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Caladesi Island Beach

Today I saw that Florida’s Caladesi Island was named the nations best beach.

Starr and I have been there! Almost 5 years ago, we returned to the Tampa, FL area to celebrate our 5 year anniversary. We decided to take the drive, and hop on the 15 minute ferry ride to Caladesi Island. It was very, very beautiful. The calmest waves, the whitest sand, hardly any people and it was the middle of June. It was wonderful.

But my memory of Caladesi Island will always involve the murderous beach umbrella. When we went on our trip to Florida this time, we decided to just pick up a cheap beach umbrella at a Big Lots. We bought some beachy looking umbrella, and used it our entire trip. However on Caladesi Island, Starr (if I remember right) didn’t stake the thing down hard enough. I can clearly remember walking back from the snack bar, and seeing her chasing this umbrella that is barrelling over and over across the beach stabbing it’s spear-like end into the sand every 5 feet or so. All I could think of was some snoozing beachcomber getting stabbed in the heart or back while enjoying a vacation. Luckily, and amazingly, it skipped over and around crowds of people and crashed into the trees behind the beach.

Good Times…

Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. Starr · May 22, 2008

    Also notable is that I was six months pregnant chasing that umbrella turned weapon down the beach! You’ve never seen a pregnant women in a swimsuit move so fast.

  2. Queen Cash · May 22, 2008

    Loudly laughing in Japan.

  3. College Station · May 24, 2008

    Jonathan and Starr,

    Oh my! Thank you for taking me back down memory lane. Rob and I had the same experience on our trip to Florida. I would have let the umbrella go if I had bought ours at a cheapy store, but unfortunately we were suckered into renting one on the beach and would not get our deposit back if we didn’t return it. I have never laughed so hard watching Rob turn into superman and leaping over objects on the beach. I’m sure it’s a memory he would like to forget, but I want to thank you for bringing it to my mind, and giving me a laugh once again.
    Miss you guys,