Friday, January 2

Anderson Adventures in Florida

We were blessed this past Christmas with the chance to visit my brother and his family in Navarre, Florida. We hatched a quick road trip plan once it dawned on me that moving out west would make it even harder to see a brother I haven't seen in 6 years! (how's that for a crazy, run-on sentence? Also, for you regular readers, there's no word on the move yet.)

As soon as Steve was done with his bus route on the 23rd we hit the road, drove straight through, and arrived in Navarre just in time for Christmas Eve dinner. The trip down was a test of one's driving skills, to say the least. Two-thirds of Illinois was experiencing a freezing rain/drizzle event and we drove through all of it. I quit counting flipped vehicles and semis, it was stressing me out. For the record, if not for the humidity, I could live in the hills of Alabama or Tennessee. Both states are beautiful! Illinois... there are no words to describe my contempt!

Christmas Eve found the 6 cousins getting to know each other some and 2 of the adults trying to maintain an upright position having had no sleep for 20+ hours. Christmas day was great fun, exchanging gifts & hanging out with Mike, Amber, & the kids. We formulated a plan for the remainder of our days together, based on a weather forecast that turned out to be WRONG each day, and basically laid around all day. It was such a huge stretch from our normal daily routine, but it was really nice to be away from farm chores, customers, and ringing telephones. Amen!

I said from the get-go that if I only did one thing in Florida besides hug my brother it would be to take my family to the ocean. So off we went! It. was. incredible. The kids chased waves, hunted sea shells, and buried each other in the sand. The wind was pretty relentless, hence the waves, and the water was cold, but it was so much fun. Mountains. Oceans. Initially it's a toss up, but then I remember the humidity. Mountains it is, but man the ocean is so awesome! God in all His glory with the wind & the waves & the sounds!

All the kids ended up soaked and sandy. Hot showers were on tap for later.

The sand was so white & clean, and full of beautiful shells. Mudge especially like this.

This is my brother's youngest. I think Mudge has met her match!

Me and my little brother!

None of us could figure out what the name of this was. It basically took you from the parking lot to the beach, but I thought the beach came right up to the parking lot! If anyone knows the technical term for this bridge-like walkway to the beach, let me know! I love this shot!

When I looked at these beautifully colored houses only one thing would come to mind.... hurricane! Isn't that horrible? The houses were really neat out by the beach. Up on stilts, palm trees, vibrant colors. It was so neat, and sandy :)

A genuine Florida Christmas tree. I loved it. Fake, lit-up snowmen in some front yards was just plain silly.

This is the boat I like to think brought our fresh fish in to market. We visited Joe Patti's Fish Market in Pensacola and bought lots of shrimp and a fish called Amber Jack. Mike grilled the fish and boiled the shrimp with red potatoes & corn on the cob. We ate like kings!

We visited the local zoo, which was fantastic. In case you're wondering, the young man in the wheel chair is my oldest nephew. He had dropped a stool on his big toe the day before we arrived. He has 20+ stitches in that toe now and walks with a cane, or travels by chair if it's available. He'll be healed and ready for surfing when the waters warm up.

I'm not sure what's happening here, but I love the faces.

Our little zoo keeper.

All together now, awwwwww.

On Sunday we visited the Naval Air Museum in Pensacola. I can't say enough about it. It was fantastic. You would never guess there were so many types of airplanes. It was very well done.

I can say, without a doubt, all our kids quickly latched onto one another. You'd never know some of them were meeting for the first time that weekend.

Thank you, God, for the chance to get together with loved ones! We had a ball!

1 comment:

Rach said...

Loved all of the pictures!!