Friday, January 3, 2014

A Family Affair

     Our time here in SW Florida is winding down, and on the 1st we moved our trailer to another location inside the same RV park, since originally we had made our reservation through the 1st.  We extended our stay by a few days to squeeze in a few days with some family that wanted to come down, and so that Noel and Jason could go to the Orange Bowl to see THE Ohio State University play some football!  I was going to say "to kick some Clemson butt", but now as I write this, I'm not so sure Clemson is who they are playing.  I really do try to listen when Noel talks about football, but my brain only hears "blah, blah, blah, football, blah, blah, blah, orange bowl, yada yada yada, Ohio State."  I'm sure they will have a great time, as did I, staying home to go to the beach with my visiting brother and sister in law.

It's been a shelling week here, as I'm trying to get in as much beach time as possible before we head to the desert.  Low tide has been in the early morning, so several times this week I have been at the beach before sunrise, out looking for what treasures the gulf has left on the beach overnight.  Now you would think that I am the only one obsessed enough to do such a thing, but when Noel and I arrived at 6 am, we were greeted by about 10 others out with flashlights that had beat us there!

So we gathered little treasures and were treated to a glorious sunrise, including getting to see the dolphins close to the shore having breakfast!

See the dolphin fin just past the waves?

The shells were rolling in, and I am there with my "peeps" - fellow shell addicts!

The water temp is around 70 degrees, and the air temp was in the 60s that early, but that didn't stop me from wading in to get the best shells, which led to a few wave splashes, and the next thing I knew, I was pretty soaked.  I didn't notice how cold I was until we got back in the car and it took me the rest of the day and night to get warm again.  Dumb, dumb, dumb!  Pain level was off the charts the next day!  When will I learn?

But did I mention I'm a glutton for punishment and a slow learner?  Because a few days later, I got up for another round of early morning shelling with my new friend Elaine, who is just as shell and beach happy as I am.  The shells were rolling in so fast we couldn't grab them fast enough before the next wave would wash them away again.  It takes a good eye and a fast hand to see and grab the good ones!  I was lamenting with a man shelling near to me that I was really hoping for a perfect alphabet cone, and he too was hoping to find one.  Not one minute after we spoke, Elaine squeals with delight - she found a GORGEOUS alphabet cone!  Yippee!

Some lady on the beach saw us trying to take a selfie, so she was nice enough to take our picture with the coveted shell!

Isn't it pretty?

The sea is much like a slot machine...just when you are ready to walk away it gives you juuuussssst enough to keep you there!  Fortunately, it was a much warmer day and I didn't get as wet, so Elaine and I had a wonderful day sunning, shelling, people watching, bird watching, wave watching, and just soaking up all that is wonderful about the beach.  I played around with some settings on my camera and took the following....

New Years Eve was uneventful, and while they had a big party at the campground, Noel and I were zonked out by midnight, but the following day, we met up with Noel's great niece Taylor, who is here in Ft Myers visiting with her friend Danielle's family.  Taylor and Danielle are 16, and it was fun being with young people for a change!  We had a great lunch, walked on the beach, saw some dolphin and some manatee, and just enjoyed seeing family.

LOOK!  James Dean is photo bombing them!!
Today Noel's brother David, and his wife Mary arrived in Ft Myers.  So while Noel is with Jason in Miami for the football game, (I'm sorry, THE football game!)  I got to spend some time with them, showing them around Sanibel, passing on my shelling wisdom (Mary loves the beach and shells too), and enjoying a chilly (brrrr - its like 59 degrees!) but amazing sunset.  I know you are all probably sick of sunset pictures - I know Noel is - but for me, sunrises are like snowflakes and no two are alike.
Noel's brother David and wife MaryAnn

Tomorrow we hang out with David and Mary, pack up the trailer, and Sunday morning we head north up the gulf side before taking a turn west!  The trailer is about 10 pounds heavier with the shells I'm keeping, but I managed to give away the other 30 pounds of shells, so I want credit for discretion and self-restraint!

Happy New Year everyone!

1 comment:

b and bb cole said...

Anna ~ You are a great writer and photographer! So enjoyable to read your blog! The pictures are fabulous! I will give you BIG credit and brownie points for letting "go" of shells! Thankfully I am one of the lucky ones who got some and I do thank you SO much, I LOVE them! Can't wait to read your next post... be safe, have fun!! XOX ~ Beth