Sunday, June 15, 2014

Until next time...

We got packed and ready to head home, when we saw the Sea Turtle Rescuers out in front of the condo.  A nest had been found and needed to be protected! What an awesome way to say Good-bye to the island! We got to watch them dig for the eggs to check on them, and see the trail of evidence that the Mama had left behind! Taylor LOVED seeing this!

We stopped at a hotel to take a break for the LONG drive home, it happened to be the exact same exit that we stopped at the year before! We couldn't have planned that better!

Then we got to visit Wayne, Regina, and Amanda (and all their animals), on the way home. I so miss them!

Our puppy is so worn out from welcoming us home...this ol' sweet Sofa pup...we were happy to see her too!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Friday- "we went down to the river"

There is no denying it...when a storm moves through, it definitely takes away the calm rolling waves, replacing them with rough, relentless tumble-you-over waves. The wind doesn't help either, so we didn't spend much time trying to swim because frankly, it hurts to be rolled onto the rough sand that We had been told about De Soto National Park, by the Pastor at The Bridge. He said that is was a "must see", so we took off on another exploration.

Billy and I had both accepted Christ into our lives, some time ago...but as far as being water baptized, neither of us had. We knew that this trip to the ocean would be the one that we would be officially baptized with the water of the beautiful Gulf of Mexico! That same beautiful water got pretty rough with the storms so when we came across this De Soto National Monument, we figured it was a pretty obvious "sign"!

Blake had been officially baptized, and is as much of a pastor as anyone we know, so he did the honors. Billy and I were baptized in the Little Manatee River, aside a giant cross on the bank.
The boys had to fish since we were at a new spot, so Tay and I went to explore the other monuments. There were fiddler crabs all hanging, and dropping, in the forest! yikes! We didn't stay long!

We got back to the condo and just hung out at the beach. It's our last night here, why does it have to be depressing? We have to focus on the awesome week we have had here in paradise!


Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's just Thursday, not "two days before leaving" day

Trying NOT to think about it being only 2 days from leave-time! We have been so blessed with this vacation. I'm up by 5am again, but this time I woke Billy and we walked the windy, wavy beach with our coffee. Now the boys are fishing, while Taylor is standing guard over their bait, chasing the birds away from it, lol! I am sitting with the wind steady in my face, watching the surf, writing this blog...wonderful!

The wind and surf is so wild that we decided to visit the bayside piers for some quiet fishing and sight-seeing. We went to Rod n' Reel pier, Billy and Blake caught some cool fish. Tay and I went out and about on our own...she got a HUGE snow cone at Manatee Beach, along with a stuffed manta ray, as her souvenir. Then we picked up the guys and stopped by the Anna Maria City Pier to have lunch. We got to see a dolphin playing and trying to eat someone's bait off their hook! This all happened right in front of us...we were getting worried because while we loved seeing him so close, we sure didn't want him to get hooked. (like the pelicans kept doing). We saw a stingray closer to the shore, it was a great afternoon.

We couldn't put up our beach camp because of the wind, but we tried to get in the water, the waves were just too much for little Tay. We flew a princess kite for Taylor while the boys played water-ball. The kids were worn out, so they headed for the condo while Billy and I sat out by the water, jamming music, drinking beer...waiting for the sun to set...bliss.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Hump Day Continued...

Four days in and I'm just now beginning to realize that its vacation...not just run around busy. It's crazy how hard it is for our brains to SLOW DOWN. This is therapy! lol! 

With chances of rain and storms, we decided to do some exploring. We went south, toward Siesta Key, passing through Longboat Key, Armand's Circle, then Sarasota, to Lido Key. On the way back we stopped at the Bridge Street Pier in Brandenton for lunch and it was excellent!

When we got back to the condo, we did some fishing with "real bait" (aka poor wittle crabbies), which we realized was key to ocean fishing.  The kids and I got rolled by some ginormous waves...ouch!! Yes, the winds and storms are effecting our beach conditions but we have already had such wonderful weather, especially compared to last time, that we are happy! Plus...seeing the storms form and roll in is one of my favorite things! I shoulda been a storm-chaser! We are definitely getting some awesome views here!