It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted, so let’s catch up, shall we?
Three weeks ago we were in St. Petersburg again visiting with my Uncle Walter and Aunt Sue. As strange as it may sound, one of the highlights of their area is an Italian grocery store called Mazarro’s. Best fresh pasta ever.
Emily got to take in another flight, courtesy of the Young Eagles program (something we first learned about while camping in Osh Kosh.)
Emily was particularly excited about flying in her first twin-engine airplane:
The next day, Amy and my Uncle Walter knocked out a half-marathon:
At the end of that week, it was time say goodbye and move on down the road. We had so much fun with my Aunt and Uncle, and we feel fortunate to have spent so much time with them over the last month.
We spent the next week in Wachula FL, where it was standard work/school schedules — nothing too exciting. On Friday the girls took a field trip to a local horse sanctuary for rescued horses. Carrie and Natalie seemed to enjoy a taste of farm life:
Emily, however, would have rather been flying in her twin-engine:
On Saturday we relocated to Venice FL to meet up with Amy’s parents. They are taking a reprieve from the Ohio winter to spend some time with us in Florida. It was so good to see them.
On Sunday we went to Caspersen Beach, the so-called “shark tooth capital of the world.”
This beach certainly lived up to its reputation. These guys here would scoop a bucket of sand out of the water, sift it, and collect a dozen or so fossilized shark teeth each time.
They were on the hunt for big teeth, so they kindly gave away some of their little ones to us:
A few of us caught up on some Zzz’s. Nothing like napping on the beach to the sound of the ocean (in February no less!)
Natalie passed the time by digging an impressively deep hole:
That night it was a little Super Bowl party in the RV:
On Wednesday I took the middle of the day off so I could join everyone else on a trip to Myakka River State Park. We saw a few ’gators…
…and had a nice walk on the trails.
The trail we took led to a suspension bridge held in place between two wooden towers. We were only 40 feet off the ground, so while not quite Indiana Jones, it was still fun and something different from the usual trail walk.
We ended the day at Nokomis Beach, which is known for its twice weekly drum circle:
It was a great beach; it felt so good to have my toes in the sand and water.
The signs of a good afternoon:
I love this photo (Amy shot it with her iPhone!)
Nat and Em making sand angels on the beach at Siesta Key the next day (a tribute, I’m sure, to those dealing with the current blizzard conditions up North):
We rented a boat on Saturday and cruised up and down the inter-coastal waterways for a couple of hours. That was a LOT of fun.
One of the highlights was seeing a couple dolphins swim up to the boat. (More than one local told us later, however, that we would have likely lost some fingers had we reached out to them.)
Back at Nokomis Beach that evening, catching another beautiful sunset:
One thing about living on the road is that you really appreciate seeing family. Of course, that also makes it hard to say goodbye. We had a wonderful week with Amy’s parents, and we hope they can join us again in a couple months (Washington DC, perhaps?)
This was outside one of the permanent-looking camp spots that Amy and I would see during our morning runs. I had to get a picture of it. It just made me smile every time we ran past it.
Big day for Nat today. She had finally saved enough allowance, Christmas, and birthday money to get herself an iPod. (We made a special mid-route stop at an Apple store near Tampa.)
We made it to Ocala FL this afternoon and will be staying at Silver River State Park for the next couple of days. It feels good here. The camping spots are ginormous, it’s super quiet and the internet is great.
We are slowly making our way out of Florida and will start to head toward Texas. I need to be in Austin for a conference (SXSW) early March.