But really, I find myself missing northern fall more than I expected this year. Given the sense of dread fall used to always bring me, this development really surprised me. You may have noticed that we have been throwing ourselves whole-heartedly into the autumn season as best as we can, trying to capture a bit of those fun fall feelings here in the south. Thanks to pumpkin patches, corn mazes and some good ol' seasonal beer, we're not doing too bad of a job.
But we also can't overlook the advantages of a Florida fall. No, streets are not lined with colorful trees and you won't feel the crunch of fallen leaves beneath your feet as you walk. No, there's nary a crisp, cool breeze to be found. Jackets? Who needs 'em. My boots still sit lonely and dusty on a shelf and my scarves remain untouched in the closet. BUT. But. The weather is warm and the sun is shining, so much so that last week, after all our pumpkin patch and Oktoberfest fun, Ellie and I spent the morning strolling on the beach. We watched surfers waiting for just the right wave. We chatted with fisherman relaxing in the sun as we strolled down a long pier extended over the ocean. We chased birds on the beach, felt the sea wind in our faces and the sand between our toes. And it's October. That, my friends, is not the worst thing that has ever happened.
Desperate for a fall wardrobe, I put Ellie in her denim jacket for all of two minutes before I realized she was probably going to overheat. Alas.
Out on the fishing pier
Ellie on her way to befriend some fisherman
Checking out the view
Surfers in action
Enjoying the ocean breeze in her hair
Channeling her inner Marilyn
Happy Florida girl
"Enough of the pier, Mama. Let's hit the beach!"
Looking for seashells
Keeping the birds of Jacksonville Beach on their toes
It is hard to believe that soon we will have completed a full cycle of seasons in Florida. Thinking back to a year ago at this time, our last fall in New York, it feels like it was both just yesterday and a lifetime ago. A year ago we were preparing for Ellie's first Halloween, taking pictures of the beautiful fall foliage in Central Park, and were about to get hit by Hurricane Sandy. Our last fall in the city was a wonderful one (with the exception of Sandy, although even parts of that were incredible, too) and I look back on it fondly.
Now we're still trying to find our new normal and adjust to Florida life, but beach days in October certainly don't hurt the cause. Meanwhile, to my northern friends, enjoy some lovely foliage for me.