After a long, cold winter, all this GoGirl wanted was a little fun in the Florida sun. Backpack ready, I set out with my beau to visit his sister and her boyfriend, who live on Ponce Inlet just south of Daytona Beach.  Chicago was threatening rain and frigid cold, which made my new bikini just jump for joy at the thought of beach time and sun tans.

We arrived to mid-70 degree weather and sunny skies; it could not have been any more dreamy.  Other than an awesome amount of seafood, the entire trip was based around the beach.  I ran on the famously compact sand of Daytona Beach, so hard that the Daytona 500 originated from stock car races they held right on the beach.  My sneakers are still leaking sand days after being home.

I went for a refreshing dip in the chill water, playing in the waves.  However, I wasn’t the only creature swimming in the ocean; a manta ray attempting to fly kept leaping out of the water, while a lonely dolphin made itself known just behind where the big waves were breaking.  Another beautiful activity (that the bikini very much loved) was sun bathing with a good book in hand and sun block slathered on for protection.  Nothing beats a sun umbrella, beach towels and sun glasses when your best accessory for the past few months has been a scarf.

Even my boyfriend got in the waves, surprising because the cold water makes him shiver, but of course it was with the challenge of a surf board.  Never having been surfing myself, it seems like quite a difficult activity– I mean, you try to balance on a wax-covered board while huge, powerful waves pick you up and hurl you toward the sand.  From the looks on the surfers’ faces and their absolutely graceful falls, I can honestly say that I very much enjoyed watching them surf from the shore. Learning how to catch a wave can wait for another beach vacation.

One of my favorite beach moments, apart from the running, sunning, swimming and surfing, was watching the sunrise.  There is something so special about catching the sun as it breaks color into the dark night sky.  Helping the sun greet the day feels like such a big responsibility, but when you share it with someone you care about, it is all worthwhile.  Sometimes trips are about adventure and other times, it is more about enjoying the people you are with and the environment around you.  So pack up that swimsuit and head for the beach- spring weather is just around the corner!