Lets start this one with a request; try to imagine the last time you felt genuine calm and peace. If you can remember, that’s great (keep reading). If not, let me set the stage for you.
You’re sitting on the beach of Fort Meyers, nothing but a thin towel between your body and the powder-white sand. The only sounds hitting your eardrums are soft “whooshes” of the waves in front of you, muffled screeches of seagulls, laughs of children making sandcastles and chaos, and barks of dogs having the time of their lives.
You’re taking in the vitamin D for hours until you realize that the day is quickly behind you and the sun it setting. But the sun is not just “setting.” The sky has been taken over by an array of pinks, reds, oranges, and yellows. The clouds are now wispy cotton candy. As the giant yellow ball in the sky makes its way behind the never-ending sea, and you can’t help but appreciate the beauty that this Earth has to offer.
This beauty was brought to me by a cute little trailer named Mr. Charlie. Mr. Charlie is a new member of the Zbar family. In his short time with us he has brought us so many unforgettable memories. Our most recent trip was to the Red Coconut on Fort Meyers Beach, Florida. At this particular RV park, a beach-front section is joined by the “park” section across the street. Originally, we were supposed to be on the park side, but a last-minute opening right on the beach became available. So we took that with Christmas Miracle smiles on our faces.
Let me take you through a day of tiny living ON THE BEACH! (Skipping over the crazy set-up process, you can find that here, at my dad’s site) I wake to the soft smell of scrambled eggs and hash-browns made by my dad, whose been up for hours already. The first step outside of the camper, onto the sand in the morning is something like out of a movie. When your newly aroused toes sink into the baby powder-like sand, and your eyes slowly adjust to the bright yellow sun, it’s like a cold glass of orange juice on a hot summer day; refreshing as heck.
After filling up our bodies with a yummy breakfast, we make our way the ten whole steps it takes to get to the beach. I lay out my towel, my parents lay out their chairs, and our dog, Stella, begins to explore her surroundings. Once everything is out and set up, we begin a walk along (and because of Stella, into) the water.
Walking along the water with a terrier is a hilarious experience. Stella, in particular, thinks that every little splash is a human in need of saving. This means every single wave that flows onto the beach, every bird that plops into the water, and every fish that makes a bubble causes barks, sprints, jumps, and cries. Oh, and forget about a peaceful swim. The second my head goes under the salty water I feel a big wet fluff ball pawing at me trying to “save” me. It might sound like I’m complaining, but don’t be fooled. It is truly the cutest thing in the world.
After the wild walk-turned-run-turned-swim, it’s time for some lunch. Sandwiches and celery are a lunch staple on any Zbar family camping trip. My personal go-to is a tuna fish and cheese.
Following lunch is time for quiet tanning and novel indulgence. For this trip, I read the book Fierce Kingdom by Gin Phillips (7/10 stars from Zoe the Book Critic). Amazing story, beautifully written, extremely frustrating cliff-hanger ending with no sequel, if you’re asking. There are not many things in the life that I enjoy more than chilling and reading a book. I can do it for hours, and I did. The complete rest of the day.
Remember that scene I set up there? This is the time when it comes into play. This is, by far, mine and my mom’s favorite part of the day. Just watching the sun go down on the West Coast of Florida is an experience in itself.
After the sun is officially lost in the horizon, it’s time to shower and get ready for dinner. Showering in a 2 foot wide, 6 and a half foot tall shower is no big deal for this 5’1″ shorty and her 4’11” mom, but I can imagine it’s a bit more of an effort for my 6′ father.
For dinner, we walk five minutes down the beach to a restaurant called Junkanoo. Most times that we go out for dinner while camping, we’ll make sure to go to a place that allows us to bring Stella, but this was not one of those times. She was pooped from the active day she had so she was a-okay with not joining us. She eats her dinner and promptly makes herself comfy on my bed to escape into puppy dreamland.
Junkanoo is a seafood, nautical-themed restaurant with delicious food and warm service. I munch on a grilled grouper sandwich. It was so good my mouth is watering just remembering it. The tar-tar sauce is perfectly tangy and creamy. My dad has the shrimp tacos and my mom, the steak sandwich. It’s all smiles and thumbs-ups from the Zbar clan at this dinner.
Once dinner is over we take a short walk on the beach before returning to our quaint camper/home. We usually end our night me reading, my mom knitting, and my dad surfing on his computer until he falls asleep sitting up. Such a talent, that one. Shortly after, my mom and I follow him into the slumber realm, hoping this sleep is a fast one so we can enjoy another day in paradise.
A day camping is a day well spent. I’m so thankful for our tiny home, Mr. Charlie. He has been our home-away-from-home many times and will continue. Although there are no marshmallows, bonfires, or campfire song songs, a time glamping (glamour camping) with my family is a time well-spent.
Now that you’ve lived through a day camping in a trailer, if you want more technical info, click here to see how my dad does it all. Jewish redneck superman, he is. The first and only of his kind.