Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Adventures in Rainland

Anyone who lives on the East Coast of the United States knows how wet and soggy this summer has been. Mosquitoes are flourishing while crops are dying and people are getting grumpy (you know, light sadness/depression/whatever-it's-called-that-I'm-sure-is-making-me-miserable).

So, then vacation came along.

YAY! Sunny Florida.

However, the rain followed us in our big Ford F-150. It rained in North Carolina on the way down, South Carolina, and even Georgia where we stopped for the night. Luckily, the wind swept away the clouds and we were able to enjoy the natural beaches undisturbed by development . . . just the way I like it!

My husband and I, along with our kids, found crabs scuttling along the packed sand, marveled at the trees standing on the beach even though their roots were above ground, and genuinely enjoyed the fact that the sun was shining. 

On Saturday morning, we loaded the kids up again and ventured the remaining way to Florida (which isn't far from Georgia, but given how far in the state we had to go . . . .)

And guess what?

You ever see Snoopy carrying an umbrella with the raincloud following him around? Yep, that seemed to be our story. Rained on us the whole way, which must have been why my daughters had to pee like every five minutes on Saturday.

But, again, we endured and arrived at Longboat Key, Florida to sunshine, blue skies, and the smell of ocean. Also: too early in the day to check into our condo.

We drove over to St. Armand's Key, which is a great shopping/eating island, and found an awesome little restaurant called The Crab and Fin. So, we sat—and ate. Our server informed us that we were in for a week of good weather. The sun was supposed to shine every day, the beach conditions were supposed to improve—all would be well.

Boy was he wrong!

Shortly after checking in and dumping off our truckload of crap (seriously, who needs ALL that stuff?), we drove to Publix to purchase our groceries and it RAINED.

I can't remember what we did on Sunday, but I think it involved beach-hopping and avoiding rain.

*Edit: Yes, I do remember what we did on Sunday. After all that beach hopping, I met with my Agent Marisa Cleveland and one of my favorite authors Jamie Ayres. Gah! We did so much on vacation that my brain can't process it all!*

Monday it rained ALL DAY, non-stop, heavy, soaking rain! Although the beach was out of the question, we piled in our cars (my brother and his family came to Florida, too) and drove to Tampa to visit the zoo. There is no better time to visit a zoo than when it's raining. Here are my reasons why:

1. Crowds are down

2. Animal poo does not smell nearly as bad

3. Do you REALLY need a third reason?

The day was awesome! Seriously. We even found this "little" guy hopping around. *Note: Not a zoo exhibit*

Tuesday the sun peeked through the clouds and we found an awesome little place to hang out at the North Shore of the island. We collected shells and saw sting-rays and then visited with my sister who drove up from another Florida island, and then we got rained on. Of course. We did see dolphins while having lunch on a dry dock!

Wednesday we visited the Mote Aquarium and took their Sea Life boat cruise (awesome, by the way). What happened? It RAINED. We were soaked. Abby freaked out, thought lightning was going to strike us (I worried about this too). But, when the crew cast their net and brought lots of fish and sea creatures for my kids to HOLD and TOUCH, they couldn't care less about the rain after that. If you ever visit the area, make sure you stop by this aquarium and take one of their cruises.

Thursday was another rainy day. When a surprise storm chased us off the beach, we waited in the car, had dinner in our folding chairs in a parking lot (when the rain stopped briefly), then waited in the car some more, then rushed out to the beach at the last minute and caught an amazing fireworks display. Honestly, the best finale I've ever seen.

Friday the day started out beautifully, so my hubby, brother, and all the boys went out on a fishing trip while the girls and I all stayed pool/beachside. The guys didn't catch a thing—correction: my hubby caught ONE fish. The girls and I had a relaxing day. Then it rained. A lot. We sat outside on the balcony to watch the sheets of water blow across the waves, and then a lightning bolt hit the ocean about 200 yards out from us.

Scary!

The afternoon cleared up, and so did the ocean. We were FINALLY able to enjoy the Gulf Coast the way it should be enjoyed: wading in shallow, clear waters. Amazing.

A soggy dinner out (yep, rainy dinner), and that was the end of our beach vacation.

I celebrated my 28th birthday (5 times over) on the road with my family. We stopped in Charlotte, NC to visit the NASCAR Hall of Fame (check out the rain clouds in the picture), and ducked into a restaurant about 20 miles from home to avoid . . . you guessed it: RAIN!

Effing East Coast weather pattern.

Anyway, I apologize for not posting more often or visiting with everyone on Twitter and Facebook, but every now and then I have to take a step back and appreciate what's important: Life Off the Computer.

Love you all!

<3 Krystal

Don't forget to download Wilde's Fire for FREE while you still can. And Wilde's Army is just 99 cents this week.

3 comments:

  1. I seriously can't believe you TOUCHED that thing. I took a picture of him (or his distant cousin, obvs) when we were in Snook Haven, and I put my fingers *near* him for a size comparison . . . that was terrifying enough for me, thank you very much!

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    Replies
    1. Whoops! I was signed in under our PitchMAS account. ;-)

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  2. Sorry the rain kept up all week . . . if it makes you feel any better, it's continued to rain daily since you left, so it can't all be you!

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