Saturday, October 27, 2018

Little Toot

The time has come and gone for our annual family vacation. This year we went back to Indian Rocks Beach, FL so that we could relive old memories of Red Tide and family bonding. The bonding part came quickly as it took us 100 years 14 hours to actually get there due to rain. I'm not sure why we can't strap a jumbo umbrella to a 747 and call it a day but whatevs.
We chose a new condo this time around:
 It was overcast and windy on our first full day so I didn't get my usual favorite view from the balcony until later in the week. I'm not breaking out in hives over it this year because Red Tide really had a mellowing effect on the high strung blogging part of my frontal lobe. That being said, this is my view taken from the balcony on the first day.
 The ocean waves were high. High and dirty. A dirty ocean is unsettling to swim in because you can't determine where sharks are lurking. And sharks totally lurk.
 As usual we had the beach to ourselves. This picture seems to make it so ominous though. I really like that word ominous. I should probably write a book.
 This is Jason sitting on the balcony of our condo while I was out taunting lurking sharks from the shore where they could never get me.
 The boys finally joined me. That was a skillfully crafted sentence.
A little wind and rain has never deterred my children from pool activity unless it's accompanied by temperatures below 40. 
On our way up to the condo we found this real live snail. I'm not sure what is so fascinating about this snail, but there's no shame in it.
Really our first day was consumed with nothing. We walked on the beach, the boys swam in the pool while I read a book and never has there been less to say about a first day of vacation. I was a teeny bit delighted when I was able to capture a beautiful sunset because the weather had been so crummy.
 Also. This is what a sunset looks like when you walk outside and it's muggy and you didn't clean the lens of your camera. I call this "Muggy Beach". Sounds like someone getting robbed on a beach, but the name is catchy either way.
 I forgot to mention that we went grocery shopping and I found that the state of Florida apparently doesn't have Girl Scouts, so they've come up with a suitable replacement.
 We went to Busch Gardens the following day (this was a Thursday. I feel it's important to say because Red Tide has diminished). The amusement park wasn't busy at all which led me to believe everyone was at Disney World instead. Within in the first hour or so however, the park had a power outage and we couldn't ride anything. We sat down to eat and feed the birds even though there was a sign that said "do not feed the birds".
We got to feed some kangaroos.
This little guy felt it necessary to prop his leg onto my arm which caused me to drop Evan's bowl of food and it dumped on the ground. But no worries. I picked it all up off the ground one by one and saved the day. You'll see me in the next Marvel Adventure.
Evan rode nearly every ride at Busch Gardens and even lifted his hands on a roller coaster like a Cedar Point junkie. Makes a mom proud.
On the other hand, Jason offered Dawson $20 to ride the Sheikra and he refused even though he's begging to earn money so that he can buy a pair of Beats wireless headphones. He came around eventually.
Jason pleaded with me to end this day by eating at Skyline Chili (this is his picture. I ate a baked potato with butter, cheese and sour cream. In return, he said he would buy me a $4,000 diamond. Fair.
Friday morning from the balcony:
We got to meet up with Jason's sister who had just taken their girls to Disney. We got to spend several days with them which was much needed! They came to our condo on Friday and the kids got to swim while Jenessa and I hunted for whale barf shells on the beach.

I had this great idea to count to 3 and have all the kids jump in the pool at once. #haveallthekidsjumpinthepoolatoncefail
 Evan would spend all day digging in the sand rather than exploring in the ocean like Dawson. Some days this could make me wonder if they are truly brothers but they fight like it so I let it go.
 Speaking of the sand. This is my footprint. Just before a tractor came on the beach and swept up my sandals which rendered me devastated at the carelessness of life shoe-less. They were my favorite $1 pair of Old Navy sandals.
 Dawson and M-bug love the ocean.
We ate dinner at our favorite pizza joint: The Slyce.
On Saturday, both families joined up to do a Dolphin Watch. I  heart dolphins. They seem so socially affable. The Little Toot is quite possibly the best name for a Dolphin Watch Tour ever.
Like most of our vacations, Dawson was happy and Evan was grumbling about something. In this case, I think Evan was upset because he wanted the chair Dawson was sitting in, or possibly he was grumpy because I didn't let him jump off the pier. Who knows.
Speaking of pier, we did a walk down Pier 60 before the dolphin tour because we got there early and needed to fill our time with activity to keep us all from sweaty breakdowns.
Once on the boat for the tour, I talked to Dawson.
  We found a pod of dolphins but our tour guide told us their behavior indicated they were sleeping, so we moved on. I totally get that because hell hath no fury like a dolphin scorned or something.
My screaming footage of our dolphin friend. It's also unfortunately terrible footage that I couldn't rotate in YouTube because they are pirate overlords. It just felt good to say. 
Afterward we went out to eat at a seafood joint that didn't have snow crab legs! Can you even? My diva came out and I ordered fish tacos with an attitude.
Sunday began with Evan eating Ramen noodles for breakfast.
 Our beach time was inundated with minnows.
 I was finally able to take my favorite picture of the beach from inside the condo.
 And we had another great sunset.
 Jenessa and fam had to leave on Monday so we had our last day on the beach to ourselves which made me more apt to wallow in self pity that they had to leave.
While I wallowed, Dawson took the net and went on the hunt for Loch Ness.
 Jason found me a Sand Dollar. (spoiler, there are no dollars in a sand dollar).
 Jason buried Evan in the sand.
Then we went for a drive to John's Pass Village.
We took a evening stroll on the beach, and Jason's camera is crappy on his old phone.
We left for Orlando for our flight home on Tuesday. Since we had time we stopped at a mall and wandered around aimlessly looking for something exciting to happen like a mime to talk or a clown to chase us. Instead we found a Bucca Di Beppo and no one wanted to share pizza with me! I'm getting all worked up just typing it out. But Dawson had been begging for Chicken and linguine with alfredo the whole week long so I had to sacrifice for the better of society as a whole. I really wanted their garlic bread too and Jason nixed that idea because the garlic is too garlicky and really, I didn't blame him because that sort of pungent garlic breath would make me feel bad for God if I needed to say even a short prayer on the plane.
And that brings us to the conclusion of this vacation.