Photostory: A Special Day

My iPhone sang at 5 a.m. as I began to wake up at my Aunt’s house in Orange Park, Florida. In an hour I was to pick up my new friend from her home in Ponte Vedra. I left my family with coffee in one hand and a 35mm point and shoot camera in the other.   

The driver seat welcomed me in preparation for the 40 minute drive. I selected a playlist and began to drive out of the neighborhood. The air conditioning was just as I wanted it which harmonized well with the seat heater. I attempted to sing along with ballads of Sufjan Stevens out of love and humor. 

I pulled into her driveway and awaited her exit. This moment would be the second time we’d seen each other eye to eye. We had only had one week of actual communication prior and this was the beginning to a rather large and unusual day.  

I opened the passenger door and said good morning. The doors shut and off we went to experience the sunrise at the beach.

Our feet touched the boardwalk and then patches of sand as we began to see the glow of the sun peak out from behind the horizon. 

The gentle sound of our feet crushing the sand could be heard over the soft crashing of the atlantic waves. A few local souls were out and about walking their dogs and relaxing. We found a more secluded area of the beach to sit and soak in the arrival of the sun. 

Not much was said at first being we were both tired and anxious about spending the day together. With each foot the sun rose, our tiredness wore off. We spoke about life and somehow got on a tangent about politics which we quickly agreed to halt. We admired a set of beautiful corgis running down the beach with their owner. This sparked a question to be asked… below is the answer. 

We left the beach and headed northwest towards Lake City, Florida. We kept on listening to the playlist and shared thoughts about the morning so far. We discussed a few options for the day and decided to go to Big Shoals State Park in White Springs. 

We drove down a long dirt road into the park that sits along the historic Suwannee River. I parked the car and we prepared to go on the 2.5 mile hike to the Big Shoals. Many spiders and humorous scares later we arrived at the shoals. 

It was such a treat to see her so interested and curious about the place. We left the bigger part of the shoals for a beach further down the river. 

We arrived to find the white sands screaming our name. Our shoes flew off and we began to explore the riverside. 

At this point we realized it was still morning which made us super excited for the rest of the day. We continued to evade slipping into the murky water. We were essentially at our most honest and youngest state – like children.

This patch of grass was extremely humorous to us for some childish reason…

It was time to say goodbye to Big Shoals and the Suwannee River for it was time for lunch and our next destination. We walked back down the trail towards the car, this time without having to worry about spiders and other ridiculous creatures. 

Bye bye.

We grabbed subs and a few beverages from Publix and drove south from Lake City to Ft. White. The Ichetucknee River was our third destination. We walked out onto my aunts dock, had our lunch and then jumped into the 72 degree water. 

The river was extremely cold in comparison to the 98 degree weather. We fought the current and met in the middle together arm in arm. We went kayaking afterwards to see more scenery and experience the river’s current from a different perspective. 


Hot and bothered from paddling upstream we went into the cold water once more. Well, I convinced her to get in and I captured a moment. 

The water was enticing so I got in myself – I truly did. 

This was the aftermath.

At some point her feet were in my shoes. 

I didn’t know what to think about that.

I sat and thought about that.

We left the Ichetucknee River and drove westward to Cedar Key, which would be our fourth destination of the day. Lots of fun conversations and great music was had. At one point she was singing disney songs… I didn’t know the lyrics. 

We arrived in Cedar key and found a lovely spot to sit and watch the sunset. Yes, we watched the sunrise on the east coast and sunset on the west coast on the same day.

A storm was approaching as the sun was setting. This gave us very interesting clouds to view, including lots of lightning. The culmination of thunder, lightning, waves crashing and the sun setting made this a unique moment for me. 

As the sunset was slowly approaching we made due with the wait by being goofy and finding fun ways to include each other in our snapchat stories.

The sun finally began to set.

It would be lovely for someone to explain why this happened. Thanks ahead of time.

Extremely interesting cloud formation and sky coloration If I do say so. Why?

The sun finally set and the day was almost over. 

In one day we visited four bodies of water and witnessed the sunrise on the Atlantic and the sunset on the Gulf. What a day! 

This is a day that I will never forget. The memories made will live on with photography and will be shared verbally for many a day. If you have ever thought about doing something like this I recommend doing it. 

Thank you Kelsey for such a beautiful experience. 

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