Thursday, April 10, 2014

Showing The Kids How We Live

Hoofin' it to the Publix
I had been watching the weather forecast for days with my fingers crossed that we would have warm temps and light winds for the time my daughter and her husband would be here.  We wanted to show them a good time and let them see how life on the boat really is… but not be stuck on the boat by unpleasant weather.  We were due for some rain with the passing of a cold front right in the middle of their visit… but I was still hopeful that we could find something fun to do.  

It was pretty warm on their first day here.  We slept with all of the windows and hatches open and after breakfast, we took advantage of the cooler part of the day to get some groceries.  We took the dinghy ashore and set out on foot for the mile or so to the Publix.  Bruce and I were glad to have two additional backs to carry stuff home!  Hey!  It isn’t glamorous but it’s how we live!  If you wanna eat, you’ve gotta haul groceries!

Melissa and Michael on Sombrero Beach
By the time we arrived back at the boat and put away the food, we were all pretty much dripping in sweat.  I promised not to complain about heat after the cold winter we’ve endured… but I was very interested in finding a beach at this point to spend our afternoon hours…  We piled all four back into the dinghy for a ride up Sister Creek to Sombrero Beach.  

Sadly no fish were caught...
We beached the dinghy and set off across the beautiful white sands to find our spot.  Michael brought along a fishing pole and I pointed him to the spot where we watched a fisherman haul in a nurse shark on our last visit here.  The rest of us settled in for some relaxation in the sun.  

Enjoying the water with my firstborn
Unlike our last visit here… it was now warm enough to enjoy the water.  Bruce, Melissa and I took several dips in the seaweed soup, but it was refreshingly cool…  

The sand was warm as we spent the afternoon soaking up rays…  It was nice having some Mother-Daughter time while Bruce got in his swim.  The fish were uncooperative and we would be forced to find food elsewhere… so as we began to feel crispy from the abundant sunshine, our thoughts turned to fried key lime pie…

Maybe I should drive more often... it was evidently photo worthy...

We dinghied over to Burdines and once again, were weakened by the delicious smells wafting from the kitchens…  

Still looking like newlyweds...
We had cold drinks and snacks while we enjoyed the view from the cool upstairs patio before we ordered the one piece of fried pie to share.  I’m SURE we’re ruining our dinner… but we didn’t care!

We were all ready for showers and it became a race against the weather.  Would we make it in time?  Or would the frontal passage hit us with rain before we could make it back to the boat.  I checked the radar and we decided to dash.  I was dismayed to find that the bank of clouds was right on top of us as we emerged from the showers.  The winds hit as we boarded the dinghy and we clambered back aboard the boat in the whipping winds.  Once again, I was glad we were on a mooring and not anchored out somewhere…

We relaxed in the cockpit and watched the storm pass.  We were all safe and dry inside the enclosure with only a few sprinkles.  The worst of the weather passed us by, but we did get a gentle rain out of it and a free deck wash.  The rain passed in the night, leaving behind cooler temperatures to make sleeping very comfortable.  Hopefully it wouldn’t halt the next day's outing to Bahia Honda Park. 

The next morning we had a relaxed breakfast and prepared for our day at the beach. The winds were up, but we weren’t deterred.  We packed a lunch and took off for the bus stop for the short ride to nearby Bahia Honda State Park.  Once again, the bus spit us out and we hoofed it to the park entrance.  

This was new to all of us and we marveled at the gorgeous beach just beyond the tree line.  We were now glad of the cooler weather as it made the walk very comfortable.  

The winds were coming from the other side of the Key so our beach was very calm and protected.  I followed Melissa as she headed straight for an exposed sand bar with every intention of claiming it as our own private island for the day…  

That's what I'm talkin' about!
Heading for "our island"
We reconsidered as the sand was wet and it looked like we had an incoming tide… so we waded back to shore and found a spot that wasn’t covered in a mound of stinky seaweed for our blanket.  

We parked it there and prepared for our individual pursuits… Mike took off with his fishing pole, Melissa and I waded.  Bruce guarded the stuff, then upon our return to the blanket, took off on a scouting mission.  

Delicate floaty things on the sand

Sweet smelling bushes were everywhere1

Delicate Floaty things in the shallows.

I (and my sandwich) were popular with the birds

The afternoon unfolded with the peace of knowing that we had nothing to do and all day to do it.  We had lunch and I was very popular with the gulls…  Bruce and I took a walk, he wanted to show me the other side of the park, where there was hand dipped ICE CREAM!  

We chose our scoops and braved the crazy winds outside briefly as our ice-cream melted everywhere!  Maybe we’ll come back here to check out the bridge when the weather is more calm…

The Bridge looked like fun, maybe next time...
We returned to the blanket and pointed the kids to the ice cream…  then packed up to leave when they returned.  We could have stayed forever soaking up the beauty of this place… but we had a bus to catch!  Tomorrow morning the kids would be leaving.  Tonight we had a date with a sunset.  Bruce and I left the kids in the cockpit after dinner to enjoy some “alone time”.  

A schooner sailing majestically by offshore
In the morning we would pack them off to the bus stop, the visit has come to an end.  Bruce and I were happy that the kids seemed to have enjoyed themselves.  The boat was plenty spacious for company and we enjoyed the time with family.  We had lots of laughs and it gave Bruce and I a chance to show off our way of life.  I was a little sad to see them off in the morning, but my attention was soon diverted by the many chores that must be done…  I can’t wait until the next time and wonder where we’ll be then...

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