Look up

Our visit to Northwest Florida took us to Grayton Beach State Park near Seaside, Fla., a place known for its beautiful sand dunes and beaches.

But there’s another side to the park with century-old pine trees, dune lakes and exotic-looking plants. That’s where we went.

We had the privilege of spending the morning with Snookie Parrish, a nature-based certified outfitter with the Beaches of South Walton.

I think it’s best if I get out of the way and let the pictures do all the talking.
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Sand, surf, sub-freezing temperatures — what more could you ask for?


Half the East Coast is stuck in a blizzard. We are not.

But don’t feel too envious. It’s 34 degrees in Seaside, Fla., and the powerful wind gusts coming off the Gulf of Mexico make it feel even colder.

The beach looks deceptively warm and inviting, but you have to bundle up to really enjoy it. There is something to enjoy, though: The solitude of being at a summer resort during the off-season, when you can practically have the entire place to yourself.
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Hey, where’d everyone go?

Seaside, Fla., may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of a holiday destination. Maybe it should be.

Alright, the weather was cool and rainy when we arrived yesterday. I took this picture almost exactly a year ago, on clear but equally chilly day. But it’s just as empty.

Only a few people have trekked down here from even colder places to spend the holidays. Smart choice.
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A few more thoughts on Florida’s Planhandle

So long, Planhandle.

We’ll be making the tedious six-hour drive back to Orlando tomorrow morning, but already I’m thinking of an excuse to visit Northwest Florida again. My friends in Pensacola are interested in hosting a remote broadcast of the radio show, maybe this spring. That would be fun.

In the meantime, you’re probably wondering why Erysse (pictured above) is running again. We took a final walk through our neighborhood in WaterColor this afternoon, and for all the grief this area gets for being overplanned (they call it the Florida “Planhandle”) it’s really pretty nice.
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It’s almost a white Christmas in Seaside, Fla.

It’s the sand. It’s white, like snow.

At this latitude, it’s about as close to a white Christmas as it gets.

We’re staying at the WaterColor Inn & Resort in nearby Santa Rosa Beach, Fla. Our house is a short walk to the beach. The kids are really excited about spending part of their Christmas here, mostly because they love the beach.

The adults? Well, if we can’t have a white Christmas, this’ll do.
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