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♫ “So Many Colors in the Morning Sun” ♪

Posted by Jody on July 13, 2015

Pastel Clouds at Sunrise, Orange Beach, Alabama

Pastel Clouds at Sunrise, Orange Beach, Alabama


“There are so many colors in the rainbow
So many colors in the morning sun
So many colors in the flower and I see every one”

 ~Harry Chapin, Flowers Are Red 

~~~

Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches, Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Toes in the Sand and Lights on the Water: Sylvan Beach Fireworks

Posted by E.G.D. on July 6, 2015

Some of you regular readers out there are probably a little Sylvan Beach-ed out by now, but I just keep having more to say about it!  For one, I’m there every chance I get, and for another, many of La Porte’s awesome community events take place there.  The one I’m featuring in this article is the yearly 4th of July fireworks at the beach, which are truly spectacular because they’re fired from the end of the fishing pier and the lights shine twice: once in the sky, once on the water.  Even better, for about half an hour before our fireworks started, I could see the Baytown and Seabrook community fireworks displays, which also shone on the water, though a little farther away to the north and south respectively.

Now, once upon a time I could see fireworks displays over the Pacific Ocean any weekend I felt like walking or catching a bus to Waikiki, so you’d think I might lose my fascination for this sort of thing, but that most certainly isn’t the case.  There really is nothing more enchanting than seeing fireworks over the water with my toes in the soft sand and the waves lapping at my ankles, and the charm increases exponentially with the brevity of the walk it takes to get me there (in this case, it’s 7 minutes, so I am still exuding glee 24 hours later).  I got a couple decent little videos with my cell, and I thought it would be fun to share them with the wonderful Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches crowd.  Here’s the clip with the finale:

Even in low-resolution, it’s pretty spiffy, and it’s amazing the video turned out so well, considering I paid absolutely no attention to the camera while I was watching that.  I’m already looking forward to next year’s event!  I quite literally extended invitations to the event to  my family already, even though none of them know where they’re going to be next July.  In any case, the event is worth sharing, so I hope they can all make it.

I hope you all had a great Independence Day, and hey, it’s summer!  If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, go find yourself a beach- E.G.D.

Posted in A Treasure of a Beach (Best Beaches), Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Greetings from Long Island New York!

Posted by Jody on July 3, 2015

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is native New Yorker Maggie Soukeras.

Greetings from Long Island New York!

Summer is upon us and its time for pools, bbq’s and the beach!

After the long and cold winter it has been great to be able to get outside – take long walks on the beach and start collecting shells again!

A favorite pass time of mine from childhood and into middle age – collecting shells has been both relaxing and exciting at the same time.  It is like a treasure hunt that can bring you into an almost Zen like state during the search!

Point Lookout Beach, Long Island, New York. Photo by Maggie Soukeras

Point Lookout Beach, Long Island, New York. Photo by Maggie Soukeras

My long time haunts have been on the beaches of Long Island.  As a Pisces I could not imagine growing up anywhere but near the Ocean.  Point Lookout and Long Beach were always the places that I have visited and you can find some great shells.  Sometimes it is easy and sometimes requires a little work! This fall I found a sand dollar for the first time ever on a Long Island Beach!

Point Lookout Beach Treasures. Photo by Maggie Soukeras

Point Lookout Beach Treasures. Check out Maggies sand dollar find! Photo by Maggie Soukeras

I have also had success on Shelter Island.  It has been a while since I have been there but we found some great stuff kayaking out to this little island with an abandoned home.

If you like rocks – the north shore of the island is rockier than the south shore.  Head out east – visit the beaches, farms stands, and plethora of wineries!

Off Long Island, my favorite hunting spots have been on Eagle Beach in Aruba, Bermuda, St.Barts,  Barbados (Maxwell Beach) and Florida!   My dream is to make it to Sanibel Island, though I fear I may need to bring an extra bag for all of the shells I imagine I would find there!

Eagle Beach on Aruba. Photo by Maggie Soukeras

Eagle Beach on Aruba. Photo by Maggie Soukeras

To all of the happy shellers out there – keep looking – you are never too old or young to go hunting for shells!

Enjoy the summer!

Maggie

About the Author: Maggie Soukeras is a native New Yorker living on Long Island with her husband Dean and their three cats Patsy, Loretta and Dolly.  Growing up on an island and being a Pisces, she always loved the ocean and collecting shells, one of her favorite hobbies!  When she is not collecting shells, Maggie teaches yoga and manages a yoga studio in Oyster Bay. She has worked with children and adults of all ages and abilities.  Maggie enjoys sharing her love of yoga with others, reading a good book, and long walks on the beach with her husband.  

A note from our Treasure Hunters:

We simply love to share when it comes to beaches, treasure hunting, beachcombing crafts, and beachy tips. How about you? Do you have a favorite beach you’d like to share with us? Maybe you have some great tips for beach picnics, seaside safety, or seashore activities. Please check out our Submission Guidelines for info on jumping into the fun at Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches.  You may be our next Featured Guest Writer!

Posted in Atlantic Coast Beaches, Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Featured Guest Writer, Seashells | Tagged: , , , , , | 5 Comments »

I Don’t Always Snorkel but When I Do, I Look for Shells

Posted by Jody on July 3, 2015

Today’s Featured Guest Writer is Ken Muise, an active-duty soldier stationed on the beautiful island of Oahu.

This is one of my favorite topics to talk about when it comes to going to the beach and, in particular, snorkeling.  I will never understand how people can get bored at the beach.  You can do so many things and there’s a great opportunity for some alone time, too.  You can read, tan, nap, build sand castles, dig holes, swim, sit in 6 inches of water and just…sit.

Makaha Beach Park, Photo Contributed by Ken Muse

Makaha Beach Park, Photo Contributed by Ken Muise

Personally, my favorite past time at the beach is snorkeling.  I can’t get enough of it.  To be honest, I don’t feel 100% complete when I’m in water anymore without a mask and snorkel.  My kids are some of those people who “get tired of the beach” after about an hour…an hour and a half at tops.  I don’t understand it.  “Take your mask and snorkel and go in the water and look around.” I tell them.  Depending on the beach we’re at, they usually come back with something like, “But there’s no coral here.  There won’t be anything to see.”

Nothing to see?!  OMG…it’s the ocean.  Anything you see below the surface is new and exciting.

Sea Urchin, Photo contributed by Ken Muse

Sea Urchin Photo contributed by Ken Muise

One of my favorite things to do when I’m at a beach with little coral is to hunt for sea shells.  My favorite spot to do this:  Makaha Beach, West Oahu.

Now, don’t get me wrong.  Makaha is known as the turtle cleaning station, but it requires about a 100 yard swim out to the sweet spot.  There is plenty to see out there; fish, coral and turtles. I don’t always want to do that, though.  Instead, right at the shoreline in about 3 to 4 feet of water, is a gentle break where all sorts of rock, coral, and sea shells gather.

Keep in mind, that during the winter months on Oahu, Makaha Beach Park is known for some good surfing and you shouldn’t snorkel anywhere where this a  large surf.  Always take notice of the beach and surf warning signs and gauge the situation against your abilities.

I have found a large piece of my sea shell collection while snorkeling in that gentle break at Makaha Beach Park.  Plenty of shiny, cowry shells and even sunrise seashell are the favorite pieces of discovery at Makaha.

Besides that, Makaha Beach Park is one of my favorite “sit down and chill” beaches on Oahu.  The space is wide open with hardly enough people to call a group, let alone a “crowd”.   I always find parking and there are restrooms and showers across the street.

Ken Muse, Our Featured Guest Writer

Ken Muise, Our Featured Guest Writer

About the Author:  Ken Muise is an active-duty soldier stationed on Oahu.  He owns and runs a snorkel gear review site as well as a move to Hawaii blog.  When Ken isn’t working he is usually snorkeling or upset when he can’t go snorkeling.  Much to the chagrin of those around him, Ken calls himself a “world class snorkeler” and believes he does it better than most.

A note from our Treasure Hunters: On this Independence Day weekend we would like to express our gratitude to men and women who serve, and have served, our country.  

In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved.”  ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

~~~~

A note from our Treasure Hunters:

We simply love to share when it comes to beaches, treasure hunting, beachcombing crafts, and beachy tips. How about you? Do you have a favorite beach you’d like to share with us? Maybe you have some great tips for beach picnics, seaside safety, or seashore activities. Please check out our Submission Guidelines for info on jumping into the fun at Beach Treasures and Treasure Beaches.  You may be our next Featured Guest Writer!

Posted in Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Featured Guest Writer, snorkeling | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Thanks Dad!

Posted by Jody on June 16, 2015

“Perhaps the most important thing we ever give each other is our attention…”

         ~ Rachel Naomi Remen 

Thanks Dad!

Thanks Dad!

~~~

Happy Father’s Day!

~~~

Posted in Today's Special | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy Mother’s Day!

Posted by Jody on May 10, 2015

This is the day Liam first touched the ocean! Oona slept through the excitement.  Nana shot pictures and smiled from ear to ear! Kristie made memories in the hearts of her children.

Oceanside, Oregon

This is the day Liam first touched the ocean! Oona slept through the excitement. Nana shot pictures and smiled from ear to ear! ~Happy Mother’s Day to Kristie and to all mothers everywhere!

“She kisses my boo-boos, she braids my hair. We love you mothers everywhere.”

~Agnes, Despicable Me 2

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Sylvan Beach Festival 2015

Posted by E.G.D. on May 6, 2015

Brown Water and Crashing Waves: Day After a Storm (photo by E.G.D.)

Brown Water and Crashing Waves: After a Storm (photo by E.G.D.)

I’ve been hearing stories about Sylvan Beach Festival since I started working in Pasadena in January 2014, and when the banners went up around La Porte in the early spring, I was pretty excited!  The town sent out pamphlets with information about who would be performing on the stage, the town’s tiny monthly newspaper rejoiced, and I made plans to go on Saturday 4/25.

I was therefore, not unnaturally annoyed when I woke up to a violent lightning storm that lasted straight through the scheduled time for the parade.  As you can tell from the photo above, though, by 1:00 in the afternoon the weather had changed its mind, and there was barely a cloud in the sky!  Granted, the water was more brown than I have ever seen it, and the waves were actually crashing!  Seriously.  Crashing!  In the bay!  I have never seen the like at Sylvan Beach, and let me tell you, the 40-or-so kids who were playing in the swells were having the time of their lives.

A few feet away from the beach, the festival was in full swing by the time I arrived, with stalls selling pretty much everything, midway rides, cooking competitions, live country music, and a cook-off.

Stalls on the water (photo by E.G.D.)

Stalls on the water (photo by E.G.D.)

The music was pretty good, though I’ll admit I’m not a big fan of country.  The stage was right on the water, so even with the amps booming, everyone in the audience could hear the crashing waves mixed in with the instrumentals ^_^.

Stage (photo by E.G.D.)

Stage (photo by E.G.D.)

I didn’t actually do anything at the midway, but I did take a picture:

DSCN0436It reminded me a lot of state and county fairs I’ve been to.  It was fun, and it was worth the $5 admission fee.  Normally, the beach is free, but normally the beach doesn’t have live music and a midway. I’m definitely going to the festival again next year, and maybe next year I’ll get to see the parade ^_^. -E.G.D.

Posted in Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

Aloha from Hilo

Posted by E.G.D. on April 2, 2015

Black sand and kayaks (photo © Jody Diehl)

Black sand and kayaks (photo © Jody Diehl)

We started the day on the Big Island of Hawaii with a kayak tour of Hilo Bay, crossing the bay and riding the swells. We ended the crossing going up river to a secluded cove with banyan trees and multiple waterfalls that used to serve as power to sugar mills. We returned to the black sand beach along Hilo Bay Beachfront Park before lunch and went back to change and eat on the ship.

Having been to the Big Island before, we decided to simply tour on foot  the rest of the day. The Hilo Port/Bay area is dotted with numerous beach parks and small secluded coves for swimming, paddle boarding, picnicking, fishing, and boating.

We finished our day with swimming at Reeds Bay Beach Park, where families were settled in for a day of fun in the sun. There were picnickers, paddle boarders, swimmers, and canoeists all enjoying the clean little coral strewn shoreline. A local told us about the Wailoa River that meets the sea here and produces the cold water pooling in the “Ice Pond.’ The cold water combines with very warm water produced by the underwater lava vents. You swim from cold to warm and back to cold with each stroke. Pretty neat!

Have a wonderful day! – Jody & Greg

Posted in Beaches of The Hawaiian Islands, Sand and Shoreline | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Tiny May be the Next Big Thing: Sylvan Beach, La Porte… Again!

Posted by E.G.D. on March 29, 2015

Jumping for Joy on Sylvan Beach (Photo © E.G.D.)

Jumping for Joy on Sylvan Beach (Photo © E.G.D.)

The weather here on the Texas gulf coast has been absolutely stellar lately, and I am pleased as punch to have a beach easy walking distance from my home.  Not unnaturally, one of the best parts about having a beach right next door is sharing that beach with my friends and family.  Now, I realize that I have posted about Sylvan Beach before, but yesterday’s Sylvan Beach experience is worthy of note because my sister (and noted doctor of geo sciences), Kristie, decided to start a tiny rock collection, and of course the kids, my friend Travis (of guest posting fame) and I joined in with gusto!

Collecting (Photo © E.G.D.)

Collecting (Photo © E.G.D.)

Now, between the five of us, we had a really substantial collection going… but because we were collecting tiny, tiny treasures, the pile was small enough to easily fit into the palm of, say, Oona’s kindergardener-sized hand.  Kristie thought that a collection of tiny rocks would be much easier on the movers when next she moves than, say, the truly substantially-sized rock collections she and her fellow geologist husband have accumulated over the years (“What’s in these boxes, anyway, rocks?!??” … “Um… actually…”), and I must agree, though I don’t think she and Ryan have any intention of ditching the larger rocks along the way.  Anyhow, fun, right?  We found some really good treasures.  Behold!

Tiny Treasures (Photo © E.G.D.)

Tiny Treasures (Photo © E.G.D.)

A budding collection (Photo © E.G.D.)

A budding collection (Photo © E.G.D.)

They’re colorful, they’re cute, and they’re smooth and shiny from being tumbled in the bay.  Also, we really enjoyed collecting them, and I have resolved to find a tiny salt shaker to put them in for display.

The moral of the experience?  One beach-goer’s large grain of sand is another beach-goer’s new tiny rock!  Have a great day, preferably at the beach ^_^ -E.G.D.

Posted in Beach Treasures - Beachcombing, Gulf of Mexico Beaches | Tagged: , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Magical Bora Bora and Motu Haapiti

Posted by E.G.D. on March 29, 2015

Take every shade of blue and of green that you have ever seen or even imagined. Swirl them together and you have the astonishing kaleidoscope of brilliant colors that makes up the island of Bora Bora. Now, take those colors along with purples, golds, yellows, and oranges and you now have Bora Bora’s phenomenal underwater wonderland. That having been said, words cannot possibly describe Bora Bora. Photos simply don’t do it justice.

Sunrise in Bora Bora (Photo © Jody Diehl)

Sunrise in Bora Bora (Photo © Jody Diehl)

We had stunning views as we sailed in just as the sun was rising behind the island. Greg and I were the first of the ship’s passengers on the first tender to shore where we set about exploring the little village of Vaitape. I do believe we actually experienced the town’s morning rush hour. Cars came and went up the narrow main (barely two lane) street.  Everyone smiles and greets you in Bora Bora. Their homeland is their pride and joy. Here English is more frequently spoken amongst the locals than on Tahiti. [Editor’s Note: Jody and Greg didn’t make it to a beach on Tahiti for reasons of time and a language barrier, so I didn’t turn their e-love-letter to Tahiti into a post- E.G.D.] We had a full day excursion planned and started out at 9:00 with a sail around the island. First stop: swimming with the sharks and rays at a shallow reef. What an experience! The guides enticed both the sharks and rays to come closer. Some of the black tip sharks were easily five feet in length. They came out of every direction and you never knew when one would appear underneath or passing right next to you. The same was true for the rays (also quite large). Neither seemed to care that we were sharing the water with them. We cared plenty and were exceedingly grateful for their kind hospitality! Next stop: the coral gardens where the water was quite a bit deeper. The brilliantly colorful coral gardens were teeming with life.

Next stop: a private island where we enjoyed a picnic lunch, music, dancing, the most thorough and entertaining coconut demonstration ever, and more time for swimming and snorkeling. Motu Haapiti has the most startling crystal clear water we have ever, ever seen. Just imagine swimming in bottled water. Actually, the entire lagoon around Bora Bora is this clear. It was only more obvious at the shallow beach surrounding Motu Haapiti. [Editor’s Note: This set of photos actually includes some beach shots, which is how I justified posting this! -E.G.D.]

During the entire day of sailing around the tiny island we enjoyed Polynesian music and songs from our joyful crew. Bora Bora is the place of dreams. Please don’t pinch me!!! Today we will cross back over the equator and arrive once again in the northern hemisphere. Next stop: Hilo, Hawaii-  Jody & Greg

Posted in Beaches of the South Pacific | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

 
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