Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fun in the Keys

Another fun week of great weather and playing in the sun!  The kids seem to be getting their schoolwork done a lot quicker now and are anxious to get outside and play!

We found a beautiful huge starfish.  Too bad it was alive as it's a federal offense to take them!
 It was fun to see the ocean so alive!
 Hard to believe the water was warm enough for swimming, but with many 80+ degree days in a row, it was perfect!
 Their 'tongues out' symbolized the newness of salt water once again.
 Action shot under the clear blue water.
 Jaxon was holding down the dinghy that day while the girls brought hermit crabs, starfish, etc. to the boat for him to take care of.
 Flyin Ryann our circus star!  The next day went to the beach Ryann was stung by a jellyfish.  It was very painful, but she was a trooper.
 Jaxon-nator - is what he sometimes calls himself!
A friendly stingray stayed close to us for awhile and circled the dinghy as we stood next to it (ready to jump into the boat at a moments notice). 
While the kids and I played on an island, Craig circled around with the dinghy as the seashore was a rocky coral texture.
 Ryann drove us home from the beach and did a great job.  At one point she circled us around and gave us many laughs as she learned how to steer and use the throttle.
 Jaxon fell asleep in the dinghy after a long day in the sun at Sombrero Beach.
One evening we had terrible storms. It was the only evening all week that there wasn't a perfect sunset.  The boat pictured here only stayed for one night, but the owners were from Cascade, Michigan which is the town RIGHT next to ours back home.  They keep their boat at Bay Harbor in northern Michigan during the summer.
Rich and Deb, (Craig's parents) gave us an iPad for Christmas.  It is one of the first things we've ever had that we ALL want at once.  It's truly fun for everyone, educational, convenient and the novelty hasn't worn off at all.  What a perfect gift!
 What a cute little cat with a collar on sitting at the edge of this sailboat.
The Sombrero Reef is about 5 miles from our marina in Boot Key Harbor and consists of mooring balls and a great place for snorkeling.  The tower pictured has been around since the early 1800's.  This reef is the third largest in the world and four lighthouse keepers have perished while on duty.  We tried to stay but the waves were too choppy.  Will try again next week.  It's good to get the boat out once a week so barnacles don't build up. 
 A fun ride down the dock.
 Sunset Grille is a restaurant with a heated pool.  Some loopers met for happy hour and the kids were able to swim. 
 The view was great and overlooked the Seven Mile Bridge.
 This is a game called "ring toss." Look for the string with a hook on the end and you have to get the hook around a nail in the wall. Harder than it appears!
Corn hole is always a hit!
Another action shot!
The kids swimming with Daria Samway 10 (cruising the Great Loop with her family aboard Muddy Waters).
Ryann with a tiara made from palm leaves.
We attended a homeschooling group function at the park that is held every Tuesday.  The kids LOVED playing with other children and for an hour and a half an employee from the City of Marathon facilitates gym class from kick ball, spider tag, dodge ball, etc. 
Jaxon met another 4 year old named Buddy and they had a great time.  He has a sister that's 8 and another whose 6 months.
There were many kids there and I was so caught up in the fun that I forgot to take pictures.  At the end a few kids got together to play with this Iguana.  The girl in the red shirt, Mia, wasn't afraid AT ALL and proceeded to pass around this friendly wild reptile caught minutes before this picture was taken.  Megan 9 (pink shirt on left, Mia 3 next to her and Grant 7 on the right with black shorts are siblings and cruising kids aboard their sailing vessel. It was fun to talk to their parents, Kim and Rob as we lead similar lives. 
Ryann loved it!
Morgan said it felt like holding an alligator.
Look mom, no hands!
More starfish next to an island near Sombrero Beach. 
Our friends and fellow loopers.  Aboard Crawdad - Jim and Gloria Crawford and aboard Blue Yonder - Pete and Anna Gulick. The kids made apple cake and Anna brought a great new fun drink for all of us to share. 

My parents, Art and Yvonne Lewis will be joining us Saturday for a few days. We have many fun things on the agenda and look forward to another great week.