Driving back from a great trip to Atlanta to see my sister, we realized we weren't ready to end our vacation. Instead of continuing south on I-75 at Gainesville, we went straight west to Cedar Key. Zane's parents had gone there recently, and we thought we'd explore a new area. Neither of us had ever been to that part of the state, so it was a really fun drive for both of us.
We arrived in Cedar Key around 4pm, when we would have been getting home. We already had beach stuff in the car, so we changed clothes and went to the shore. Cedar Key's "beach" is a man-made beach that's part of a city park. There's a nice playground, basketball court, and bathrooms there too. The water is more like lake water though, slimy and dark, and there's basically no waves.
Next we changed back into our clothes, kept our car parked at the city park, and walked down Dock Street, where there's lots of restaurants, shops, and even a B&B, all on docks over the water.
We strolled down the whole street perusing the menus to decide where to eat. We walked through a little alley to this cute dock with a potted garden. It's a courtyard that's part of the Harbour Master Suites where you can stay overlooking the water.
We chose to eat at an upstairs pub out on the dock. I can't remember what it was called, and all I can find online is that it most likely used to be the Pickled Pelican (um...maybe it still is?). All their burgers were named after Dave Matthews Band songs. Zane and I split one and liked it. The view was great. It wasn't very busy though for 6:00pm on a Saturday night.
After dinner, we walked down to the fishing dock and back to our car. We drove around a little bit as the sun was setting and just took in the peaceful beauty of Cedar Key. Everyone was out to watch the sunset, but it was far from crowded.
It would be nice to come back and stay when our kids are a little older and can enjoy kayaking and other water sports. It's not a good town for the beach, but there's plenty of boating fun to be had.
That night we got a hotel in Crystal River. The next morning was Mother's Day. We ate our free hotel breakfast and headed to the beach at Crystal River.
It was still cool and breezy when we arrived fairly early, so I didn't change into my bathing suit. I should have. It got hot FAST. Oh well. We explored a little and found this beautiful rocky beach.
We should have learned our lesson at Fred Howard Park, but didn't, so Daisy ended up cutting her finger on a shell. There was blood, but not much, so we told her to just rinse it off in the water.
Amy loved the sand. She was happy for the first 30 minutes, then got really fussy. Nothing was making her happy, which didn't make it very pleasant for me. I was already getting sweaty, then add in a cranky baby....not a happy Mother's Day. Daisy and Zane played in the water a little longer, then we headed out.
Again, I'd like to come back when we can kayak or paddle board. There are lots of fun rivers and places to explore that can only be accessed by water. On our way out, I saw a manatee swimming toward the bridge we were crossing. I'd love to see Cedar Key and Crystal River from a canoe.
From there, we spontaneously dropped into a small RV show in a parking lot (why not?), had lunch at Applebee's with cranky kids, then headed back home for Mother's Day dinner with family. The girls slept very well in the car, so everyone was happy for dinner.
Here we are, all the moms. I'm so blessed to be a mom and part of this great family.