Sunday, July 18, 2010

Back to the Real World

After 10 days in paradise, I am sadly, back to my real life. I cannot believe it has been 5 years since we have been here.
There is just no place on earth like the Gulf coast of Florida. Fortunately for us, this is far enough south so that the predictions are only a 10% chance that the oil will reach these beaches. The currents in the gulf keep the oil away from these shores. It is Anna Maria Island, and it is my paradise.
We started out with 3 days here. Disney. It is a monstrosity of a resort, and with less than a week to travel, we changed our lodging reservations so we could stay at the resort. Great move. Our place was awesome. We had several pools, transportation to the parks and dining, etc. And a coach pick up from the airport. Cannot thank the source that tipped me off to staying at the resort rather than any other hotel nearby. Well worth the extra cost. My kids loved Disney, all the fun rides, etc. I am most surprised how all of them glommed onto the characters whenever we saw them too. My daughter stood in line 45 minutes (longest line of all events) to see 3 princesses. It was so totally worth it to see her face. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! We did a day at the Animal Kingdom park too, which I really liked.
Then a week at the beach. I highly recommend the Disney part first and the beach second. I love the beach and the sun and surf. We had a house with pool that was 5 houses from the beach. PERFECT. The kids swam in the afternoon and played at the beach in the mornings. The surf was just calm enough all but one day to float with a tube/noodle. The kids and I searched for shells, and those few elusive sand dollars. On our last day, we even saw 2 manatees swimming in the wild (on the ocean side) and got to witness a very friendly pelican from 2-3 feet. He was as curious about us as we were about him.
The Sarasota Jungle Gardens was a nice park for the kids, with many indiginous Floridian animals from gators to fancy birds to these lovely and friendly creatures. We got to feed them from our hands like you would a duck. The boys held a baby croc too.
(and yes, this picture was bribed - I had to find them each a sand dollar before they'd sit for it!)


Anonymous said...

Welcome back!!!
Love the pictures!! The sand and water make me want to go away too! No beaches here and it's been over 90!Looks like the kids had a great time also (would love to see some of the disney pics:-))

Debbie Cook said...

Beautiful children! We are partial to the beautiful Gulf Coast beaches ourselves - Anna Maria and Coquina are my "backyard" beaches, and the ones I always took my boys to when they were small. (We live outside of Tampa.)