As a follow up to my last post.......
this is the preliminary group shot from Guatfest 2010. Can you find Patrick and I in this mob? Doesn't matter any how since my precious gifts are front and center!!
Back to the Sarasota part of the trip now......
besides some quality time with my dad, this part of the holiday weekend get-a-way was devoted to sand and surf! We did, of course do a 'traditional' shot on the Big Fish....
and someday I'll dig through my boxes of pre-digital pictures to find the first one to show you just how big the girls have grown!!! I simply do not know how it can already be TEN years since we brought Mari home and nine years for Julia?!?!? Mostly though, it was all about the beach!!
October finds the gulf water drastically warmer and calmer than during Spring Break so the girls and I snorkeled for HOURS! Obviously no shots of that as my baby was safely tucked into it's sand-proof bag when not around my neck (: This visit also had some firsts for us at Lido Beach....
In all my years of visiting Sarasota I have NEVER come across a jellyfish!!! Made Julia a little squeamish about getting out in the water so for the first hour she lay safely atop her boogie board as to reduce surface area exposed to possible jellyfish attack. After assurances from the life guards that this particular species were not particularly prone to stinging and were few and far between in this stretch of beach she kitted up and joined the fish spotting already in progress!
This year we only lost one snorkel mouth piece to the sneaky Gulf nymphs and after several years of springtime visits during unsuitable conditions for snorkeling this was the first time I did not have to piggyback Julia as we ventured out towards the schools of fish! It is quite the mixed emotion...so glad not to be dragging an anchor on my back anymore but nostalgic for their babyhood...
Patrick and I really do LOVE the beach, even if we have to sit under protective sunshades! You can only trust sunscreen so far and then common sense must take over!!! However, my raised on an island husband cannot swim and has a rather healthy fear of drowning so he did not get to marvel at all the species of fish with us.
This is as deep as he'll go and "NO THANK YOU!" was his standard response to encouragement from the girls to "at least come a little deeper" in order to see the shallow water fish. How very blessed we feel that we can bring the girls to places such as this where they can gain confidence and marvel at the wonders of Mother Nature! Thank God Lido Beach was spared being sullied by the oil leak of the past summer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh to be young and have the time to share moments like these with my sisters again....
Mari is keenly interested in my new camera! [Okay, she's always interested in anything new and electronic!] So together we tried, on the 'easy shot' mode to get some 'artistic'/'cool' shots. Easy mode still because I'm not ready to 'miss' shots of vacation moments!! Here are a few of the bird, beach, and still life shots we tried...
Personally I think Mari may need to take over the photography job in the family!!! Of course, not quite ready to hand over my new baby but might have to start thinking of saving up to get a nice quality camera for her. Now that I'm back home I need to get out and about [with the instruction manual in hand] to try some of the other settings because there were a few shots that didn't turn out as hoped because the camera's brain over-ruled mine!!
Like how the built-in face recognition in the 'easy shot' mode made me miss the bird in the background on this shot!!
And how the silhouette of Longboat Key is lost because the camera 'decided' that it should focus on Julia's backside!!! Any how, I'll figure it out before the next trip...I hope!! I also need to figure out how to see the darn screen on the beach in the bright sunlight!!! Think I may become a fan of using the viewfinder in sunny situations?
Every trip to Sarasota ends with a stop at out favorite homemade candy and ice cream store.....
KILWIN"S!!!!! It's in a VERY high rent shopping area and therefore the prices are ridiculous but it's sooooo very good that we have made the tradition be that we only go once and it's always the last night of our trip after dinner. Usually the place is packed with lines out the door so Patrick and I got quite the chuckle when Julia exclaimed upon our arrival, "Man there are no lines!!! Is someting wrong here??" Had to explain to her that not everyone is on vacation for Columbus Day and that we had tweaked the tradition a bit by stopping there in the afternoon on our way home from the beach rather than coming back later in the night.
They make a lot of the candy in the front of the store so that passer-bys can be lured in by the sight of fresh made nut brittles and fudges.But we come for the super high fat homemade ice cream!!
ALWAYS the SAME order!!! Chocolate for Mari and Superman for Julia....always without fail!
See? Sadly, this is not one of those funny "push the ice cream on your lips so I can see it" shots...this is how my girls eat ice cream! With every pore of their face as well as their mouths!! Guess I should treasure this last vestige of their babyhood....
They even home make their waffle cones and bowls at Kilwins! Wish this was smell-o-blog so you could savor the warm sweet wafts that stroked our nasal passages.
Then it was a walk around Grandpa's neighborhood to savor one last time, before we had to leave for the airport, all of our favorite spots that just scream FLORIDA to us. This year we stopped and took a picture of our most favorite tree in the whole wide world...so far.
To see this tree for us is to say "You've made it to paradise!" and we would be beyond devastated should it ever die or be cut down!!!!!!! Maybe I need to make a new tradition of getting a picture of them in front of this tree..hmmmm just a thought to file away should we be so lucky as to visit Sarasota again...SOON I hope...VERY SOON!!
Meanwhile, we're back to the everyday grind....bad pun but I couldn't resist! Random factoid here....while I despise coffee and Patrick clearly prefers tea, our girls love coffee?!?!? I never did give it to them as babies or toddlers but one day the complimentary dispenser at my local grocery store sung out to them and I let them have just one tiny sip.....genie's out of that bottle now!!! I really and truly wonder just how much of their attraction to coffee is genetic...since they are Guatemalan?!?!? Were their taste buds encoded by generations of coffee drinking?? Is that why mine prefer tea?