While the entire trip was an absolute blast, and we did plenty of fun things, what made the greatest impact on me was our trip to Botany Bay. Being a Florida girl born and bred, I have seen my fair share of beaches, enough so that the whole experience has become a bit marganalized for me. Powdery white sand -meh, gorgeous sand dune – cool, but I’ve seen them before. I’d seen pictures of Botany Bay featured on one of my favorite blogs Taking Steps Home, so I thought I knew what I was getting into, but I was completely blown away almost as soon as I stepped out of the car.
One of the things I thought was pretty cool, was that the beach was not near the parking lot. To get down to it, you had to hike half a mile through the salt marsh. Gorgeous, but it left you feeling very exposed, and there were tiny crabs(sea spiders) and oyster beds everywhere. Lots of things to see, but we both kept to the trail. The beach itself was hauntingly beautiful, which I am sure had something to do with the storm rolling in. Stefanie remarked that it looked like something from The Tempest. Since the entire area is a nature preserve, it is illegal to remove anything from the beach trail or historic locations along the drive. In respect of that, visitors have taken to placing the prettiest shells they find on the dead trees and driftwood that line the beach. I got a little overly emotional and went off on a tear about how wonderful it was that the trees were adorned with the shells since they could no longer grow leaves. That it gave them a way to bloom once more with permanence that foliage could not offer. Trust me, I know how it sounds; at least I refrained from actually hugging the poor trees.
In the spirit of continuing the tradition and in a way, leaving our mark we gathered shells and placed them on empty limbs as we walked along. Unfortunately, our visit was cut short by the aforementioned storm. It didn’t seem wise to walk along a beach, let alone through the marshes with the looming thunder and lightening. I will absolutely be going back to visit, and I can’t wait to show it to Andy.