Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Port Richie, Florida!

After Andrew's graduation, we headed to Florida for vacation!  David's friends invited us to spend the week with them in Port Richie and we had so much fun!  The drive took 9 hours, but it seemed to go by pretty fast.  I had to take a turn driving, too:

(We were stopped at a stoplight...promise!)
We got there around dinner time, so we sat on the porch and grilled out chicken and veggies.  It was so yummy!  We also had some visitors in the cove behind the house!

A few times this week, dolphins would come visit at dinner time!  So cool :)

Monday, we took a ride in the pontoon boat to a little island about 30 minutes from our house. 

We were pretty much by ourselves! :)

David and I got so excited because on the way, we saw lots of sting rays!  There's nothing like seeing wild life in its real habitat and not in a zoo, ha!

We made sure to load up on the sunscreen, but somehow we all got roasted pretty bad on Monday....definitely underestimated that Florida sun!  Tuesday we decided to visit the Clearwater aquarium to stay out of the sun.  There's a movie called A Dolphin Tale about a dolphin named Winter who got tangled in crab netting and lot her tail because of it.  The movie goes on to show how they made her a prosthetic tail and how she learned how to swim again.  The movie was based on a true story about the real Winter!  And Winter's home is at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium!  

I'ts a pretty small aquarium, but they have lots of animals in rehab programs, some that will be released back into the wild, and some that have a permanent home at the aquarium.  It was a pretty neat place!

 One of Winter's prosthetic tails.

Wednesday it was raining so we went to the movies!  We saw The Avengers and I loved it!  I'm not a huge comic girl, but that movie was really well done.  And it was nice to have another day to recuperate from the sun. ;)

Thursday and Friday were spent at the same little island we went to on Monday and I loved every minute.  There was a constant breeze so it wasn't too hot and the water was crystal clear.  (So clear that David and I even spotted a shark floating in the shallow waters...I didn't get in after that, ha!)

About to head out! 

Captain Dave navigated the ocean waters well!

Emmy is Celeste's dog and she got used to the boat rides!

Lots of pelicans!

And houses with 2 story slides!

We had such a good time. :)  We left early Saturday morning for another 9 hour drive back.  That drive felt much longer than the one heading to Florida!    We were so glad we were able to relax on vacation with good friends.  Thank you so much Fred, Bonnie, and Celeste for letting us tag along!  We had an amazing time and are so grateful for fun times with good friends!

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