Adventure in the Florida Keys (Day 4)

On Day 4 we started off the day looking for the local beach. The closest beach was Sombrero Beach. There was a quaint little park with a strolling path, picnic tables, and a wonderful little playground. The beach was long and skinny with a few clusters of shady palms to camp out under for the day. Like most of the places we encountered during the week, however, the shoreline was thick with seaweed. It is a bit unpleasant to walk over, but once you get to the water everything is good. Other than the seaweed, the beach was very nice and clean. We arrived a bit too late to get the shady spots, so we decided to wander about a bit and explore before heading back to the resort. As we wandered about, we found some fireworks frameworks from the previous weekend’s festivities (4th of July). My husband recognized what they were, because he has helped with the fireworks extravaganza in our hometown a couple of times.

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The beach wasn’t very big, so exploring didn’t take long. Soon we returned to the resort. When we returned, I decided to head over to the lounge chairs on the dock and get a little sun. The iguanas apparently had the same idea, so I snapped a few photos of them while we were all basking in the sun.

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Eventually, my husband came out to join me, and we decided that it was a nice day to be out on the water. Therefore, the search for a place to rent or charter a boat began anew. After scouring the internet for a bit, we finally booked an outing on the Catamaran Echo. It would be a four hour tour with snorkeling and a visit to a shipwreck, so we ate a bite of lunch and headed back to Key West for our boat excursion.

On arriving in Key West, I saw my first Key West chicken, a lovely red rooster who was making quite a fuss.  I snapped a few photos of this guy too.

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After a bit of wandering around and a couple of phone calls, we finally found where on the docks we needed to be. We met our captain,…

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his first mate,…

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and our excursion companions…

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and set off into the great blue.

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The salt spray and wind were a welcome change from the sticky heat. We rode around for quite some time, eyes peeled for signs of dolphins or sea turtles. We passed between sand bars with water birds wading and looking for small fishes and crabs to eat.

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Bubba and Rainbow, the sock monkeys, joined us on this outing. They had a blast riding on the boat and hanging off the sail.

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We went out with two other families. Eventually, the youngest member of our crew spotted the first dolphin. His father was a fellow photographer, so he and I both got cameras ready to photograph these playful cetaceans.

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The pod we encountered was especially friendly, coming right up to the boat, swimming underneath and splashing us. They swam about, jumped out of the water, and put on quite a show. We kept up with them for quite some time, and eventually, another boat took notice and joined us in watching the show.

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After a while, our captain determined that we needed to head on out to our snorkeling spot. This was my first snorkeling adventure, so the captain helped me get ready and told me what to do. Before long, I was out in the water. It took a few tries for me to get accustomed to breathing through my mouth with the snorkel, but once I got into the rhythm, I was out there snorkeling with the best of them. I saw tropical fishes of all sorts, amazing looking brain coral, plenty of seaweed, and an awesome sunken ship. I swam around for quite some time exploring the ship and watching the fish. The water was a bit rough, however, so occasionally a wave would dump water into my snorkel. The water was super salty! Whenever I began to fear I was drifting too far from my group or the boat, I would lift my head and look around to find everyone. Every once in a while, I would begin to worry that there might be sharks. Thankfully, we never saw any. All went well, and soon I began to grow tired, having not yet recovered from my summer cold, so I swam back to the boat. I watched for a while as the others explored, and after a short while, everyone returned to the boat and we began the ride back.

The ride back was nice, but I didn’t want it to end. I wanted to spend the rest of the trip out there, but sadly, I was not comfortable with that little bathroom down in that hole in the side of the ship. However, I loved the feel of the wind and the splash of the waves.

After returning from our catamaran adventure, we headed for the dessert place my husband wanted to try. It was an interesting place. On arriving, the room we entered was small, quite dark, and seemingly devoid of wait staff. We were quite confused, but we sat down at an unoccupied table.  When a hostess finally appeared from behind a door, we realized that we must have come in through the wrong door. The hostess noticed us, however, and said that it was no problem and sent a waitress our way. We ordered and consumed a creatively prepared dessert while admiring the decor. The most fascinating piece in the room was an ivory grandfather clock with an owl where the clock should have been. After we finished eating, our waitress gave us the grand tour of the establishment and a little history behind it. It was very nice, and each room was very interestingly decorated.

After dessert, we headed back to the resort. And that my friends, was Day 4. Stay tuned for the rest…

The Cherry Blossom Festival

…and more!

A couple of weeks ago, the City of Conyers had its annual Cherry Blossom Festival at the Horse Park. My daughter was scheduled to dance in this event, and since the last spend-the-night with my niece had been cancelled due to sickness, we picked her up for the weekend and took her with us.

This was the first time I had ever attended the Cherry Blossom Festival. The Horse Park was filled with craft and food vendors as far as the eye could see. There were moonwalks and games and concerts. It was a beautiful, sunny day, and we were ready to enjoy it.

My daughter had to be on stage 2, so we headed there first. It was all the way to the back, so we passed many a booth on the way there. Since she wasn’t scheduled to dance for a little while, my niece, my husband, and I headed back to browse the crafts. There were so many wonderful things. My niece, of course, wanted it all. The requests to purchase things were never-ending. She knew we weren’t going to buy her things, and that spurred her requests on even more just to aggravate us. We just laughed and did our best to keep up with her.

We wandered around for quite some time, and then it was time for my daughter to dance.

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Or so we thought. Actually, we still had to wait a few minutes. Since we had to wait, I went over to take photos of the cherry blossoms. My niece decided to follow, so I got some cute photos.

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Then she decided to go sit back down with her uncle, and she stole his glasses.

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Then it was time to watch some dancing. The girls danced beautifully.

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And that was all for our Cherry Blossom Festival experience this year, but that was certainly not the end of the weekend. My niece spent the night again, so the next day, we had a tea (coffee) party. With every tea party, we must have cookies, so we made some chocolate chip cookies. Being an aspiring little entrepreneur, she decided to open a cafe and sell those cookies.

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She was soon on the antique phone taking orders.

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She took an order for some cookies, and it was going to take 100,000,000 hours to fill the order. Of course, we were curious, so we did the math. It was going to take over 11,000 years to fill that order. I guess we’ll just have to leave a prime directive for future generations for that one.

Soon, we made it to actually consuming our coffee and cookies.

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And we were joined by some sock monkeys who came over for the party. Bogart and Noel were fun companions, and they loved the cookies.

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All too soon, our weekend came to a close, and my niece had to return home. The dreaded school monster awaited her the next day. Soon, however, we will get to celebrate her birthday, and what fun that will be!