Hello, hello, hello! Is there an echo or the sound of crickets here? :) When I went to Florida, I decided to just really be on vacation, and since I've been home, I've been catching up on work and upcoming travel plans. It's one of those crazy times when I'm multi-tasking between trips in the US and overseas, coordinating plans for classes soon and in the future, taking care of family needs, and a million other things it seems! Right now I'm preparing to leave for Paris on Monday and teach eight classes there next week. Then I return home for two days and then go to Chicago for a weekend of classes at Hannah's (you can still sign up - I'd love to see you there!), and then I'm home for one day and then leave for Italy for forty-one days! Yikes! It's exciting but a bit over-whelming at times! Thank God for lists!
It was wonderful to be in Florida for two weeks and get to spend time with my parents, teach a weekend of classes at Whim So Doodle, and then have a few days with my whole family together. That was awesome! We hadn't been together for almost two years and hadn't been in Florida together since our last vacation there about thirteen years ago!
I had a few days with my parents before the rest of the family started arriving and I spent most of it at the beach under my umbrella - lol, I call it "my office". Of course, our first stop after the airport was the Goodwill Bargain Barn. If you are new to my blog, this is the place where things go that didn't sell at a Goodwill, which tells you the quality of the merchandise. It was even worse than usual, although I did find a scarf and paper plates that I needed for class. My total came to 4 cents, which I had to borrow from my mom - I wasn't going to charge 4 cents on my credit card!
The beach was awesome! I love the beaches on Anna Maria Island with its beautiful white sand. The colors of the water were gorgeous!
Welcome to my office!
Over the weekend I drove up to St. Petersburg to teach classes at Whim So Doodle, the most well-stocked store that I know of! They carry just about everything made for scrapbooking and art supplies, so if you ever need anything, you can call them and they are happy to ship.
We had a great time in the classes - but can you believe that I only took one photo? Crazy! I can't wait to see everyone again in November!
Back at my parents' house in Bradenton, the flowers are beautiful...
On Sunday evening, my husband arrived - you can always tell who is coming from up north! He left snow for the sunshine!
We spent the next three days at the beach, although it was crazy windy every day. Not as much fun as when it is still and beautiful!
One day we hid behind this sand dune for some protection.
Another day we gave up sitting, since you are immediately covered by the blowing sand, even with an umbrella blocking the wind, and went to Beer Can Beach at the north end of Longboat Key, to walk and explore. We've been coming here since our boys were little, and it's always interesting to see how the waves, tides, and winds have changed the landscape.
This doggy was enjoying the shade...
We found refuge from the sun under the bridge that goes from Longboat to Anna Maria. It was so cool and peaceful under there!
Lots of shells along the shore, but no "good" ones like we used to find in abundance. I've tried to find out why there aren't special shells like there used to be, but haven't been able to find out. Someone said that it's because there hasn't been a big storm in a long time to churn them up from the bottom of the gulf. It's a bummer to not find them anymore.
The birds face into the wind - it's funny when these birds turn and their black tufts stand straight up on their heads!
We had dinner and enjoyed the jazz band at the Anna Maria Beach Cafe. Love the band's name! They were actually really good!
The next day we celebrated Dave's birthday at Robin's Cafe in Downtown Bradenton...
And then drove to Myakka State Park - a smiling alligator greeted us...
before he went underwater with his friend upstream...
My dad had a special glow on him!
We were picking Brandon up at the airport on the way home but his flight was delayed, so of course we had pie! That is just one piece of Chocolate Peanut Butter pie at Yoder's Amish Restaurant in Sarasota!
Happy, happy, happy!
Dave got to blow out the candles for his birthday...
And the moments I love the most - when you get to just hang around with your kid and just have time. What a gift!
I'll be back with part 2 of the photos because Jeremy and Becca arrived the next morning!
Have a wonderful Easter weekend! Tomorrow is the best day of the year - Resurrection Day! I'm so thankful that Jesus rose from the dead and lives that we might have life through Him. Hallelujah!