June 24, 2017

It was very apparent that summer had arrived. The first time I went to Honeymoon Island, I drove right in! This time there were 3 lanes to choose from and each one of them had about 8 cars in them. The ferry to Caladesi Island is accessed once you get into Honeymoon Island. It’s $14 round trip and your stay on the island is 4 hours, which was plenty of time for me!

I arrived on the island, excited about the exploration ahead of me. While everyone headed to the beach, I headed for the hiking trail. I glanced in the direction of the concession stand wondering if I should grab a snack and another bottle of water but I thought, nah, I will just do the hike and hit the stand on the way back. That was not the correct decision!

The beginning of the trail had a sign that informed me that I was about to embark on an easy 2.5 mile hike. Like a fool, I believed what I read! If you know me personally then you would know that hiking is just really not my thing! Still, I have managed to make the most of a lot of trails and there is usually a nice ‘prize’ at the end to make it worth it the work. Although the end of this trail was extremely beautiful, I must confess, the journey was horrific!

I sprayed on an ample amount of bug spray on me and I headed down the hiking trail, equipped with a bottle of water and my hiking bag. I quickly realized that one bottle of water was not going to be enough! The air was sticky and stale and the only noise I could hear, besides my own footsteps, was the sound of mosquitoes buzzing in my ears. The layers of bug spray I put on kept them off of my body but they literally surrounded me from head to toe. It was as if I was wearing a mosquito suit.

I stumbled upon mile marker 1 and I nearly died from disbelief! I was not even halfway done. Another mile and a half to complete! No way! I snapped a picture of myself and sent it to Sherri and Amanda, informing them that this could indeed be the last time that would see me.

A burst of excitement came over me when I started to hear the sound of the ocean. I knew freedom was near! When I busted out of the woods a couple that went in right before me was walking out of the ocean. They had to jump in the water to save themselves from their own mosquito attack! The man shared with me that he will never do that again in the summer. I turned to him and expressed to him how I will never actually do that again, ever. He then confessed that was his thought too. I know I am not exactly built for nature but it did make me feel better that someone who was built for it was just as miserable as I was!

I finished my hike and headed to the concession stand to hydrate! I then found the man in charge of boarding and asked if I could jump on the next ferry off the island. Three hours seemed to be plenty of time for me! We chatted for about 20 minutes and then it was time to board. I not going suggest skipping this park but I will tell you there are many other options to explore. If you are looking for a nice beach to visit, Honeymoon Island is outstanding and I hear it’s the #1 visited state park out of them all!