Hooray for the beach!

Published: July 7th 2017
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Huntington BeachHuntington BeachHuntington Beach

Beautiful beach that looks like it goes on forever!
Geo: 32.7812, -79.9316

My day started out early. I was up at 4 and my dad had me to the airport before 5. I had my boarding pass all ready to go and it directed me to Spirit Airline's fast drop bag line. Well, that was the only line at the Spirit counter and there were a ton of people already ahead of me. And then, when I was the second person in line, they called all the people out who were going to NY and sent them ahead because their flight was boarding. Probably could be a much faster fast lane! Security was quick and painless and I only had to walk a little distance to my gate. Our flight departed on time and arrived on time. Everything I read about Spirit before was correct. The seats were very close together, both in the leg room and the butt room department, nothing is free and there are no SkyMall magazines in the seat pocket. But everyone was very nice, from the people at the gate to the flight crew. I don't think I would fly anywhere farther than about a 2 hour flight. The lack of legroom was not a huge

The winter home of the Huntingtons. Looks like a prison to me!
deal to me since I'm so short, but the lack of personal space was a bit of a problem.

My planned stop of the day was Huntington Beach State Park, which was maybe a half hour south of Myrtle Beach. Right before the park I found a Chick Fil-A and grabbed some lunch to take with me. Highway 17 is a divided highway and the entrance to the park was on the left side so I had to turn across the north-bound traffic. The information I read said the entrance was on the right, but I now realize that was probably if you were going North. Anyway, I managed to find it and left the busy highway behind for a slightly quieter road. The entrance fee for one person is $5 for the day. I think the park is well worth the $5. The man at the entrance booth was very helpful pointing out the things to do in, what he called, the most beautiful park in the state!

After paying, the road winds along for a short distance through the trees and then everything opens up. The road becomes part of a causeway that divides a saltwater marsh from a
Cool Fish!Cool Fish!Cool Fish!

I came across this dead guy on the beach. He was sitting way up by the boardwalk and I have no idea how he got there but I'm glad I saw him.
freshwater lagoon. You need to watch for slowing or stopped cars as that means an alligator has been spotted and the people have to take a picture. I did not slow down as I planned to walk the causeway later on.

At the end of the causeway I took a right to the picnic area at the south end of the beach. There is a small gift shop, restrooms, plenty of picnic tables and a nice boardwalk to the beach. You can also tour Atalaya, the winter home of the Huntingtons, for an extra $2. I did not do the tour and thought the house looked like a prison from the outside. The beach had beautiful sand and some large waves due to the strong wind. I could have used a pair of gloves, but I did not have any along.

Further north in the park is a small Nature Center and a boardwalk out to the saltwater marsh. I saw a few birds, lots of oyster shells and not much else. I then did the walkway on the causeway. That was where all the excitement was. There was a big white bird looking for fish and then I noticed a
Predator and PreyPredator and PreyPredator and Prey

Alligator sharing his sunning spot with a bird friend while a smaller friend looks on from the water.
smaller grey colored bird standing in the grass at the edge of the lagoon. I think it might have been a baby but I'm not sure. Further on I saw a large black bird with his wings spread out standing along the grass edge. And even further on, a big alligator pulled out on a small sandbar with another one of those black birds standing near it and then a smaller alligator in the water. A little kid was hoping the alligator would try to eat the bird, but it did not!

On my way back, I was lucky to come across some other people who had spotted an alligator resting on the grass. As we were taking pictures of him, another alligator came swimming along and pulled himself out onto the grass. Then he started opening his mouth and that was just amazing! I was taking pictures of him and he started moving like he was coming further towards the path and I decided that was enough! I left the two alligators to soak up the sun in peace.

I spent about 2 hours at the park and you could spend a lot more time if you walked more of the
So SleepySo SleepySo Sleepy

This guy is ready for a nap.
trails or if it was slightly warmer and you wanted to sit on the beach and enjoy the waves. The tricky part is getting out of the park if you want to continue south on Highway 17. I decided not to try and cross, went North and turned around at the next spot I could.

Traveled the rest of the way without stopping until I arrived at my hotel. The lady could not find my reservation, but they had rooms available so I guess that worked out! I'm hoping tomorrow will be slightly warmer than today and I am looking forward to checking out some places I have not been to before.


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