While I was not exactly enthused about packing up for our 3rd weekend out of town, I am feeling so refreshed after this particular weekend away! Earlier this year my mom and I were on the hunt for a race to do this fall, and when my aunt texted suggesting the ZOOMA race in October we were sold. It was a 5k, 12k and a half marathon on Amelia Island. Blake's aunt and uncle own a 2nd home on Amelia Island that I had been hoping I could take my parents to anyway, so it was the perfect location! 

ZOOMA 12K // Pugs & Pearls Blog

The race started at the beach, headed up a main road, turned onto a residential street, looped around Old Town Ferdandina (where I picked out a few houses I definitely wouldn't mind buying), over a bridge, then into the back entrance of Fort Clinch State Park and back to the starting point. 

I still have the goal of visiting every state park in Florida, so this was a really cool way to cross another one off the list! It was an absolutely stunning run. The state park has a very winding canopy road that miles 3-6 were on. SO beautiful. 

ZOOMA 12K // Pugs & Pearls Blog

ZOOMA 12K // Pugs & Pearls Blog

ZOOMA 12K // Pugs & Pearls Blog

ZOOMA 12K // Pugs & Pearls Blog

ZOOMA 12K // Pugs & Pearls Blog

ZOOMA 12K // Pugs & Pearls Blog

ZOOMA 12K // Pugs & Pearls Blog

I knew I wasn't going to be able to run all 7.4 miles, but I actually ran 90% of it which completely shocked me! I owe it all to Orange Theory. My stamina and endurance have increased tenfold since joining this summer. I ran really stinkin slow between mile 5-7, like speed walkers were passing me slow-but I kept going! Mom actually finished 3 minutes ahead of me because I was determined to not stop running. She was able to walk/run towards the end a lot faster than me. 

She is talking about a half marathon next! I told her I want to relish in the glory of our 12k for a few days before I start thinking about the next one! She is very inspiring to me.

The race was just the cherry on top of a perfect long weekend! We spent some time at the beach, exploring downtown Ferdandina Beach, and just spending time together. The house is so nice, and it has a great back porch that overlooks a marshy river. The sunsets were spectacular!






Amelia Island // Pugs & Pearls Blog

On our last day we had an unexpected cold front come through! I'm so glad we got to the beach when it was still hot! Thankfully we bought long sleeved t-shirts the day before.  We weren't quite ready to go home yet so we decided to go explore Fort Clinch since we really didn't get to see much during our run. It was very interesting and fun to explore! My sore legs were screaming at me climbing the stairs, but it felt good to stretch those muscles.

Amelia Island // Pugs & Pearls Blog





Amelia Island // Pugs & Pearls Blog



It's been a little bittersweet spending time with my family since my younger brother moved to NYC. We really enjoyed being together, but there is definitely a piece of the puzzle missing now! 



My Amelia Island Suggestions:
Food
The Salty Pelican (we went twice!)
The Sand Bar (right on the ocean)

Places to Stay
Our Family's House is for rent!

Things to Do
American Beach (A great place to go to the beach, but it also has a lot of history.)
Twisted Sisters Shop (so many cute things!)
JJ Cooper Shop (Blake's dream wardrobe would come from here. Lots of Barbour!)
Farmers Market/Car Shows - We happened to visit on a Sunday and there was a farmers market and car show going on! 

Okay, that was a pretty long post! We really loved staying on and exploring Amelia Island. My family always heads to the Gulf coast for our beach trips, since that's where we grew up going. Not only is that area completely destroyed because of Hurricane Michael...but we also know it like the back of our hand. It's really cool to visit a new place, still within a few hours drive and to love it just as much as our traditional destinations. Amelia Island is very Florida with lots of palms and big southern oaks. It's got a lot to do, but still not overly touristy! 

Leave a comment below if you've visited Amelia Island! Where do you like to vacation with your family? How often do you get to get away with your parents and siblings? And raise your hand if you've done a 12k! I feel like that is such a random distance-you usually hear of 5 or 10ks. 
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