Tuesday, April 26, 2011
On Tuesday morning, we loaded up the car and headed out to High Springs. We rented a canoe and paddled around for about an hour and a half. It was pretty peaceful.
Except for all the noise the kids were making. Needless to say, we didn't catch a lot of wildlife unawares.
And Elijah did not want to stay in the boat. We coerced him with a bottle and a bag of cheerios, but he spent the last half hour hanging over the side with his hand in the water.
After High Springs, we drove to Crystal River, touted as the year round home of the manatees. Priya got sick that night, so while we did visit the Homosassa Springs State Wildlife Park and see real live manatees eating romaine lettuce, it wasn't a big picture day. John also took Joe and Auralee to Rainbow Springs, but he left the camera in the car. These are pictures of places along the route between Crystal River and Tampa/St. Petersburg.
If only we'd had time to stop and see the mermaid show!
We stayed with Jenisa in St. Petersburg. She was certainly gracious enough, but I'm sure it was like going through another hurricane having our family of six descend on her quiet apartment.
By Friday, Priya was feeling better, so we went to the Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay.
Joe and Priya had a good time at the pirate show, dancing, singing, and hula hooping.
All Auralee wanted to do, though, was play in the sand.
On the Sunday after John took his boards, he and Joe got invited to go boating (and fishing, of course) with Mark Mabus.
This is Mark. He's a really nice guy and very generous with his boat, but not exactly a fish magnet.
Joe didn't seem to care that they didn't catch any fish, though. He stayed out there for eight hours with only a box of wheat thins to feed his growling stomach. There's no sacrifice too great for a good day of fishing.
On Monday, we went to Fort Clinch. Priya had a fun time posing for dad at the park. She's working on a more natural smile. It got better as the vacation continued.
Joe was fine with whatever, as long as he got to wear Dad's fishing hat.
The beach was beautiful, in spite of the jellyfish everywhere.
Priya doesn't really fish. But Elijah does really walk. He loves the beach. His only problem is that he can't seem to figure out what to do with it besides eat it.
John fished all morning. He caught a whiting. It wasn't big enough to feed the whole family, so he gave it to another couple fishing nearby. Elijah was fascinated by it. He kept trying to grab it out of the bait bucket.