Sunday, August 24, 2014

Goat Island

Last night we met sailors from our lake on an island called Goat Island. We brought our sailboat over and met up with old and new friends. Everyone brought a dish for a potluck meal on the beach. It was one of the best nights I have had on our lake.

Mike and Emma went exploring and hiking with a good friend after dinner. Lucy and I explored the shoreline looking for fossils. 

The shore where we were was rocky and had beautiful smooth stones that had been weathered by the water. 

The girls played on the beach (aka mud). 

We watched the sunset with friends, laid in a hammock and looked at the stars. We watched the international space station fly over and pondered what the scientists on board were doing.  

The girls fell asleep on the boat before we could make it back to the marina. 

It was a great night.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Uncle Bob's

We drove the three hours from the west coast to the east coast and made it to Palm City, Florida. We are staying with Mike's brother Bob. 

Saturday morning we got up early and went out on a boat to go snorkeling.  Thank you Lee!

It was a beautiful morning to be out on the water. 

Emma saw a sting ray leap out of the water and curl it's wings back. I'm so glad she got to see that. We also saw a rather large nurse shark while snorkeling.  (Don't tell Lucy.)

We saw dolphins while we were heading back in to the dock. That was definitely the highlight of the trip. 

After getting the boat cleaned up we headed out to bathtub beach for more snorkeling and playing in the sand. Mike made Lucy into a rhinoceros. 

We saw a full rainbow right as the rain hit. So we packed up and headed home for the night. 

It was an amazing day.

Florida: End of Week One

After stopping in northern Florida and giving the girls a taste of the beach, we drove all day and arrived at our hotel on Sunday night.  Settling in was a big job, as we have a lot of stuff.  The bell man seemed unaccustomed to a family of four staying for nearly a week.  With only valet service for our car, we felt the need to bring anything we might want from the car to our room.

View from our room.

The week was full of sailing for the girls, chauffeuring for Mike, and working for me.  The girls were in sailing camp on Davis Island.  They have a very active yacht club, aptly named Davis Island Yacht Club.  Their youth sailing program is top notch.  Those counselors worked so hard.  The girls were bone tired in the evening. When I arrived back to the room at the end of my conference they were just getting the salt water off of them.  I was met with stories of jellyfish and pelicans and moon jellies and manatees. 

While I was learning about exporting data, Lucy was learning this handy little trick called "tiller towards trouble".  When you look like you are going towards something in your little boat, like another boat, or a dock you don't want to hit, or something else you would like to avoid, you push your tiller towards it.  This pushes your boat the other direction.  Tiller towards trouble.  She will never forget that.  (I hope they told her to duck when she does that.)

Both girls were on Opti's.  Emma learned how to rig one from start to finish.  She was on a boat by herself from the beginning.  They put her with a much younger boy who was afraid midway through the week, because she was such a capable sailor that they knew he would be safe.   

We went to the beaches in the evening.  We went to St. Pete Beach and combed the shore for shells.

The water was so warm.

The next day we took Emma out of sailing camp at noon (Lucy's was already over at noon) and drove out to St. Petersburg again and this time spent some time on Ft. Desoto Island.

Quite a few people are asking me what I shoot with.  I do some pictures with my iPhone 5s, but the really in-focus photos are shot with a Canon Rebel T5i.  But the great shots are because of two lenses.  One is the lens that came on my Canon when I bought it from Best Buy here.  The other lens I can't live without is my 50mm lens.  But I dump everything back onto my phone to edit using Instagram. And I do this using a wifi  SD card. This sends the photos from my DSLR right to my phone, so I can edit using Instagram and then upload.

This was in YBOR city.  An immigrant community and mecca for cigars and great food!

When it was time to leave Tampa, we picked up our little sailors from sailing camp and said goodbye to the Opti's and new friends.  Emma was approached by one of the counselors who asked her "Has Ray asked you about trying out for the sailing team, because you are really good?"  She explained that she was from Oklahoma and it would not be possible, but that was quite a compliment.

We left Tampa on Friday for the three hour drive to the east coast of Florida to see Uncle Bob.  But that is another post entirely.