Guana Tomolato Matanzas Estuarine Research Reserve
January 25, 2015
Kellisa and I had a few hours to ourselves on a beautiful Sunday afternoon. We drove to Guana Tomolato Matanzas Estuarine Research Reserve where the air was crisp (53-62F) with a constant breeze, the sky was blue and the waves set the pace for our 6.07 mile walk along the beach. We saw one starfish, less than 15 people and lots of cool birds.
The 2.4 mile Boardwalk Trail is a must for anyone looking for a top rated accessible trail into a wilderness area. Unfortunately, part of the boardwalk was closed for our visit, but we didn't let that or a good rainstorm prevent us from having a nice little hike.
We rarely allow the weather to stop a hike, so we didn't mind the cold and eventual light rain when we visited Crowders Mountain State Park. I usually scout out the trails online as much as possible before our arrival at a trailhead. When possible, I will talk to rangers and other hikers about trail conditions. This hike was no different as we stopped at the visitor center with a few questions. I asked if the trails were wide enough for Kellisa's Hippocampe. The ranger told us that we couldn't hike the Fern and Lake Trails because they weren't accessible. I asked him to explain the conditions and he said it was filled with mud, roots and stairs. I followed with my original question about the width and all he said was, "Probably" to which I replied, "Thank you" and off we went to successfully hike the Fern and Lake Trails.
It's our tradition to see the Jacksonville Christmas Tree at the Jacksonville Landing on Christmas Eve before heading to the evening service at our church.
Christmas morning in our house was completed in two shifts. Laurel wakes up by 6am every morning and Kellisa will sleep as long as possible every morning. We didn't want to make Laurel wait for hours or to wake up Kellisa long before she was ready.
For Laurel, it was a very Frozen Christmas and it was another "Wiggly" Christmas for Kellisa. Laurel's big gift was a small laptop so she can complete her (kindergarten) homework. Kellisa's big gift was a new iPod.
Lisa and I spent two weeks in the mountains of Tennessee and North Carolina back in August 1993. We spent an afternoon at Ober Gatlinburg and I couldn't resist the bungee jump. The poor woman who went right before me wet her jeans on the way down and she was crying hysterically as I made my way up the 90 steps to the top. I wasn't nervous or even afraid of the heights, my only concern was that my life was in the hands of a couple giggling teenagers who were working their summer vacation jobs. As the "kids" gave each other the thumbs up and told me I was a "go", I tried to quickly double check everything they did before I took the one step down.
Both girls had a blast exploring Driftwood Beach on Jekyll Island. With the Hippocampe, we were able to navigate over, under and around the driftwood as we weaved in and out of the ocean. Laurel really enjoyed being the leader as she looked for the best path for Kellisa.