Finding Inspiration and Hope from our Beloved Gulf Coast

Appreciating what I've always taken for granted


I spent a week every summer of my childhood on a beach. Most of those weeks were spent at the ocean on a Gulf Shore in Florida or Alabama. When I married and had children, my husband and I along with my parents, continued the tradition by creating beach memories of our own each year and in July of this year we will head to the beach again.  Recently, while on business in Florida, I joined my friend Gigi, her daughter Lisa, and Lisa’s family on the beaches of Sanibel Island on a Friday afternoon. The thought behind this impromptu trip was Lisa and Greg’s children might not get to see these beaches and their glorious beauty again for quite some time if the oil spill takes over these precious clear blue waters as predicted.
It was here in Sanibel, on a late Friday afternoon walk on the beach, I realized just how much these Gulf Shores are a part of who I am; how they inspire me and how much I love this beautiful world we live in.

Come take a walk with me…      

The view overlooking the Causeway as we headed towards Sanibel Island reminded me just how vast and blue these sparkling gulf waters really are.


This sign greeted us as we walked to the beach and the irony of it made me sad... on this day, stepping on dog poo and waking a sea turtle is the least of our worries.


It struck me as I approached the end of the walkway that I was surrounded by a sprinkling of flowers tucked into waves of sea grass along the path.


There were hundreds of yellow blooms...


mixed in with purple ones waving in the warm ocean breeze.


At the end of the walkway to the beach I looked to my right and remembered why I love the beach...


and then I looked to the left... it was as beautiful as ever.


Once on the beach, Lisa found the sand held something to explore regardless of where your eyes carried you.


Another look to the left revealed in the distance a working lighthouse to guide ships in the night.


Gigi, Master Seeker of Shells, immediately set out to explore the shoreline...


Loring settled in with her bucket and shovel as there were some serious sand castle building to be done. She never left that spot.


Grayson and I meandered along behind Gigi... he gathered shells and treasures while I snapped photos as dusk slowly settled down upon us.


Books were read...


amid shores with little white shells, seaweed and sand. What will it look like here in the next few months?


Birds flew...


dolphins swam...


dogs ran ahead of their owners...


and sand castles were built.


with shells on the turrets...


and feather toppers.


And as the sun started to set, I realized just how lucky I am to have enjoyed a beach like this for a week of almost every year of my life. I am reminded how these visits to the beach have inspired me in ways I have never really thought about before. I've bought candles for my home scented with sea breeze to relax and bring into my home the peace I find on a white sandy beach. I've designed interiors with the colors of sparkling water reflecting blue skies and white sand to make a harmonious space for a client to come home to. I've read books with my toes in the sand to expand my mind and become more. For all of this I am grateful.


 Let’s be inspired to put politics, personal agendas and big business aside to work together as one and clean up the mess we have in our beloved gulf waters. It’s the right thing to do and we owe this to our children. Amy xoxoxo      

7 thoughts on “Finding Inspiration and Hope from our Beloved Gulf Coast

  1. Beautifully written! I’m going to put a link on my blog to your post. 🙂

    I’m still optomistic that the oil will not get to sanibel. The predictions show it staying at least 200 miles out. That being said, many preparations are being made here, in case the worst happens. 😦

  2. What a beautiful article! Yes, it is truly Paradise to many of us who are not so fortunate to visit every year. My sister & I come down from Ohio every 4-5 yrs as a tribute to our dear Mom who dearly loved beaches, the ocean, and all those beautiful shells!! We will be there July 11-17 and have appreciated all the info we are following about the oil spill. We are praying that the flow will be stopped soon and that someone will come up very soon with a solution to dissolve all that ugly oily tar and that Paradise escapes any and all of that mess!! Would love to meet some of you Island me if that can be a possiblity.

    • Hi Tanya! I was actually visiting a friend while in Florida on business and the stop was an impromptu visit! Unfortunately, I am back in the humid midwest! My mom loves beaches too, which is why we went to on every year! Have a great trip!

  3. I’m holding out hope that the media has made this debacle into a Chicken Little scenario. There are plenty of other places in Florida which need patrons like yourself to visit and write about.

  4. I too love Sanibel and evertime I turn on the tv and hear about the spill it maddens me to no end.

    My prayers are that Sanibel and Captiva are spared from this …they have been through enough natural disasters to let this MAN MADE DISASTER destroy our beloved islands.

    Thank you for the post with your beautiful photos. We were there a month ago and not a day goes by that I dream about going back.

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