The Illuminating Lens

New Smyrna Beach, Florida – 2022

When you decide to do something on a holiday weekend, at the last minute, it helps to have some nearby destinations and luckily an available Airbnb apartment owned by your family!

The Airbnb is in New Smyrna Beach, Florida and I was very surprised that it was available as it is not usually!  We arrived early Saturday afternoon, got settled in, and took a walk around the neighborhood.  The apartment was a couple of blocks from the business section where there were shops and restaurants.

We noticed an old gas station with antique gas pumps and an old truck parked in front, just around the corner, and decided to come back later when the lights were on (we hoped) during blue hour!

We stopped at Yellow Dog Eats for some lunch.  The sandwiches were so yummy!

This day was a backup day for the liftoff of the Artemis 1 rocket and we would have had a great view of the liftoff BUT once again the launch was scrubbed so we decided to wander around the area and explore.

Later the Florida clouds were coming up so we headed out to Riverside Park hoping the bridge was lit up later.

S Causeway Bridge over Indian River North – Nikon Z7 with Z 24-70mm lens.


As we walked along the river the clouds to the east really started to blow up!

Tug Boat on Indian River North – Nikon Z7 with Z 24-70mm lens.


That bridge did not have any lights on it so as blue hour approached, we headed back toward the apartment and the antique gas station!

Old Super Shell topper on the gas pump.  Nikon Z7 with Z 24-70mm lens.


I pulled back to get the whole scene.

Pennspeed Gas Station at Blue Hour – Nikon Z 7 with a Z 14-24mm lens


I wanted a better view of the truck so I moved over behind it and get down low!

Pennspeed gas station HDR – Nikon Z 7 with a Z 14-24mm lens


We ate some dinner at the apartment, downloaded our images, and went to bed early as the plan was to catch the sunrise on the beach in the morning!

We made the short drive to Flagler Ave while it was still dark.  This is the “famous” Flagler Ave that goes right down onto the beach when cars are allowed.  We found a parking spot on the street and waited for the pre-dawn light (the other blue hour).

As the light started to come up, we gathered our gear and walked down toward the beach.   The beach was closed to cars so we walked out and this was my first view!

New Smyrna Beach at morning Blue Hour.  Nikon Z 7 with a Z 14-24mm lens


The sky was changing as fast as I could shoot!  People were gathering to enjoy the sunrise!

Dawn on New Smyrna Beach.  Nikon Z 7 with a Z 14-24mm lens


As the sun started to break the horizon, the sky was on fire!

Sunrise!  Nikon Z 7 with a Z 14-24mm lens


I pulled out my iPhone 12 Pro Max to make a panorama.

Sunrise Panorama – iPhone 12 Pro Max


I had the iPhone out so it was time for some Slow Shutter Cam images!

ICM – Slow Shutter Cam app- iPhone 12 Pro Max


ICM – Walking at Sunrise – Slow Shutter Cam app – iPhone 12 Pro Max


Then even more people arrived, including a surfer.

Surfing at Sunrise.  Nikon Z 7 with a Z 14-24mm lens


Sun Worshipers –  Nikon Z 7 with a Z 14-24mm lens


We went back to the apartment for some breakfast and then headed to Smyrna Dunes Park.   The early morning clouds were still giving me some awesome shots at this park that is across from Ponce Inlet.

Ponce Inlet Lighthouse as viewed from Smyrna Dunes Park.  Nikon Z 7 with a Z 14-24mm lens


As we walked around the park’s peninsula (FYI- don’t wear flip-flops when the sand is like sugar!) I saw pools with reflections so I was in “beach heaven”!

Clouds Reflected – Nikon Z 7 with a Z 14-24mm lens


The Vertical Version of Reflected Clouds – Nikon Z 7 with a Z 14-24mm lens


We took the boardwalk back to the parking lot!  It was a lot easier to walk on that than on the sugar sand!

A View of the Dunes –  Nikon Z 7 with a Z 14-24mm lens


By the time we arrived back at the car we were exhausted and so very hot!  We headed back to the apartment, grabbed some lunch, and proceeded to watch movies all afternoon in the AC!  It was hot and muggy out there!

We had dinner at another restaurant within walking distance. The Spott NSB had amazing service and very good food.  They even brought me a different sauce (off-menu) to try on my sweet potato fries!  The desserts were so good!

The next morning we packed up to leave NSB. I had done some checking and a place that I had been to as a kid with my family was not too far out of our way.  My family had boated on the St Johns River to what is now Ponce de Leon Springs State Park.  My only memory of the place was a breakfast that we cooked on a griddle at a large table in a large rustic restaurant, The Old Spanish Sugar Mill.

As I drove in the very early morning, my friend did some online checking and found out that this was the last week of the old restaurant!  So I drove on hoping we would be early enough.  When we arrived at Ponce de Leon Springs State Park, we saw there were some cars in line.  We were directed down a side road and as we drove and drove, we realized that hundreds of folks had shown up for this iconic breakfast.  After driving about a mile and the end of the line of cars was not in sight we decided that it was time to turn around and head for home!  My timing was not great but at least I had the old memory to hold on to!

Thank you for joining us on this Labor Day weekend quick adventure!  New Smyrna Beach is a beautiful small Florida town that is close to so many other sights on the Florida east coast.  I highly recommend it.  If you are interested in checking out our Airbnb apartment here is the link!  Quiet NSB Apartment/RiverPark-Restaurants-Shopping  My sister is an Airbnb Superhost so I know you will enjoy your stay!

Click on any image to see a larger version OR visit my gallery to see and purchase prints and other items with these and many additional images: Gallery Links – New Smyrna Beach Gallery

My next post will be even closer to home.  We spent a morning at the J.C. Newman Cigar Co factory in Ybor City, Tampa.

That is all for now!


Lynn Wiezycki

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