February 10, 2012

Fun in the Sun and Sand

Last Saturday morning, after a brief visit with my parent's in Tennessee, and getting the girls settled in with them, Malcolm and I hit the road in a rental car, heading south to Florida. We quickly re-discovered that it was fun to be traveling like "normal" people again! 
We passed through Atlanta, choosing to go through the heart of the city instead of taking the by-pass. We seem to make better time that way. I always enjoy craning my neck to see the tops of the sky scrapers. I also enjoy getting back out of the Atlanta.

It took a little over 8 hours to get to our destination. We drove the entire length of Georgia on I-75, and then in north Florida, we jumped on I-10...
...to Jacksonville, where we turned south on I-95. A couple hours later, we were in New Smyrna Beach, FL and turning into the driveway of Malcolm's aunt and uncle's house, where we discovered a number of family members had gathered to visit and catch up. It was a warm, cozy scene.
 We had arrived just in time to share a dinner of pizza and lots of laughs and hugs. There was also some time to relax and start right in on Florida vacationing. Shortly after arriving we'd migrated to the dock where Malcolm partook in some nightime fishing...
...and I enjoyed the novelty of being comfortable in February without a jacket. The scenery wasn't half bad either.
After a night of restful sleep, we woke up early to get busy helping with anything that needed doing to prepare for the main event of the weekend. There were lots of last minute tasks, but we made sure to get in some fun too. I spent a little time in the morning sitting on the dock some more. I could have stayed there all day long!
It was so quiet and peaceful, and at the same time there was lots to look at, and activity everywhere. Malcolm's aunt and uncle live on a....I don't know what it's called....it's like a river that comes off the ocean into the land and then back out to the ocean. It's really pretty with the scenery of the ocean, but not the waves and crowds. You can see the lighthouse right from their back yard (as you noticed above) and there is lots of wildlife to enjoy. There were dophins playing off and on throughout the day, lots of pelicans and other water birds,...
...and the biggest surprise of the day was when a manatee surfaced for air right beneath our dangling feet as we sat on the dock. I was so surprised that I fumbled the camera and only caught the tail.
Like I said, I could have sat there all day. 
But there were projects and errands to attend to.
When the day was done and tasks complete, we all loaded up in the cars and headed to Orlando to meet Malcolm's sister, her fiance, and his parents for dinner. They took us to Midievil Times, which was a dinner theatre. It was really neat! Good food and great entertainment. We dined while watching knights joust, and nobility parade.

After that, we had about an hour long car ride back to our family's home. It was an hour of laughter and hilarity, with Malcolm at the wheel and his cousin's husband egging him on to spin the wheels and other silliness. It was so much fun to laugh so much! It was a blast to spend time with a couple our own age, and we had so many things in common. We hate that they live 2000 miles away!

Once home, we visited a bit more, and then it was off to bed. We all needed lots of rest for the day to come. 
The next day was a long day of Fun in the Sun and Sand!
The wedding was beautiful and I had my first experience taking important portraits. I was very intimidated but SO pleased with how they turned out. However, Justine and Rob are still vacationing and the bride should get to share her photos first. So after she gets home and posts pictures, I'll will share mine with you! Get ready for bridal overload, because there are so many I love!


Dreaming said...

I adore your picture of the lighthouse at night. It's beautiful!
I think manatee's are the ugliest/cutest things around... next to Haflingers! You know, there are a lot of similarities.... they are kinda chunky, they have cute lips!!!
Have fun!

Jake said...

Enjoy the vacation. You guys need it. :)

Badlands said...

Looks like you had an awesome vacation!
I miss the beach.....& not Beach, ND!

Shirley said...

The ocean looks so restful, I love the sound and smell of the ocean. The lighthouse at night is a wonderful photo.
Cool that you found some horses to photograph too.
Hope you don't have to wait too long to post th wedding photos!

Muffy's Marks said...

A much deserved vacation, I am so glad you are having a good time in the Florida sun. I can't wait to see what you have done to capture their wedding day. So respectful to let the happy couple view the photos first. Enjoy the rest of the days in Florida.

Michaele said...

I love how you are happy and at home wherever you are. It must feel funny riding in a car.

small farm girl said...

I am soooo jealous!!!

ACountryCowgirl said...

what a great time!!! Love seeing all your pics and hearing of all the adventures! I am finally getting caught up on some of my reading:)

Horses Are Our Lives said...

sounds like you had a fun, fun, fun vacation! I would have loved to watch the dolphins! The wedding sounds very lovely! I'm sure you're back into the cold by now! Brrrr. We were near zero yesterday and today!

MTWaggin said...

Can't wait to see the photos of the wedding and I'm sure you did fabulous! The pictures you took are great and the night shot of the lighthouse rocks! I'm with you I could sit by the water all day long. So glad you had fun.

Pure Prairie Soap said...

I'm just now catching up to your posts, Sarah. I absolutely love your photos, all of them. I really liked the contrast between the nighttime and daytime lighthouse photos. The wildlife photos are spectacular. You do such a good job of storytelling. Like I said before, I'm hooked. : )