Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Last Day Blues

And now we've come to the end. I love photographing vacation and then blogging about it because it's sort of like reliving it all over again. There are memories I don't ever want to forget but coming to the end of the recap is always bittersweet.

After our snorkeling adventure, we headed straight to the beach for one last foray into the waves. The Gulf had still not settled down and the girl and I may or may not have had a little bout with a rip current before it was all said and done. Obviously we made it back and it wasn't a serious rip but enough to make you go play on the sand!

Love these pics of my man and my girl...









It was an amazing trip but one of the most fun things is one you won't see pictured. That's because I joined the crew on the beach after I shot this series and somehow a huge sand fight ensued. Y'all, we were covered from head to toe in sand. It was in our ears and mouths and someone may even have mentioned it was in their nose. We laughed hysterically the entire time and, though a number of beachgoers thought we had lost our ever lovin' mind, had the best time.

After cleaning up from this epic battle, we headed to Amberjack's for dinner. It was absolutely delicious and was a great way to end the trip. Next stop was to get Tay the obligatory vacation t-shirt, which she proudly wore on the second day of school. :-)

At 3:30am the next day, my man woke us because he couldn't sleep. I think it was a combination of missing his pups and being anxious about getting the drive over. Either way, we hit the road about 4:15am and, after a brief stop at the U.S. Customs and Immigration Checkpoint (I thought he had taken a wrong turn for a minute, y'all!), we got home before noon.

And then we all took a nap because no person in their right mind should be up before 6am. At least in my opinion!

We are so thankful to have had the opportunity to take this trip. Sometimes you just need to get away and this was certainly the perfect time for us. It had been a really rough few months and, quite honestly, we needed some uninterrupted family time that included FUN.

Mission. Accomplished.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A-Snorkeling We Go

Our last major vacation activity was snorkeling and, y'all, it was so much fun. I hope to never forget looking up at various intervals and watching one little girl's snorkel following directly behind my man's....over and over and over again...it was so sweet I could hardly stand it. :-)

We got to the marina a bit early so we had a chance to look at the boats...



...and after a short trip out to the bay...




...we came upon the Laguna Madre Sea Grass Meadows, which was our destination...




...where we had about an hour and a half to snorkel around and check out the marine life...


...and find clams in what is only about 3-4 feet of water...


We saw a number of fish...



...and the man and the girl each saw a seahorse...I'm so jealous!


The girl had her own underwater camera for this venture and she loved it. She also took a bunch of pics of us in snorkeling gear so we could remember "how silly we looked." Oh, how I love her and her quirky sense of humor, y'all.


Before we knew it time was up and we had to climb the ladder back into the boat, which was much easier said than done, friends. The water here is super salty so you float really easily but definitely need some citrus fruit to get that taste out of your mouth.




We enjoyed our last boat ride across the bay and, once we docked, learned that we'd come in just after the morning's deep sea fishing trip had arrived. One of the guys on the boat caught a shark!


This is Ricky-Do. He was one of the deck hands on our fishing trip the night before. Dave yelled across the water, "So you take us out and we catch nothing but you take these guys out and they limit out and catch a shark?!?!"


To which Ricky replied, "Yessir, brother!"

Now can you see why we loved Breakaway Cruises and their crew so much? Each person had this much personality, which made for some super funs trips!

It was almost time for us to leave but you know we didn't say farewell without hitting the beach again, right?

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Setting Sail in the Deep Blue Bay

Hello, friends!

Did y'all have a good weekend? We certainly did. In fact, if "lazy" was a class we would have earned an A++++ for our performance Saturday and Sunday. Well, Tay and I would have anyway. Tonto was working so I'm sure he put us to shame since he was saving lives and all but - seriously - sometimes you just have to nap, right?

Anyway, backtracking a bit we're now on Wednesday of vacation when we went bay fishing. I even purchased a fishing license and we had bit plans to go to a restaurant the next evening that specialized in cooking your catch. And while we were making these plans, the Lord was laughing hysterically...

We had some great, picturesque views along the way...


...and learned that someone takes this whole fishing thing quite seriously...


...as we were moving from one fishing spot to another (are you sensing a problem here yet?), I tried my hand at artistic photography...


...we got an up close look at the pirate ship that does dolphin and fireworks cruises...and also shoots cannons apparently...


...marveled at the fact that our captain was about 12 years old...but VERY capable...


...and ended up with a total catch of ONE...

It was really funny but there were hardly any fish caught on this trip. Lots of eels and saltwater catfish but not many edible fish. That being said, the crew at Breakaway Cruises was absolutely amazing and we had soooo much fun that it didn't really matter.

After we got back (around 10pm), we headed to Denny's for late night cheeseburgers. We always end up with one late night dinner on vacation and the venue is always Denny's or IHOP. Apparently we're predictable...

The next day was our last on the island and the girl chose to go snorkeling (instead of going with her first  instinct to parasail), which was great fun. And she would want me to let y'all know she didn't give up parasailing because she was scared - she's just impatient and didn't want to wait on all the other people on the boat to do it as well when she could have more fun snorkeling.

So there you have it...

Happy Monday!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Making Waves

So the Tuesday of vacation was a big one for the girl. She was absolutely convinced it would be "the most awesome day of the entire week" and, quite frankly, it turned out she was right :-)

We finally completed the Texas tour of all of the Schlitterbahn parks and this one was hands down our favorite!


The differentiator with this park is that the entrance to the water coasters and tube chutes are just branches off the giant lazy river (except for The Tempest) so you're able to wait in your tube. In the water. Under awnings. So, basically, you're shaded and cool. Score!


It was such a fun day that we ended up staying for eight hours. Those were consecutive hours, friends. And though my feet were soooo wrinkled that I could hardly walk for a few hours until they returned to normal (literally), it was worth every single second. The girl and I rode in a double tube most of the day and it so awesome to just hang with her. No interruptions. No distractions.


Of course, there was a LOT of water so Carl the Camera did not make the trip...I borrowed a few to give you the idea, though :-)

We crashed after having dinner back at the condo. Tonto took a chair while the girl and I folded the couch out into a bed and we all just vegged out for a few hours. I may or may not have had to be woken up to go to bed...

Wednesday was an odd day because we had absolutely NO IDEA what we were going to do or see that day. We had purchased tickets to go bay fishing before leaving Waco so I called to set up our trip for the next morning. Well when I called we learned that they go bay fishing from 6-10pm each day so Wednesday quickly turned into "Bay Fishing Adventure Camp."

Tonto chilled in the condo pretty much all day leading up to our excursion but the girl and I headed out to catch some rays...


You notice her bright green shorts with the pink/black/white swimsuit? Well, she had black ones but they were literally swept off her body by a ginormous wave a couple of days before. No kidding. And as she was putting them back on, another gigantic wave swept them out to see. 

Rest in peace, black shorts ;-)


The water was stunning this day and there was not a cloud in the sky. Unfortunately, the surf was still super rough but that didn't diminish our fun much. Actually, not at all. We just hung out, played in the sand, and looked for shells.


This is where we stayed. It was so nice to be right on the beach...nothing super fancy but was exactly what our little fam needed...


After a bit, we decided to head to the rooftop pool (where I took no pics - shame on me!) but not after a bit more playing...


...exploring...


...standing in awe at the amazing colors...


...wading...


...admiring one of the best purchases we made all week - the umbrella (we bought two and they were lifesavers from the glaring sun!)...


...wave-watching...


...and simply being grateful for the opportunity to be where we were...


...with the chance to relax and unwind before a busy fall hit us like a grenade. :-)

Next up: Bay Fishing

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

First Day of Sixth Grade

This morning my girl bounded out of bed, plugged in her flat iron and insisted I get up so we could do a quick "touch up." Apparently this is how sixth grade begins...


She even smiled for pictures. Before 7am. It was like a back to school miracle, y'all.


It also hit me like a freight train that she has really grown up over the summer. Doesn't she look about 25?


So she's all ready for school with new tennis shoes, athletic shorts and feathers. All I know is if I'd asked my mom for feathers in my hair in sixth grade, she would have looked at me like I'd lost my mind. But now everyone has them...such is life, I suppose...


Texting her friends bright and early so they could meet up at the designated location :-)


And a quick pic with the boy who just turned one!!!


So, Miss Taylor, here's to an absolutely fantabulous school year. We love you more than you could possibly know and have no doubt you'll be successful at anything you set your mind to accomplish. You are amazing and I'm so very blessed to be your mom. 

P.S. Please remember not to talk incessantly. I know it runs in the family but still... :-)