Siesta Key is a delight to the senses. From the moment I stepped onto the powdery sand, I knew this was not an ordinary beach. In fact, I was a little embarrassed to find out it was voted the #1 beach in America and I had never heard of it before — after all, I pride myself on staying on top of all things travel.
But then again, I wasn’t in Siesta Key for a vacation. I was visiting for a wedding!
With love in the air, my husband and I were also excited to get away together. Despite how much traveling I’ve done this year, Mike and I haven’t traveled together since China without work being mixed into the agenda. Life gets busy, you know? This trip was our opportunity to reconnect and celebrate new love. Win-win.
Siesta Key was the perfect excuse to use a better camera to capture the moment. No more terrible cell phone selfies (or worse — no photos at all!). For once, I wanted a few photographs that I can actually share with our friends without embarrassment.
Airlines make it harder and harder to fit everything in a carry-on (on Thanksgiving weekend, no less!), so I needed a high-quality camera that’s compact and easy to carry. The Olympus PEN E-PL7 gets bonus points for conveniently squeezing into my beach bag, too!
Before the wedding even started, we had our own PEN worthy moments. Spending an entire morning together was such a luxury and Siesta Key was the ideal setting for it. First thing in the morning, the beach stretches forever without another soul in sight. For awhile, it was just us and the birds.
I got a dirty look from Mike at first when he noticed I brought the camera along. This was “us” time and he didn’t want me stopping every two minutes to set up a shot. Luckily, the Olympus PEN is built for life on the go and even though it has all the bells and whistles of a high-end camera, the automatic settings make it easy to capture the moment without interrupting it.
To be honest, I didn’t want to spend my whole vacation snapping photos anyway. I hate when you have to take the same shot over and over until it finally comes out right. With this camera, every photo is PEN worthy on the first take. If I took a second shot, it was because I wanted an entirely different picture and not a tweak on the first one.
I mean, come on, the camera is so easy that even Mike could use it!
We walked miles along that glorious white sand. At first, I was surprised to find out we covered six miles but the distance flies when you’re stopping every few feet to investigate the shells, sand dollars, and unidentified mollusks at your feet. When the sun finally got too hot, I waded into the Gulf of Mexico only to find out it’s such a gentle slope that you’ll never get far enough for the water to go deeper than your head.
Frankly, I think we could have spent forever at the beach if we didn’t have a wedding to go to. In fact, I put my money where my mouth is: we actually changed our flights last-minute to depart eight hours later than originally planned, just so we could spend an extra day on the beach. Normally I’m not a beach lover, but I’m still in awe of Siesta Key. Nature, solitude, and warm clear waters was enough to make me fall in love.
Now, I know this wedding wasn’t about me…but whenever we get dressed up, I love to get photos of the two of us. Our selfie was a breeze with a 180° flip screen (and so much better than the camera on my cell phone), but I wasn’t worried at all to hand off my Olympus PEN to a friend to get another picture of Mike and I. Best of all, the Wi-Fi capabilities meant I could share the photos of us and of the ceremony on Facebook right then and there instead of waiting until after the evening was over.
I’d never been to a beach wedding, but I see now why they are so popular. With the sun setting in the background, this magical moment became even more spectacular.
We only spent about 48 hours in Siesta Key. That was long enough to know I’ll be back — soon! — but certainly not enough time to take in such a gorgeous destination.
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Purchase or find out more about the Olympus PEN E-PL7 here and PEN your own story!
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I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.