Saturday, September 28, 2013

Headed for Home

I stayed up late, getting all packed up and ready to head for home. I'm sad to leave, but excited to see our puppy dog and to get back into a regular routine. We hit some orange grove stands on the way home. The ride home was longer than the trip there. We stayed the night mid-way back and that added to the length of it all.
Good-bye little, you can't hitch a ride in Daddy's shave kit!!

seeing a gator!
Taylor, having her little anti-nausea wrist bands on and a dose of Dramamine, was happy and singing ALL THE WAY HOME!  That's 17.5 hours of listening to her laugh and sing...not that I'm complaining, because it could be more like the trip there, with fighting and such!  Both of the kids did really well on the ride, I am really proud of them.

happy reunion
This has sure been one memorable adventure. I think the next one may need to be an all inclusive resort though! lol!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Saved the Best for Last- Day 6

Today is our last day of vacation. We finally have this beach thing down! I now know, that after having to "hoof-it" all week because our van was flooded in, we should NOT walk to Bean Point, at the very northern edge of the island, first thing in the morning! It's super "shelley/crunchy sand...ouch" and long, but...Taylor and I found some whole sand dollars and we got to see what everyone talks about at Bean Point.  When we got back to our beach spot, we set up the canopy, aka camp, and just stayed all day.  We swam out deep and floated on the now gentle, rolling waves.  Billy found two crabs and a live sand dollar with his "pinch-toe" feet in the deep water. We were literally swimming alongside families of stingrays, and could see dolphins in the distance too! We just relaxed and really got to enjoy this beach time.

she found it!

Blake caught a flounder!

our monster falcon kite!

it sure took off...looks real and a mile high!

our camp!

best spot ever!

THIS is the day we have been waiting for! Our outlook has completely changed, instead of focusing on the part of the vacation that was flooded out, we are focused on how awesome it was to be together and "get" to experience all of this! We have truly laughed to hard, we cried. We have taken time to just chat as we walked, looking at the ocean, sky and collecting tiny masterpieces of shells. We shared the excitement of each new thing we experienced. YES, we were flooded in - at a beautiful 5 star style beach house. YES, storms continually rolled in - from the ocean that we saw a 360 degree view of. As you can tell, I am realizing how ridiculous it was to whine about the first half of the trip. I am sitting alongside the beach, as the sun is beginning to set, watching Billy fish, the kids splash and scream with delight as the waves roll in, writing this, feeling especially blessed.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Oh Glorious Day!!

Oh! The Glorious day we have been waiting for...The weatherman claimed that Thursday would be better, but we weren't about to get our hopes up to be let down again, but guess what?  It was!  The sun came up! Hallelujah!

Because around our house was still flooded and the wind was still crazy, we explored the bay side of the island. We did some fishing, ate at the City Pier, and then decided to hit the beach, rough waves or not!  We drove to Coquina beach again and loved the gulf side for swimming. We fought the waves, dove into waves, and rode waves on our boogie board! We grabbed pizza and headed back to the house to fish and swim at "our" beach. 

the sun, the clouds, the bay

fishing by the pier

We built sand castles, Taylor collected clams (including a special princess clam) and set up "homes" for them in her sand bucket.  Blake and Billy did some fishing and we truly enjoyed the sun and the beach!


Billy made us some margaritas to take back to the beach to fish and watch the sunset. All was finally right with the world!  As we headed out, I noticed a few ladies headed down the, still flooded path to the beach. One looked elderly and needed carried over the deep puddles. Billy set his load of beach stuff down and went back to ask if he could help, I just cried, partly because I felt for the woman who needed carried, partly for the family who had her in their arms, but also because of how selfish I had been. I've been thinking, this whole time, "why would this have to happen-and mess up our 1st family vacation?" I'm so sorry for being so selfish, this is our "first" vacation that was mostly rained out, but what if...this could be that woman's "last" vacation or that family's "last" vacation with their mother? And just like that...everything changed. I said a prayer for that family and then caught up with Billy and the kids to watch the beautiful sunset together, after all, it was the night we had been waiting for.

Blake caught a mackerel!

Loving the sand and teeney clams

jumping for joy!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Flooded Full Night

Now I am just feeling sorry for Billy and I, the kids are fine. We officially have cabin fever...we decided to "wade" into town and visit historical Pine Avenue. As it turns out, when you are in a small community, things CLOSE by 5pm...we will just "look" at the sights, who needs to shop or eat ice cream when everything else has gone wrong, anyways?!?!  ( really, "laughing. out. loud." ha ha ha!) We saw the old time city jail and everything there was to see on Pine Ave. Then decided to take a ride on the trolley, at least it would get us out and about and keep us dry, well that is unless Taylor or I were to vomit on was a quick and very short ride, we jumped off a couple miles away and did find some souvenir shops that were still open.  Then we walked through the flooded streets, washed ourselves off at the city park, and hitched a ride back to our neck of the island. We walked back to a bait shop/market and got dinner to take home. One thing I can honestly say, is that if it hadn't flooded us so badly, we would have never walked Anna Maria Island and explored quite like we did!  We got back home, watched "The Book of Manning" and called it a night...a flooded, but full night.

after storms bring beautiful sunsets!!

REALLY!?!?!? Day 4-con't.

NOW the house is actually flooding and it is getting difficult to stay positive. I'm finally at the point of calling our rental company and the travel insurance...they both agree that they are sorry...duh! (yes, that is the tantrum-like child, coming out in me!!) Anyways, I am trying to "deal", (turns out that cussing the storm only makes the thunder Radar shows a break in the storm coming tomorrow. That will give us two days of enjoy time out of 7, but we will see...

no grillin', even when the storm stops

Vacation-Day 4

It's now our 4th day...Wednesday. At 3AM, I heard crazy wind, then the power went out. I woke Billy, we opened the door to see the storm and noticed our boogie boards being carried away by the wind. I ran out to save them and came in with a dozen cock-a-burs in my hands and feet! OUCH!!  At 7AM...still raining, and now the city has set up pumps to drain water from the street (houses are flooding), meanwhile flooding our path to the beach....ugh!! I wish I could have the same attitude that the kids have. Taylor just made me a "thank you" gift. Blake declares that this is the "Best Vacation EVER!!", while wading to the beach earlier! and Tay just said a prayer over breakfast, to thank God for this wonderful adventure, (and to keep Sophie safe at the kennel)...they are such awesome little troopers!

the flooded view from back door

The "thank you" gift from Tay, ironically
has a rainbow on it! :)
More crafts...

more crafts....jellyfish!

saved "Finney's twin gecko" after Daddy almost washed him
with the dishes!

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Trying not to be bummed-3rd Day

Going to bed with the rain pounding down was one thing, but waking up to it "still" pouring down is another! I am trying very hard NOT to get bummed!  The water is now up to our front door and the "flooded road" sign has been placed at the end of our driveway. We are now scared to drive the rental van and take a chance on flooding it. This is starting to freak me out now...I went in the bedroom and cried. I HAVE to get outta this frame of mind!

Yep, that's our driveway, under water!

back up camera....water as far as the eye can see!

The kids and I did some vacation crafts, while we waited for the rain to let up. It eventually let up enough for us all to take a walk...more like a "wade", to the beach. We found a coconut that had washed up in the storm, along with some little seahorses!


Blake did a lot of writing and drawing comics

storms sure wash up some crazy stuff!

Seahorses are best found after a storm, stuck in seaweed...awww!

cleaning the shells that we found

The rain came again...we decided to chance driving in the flood water and headed out to do some fishing at Coquina Beach on Long Boat Key.  The roads were all flooded, especially the parking lots...turns out that some of the pot-holes were more like pot-ponds...woopsie van!  Coquina Beach was beautiful in the rain or the shine!

We hit a souvenir shop on the way back home to let the kids spend some of their vacation money. Tired and praying for better weather.