September 10, 2011

Florida Beach Trip - Days Three, Four, Five, and Six

Is today REALLY the sixth day of our summer vacation?! Seriously, this week has flown by SO fast, I can hardly believe it!! We've done so many things. It's been such a blast, and the following pictures can just barely scratch the surface of what all we did and how much fun it was. (These are also just a few of the pictures I've gotten... I didn't think anyone would want to sit through all the pictures I've taken!)

We started out the day trying to get some donuts from a local hole-in-the-wall place, but they were closed on Wednesdays! Bummer.... The donuts at the local grocery store didn't look nearly as good, so we went to the nearest donut store, 'The Donut Hole.' Our friends were going with us and we got the overflow from their car! : ) Our ship, the 'Nathaniel Bowditch,' was almost an hour away, so we had a fun, long ride. We really didn't know what to expect before we got there, but we were in for a real treat!

This is the only picture I got of the outside of the ship. I wish I could have gotten the whole thing, but, as I was on the ship, that was impossible. I attempted a few shots of the sails as my siblings and friends 'raised the sails,' though.

Waiting to head off!

Happy to be off!!

We passed by some beautiful shores and boats as we were first leaving the dock, but it was mostly just water and on occasional boat!

They let my siblings and our friends 'hoist the sails!' I would have loved to try, but I had already taken my position as official photographer, which suited me just fine.

I can't begin to tell you how high up the sails went! It was impossible to get the people pulling the sails up, plus the sails when they were at their full height. Again, it made me wish I could see it from the dock, with all the sail up!

One of the best things about the ship was all of these cool knots! (Another was that we weren't allowed to have our shoes on at all during the entire ride. Totally fun!)

Another cool thing was this bowsprit thing. (I think that's what it was called...) Anyway, everyone loved seeing the view and getting their picture taken on it!

A pretty rock island we passed by twice.

My younger sister and someone else I've gotten to be good friends with!

Giving my younger brother some pointers after he passed on the job. The captain let four people try their hand at the helm, including my adorable little brother!

Seeing the view!

Halfway through our three-hour tour (scary, huh?), we saw about five dolphins! I took about three or four dozen pictures, but thought you wouldn't want to see the same shot of the dolphin fin over and over again, so I just picked the best two.

A dolphin went under the ship! Fun!

My adorable little brother just after trying his hand at the wheel. Isn't he cute?!

He just loved saying "Hannel Bowditch!" over and over and over!

Thus ended three hours of pure awesomeness! (The ship's first mate took this picture for us, even though I'd rather be on the other side of the lens....)

We drove about a half a mile and looked for sea shells for a few minutes, which was fun and calmed us down a bit. (Well, maybe just me!) The ride home passed by quickly with funny childhood stories and talk about different movies we'd seen. That night, my family went out on the beach for a few minutes, then hit the sack.

THURSDAY - Shopping day!
Now, nearly everyone that knows me knows that I don't like shopping. At all. Unless it's a book, I won't buy it, I won't even be out shopping for it! However, when Mom suggested a shopping day with our friends, I knew it'd be a fun thing to do. The shopping mall where we were going even had a Barnes and Noble, if I remembered correctly from last year. We had a BLAST! Arwen got the most stuff - a shirt from J.C.Penny and two CDs from Borders (not Barnes and Noble). Borders was my favorite stop in our little shopping excursion, but also the saddest because Borders was going out of business. I recalled all of the things I'd gotten from Borders in the past - my Door Within books, for instance - and it made me almost not want to shop there! I knew it wasn't the end of the world, though, and took advantage of the going-out-of-business sales. (I got a book that was originally $8.99, but because of all the sales, it was only $1.79!! Yay!)

We shopped 'til we dropped, which, for us, was about three hours. (We were tired!) We all went back to our respective houses and rested for a while, then our families got together for a dessert and games night. We met at the beach and watched the sun set, which was absolutely gorgeous!

Sadly, the clouds blocked our view of the sun until just before it hit the water. It still made for a really beautiful sunset, though!

My family at the beach right after the sun went down!

I put this picture up just to show you my adorable little brother's personality. I said, "Smile, baby!!" and he struck this pose. Don't know where he got that from.... Isn't he cute, though?!

Isn't this beautiful?! I still can't believe I took this picture.... It's totally not all me, though, it's my awesome camera!

We went back to our house and I think 'us kids' talked and played 'Detective' more than we ate dessert, though we did have our fair share of the cookies and watermelon and popcorn! I think we'll all have quite a few memories we'll never forget from that night, starting with the popcorn taste test and ending with the 'Detective' game! (Yes, we'll have memories, both funny and extremely weird ones!) I had a good time getting to know this family better, but hope they don't stay away from us now because they think we're weird! Our friends left at about eleven and I fell asleep laughing about what we'd made our characters say and do while we were playing 'Detective.'

We started off the day working on the puzzle. Our friends helped us out the night before, and I think I almost got addicted to it! Arwen and I put on one of her CDs she'd gotten the day before and worked until we finished it! (I still have 'A Lovely Night' from 'Cinderella' stuck in my head!!) Mid-morning, we hit the beach with our friends. It was their last day at the beach, and we wanted to make the most of the last few hours we had. We tried playing 'Detective' in the water, but that didn't really work, so we just looked for hermit crabs, went into the 'blue water,' and swam out as far as we dared! Too soon, our friends had to go. It was a sad goodbye! My family walked back to our house, showered, and just hung out, waiting for my uncle and aunt to come. They only live about two hours away, and we hadn't seen them for a while, so we decided to get together.

While we were waiting for my aunt and uncle to arrive, I started another short story. I know, I know - I'm crazy, right? I already have to write an entire NOVEL for school, and I'm in the middle of a series of histoical short stories (no, I haven't forgotten about the latest one, it's coming!!), plus another book I've been working on for a while, PLUS all of the other things I've started - WHY AM I STARTING SOMETHING NEW?! Because I wanted to, I'm on vacation, and I wasn't in the mood for anything else, that's why. I'm excited about it, though.

When my aunt and uncle got here, we went down to the beach and watched the sun set. It was so pretty!

I love this picture! (This is my aunt and uncle, by the way.)

We worked on the puzzle late into the night and went to sleep really late, this time annoyed that the puzzle wasn't going as we'd planned. Too hard!

I think this was one of the slowest, yet relaxed days we've had this far. We basically just hung around the entire day, starting with the beach. I floated for a few minutes, but then decided it was too cold and too seaweedy for me. I got out and cracked open 'Eight Cousins' for the first time in about five months, which is too long for such a good book! I read about half of it and got a little sunburned, but had a great time!

We had delicious pizza for lunch, then napped for about an hour, and then my other aunt visited for about an hour. After she left, my aunt and uncle decided it was time they left, too. Sad!

After they left, we got dressed up and took about five dozen pictures at the beach. (I kept saying, "I hope these aren't our Christmas pictures!" because I'm really hoping we'll adopt again before then!!!) We talked with a family that's staying near us for a few minutes, then Mom and Dad left for a date night and we watched Food Network. Food's not the best thing to watch while you're eating food, especially yours or your mom's. (We started critisizing Mom's food after we got hooked on that channel... not the best thing in the world!) But when we watched one chef after another get chopped because their food wasn't seasoned enough or overcooked, I was eating my Chicken Pockets and overcooked rice I'd thrown together for our dinner and laughing the whole time, wondering what they'd say about my food!

Until next time...

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