It’s a bad habit, but I usual take most of my pictures on the first day of vacation and take about the same amount for the remainder of the vacation. Since I’ve already shown off half of my vacation pictures, I’ll finish up the vacation posts in two parts.
Congratulations! Today is your day. You’re off to Great Places! You’re off and away! OH BABY! THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! You’ll be on your way up! You’ll be seeing great sights! You’ll join the high fliers who sore to high heights. Except when you don’t. Because, sometimes, you won’t. But with banner flip-flapping, once more you’ll ride high! You’ll be ready for anything under the sky! And will you succeed? Yes! You will indeed! (98 and 3/4 percent guaranteed). Congratulations! Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way.
Oh, Baby! Go, Baby -Dr. Seuss
I have to start with a big THANK YOU to my Aunt Linda and Uncle Jim for allowing us to stay in their condo in Siesta Key for our long weekend. It has been such a long year and some time away from the daily happenings was something that all five of us needed. The condo was quite homey and relaxing. It had two bedrooms and bathrooms, a kitchen, an eating area, a living room, and one awesome lanai! It was completely screened in which kept the bugs out but was over the waterway which housed the complexes private boats. Since Jack is the best sleeper and getting to be a pretty good eater, we spent a lot of time in the condo during the a.m. hours. It’s so much easier to travel to the pool, beach or restaurant if Jack is not tethered to a feeding pump. We used this time to relax and get organized for the day.
On our second to last day, my mom and I went to get messages while the boys went to a bar to listen to a guy play acoustic guitar and enjoy the day. It was a wonderful message and really allowed me to wind down a little more. The message therapist used chocolate oil which I will say, left me relaxed and smelling delicious. After our messages, we met the boys at a nearby bar called BlueQue. I was exactly what you would expect from a bar in Siesta Key. The inside was small and dark but there was a wrap around bar on the outside. It was open air and misters around the parameter of the seating area. An acoustic guitar player with a striking resemblance to Jimmy Buffet was sitting i the corner of the outdoor seating area. He was quite god, finishing up a Crosby, Stills and Nash song followed by a Neil Young song when we were arriving. We a sat down and ordered a beer and some appetizers. Jack was being such a good boy that we stayed at the bar for a couple more hours (about 5 hours) until the sun started to set and we thoroughly annoyed the bartender. Then it was on to a pizza window and back to the condo for the night.
Shelly Gantzer, these pictures really are for you. Notice that Jack has already received his Tom Gantzer starter kit in the second photo. He has to work up to the screw drive and he’s not allowed a cigarette. I can’t explain the first photo.
Captain Curt’s Crab Shack:
The last full night that we were in Siesta Key, we hit up a little seafood restaurant that was on the way in/out of Siesta Key, right before the bridge to Sarasota. Now, I don’t know if you can believe this, but Matt met his match. He first ordered the seafood gumbo because at least a little seafood should be mandatory on a beach vacation (my mom may now think otherwise). He said the gumbo was really hot but had a great flavor and was quite enjoyable. It would be a good base for his chicken wings which would come out as his meal (surprise). He thought it was a little odd that the waitress had warned him that the wings were quite spicy but didn’t mention the gumbo. The gumbo had surely been spicy but most people who warn of spicy wings don’t know of Matt’s threshold.
I have never seen Matt’s eyes water due to chicken wings…until this night. He said they had a good flavor but were quite hot. He didn’t know whether he should go shake the cook’s hand or tell him to go F*@!K himself. Either way, it was all because of a job well done. Shocker: Matt didn’t finish his wings. He had to cal ‘uncle’. Promise: He’s going to be revisited by those wings again in the morning.
We spent a lot of time in the pool. Jack loves to swim and the beginning of the week showed us that he was not all too keen on the ocean, so the pool it was. For all of those who have seen the video of Jack swimming at Susie Water’s house, you know he’s going to be a water-baby. If you haven’t seen the video, check it out here
Aunt Susie’s pool gave Jack the chance to try out his floating turtle but unfortunately a float did not travel with us to Florida so Jack did some stationary swimming (splashing) in the condo pool. Check it out
And, of course some photos.
On our last day in Siesta Key, we tried the ocean one more time. I wanted Jack to leave with a good memory of the ocean so I planned to back into the water so he wouldn’t be scared of the waves coming his way. We took the hot walk across the street and to the beach. Though it was Labor Day, there wasn’t a huge crowd of people on the beach…the benefits to a private beach. My dad, Matt, Jack and I found a clear place in the sand and dropped all our stuff. My mom stayed at the pool since the laundry was due to be changed over. Once we put down out bag and towels and took off our shoes, we headed for the water. About five feet before stepping into the surf, I turned and backed in. I’m so glad we don’t have footage of this. The first wave came up ad touched Jack’s foot and he lifted it up into the air. He gave me a curious look but this time, there was no worry in it. I backed in a little further so the water was covering the tops of his feet. At this, he started kicking. He swiveled to his side and started leaning for the water with out-stretched arms. This was the interest I was looking for on the first day. I turned out to the ocean and began to walk out a little further. I walked until the water was up to my thighs, keeping in shallow enough water that so I wouldn’t be knocked over by a wave. The sea gulls were swarming around over a school of fish out by a sand dune and the pelicans were crisscrossing the horizon. Occasionally, a sea-gull would dive for a pelican would swoop down to pick up a fish and fly off for mealtime. Jack watched in amusement, all the while kicking and slapping the water as it rolled in and splashed on his front.
All four of us stood there and chatted for a while about our week, the week to come and all the activities that would slowly take over once we were back home. When we reached the point where the sun was too hot for us not wearing a swim shirt and hat (all but Jack), we turned to retreat to the pool. Once I reached the point where sand met air, Jack again swiveled and leaned to reach for the water with open arms. He was signing want by reaching with upturned hands and rolling in his fingers. This is where the tears and whines started. I explained to him that we were only leaving the ocean so we can swim in the pool which had some shade, but promised him that we will be back at the ocean next summer.
We only had about an hour left of our vacation and the car was already packed so we swam until it was time to shower and head to the airport. Our flight was leaving at 6pm so we enjoyed a quick dinner on the road before we had to head back through airport security.
And just as the flight in, Jack was an angel. The first flight from Tampa to Miami had rough beginnings since I had to replace his gastric button balloon water mid-flight. His tube ostomy started to leak pretty heavily and I was concerned that the balloon was low on water and could risk the button falling out. My suspicions were confirmed when I drew out 3 mL of water when I expected 5 mL. Though this was probably not enough water loss to warrant a button falling out, you never know. For all those who are curious, a balloon is actually pretty easy to check on a plane as log as there is no turbulence. Plus a distracting Grandpa helps.
The flight from Miami to Cincinnati was perfect.
That’s right, he slept on my lap the whole way, through the take off, pressure change and landing. I had to nudge him awake after all the other passengers had exited the plane and it was our turn to relieve the plane staff. I didn’t even have to pass out any flight goody bags from the incoming trip. The drawback….he pooped mid-flight and I didn’t want to wake him since it was such a blessing to have a sleeping baby on an airplane. I’m sure you can imagine the drawback.
So now we are home and Florida is becoming a memory. I can’t wait to make more of them!