Lauderdale-by-the-Sea {Florida Vacation}

“My soul is full of longing
for the secret of the sea,
and the heart of the great ocean
sends a thrilling pulse through me.” 
                                                      ― Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There is nothing that quite calms my soul as the crashing waves of the deep blue sea. I instantly lose myself in the view of the vast expanse of ocean and its tidal lullaby. A much-needed escape from the brutal winter and a celebration of our fifth wedding anniversary this month found us walking the shores of a lovely beach town called Lauderdale-by-the-sea. Florida was calling our name and we dutifully responded. 

Despite the fact that it appeared we brought a bit of the winter with us that day, we were dying to see the ocean. It was sixty degrees - cold and windy by Florida standards - and yet, the ocean was beckoning and it was too hard to resist. Our delightful friend and tour guide extraordinaire, Kirsten Perkins, drove us to the beach, where it took Aaron all of two seconds to leap out of the car, throw off his sandals, and run headlong into the ocean, arms flung out. Pure joy! 

Gracie and I followed, slowly and steadily. Wrapped up in a blanket to keep her warm,  Gracie seemed more interested in keeping the sunlight out of her eyes. Then, she turned around and was mesmerized by the gorgeous ocean. Who can blame her? I mean, just look at it! It is like a mirage for us East Coasters running away from the coldest winter we have experienced! 

Don't those tall, green palm trees and colorful buildings with what must be an amazing view just seem unreal? We were thrilled to be in Florida, taking in all of this beauty and the sunshine!

Our first beach family photo, courtesy of Kirsten Perkins.

And, our first family jumping shot!

You can tell it was super windy just by the spray off the waves as they rush to the shore!

While Kirsten hung out in the car with her handsome little boy named Daxton, Aaron, Gracie & I took a stroll along the pier of one of the cutest seaside towns - Lauderdale-by-the-sea. Colorful, fun, relaxing, and just downright cute! People just lounging on these chairs, drinking coffee, chatting with friends, take a short nap, eating ice cream, and loving every minute of it.

This little adorable one is the best travel buddy! She loves exploring just like Aaron and me, and is happy as can be when we are outside and walking around. She sits up straight in her stroller, and scans her surroundings, much like watching a tennis match - side to side. Her big, blue eyes just soak in all the sights, and she sings when the mood takes her. Such a fun stage!

Just off the pier. Isn't this so picturesque?!

This picture is going to be blown up and framed in my home. In my bedroom. To always remind me of the beauty of the Florida ocean. And peace. And tranquility.

Under the pier, green-blue water and thick columns make it irresistible to just pass by without snapping a picture or two (or twenty).

 A mural in a parking lot.

To round off the stroll, we walked into Rhino Doughnuts & Coffee to grab a sweet bite, and boy, it was the best decision, ever. Not a fan of doughnuts but I could not bring myself to pass up this delicious creme brulee doughnut! It was so unassuming on the outside but when I bit into the smooth, creamy, creme brulee goodness, I knew I chose well!

If you are ever in the area, make sure you stop by Rhino and you won't be disappointed!


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