I spent Labor Day weekend in Florida to spend time with my family. I can't believe it had been about 1.5 years since the last time I had been to the Sunshine State. It was time for me to make an appearance (and I left Robb at home to save money and have quality parent-daughter time). Thanks to a red-eye flight, the holiday, and our "temporary lay-offs" in Washington once a month to save money, I only took one day of vacation and managed to spend five days in Florida with the family.
We went to some of my favorite restaurants, including a great tapas restaurant, my favorite beach restaurant, a high-end fish restaurant, a modern Italian restaurant, and a pizza joint with my favorite crust. Basically, as in all of my family vacations, we planned our time based on meals and where we were going to eat. I spent time with the grandparents and some aunts and uncles. I spent a lot of time by the pool and on the beach working on getting a little color to my pale Washington skin.
The most memorable part of the trip was our kayaking adventure. Mom, Dad, my Aunt Margaret, and I decided that we needed a little tandem kayak action. Mom and I shared a kayak, while my Dad took on kayaking with Margaret who had never been on a kayak before. Mom and I are an excellent team and really do well steering and powering through the strokes. Unfortunately, Margaret doesn't seem to have an inherent sense in the kayaking realm, so my Dad struggled a little bit with controlling the kayak. We kayaked along the mangroves to look at water birds and then made our way to a spit of sand to get out and swim for a bit. We also were treated to an amazing dolphin show within a small harbor. A mama dolphin and her baby were swimming around in circles and surfaced many times. And then the baby decided to get frisky and play. That little dolphin started flapping it's tail against the water and then started leaping! It was basically doing circles around us by continually jumping out of the water. It was the cutest thing! After the natural dolphin show we started to paddle back to the kayak rental return. We were half-way across a busy channel when somehow my Dad and Margaret's kayak tipped and they tumbled out. My Mom and I rushed over and started to retrieve items that fell from the boat. Luckily they tipped in a location where their feet actually touched sand, which made hoisting themselves into the kayak a little bit easier. It was actually pretty funny, but I have a feeling it may be a long time before Margaret and Dad go kayaking together again.