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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Vacation Part 4 (Daytona Beach Shores)

We made it to the beach with no problems and checked into our condo. My mom had already gone grocery shopping and met us with a car fully loaded so all we had to do was unpack and get settled in.

Clearly the girls were happy to see Nana!
The tide had brought in hundreds of moon jellies which the girls began collecting furiously.


Kate set about making a collage.



Lucy put all of hers in a bucket but then decided to build a dribble sand castle instead.


We spent most days going from beach to pool and back again depending on everyone's moods and hunger levels. The girls pretty much stayed outside from the time we went down in the morning until we came up for suppertime. One of the grownups would go up and make lunch and shuttle it back down. They swam nonstop for a solid week.
Lucy loved her new-found freedom to go over to the deep end without a grownup so she could practice with her dive sticks.


Evening walks after supper involved lots of cartwheel practice.






More moon jellies washing up.
The girls made fast friends with E and her family. She is a year younger than K&L and was just learning to swim. By the end of the week, with encouragement from our family and hers, she was swimming around like a fish!

Nana gifted the girls with new boogie boards. Kate L.O.V.E. LOVED it. I think she was on that thing for damn near an hour on the first day, easily.
Lucy rode for maybe 15 minutes and then went up to the pool with Nana.



Getting pummeled by waves from an approaching storm did nothing to deter her.

Recently a friend of mine from grade school who also lived in my neighborhood, found me on FB. She moved away in 1981 and we lost contact with each other. I had tried to find her over the years but had not been successful. Turns out we had probably crossed each other's paths many times from DC to visits to Ocala over the years. She now lives in south FL and drove up for a couple of days to visit. We met up for dinner at Boondocks so the girls could feed the catfish while we caught up over drinks waiting for a table.

The catfish go crazy when you toss in bread. Or fries. Really, anything.

Lucy didn't want the seagulls left out so she tossed bread to them too.
That's a lot of fish.

Me and Meloney! Reunited after nearly 35 years.
In contrast, here we were back in the day as girl scouts. Meloney is on the far right and I'm in the front middle.
She used to come with our family to the beach during summer vacation.
And on a camping trip. She's in the groovy striped hat and I'm apparently telling everyone what to do there in the middle.
Our table finally opened up and we enjoyed supper until dusk hit and the no-see-ums started biting in earnest. They seemed to love Lucy most--poor thing had bite marks all over her shoulders and back.


This guys flew up and perched right next to the tables. I cannot imagine how many FB posts he got but I imagine it was at least 20 based on the number of iphones snapping him.
Kate woke up the next morning complaining that her ears hurt. Based on last year's case of swimmer's ear and how many times she was plowed under by waves the previous day, we wasted no time in taking her to urgent care for drops and ear plugs. Her swim cap ensured that the plugs stayed in and everyone was happy. Vacation was saved.
Back into the pool.
Meloney brought a few gifts for the girls, the most popular of which were these water guns.



The bags seemed to the second most popular.

Lucy finally got in on the boogie board action.







Pelicans were diving all around us on this afternoon. The fishing must have been exceptional as they never seemed to come up short.

Nana watched the girls one evening so Len and I could have a date. E's mother, Sara, recommended we go to Norwoods Restaurant and Treehouse Bar over in New Smyrna Beach.
I have to say that it was a great recommendation--the food was fantastic and sitting up in the trees listening to music and having a drink afterwards was wonderful.



Although there weren't a lot of kids at the pool, they managed to find a girl just a few years older to play with as well. She taught them to jump in straight as a pencil.



My old college roommate, Sue, drove up for the day from just south of Orlando. We missed her last year so it was good to have some time to catch up.




We spent a bit of time on the beach as well but a storm looked like it was making its way towards us.



Although the storm looked bad, it skirted around us, staying mostly off-shore.

 
Nobody seemed very concerned about getting out of the pool. No thunder or lightening, no need to budge.
Sara, her friend and their daughters joined us for one last swim in the pool.

We headed to Aunt Catfish's for supper. It has one of best kid's menus I've ever seen. Lucy ordered the frog legs again while Kate stuck to shrimp although after tasting Nana's alligator and chowing down on a frog leg I think she wished she had been more adventurous.

Nana got them each a necklace as a keepsake for the trip.
After supper Lucy wanted to swim again so Len stayed with her while Kate and I took our last beach walk.



When we returned, Lucy had the entire pool to herself.

The sunset was beautiful from our front balcony.
Nana came over the next morning to take all the extra food to her house and help us pack.
 We then drove to her house to help her unload everything!

Another quiet drive to the Orlando airport. En route, we got a text saying that our flight had been delayed by 2 hours so we stopped for lunch.
After we got to the airport gate, we were notified of more delays and gate changes. We ended up feeding the girls a supper of sandwiches in the line waiting to board the plane.
I think we finally took off for Chicago sometime after 8pm (our original flight was for 3pm) and we didn't make it home and into bed until well after 11:30pm. Amazingly, the girls were WONDERFUL. I cannot say enough about how great they were on what turned out to be an awful way to end our vacation. Not one single meltdown or tantrum, minimal fussing and fighting with each other....it was incredible. They are certainly maturing!

So that's it for this year's summer vacation. We have until September 8 until school starts. They start a 3 hour sports camp tomorrow that runs 3 days/week for this week and next but otherwise we are going to try to keep the pace slow and enjoy the last of summer.

1 comment:

Elizabeth said...

I have been reading all your posts, as you wrote them, about your summer and what a great one you had! It sounds and look fabulous! So many friends, family, good times and great memories. I can't believe how grown-up your girls are getting. They are amazing swimmers!!!

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