Sunday, July 27, 2014

"Knee Deep"

 "...Knee deep in the water somewhere, Got the blue sky breeze and it don't seem fair. Only worry in the world is the tide gonna reach my chair. Sunrise there's a fire in the sky, Never been so happy, Never felt so high, And I think I might have found me my own kind of paradise..."
     We had an amazing time at the beach this past week. Despite the fact that it rained the first couple days, The weather was great, and with almost all of the family together, how could we not have a blast?! The drive from Orlando to Panama City Beach is approximately 7 hours, and since we were already going through Clearwater, FL, we thought that we would stop by and meet Winter, the Dolphin. Winter stars in the movie "Dolphin Tale", the inspiring true story of Winter's fight to live, and the upcoming sequel "Dolphin Tale 2", a continuation of Winter's story. Winter, a bottlenose dolphin, lives at the Clearwater Marine Aquarium. For those of you who have not seen the movie and are not familiar with Winter's story, she has no tail. Winter lost her tail after getting it caught in a crab trap, and by the time she was found, it was to late to save her tail. Amazingly, after much extensive research, they were able to create a prosthetic tail, that allows Winter to exercise muscles that are no longer used since her accident.

Winter and her best friend Hope
 (another rescued bottle nose dolphin).

We were lucky enough to be able to see these two adorable girls together. Hope will be joining Winter as a star of the upcoming movie "Dolphin Tale 2".
After saying goodbye to Winter and Hope, we continued out drive until we reached our "house", aka, the two room hut that rests on the edge of one of the many Bayou's in the area. The family had "creatively" named it "The Place". ;P
One of the beautiful sunsets at "The Place"

We stayed there for two days, visiting (and eating) with friends and learning how to cast a net.
Yes, that is a fried fish tail, and yes, I am eating it... ;P
"Mmmm... Its crunchy!" ;P

My dad learning how to cast a net

We left "The Place" on Saturday and headed to our condo on the beach. Almost immediately after un-packing, we were out playing in the waves.

Sadly, a storm came in, and we had to go in. But, by the time sunset came around, the rain had stopped, and the view was well worth it...

The next day, we headed out to the beach again, and while it was still cloudy, we were able to swim for a bit before we had to go inside.  Now, just because we couldn't go to the beach doesn't mean we weren't having fun. Three families all jammed into the same "house" guarantees excitement.
But seriously, we had a blast, for the next 2 days, the beach was off limits due to "extreme waves and strong currents", so we had to improvise, which meant finding cool stuff to do near the beach that wasn't on the beach. We went miniature golfing, Go-cart racing, and did a bunch of other awesome stuff... and, of course, we can't forget... Shopping!!! ;P I love all of the little shops that line the streets near the beach, you can always find something interesting ;P. A few days later and the red flags were lowered, the waves were calm and the shores and covered in hundreds of tourists covered in sun-tan lotion and sea-weed. The sun had finally come out, and no one was going to miss it! Despite the crowds, it was still pretty relaxing, and I really enjoyed taking a moment to just slow down and relax.

So, we spent the next few days relaxing on the beach and spending time with family. It was great, but we all agreed that we needed to do something really exciting, so, we decided on...

I know, crazy right? But it was awesome!!! We had such a great time :)

More Photos:
Photo of me... at the beach ;P
Photo taken by Christina Stephens 

My oldest brother, Brian, and part of his family. 

Photo of Christina and I getting attacked by a wave ;P

Because of the storm, a ton of sea-weed
and algae was washing up on the beach...
Nasty -_- ...
Sunset + Random boogie board dude = Pretty cool shot ;P

A pelican at "The Place"

Proposal at the beach!!! :D

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