Short reminder on where we left off in the spring break tale...we were at Sunday. Officially it was Palm Sunday but to our kids Grandpa's house always means Easter. Since we had to be home by Easter this year we turned Palm Sunday into 'Easter'!! We dressed up and headed off to St. Martha's for the service....and the absolutely traditional courtyard pictures!!!
The weather was less than cooperative. Sunday was also my official, 'real' birthday and I had longed for a 'beach party'. It was supposed to be a big Chinese spread on Lido Beach. Instead it was a quick dash between raindrops to a local restaurant. Just as well since I became sicker than a dog and had to excuse myself before the appetizers had even been eaten!!!! I spent my BIG birthday sleeping to the sound of raindrops pelting Grandpa's roof.
Monday was still cloudy and cool in Sarasota but we noted (on the weather channel) that it was sunny and warmer in South Florida...so we hopped in the car and headed to the Everglades!!
Warmer was a rather relative description. While we had full sun and 70+ in the sun there was still a rather brisk breeze!! We opted to go to the National Park first and take a boat ride around the 10,000 Islands area.
birds on nests squawking at us to move along....
and dolphins!!!!! Loads and loads of dolphins swimming all around the boat! The captain of the boat made a joke about how many of us would find all of our pictures of the dolphins to be just water shots...so true. By the time you spotted one coming to the surface and clicked the camera he was on his way back down! Lots of pictures of dorsal fins....
but Peggy got a great one of one of the guys who came right up to the boat!!
Then we headed off in search of the creature that fascinates all us Northerners.....
since it was such a chilly day by Florida standards there were not as many laying along the canals sunning as I've seen in the past but they were still there!
Over the next two days we still had sun but cool breezy weather so instead of the beach we did a lot of time at the cove at the end of my Dad's block.
Lots more 'traditional' pictures on the Big Fish which was sporting yet another new paint job!!
There was some fishing too.
But the biggest catch was....
Andrew's sea weed! We are no fishermen but there is something so very relaxing about sitting looking out over Longboat Key with the sounds of the waves soothing your nerves.
Before we knew it it was time for our last night tradition. There is a trendy little shopping area out on the Sarasota Keys called St. Armand's Circle. Every year on our last night we go to a fabulous candy store called Kilwin's to get an ice cream cone...and if the weather allows we head down to watch the sunset on the beach while eating our ice cream.
This year we were too late for the sunset...besides it was chilly out!! We stayed and watched the chocolatier make a couple of batches of fudge and nut brittle instead.
The drive home again tested our endurance! Being bluntly truthful, we could do without the state of Georgia!!!! NEVER in all of our trips through that state have we not sat in ridiculous back-ups over simple fender benders, stopped at a clean restroom, or seen any of their so-called 'southern hospitality'! I know that they would like to blame it all on us spring break invaders but for the past two trips we've been purposely noting the vehicle tags on the cars involved in the fender benders...100% Georgia plates so far!!!!!!!!!! Also cannot figure out how the blown lights, empty soap dispensers, dirty sinks-toilets-floors are not able to be cleaned during spring break??? This time as poor Mari pleaded for me to go back to the car for wipes because the gas station we stopped at had no toilet paper in it's single men/women bathroom (don't even get me started on the smell from the aim issues left by the men!!!!) the lovely southern woman behind the register hollered out "I just put a new roll in there! Tell her to look again!!!!" Southern hospitality?!?!?!? Not only did the absence of a light impede the hunt for the mythical new roll but not one of the seven of us that used that restroom could find the supposed roll of toilet paper! That's why we always travel with baby wipes...ALWAYS!! We REALLY need to find a way to get through that state without having to stop. The smoke-free hotel room which reeked of cigarettes is another whole rant!!....and the hotel clerk who had no idea what "feather free" meant when I asked about their pillows...we just went back to the car and got our own...I could really do without Georgia....