After our first cold night in the tent in a while we were awake pretty early to head to the beach for the day. Since by now we are used to temperatures in the 80’s, 65 degrees felt decidedly chilly, our beach days are cursed! Our plan for the day was to head to St Andrews State Park, mainly for the name, but also for the beach, and then go onto Panama City Beach for a wander. After a brief supermarket stop to buy lunch supplies we continued on to the beach. Thankfully, the address we had found took us right to the entrance of the park, and having paid our $8 admission fee, we followed the road round to the beach. Any plans we may have had for swimming went straight out of the window when we saw the red flag flying, but since our main plan for the day was sunbathing it wasn’t too much of a problem. The wind however was a different story. It wasn’t too bad at first and we picked a place in the pristine sands to sunbathe. Just after an hour later the wind picked up a little and we decided to go back to the car for lunch. (After our experience on the way to Tampa we did not want to find out quite how tame the seagulls at this beach were.) After we went back to the beach for a short while, I think I managed about half an hour before I was so cold that I returned to the car in search of a jumper. En route I stopped a few times to take some photos, which meant I was gone a little longer than intended. I hadn’t noticed that Liz had her headphones on when I said I was leaving, so she had been wondering where I had got to.

St Andrews State Park

Since we were both a little cold for sunbathing at this point we decided to have a look at what else the park had to offer before heading across to Panama City Beach. It turned out that other than fishing and paying for a boat to “Gator Island” there wasn’t much else on offer, so after posing for the obligatory photos with the St Andrews sign, we drove off in search of free parking in Panama City Beach. It was remarkably easy to come by, provided that we dodged the suicidal “Spring Breakers” wandering out into the middle of the road. Since it was about 4pm by this stage, we were both a little cold, so while Lizzie donned a jumper, I fished my jeans out of my suitcase before we went for a wander. Walking along the beach was interesting to say the least, I became a target for several wayward footballs, and we both wondered at how tanned and skinny everyone was. (Except the few that were huge… we honestly haven’t seen many average people, it’s either super skinny or huge, weird.) After a brief wander it became clear that there were not really any beach front bars where we could sit and watch the world go by, and that people seemed to be very much in their set groups, not looking overly welcoming of two random English girls… sad times. We headed back to the car and hit rush hour once again on the drive home, although the sunset in the rearview mirror was very pretty. Back at the campsite, with little else to do, the evening was spent taking turns blogging on the laptop and having microwave noodles for dinner. After taking advantage of the warmth of the rec room for as long as we felt was reasonable we donned our many layers and headed to our cold tent for bed.

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