My Mom, the kids and I went to Clearwater, Florida February 20-25. For me, this meant long days in hotel conference rooms with an occasional escape to the (relative) warmth outside. For them, it meant non-stop shell collecting, sand castle building, swimming, and just enjoying thawing out a bit. We did have a couple days (Saturday and Wednesday) when I was able to join in the fun all day. Since I had the hotel room anyway for my conference and flights were $150 out of Chicago, this was a total no-brainer in the midst of one of the coldest Februaries I can remember.
Nedy was surprised to learn that children in Florida go to school when the weather is so beautiful. I wonder how many Wisconsin kids think kids in warm climates just hang on the beach or at the pool all day, every day?
|These three are just a really good time.|
|Pirate Nana. Aaaaargh.|
|Who doesn't love a good selfie?|
|"Look, Mama...I made a friend!"|
|This is the shot after I told Mom to stop looking sinister in every photo. ;)|
|Sometimes it's hard to believe my peanut is 7 already.|
|Nedy thoroughly checked every shell after accidentally bringing a few Florida |
Fighting Conch back to the hotel with her the night before. She collected enough
shells to bring back for her school class...they were all uninhabited, we hope...
|The marina is an exciting place. Pelicans, egrets, and cranky fishermen. |
It was funny to watch the birds gather 'round and try to steal fish.
|Little Toot is an awesome little restored 1970s tugboat that creates a wake that dolphins love to |
play in. We thought we'd give it a try. Who doesn't like a tugboat ride in the Gulf of Mexico?
|Kam and Nana chilling out waiting for dolphins.|
|Still on the lookout...|
|Whoa! Dolphins in the wild! Sooooo cool. |
(And yes, I am pretty proud of that shot.)
|The Jolly Trolley, our main mode of transportation around town. |
(Why do kids adore any form of transport that doesn't involve a seat belt?)
|"Did you take my picture hugging this giant turtle statue?"|
|A big highlight for future scientist Nedy was holding one of Winter's |
prosthetic tails. That rubber sock goes on her "stump" first and
protects her skin. The kids found this absolutely fascinating.
|Inspecting prosthetic dolphin tails is exhausting. |
(During this period, I found the Jolly Trolley particularly jolly.)
|Nana is awesome because, among other things, she purchases |
goofy hats for demanding children at the beach shop.
|I think perhaps this is where the idea that Florida children must not go to school |
originated from. She thought this was a superb way to spend a school day.
|These two (and their poolside Nana) spent 3-4 hours a day in the water.|
Why aren't all pools salt water pools?
|Kamron has an appropriate reaction to creepy things and creepy people.|
For this, I am thankful.
|Good times in Clearwater! The kids are already wondering when we're going back.|
(I told them to ask Nana.)