Girls Just Wanna Have Sun
I decided to fly home for a week before we start classes, catch up on a tan before the summer ends. My favorite beach in the area is Boca Grande and I must have done a convincing job describing it during our France trip because Ashley suggested we spend a day there. She drove down from Tampa and we met up early for breakfast. Unfortunately I hadn't realized so many things would be closed for the summer, including my favorite breakfast spot (The Outlet at the Innlet) and the infamous Gasparilla Inn. Despite how quiet the town was we found a little coffee shop for breakfast then headed out to wander around the island for a bit. I showed her some of my favorite spots and we snapped some pictures, then by the afternoon amidst sweating through the hot Florida heat and jumping from shady spot to shady spot, we decided to cool down by going paddle boarding. We entered the small shop and joked with the guy working how busy the day was, to which he responded that we were the first people he'd seen all day and likely the only people he would see. We rented our boards and he delivered them to the beach for us, where we hopped on up and started paddling north up the shore. The wind was super strong from a storm rolling in and before long we were being swept out much further than I felt comfortable with, so with some effort we navigated back to the beach and tried to paddle as close to shore as possible. We snapped some pics, splashed around, I fell off (twice), then as we neared the meeting spot I was sitting on the edge of the board dangling my feet in the water and I felt something like barbed wire slide across my foot. I screamed and recoiled my feet back out of the water. Though I'd never been stung by a jellyfish before I somehow knew immediately what it was and sure enough, peering into the clear water, a transparent blob floated right next to me, tentacles splayed out around it. Such a harmless looking creature causes so much pain... Luckily I'd pulled my foot away quickly enough that it hadn't been too bad, but prickly red welts began to appear on the top of my foot, so after that I decided I was done paddle boarding for the day and lay my board back up in the sand. Ashley bought us some miniature bottles of Prosecco that we gladly enjoyed on beach chairs watching the waves roll in. We then cleaned up a little in the public bathrooms, drying off with paper towels because both of us had forgotten to bring proper beach towels... And we headed to a beach bar for some happy hour drinks before dinner. By the time The Pink Elephant opened, we were both starving and more than ready to chow down. We were the first people at the restaurant by about an hour, but the food was delicious as usual so it wasn't a big deal. We both got the fish tacos which are a classic beach staple and so yummy. All in all it was a lovely beach day enjoying the sun before fall sets in and great to see Ashley, as usual!