Friday, July 26, 2013

Beach Trip 2013 Update # 3

Another trip to another beach...this one is Sombrero Beach in Marathon, near where Jenn taught chemistry at Marathon High School.

There's a big green lizard in the top of this palm tree. 

I called this album on Facebook, "why Bobby was sore the next day." He spent all afternoon with the kids climbing on him, and launching themselves off his shoulders, while Jenn and I sat in a chair and watched. It was great. He's a wonderful dad. :)

Macy LOVES to boogie board!

Later, we got out the kayaks and the kids kayaked in the canal in front of their house. Good times!

Beach Trip 2013 Update #2

4th of July was beautiful. We headed out to the Content Keys, which was about a 1/2 hour boat ride from their house. It was another local hangout, and as you can see, is absolutely beautiful. The time to go is low tide, because the water recedes and leaves a beautiful white sand beach underneath.

My beautiful girls

Our family
We discovered that Kaylin LOVES snorkeling in the shallow water like this. She did it at Bahia Honda too, and loved it.
This is Bobby and Macy. Love this picture! They saw a stingray and followed it. Macy was so excited!
We moved to another place that was deeper, and had a reef so there were more fish to see. More snorkeling!

Me and the girls. I've never been able to find a snorkel mask to fit my face, so I just swam with them and enjoyed the time in the water.
The kids would swim for a while, then need a break to eat a snack, then head back out.
Bobby and Kaylin on the way back
Two of the most memorable events of the trip happened this day.

In the second place we were snorkeling, we heard Jon say "shark". Jen and I headed for the boat quickly, and the kids were already there. Jon disappeared for a while, and Jen and I were getting a little worried. When he came back, he said the shark had circled him two or three times, and nipped at him. He made it back to the boat before it circled again, but he was going to stab it with his speargun if it came back again. Bobby was mad he didn't get to see it.

Then on the way back to the house, we ran into a little bit of rain.  About the same time I saw the rain, I heard Jon say, "This is going to hurt. We can't stop!" and the next thing I know, we were getting pelted with rain. IT HURT so bad! We were going full speed, and that rain felt like pellets stinging. It only lasted a minute, thankfully. The girls have enjoyed telling that story.

That night, we loaded up in the boat again to watch fireworks. The timing wasn't great, but hey--we were on a boat in the ocean watching fireworks. What could be bad about that? In the far distance, we could see the fireworks from Key West.

One of the best 4th of July's I've ever had!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Beach Trip 2013

The day Girl Scout camp ended, we set out for the Florida Keys. We stopped at  my brothers' in Atlanta for dinner and to spend the night, then left the next morning. We wanted to leave at 6 to avoid the rush hour traffic, but I messed up the alarm with the time change, and we left at 7 instead. Oops. Traffic wasn't terrible. But man, that was a LONG drive. Left Atlanta at 7 am, arrived at our friend's house at 10 pm. The Florida turnpike, while it cost us $20, was nice because the traffic moved steadily and we didn't have a lot of merging.

We stayed in Big Pine Key, which was almost to the end of the Keys. Our good friends Jon and Jenn moved there last August, and offered to let us stay with them.

The weather wasn't great while we were there, but we made the best of it. This is Bahia Honda State Park, about 10 minutes from their house. Beautiful state park!

The girls liked to do handstands on the beach.
You can see the rain coming in this picture.

Another day, we went to what the locals call The Jumping Bridge. There are canals all over the place (Jon and Jenn live on one) and the locals come to jump off this bridge.  Here's the view from the top, and Macy's about in the middle of the canal. The open water is just over the tree line.

Bobby and Macy  jumping off the bridge. Kaylin did it too, but I don't have a good picture of her. Macy did it several times, but Kaylin wasn't fond of it. I stayed on the ground; no way was I jumping off that thing.
Later that day, we went fishing on Jon's boat. I LOVE seafood, and so does Macy, but Bobby and Kaylin don't. I'd asked Jon to catch some fish and prepare it for me. Nothing in this world is better than fresh fish.

Here's the kids on the boat.
Me and Jenn on the boat. We've been friends for over 12-13 years, and I've missed her a lot this year that they've been in the Keys.
Kaylin got a fish!
Bobby is not impressed with the size of his fish.
Macy got a fish too!
Jon and Jenn, our wonderful hosts.
That's it for Update #1 of our Beach Trip.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Girl Scout Camp

This year, Girl Scout camp was a little different. It was in a different place, run by different people, and Macy was a teen leader instead of a camper. I was the teen coordinator.

Here's the group of 20+ teens I was in charge of.

Sometimes teens get a bad rap, and are thought to be selfish, annoying, and not responsible. Not this bunch of teens, ranging from 11-16. Watching them lead a group of younger girls, working with other teens and adults, planning activities, and helping anywhere needed was pretty cool. Anytime another adult or myself asked the girls to do something, they did it right away. I went to my tent while they were still out with their groups, and they all got themselves to bed in the tent. They put worms on the hooks for the little girls, helped them get their lunches, played games, helped them with crafts, played with them in the pool or lake, and were great mentors for the little ones.  Several of them were put in jobs they didn't care for, but they made the best of it and by the end, on Saturday, they were all telling me how fun it was. It was incredibly rewarding to see.

Kaylin had a great time as well, as a camper. She LOVED her teen leaders, who did a great job with her group.

It is always tiring and burdensome to get the three of us ready for camp, and earlier in the week I said I wouldn't do this again. After about 2 days, I rethought that decision. :)

I love teaching, and one HUGE perk is having the summers off. Hopefully as the girls get older, they will think fondly on all the things we do in the summers, like Girl Scout camp.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Granada, Benalmadena, and Malaga pictures

The Alhambra in Granada, built as a fortress in 889, then coverted to a honeymoon spot in 1333

Me with Granada in the background. Savana was determined to take pictures of me to prove that I was on the trip too, after only one picture of me in Barcelona
Moving on to Benalmadena on the Mediterrean Sea
Feral cats everywhere!
Sun setting

Mustaches in Malaga!

That's it for pictures. Of course, I have about 500 more, but you really don't want to look at everyone of them. :)

Cordoba and Sevilla pictures

View of Cordoba, another ancient city.
Moor mosque that was built in 785. This keyhole is important to Islam, and was all over the mosque. Easy to spot.
This was in the mosque as well.
Alleyway in Cordoba, with the cathedral in the background.
Not sure what is going on here, but these local men came out dressed as women. Funny!
The whole group in Sevilla at the courtyard where Star Wars was filmed.
Me holding everyone's purses in Sevilla.
 Me and Abby, the other teacher, in Sevilla
 Plaza and fountain in Sevilla
 This was somewhere in Sevilla..was really cool because the water reflected the ceiling. I have no earthly idea what the building was. :)
 I was obsessed with flowers in windows while there :)

 Wes, one of the students, at the Christopher Columbus Monument. He's buried there!
 View of Sevilla. We had to walk up 37 steep ramps. Calves were burning big time, but it was pretty.
 Flamenco dancing in Sevilla