 🙂

As the afternoon turned into evening a storm rolled over The Gulf and I captured a wonderfully peaceful moment with this photoimage

As quickly as it rolled in, the dark growling clouds rolled over.  We sat on our back porch and through the rain we watched the sun slowly sink behind The Gulf of Mexico image

And to think, this is only the first day of our honeymoon adventure…

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