Friday, April 10, 2015

10 on 10: Spring Break

The end of March is always our "spring break" and our annual trip to Grayton Beach in the Florida Panhandle. Grayton Beach is about a 13 hours by car from Central Indiana, so although it's a long trip, it is driveable. We have been going there since our oldest has been in school and has gotten a week long spring break at the end of March. 

I never have considered myself much of a beach person, having more affinity toward mountains and woods in general, but I love this spring break trip and look forward to it every year, and, for that week, I am absolutely a beach person.

It is the one trip that we take where it is just the four of us (all our other vacations are centered around visiting family since we do not have any family nearby where we live), and we have started to get to know the town and even some of the people of Grayton Beach . . . especially at our favorite restaurant there: the Pickle Factory, which has my son's favorite pizza he has ever had in his life. It is nearly the Pickle Factory alone that makes him look forward this this trip each year (sun and sand are not necessarily his thing either, though he does always have fun; vacations from school, no matter what, ARE his thing). 

Besides the beach and the restaurants, we find many other things to do there as well, such as bike riding on the many miles of bike paths, kayaking, and visiting some of the lovely state parks. Also we do a few more touristy things (which a part of me loves despite the ultra-tourist vibe) like going to see alligators  or play mini-golf at major tourist traps in the town of Destin. (My daughter got to cross something off her bucket list this year when she got to hold a real live alligator at one of these places.)

Grayton Beach State Park
Eden Gardens State Park
Western Lake in Grayton Beach State Park

The water there is like nothing I have ever seen before--a clear, fresh green. I know why this area of Florida is called the Emerald Coast.

And the sunsets are amazing.

Playing with the sunlight and water to make abstracts is always fun.

We are home again in Indiana after a great week with perfect weather (not a spot of rain)--and already looking forward to our spring break next year.


This post is part of the 10 on 10 collaboration (a blog circle). Please follow the circle of women photographers, starting with Kim Bajorek.


  1. What a gorgeous place! The emerald green is so stunning but my favorite is the last photo, shimmering light on sand. I love that you have a time and place for just the four of you (although I'm petitioning to be adopted into your family so I can go too :))

  2. What a nice getaway! Kids look very happy jumping on the sand and playing in the water! I would love to be in these emerald waters too! The abstracts turned out awesome and I also love all the lines of the second image!

  3. Looks like you all had a terrific time. I love all your photos....I am especially drawn to the image of the fence and the beautiful emerald waters. Oh and that water abstract is gorgeous too! And the Pickle Factory sounds like the name of a restaurant that any kid would love. I hope the nice spring weather keeps for you in Indiana. We are actually headed your way next week.

    1. Kristina, we have had some stormy weather (though nothing devastating like other areas of the Midwest) and, now, have beautiful Spring weather. Today will be 70. Looks like next week will be pretty good, but with some rain and thunderstorms--par for the course in April, though. I hope you have a great trip to the Midwest--Illinois, right?

  4. Okay...Let me try this again...maybe third time is the charm! I switched browsers. I love, love, love all of your images here and I'm so happy you get such an amazing get away with your family each year. The abstracts are my faves as is the shot of fence and the shadow. You have an amazing eye!

  5. These are wonderful photos of such a lovely spring break! I'm sure your kiddos will love looking back on the annual adventure with great love and memories! Your abstracts are sensational! You've totally inspired me to go out and play! Any tips you'd like to share? :D

    1. Hi--thanks for your kind words. The abstracts are pretty easy. The first one is panned on the water. I usually hand hold the camera (and then straighten as necessary in post) and like the shutter speed to be around 1/30 or 1/15 and just pan at what I would say is a moderate, steady-ish speed. The second one just requires some light on the water and then, just get the lens out of focus. To get more smaller, more defined circles up the f-stop if you like that look, but you'll see the out of focus--'bokeh'--effect through the lens. And the third one is just a large aperture on the shimmering sand to get the 'bokeh' all around--I focused a spot somewhere in the middle. What I light, especially, about abstracts is all the choices in post--it's an abstract so nothing about it has to look real :) I hope you go out and play!

    2. I meant to say what I 'like' (not light) about abstracts .. .