Wednesday, November 25, 2015

FL - Siesta Key Beach Annual Sand Sculpture Contest

     Hmmmm?  Wondering why there doesn't seem to be any FRONT shots of the sculptures???
I happened on this event unexpectedly on a Monday morning and didn't have $6 cash to get into the exhibit!!!  Oh my goodness!!!  Therefore, I walked around the periphery of the area and got what I could.  From what I could see, it must have been really cool watching the artists create their masterpieces the weekend before.  What a fun surprise!
Then I pulled out the ole beach blanket and caught some rays...perfect!!!

Treasure seeker on the beach

The craft fair on the beach of Siesta Key

Amateur corner

Amateur corner

My second fave

My fave

FL - Fort Myers Shell Factory

     Wow, this place was so cool...more kinds of shells than I even knew existed!  We didn't get to the Nature Center here to see the animals,

My, my...and we BEARLY
know each other...LOL

Shiek Carl...LOL

What can I say?!!!!!

Like my new ride?!!!

but there was an impressive taxidermy display of various critters! The part we enjoyed the most, I think, was being silly!!!

FL - Myakka River State Park

     For the past 4 weeks, Carl and I have resided at Myakka River State Park.  It is absolutely beautiful here.  Carl works in various areas of the park as a workkamper (working=free site)...can't beat that!!! And you only work 3 days a week!  I have explored several areas of the park on his work days and we have seen much together on days off.  One of the greatest aspects of living in a state park is that nature is literally your home.  Birds of all kinds, deer, raccoons, snakes, alligators, swampland, the river, trees and on and on!  I hope the pics give you a sense of the peacefulness as well as the excitement of it all.
The underside of the
'wiggly' bridge that
connects the 2 sets of
steps that takes you high
above the treeline

View from the top

Another view...about half way to the top

The Canopy Walk

Not so friendly vultures by the river
near the concession/gift store and boat tour rental
building...gotta appreciate the awesome wingspan

Air boat tour
They hang out in huge numbers

Zoom in and read this sign!!!  There
have been cases where these crazy birds
EAT away windshield wipers, tires, the rubber
off of roof carriers.  One woman had her car covered
and the vultures pulled forces and dragged the cover off
and went to town on her window rubber!  It seems they like
the petroleum...pesky critters to say the least!!!

Magnolia trying to take over the river...
very pretty, but a nuisance...they clog
waterways around here

The river

Beautiful heron/tree reflection

Sasha...our adorable walking companion

Nature's flower pot

A path through the woods

Carl caught climbing a tree!!!

Mr. Gator!!!

Four gators on the left of the dam

Vultures landing
Awesome shell on one of the walking paths
Spanish moss in the breeze!


In addition to park sights, we have had a blast checking out wonderful places and events in surrounding Sarasota.  Today; however, I'm only going to share pictures of the park.  ENJOY!!!  Other adventures coming soon!

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

DE - Son's Wedding Weekend Extraordinaire

     The weekend of Oct. 16-18, 2015 my son Matthew married his best friend, Adam in Rehobeth Beach, DE.  Just before dusk on Friday the 16th, the immediate family and close friends watched with love and joy as the guys shared their vows with pant legs rolled up in the receding tide under clear blue skies.
Adam and Matthew before the wedding

Off with the shoes

The barefoot grooms and groomsmen

First married hug!!!
Rachel, me and Nicole
playing in the sand after the wedding

The newly married


Testing the waters prior to the ceremony
at Rehobeth Beach, DE
Pretty chilly!!!

The photographer getting creative!
I can't wait to see this one!

The wedding party

Husbands and their Dads

Matthew and Adam with my sister. Tanya
(Matthew's Godmother) and her wife, Amy

One of the wedding party table's

The crazy drink Megan "made me" drink
that kept me from being able to party after

The shoreline just after the ceremony

Me being happy!

My silly daughter, Nicole
and family

Adam, Judy (his mom) and Michael
(lifelong friend) the evening before
the wedding...I don't even think they
had a drink yet...LOL

The ocean

A gentle breeze was a lovely addition to the already spectacular ambiance of this beautiful wedding ceremony!
After the ceremony, pictures were taken and we all went to for a spectacular dinner at the Stingray Restaurant.
We were all seated in a section of our very own, very cozy and intimate.  The food was out of this world fabulous...yummy!  The glow in Matthew's and Adam's eyes could have lit the room without the lights!!!  It was great!  I didn't make it to the late evening show...but I heard it was a hoot!
The following morning everyone was on their own for breakfast and we ate light because the "big picnic/party" was to start around noon!  The pavilion near the Hawk watch platform in Henlopen State Park was the venue for the day's festivities.  Here, many of us who haven't seen each other for quite awhile, had the good fortune of getting re-acquainted while marveling over the lightness of the day!  I DID make it to Saturday night's fun and frolicking.  A bunch of us went to a neighborhood bar where dancing and karaoke added to the excitement of our time together.  What a blast!
Sunday breakfast for us stragglers was provided by the happy, cream cheese and fresh delicious!!!  Afterward, it was with mixed feelings that we all bid farewell to new and old friends after such a blessed weekend filled with love!
I took a gazillion pictures during the weekend.  I'll do my best to share the highlights here only, hoping that you too may get a sense of the wonderment of it all!