Monday, July 29, 2013

FL vacation pictures, Part 1

This blog has been pretty silent but our family has been busy! We spent almost the entire month of July in Florida visiting friends and family. Len was able to spend part of it with us as well before returning home for work.

We spent the first week of our vacation in Crescent Beach to celebrate the 4th with family and friends. Nana came with us bearing a wonderful gift for the girls...pillows. But not just any pillows. Both girls were in love with their button dresses but had grown out of them, to the point that they had become shirts stretched tightly across their chests. I gave them to Nana in May and she made pillows out of them to surprise the girls. They loved them!
We spent the week as we usually do, swimming in the pool or ocean, sightseeing, eating, resting, playing and catching up with old friends.

The girls started out with these floaties on their backs that were recommended by their swim teacher. As they become stronger swimmers you can remove one of the 4 floats. By the end of this week we were down to only 2 floaties.
Karlie was delighted to see her two young charges again this year!

Nancy was telling Kate all about school (which they will start this fall).
After shucking their own corn, the girls decided to eat it raw!

We preferred ours cooked!
We had a nice tidal pool to play in pretty much every day.

There were plenty of other kids willing to entertain our little ones. Here McKenna and Abbie have lost their boogie boards to the girls.

Abbie is the daughter of my childhood friend. She, too, is from China and took Lucy under her wing for the week.

Sand fleas (or flea sands as Lucy called them) were caught by the dozen....
Len and I had lots of unexpected (and much-needed) downtime as the girls were entertained by all the other kids.

Tess, Kelly and Kelly enjoying the beach
Old friends...Kelly is one of the best!

Chatting around the pool while our girls all swim.
 Lunch break.
That's a lot of girls!
Len and Kate working on a 1,000 piece puzzle on a rainy afternoon.
We spent one morning at the Alligator Farm and followed that up with lunch and sightseeing in St. Augustine. Here is a rare albino alligator.
This dude was a monster!
Lucy is such a ham!
 Both girls ran up to the Buddha sculpture and said, "We saw these in China!"
They got to pet a bunny.
But it was mostly about alligators....lots and lots of alligators.

After lunch (and Sangria!) at Columbia Restaurant
the girls were allowed to pick out something from Savannah Sweets...they chose rock candy, one of Len's childhood favorites too.
Lucy is all about any sport...she is one active girl and learns quite quickly. She immediately wanted to try the frisbee!
 Mother and children: John, Ms. Betty and Kelly...a fabulous family.
Sisters Laurie and Nancy catching up.
 Strawberry smiles.
Shelling was one of Kate's favorite activities...we came home with a LOT of shells.

Kate found this starfish under her shoe near the dunes. Lucy was dying to hold it!

A very relaxed husband!

Len's sister, Kathy, and her boys came for a few days. The boys seem to have grown several feet since we saw them last summer. It was nice to have a few extra hands to help schlep stuff to the beach!

We checked out the tracks made by a turtle who had come ashore to lay her eggs. This was a wildlife conservationist marking the nest so no one would disturb it.

The sea raft was taken for a spin in the pool...totally against the rules, PASTOR LAURIE!  :-)
Practicing a cheerleader pyramid.

Lucy having a chat with Abbie's mom, Laurie.
For the first time since the older kids were Kate's and Lucy's age, they all lined up for a 4th of July parade, banging on pots, tooting horns and waving flags as they marched around the condo grounds.

We spent 4th of July evening on the dock fishing, waiting for the fireworks to begin at 9pm. John's son, Jackson, caught the first fish!

Kellen helped Kate and Lucy bait their hook and cast it into the Intercoastal.

Lucy caught her first fish! She was beaming with pride and was fortunately non-plussed when John unhooked it and tossed it back.
A bevy of girls eating watermelon in the pool.
Kathy spotted this turtle laying her eggs in the dunes.

Tony catching a quick catnap.
Kathy took some lovely shots with her camera!

We finished up our week at Crescent and headed over to Ocala for a visit with my dad and Gloria, Papa Meme. More on that week in another post.

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