|On the Beach. Tuesday, July 10, 2012, Anna Maria Island, Florida.|
This summer I've not had much of a vacation. I know for all you non-teachers out there that sounds pretty spoiled of me. After all most people are lucky to get two weeks out of the entire year, much less a whole summer plus Thanksgiving, Christmas, Spring Break, and various federal holidays. I get that, after all Babs is one of those regular people.
Still the summer seemed particularly short this year. There was post week for the first week of June (which for me extended halfway into the second week of June as I couldn't get all my stuff done in the first week). The third week of June was free--Elijah and I had some quality time that week, although three days out of the week (and every week this summer) I spent a couple hours tutoring students to make extra money to pay for all the new baby-related bills that are already pouring in. Then I had a week of class for my final course in my master's degree in Education. This was the only non-online course of the program, and we met everyday all day for the last week of June.
The first week of July was broken up by the power outage and preparations for our summer travel. I knew that when we got back from our trips, I'd have essentially a week left and then summer--for me--would be over. So as it turned out, our trips constituted what felt like the only real vacation of the summer for me. For a little while I could finally sleep late, do some serious reading, watch some movies, spend relaxing time with my wife and son, and on top of be with some of the most precious people in my life.
|The best part of vacation. The beach was wonderful, but the best part was simply being with family.|
The first half of our vacation was with family. We flew down to Florida to see Mom, Vince, Dawn & Jim and their kids, and grandma. Most of the extended family was away during the time we were there, but we had some wonderful time with my immediate family. Dawn and Jim spent much of their time hanging out at Mom's house, which must have been quite a sacrifice given that they have two kids under the age of two, and I'm sure it would have been easier for them to be in their own home. I appreciated their efforts to make the most of our time together.
On Monday, we made our long-awaited annual trek to the Gulf Coast to spend a few days on Anna Maria Island. It was absolutely wonderful--about as close as you can get to the feel of Saipan this side of Hawaii.
We stopped off in Tampa to visit the aquarium there and to meet up with Saipan friends Ken & Crystal Pierson and their two daughters, and arrived at Anna Maria Island around six in the evening--early enought to get a few hours on the beach before sundown.
|The cousins check out the stingrays at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa, FL. Monday, July 9, 2012.|
|My brother Vince enjoying Florida's Gulf Coast (or a picture thereof anyway. This was a backdrop at the aquarium. We'd experience the real thing in just a few hours)|
Our remaining two days we spent as much time as we could in the sun, the sand, and the water. I almost felt guilty if I spent too much time inside when we had such a short time to be at the beach. Still, I managed some lesiurely reading on the couch and a little napping too.
|Sunset at Anna Maria Island. Monday evening, July 9, 2012|
I never tire of the beach. So I've got some of my favorite beach photos from our time at Anna Maria Island. Enjoy. Or skim past them if you like. I know they'll bring me comfort on cold snowy days here in Ohio.
|Morning,Tuesday, July 10, 2012|
|One last dip in the ocean. Wednesday morning, July 11, 2012|
Wednesday around noon we drove back to Orlando and ended the day with a baby shower Dawn and Mom planned for us. They were calling it a "sprinkle" rather than a shower since it was supposed to be rather small, but for a supposedly small shower we were deluged with a lots of great gifts for baby Ezra and had a wonderful time with the friends and family that came.
|Family at the baby shower at my mom's house. Wednesday, July 11, 2012. From left to right: My cousins Yvette and her brother Nabih, sister Dawn, Uncle Roland, and Aunt Colleen.|
|Our Little Feller looks a bit perturbed by the new arrival on the way!|
|We got tons of great stuff for Ezra!|
|I find my brother Vince looks very "Thomson-like" in this photo. Something reminiscent of Uncle Robert or even Grandpa in his posture siting maturely and solemnly while his nephews play around him.|
|Getting back in practice with my newest nephew, Ethan. Next time we visit Florida he'll have a playmate!|
This is our second year staying at the Anna Maria Island Inn. The accommodations are great, the location is perfect. Other than my mom's mysterious allergies we have zero complaints about the place. There may be fancier places on the island, but both my mom and sister have done pretty exhaustive research of the various rentals available on Anna Maria Island and both have concluded the that this place really is the best total package of the things we're looking for in a beachfront location. The video on their website gives a great feel for the place.