There are some vacations made for letting go of yourself and others are made for finding yourself again; this vacation was made for both. 

We kicked back, relaxed, sprayed lots of SPF, laid out on the beach, waded through the ocean and let the salt water cleanse us of our worries.

We took early morning walks on empty beaches and appreciated the clear skies.

We set up the fire pit and let the wood crackle well into the night while smacking mosquitos off our skin. We grilled burgers, sausages and bbq chicken that satisfied our appetites well into the weekend. Pouring glass after glass, we toasted to the good times and made light of the bad. We talked about celebrity crushes, movement in our careers, the dogs, our future kids and future dogs and a slew of other topics that are now all wrapped up in the foggy haze of yesterday.

We took a boat ride along the Fernandina waterfront and sailed to Cumberland Island while looking at cranes fly above us and wild horses graze on the grass surrounding abandoned fortresses. We let the lukewarm ocean breeze kiss our cheeks as we passed abandoned ship-wreckage. We sipped wine and sang along to the acoustic sounds of "My Girl", "Purple Rain", "Sweet Home Alabama" and "American Pie"... drove my Chevy to the levy but the levy was dry.

We cracked open some fireworks and watched them light up the sky. We ran for our lives when the guys made a mess of the show and didn't light the grand finale properly. We chased our dogs around the yard and down the street as they went crazy over the commotion. We laughed at the madness of it all.

We sat around, watched movies, played spades and fought yawns into the wee hours of the morning. We slept in and enjoyed omelettes and mimosas for brunch. We braved the July midday heat while waiting for the repairman to come fix the air conditioner. We relished in the cool air once the vents blew that unparalleled relief an electric fan could never offer.

We caught up with old friends - friends so close they're considered family. We filled our hearts on old memories and new pacts to see each other more often. 

We took more leisurely walks along the beach, hand in hand. We got caught in the rain as wind-driven droplets and grains of sand slapped our faces and kicked our ankles. We took cover in the back of the jeep. 

We showered the day away and spent the evening of my birthday doing one of my favorite things: eating Mexican food while sipping margaritas. Leave it to me to pick a Mexican spot by the coast, amidst a sea of seafood cuisine.

We walked on the pier at twilight, ignoring various "boat docking" and "at your own risk" signage. We let the feelings of peacefulness take up residence in our mind, body and spirit, ignoring thoughts like don't jinx the moment by saying how relaxed you feel and there's always calm before a storm

We shared salted caramel ice cream cones and played a few rounds of pool in the back of the Pirate's Saloon. The girls won a round. The boys won a round. There was no tiebreaker. 

We had a perfectly lazy morning, curled up under the covers, chatting mindlessly, delaying our return to reality. We tidied the house, packed up, put gas in the tank and started our journey home, but not before making a quick pit stop at Tasty's on our way out.

I looked in the mirror on Monday morning, as I was getting ready for work, and took a few quick seconds to appreciate my subtle tan - proof of my sun-filled getaway. Even after a good shampoo and deep condition, my hair still smells faintly touched by the beach, and I'm not mad at it.