Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Fun In the Sun

Florida was awesome.  I was so happy to just be in the 80 degree weather with a slight breeze, the sunshine on my face and that ocean smell in the air.

My grandmother lives in a community for people over 50. 

It backs right up onto the Gulf of Mexico and there is even a canal right behind her place where you can see all sorts of creatures. Sting rays, sharks, manatees, and my personal favorite, dolphins. The first morning I was there I was sitting on the back porch reading (I did a whole lot of this....I finished two books) when I heard a dolphin.  I got up, grabbed my phone and snapped a few pics in the general direction of the sound hoping I would catch something.

I'm pretty sure I hit the jackpot!  I didn't even know there were two until I took the picture!  Pretty awesome huh?

The next day we hit the beach.  Walking where the water meets the sand is another one of my happy places.  My brother, mom and I walked for about 30 minutes, just enjoying the sun, sand and waves.  Then we layed out in our chairs for some more reading. It was nice to see everyone out on their wave runners and boats.  We even saw some people parasailing.  My mom told me she wasn't sure if that was on her bucket list or not.  It's definitely on mine!

After that we went over to this area call John's Pass.  It's a quaint little area with lots of shops and seafood restaurants.  We were walking along the pier and came upon a booth.....for parasailing. Guess what?  We did it!  It was exhilarating!

We hopped on this speed boat and headed out to open waters.  There was a guy on the boat who helped us into our harnesses and lifejackets. Let me tell you, not the easiest thing to do while speeding across choppy water!  He told me I looked like Mandy Moore and asked if anyone had ever told me that. Nope, never heard it before crazy dude.  He then proceeded to call me Mandy the rest of the time.  It was actually kind of funny.  After we all got our harnesses on the let the parachute out.  Woah.  It went flying off the back of the boat so fast I thought it would drag the whole boat with it!  We then walked over to a platform on the back of the boat and he hooked us all to a bar under the parachute.

Slowly we rose out over the water and up into the sky. 1200 feet in the sky to be exact.  It was magical!  I loved it.  So peaceful and quiet up there.  We even saw a huge sting ray floating in the water from way up there.  My mom was pretty much freaking out the whole time.  She even made me nervous!  I started thinking about the water drop and all the sudden thought that they were just going to let us free fall into the water.  Um, not a good thought from 1200 feet up.  I held on a lot tighter at that point….I don’t like free falls!  Thankfully, after about 15 minutes I could feel us slowly getting closer to the water and to the boat.  It wasn’t a free fall after all, just a nice little butt dip into the water. Getting back to the boat and out of the harnesses was a bit difficult due to the wind (actually our guide got a pretty nice sized gash in his abdomen trying to make sure we were safe) but it was totally worth it.  I will be doing it again someday!  I even asked the guide the weight/size limit to do it.  C will be just fine (he’s 6’4 280lbs).  Hope he’s not afraid of heights! After making it safely back on land we went inside for a cocktail….inside of a coconut monkey of course!

The next day was the best day of the trip…..Disney World!  There’s not much I need to say about this except for I had a blast.  And that my ankle still hurts, 3 weeks later (so, yeah, I’m a little behind) from all of the walking we did. We arrived at the park around noon and didn’t leave until after the fireworks at 11pm.  We hit all four parks in one day.  Needless to say….my brother and I were exhausted!  

  (Note: I very much dislike hotdogs.  We were so hungry when we got to the park that we went to the first booth we saw.  An out of the box HOTDOG only stand.  So yeah, thats my "taco" hotdog.)

The next day we flew home.  C picked me.....and my mom up from the airport. Yep, he has now met one part of the parental unit. It was all his idea too. I didn't even ask J

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