Wednesday, March 17, 2010

I'm on Vacation....

No Idol update...I'm on vacation and didn't watch the show in its entirety last night.

I'm in Florida and planning on retiring here someday. Unfortunately, my husband is not a fan of the Sunshine State, so I may have to live alone in my old age. But I love it here. Just wish it was 15 degrees warmer. Last night was downright freezing. My kids are both sunburned so at dinner (we sat outside) they were both shivering.

We haven't been spending much time on the beach on account of the chilly weather and freezing water temps. We rode our bikes to the Ding Dong National Forrest the other day. (That's not really the name of the place, but its something like that and that's what the Reids are calling it, so just go with it.) It's a 6000 acres national refuge. There is a tram that goes through the refuge, but we decided to bike it. It was lovely, but the only animals we saw were birds. Lots and lots of birds. And I am not a fan of birds. And as you might imagine, the birds attract lots and lots of strange people. With binoculars. And HUGE cameras. Needless to say, my daughter and I did a lot of laughing. Not with the people, but rather at the people. And my husband was not happy with us because he wanted us to be quiet (as did the folks we were laughing at, I'm sure).

At one point a flock of birds swarmed us a la The Birds and I freaked out. Horrible. But we caught a glimpse of the rare white pelican (really not sure how rare it is, but from the reaction of some of the bird watchers, I'm guessing it was a treat). I wanted to see a pink flamigo and an alligator, but I did not.

Truth be told, I think that my husband likes birds. If he pointed out one more nest, I was going to have him committed. Hmm. Maybe he'll retire with me to Florida, after all. You should have seen him taking pictures. Holy guacamole, I'm pretty sure we have more shots of cranes and pelicans than we do our kids. Not that there is anything wrong with that...

The bike ride was fun, but it was on a rocky trail (kind of like a mountain bike ride without the mountain) (LOVE the flatness of Florida). So my arms and legs were jiggling the whole time which caused Maddie fits of laughter every time she looked over at me. Beck wanted to know why nobody else was jiggling like me. Really, Beck? You want to go there? Anyway, my extremities were numb at the end of the ride. Which kind of worked to my advantage as we had a 10 mile bike ride home after our journey through Ding Dong National Park.

We also went kayaking. Maddie and I teamed up in one kayak and managed to get tangled up in the mangroves a few times. This is a girl who can do about 25 pull ups in a minute, yet, her upper body strength somehow disappeared when it came to paddling in the open waters. Luckily, my jiggly arms came through for both of us. I think I got a better ab work out, though, because we did a lot of laughing.

We did not see any manatees because the water is too cold. And that is putting it mildly. We did see plenty of birds. I wonder if bird watchers always liked birds, or if their love for birds developed later in life? And the reason I ask is because I want to be sure that there is no chance of me becoming a bird watcher in my old age. I mean, is there a possibility that I'll wake up one morning when I'm in my mid-sixties and decide I want to buy a pair of binoculars and go watch birds? Cause if that ever happens, I want somebody to stop me. (Actually, I'm pretty sure that my daughter will. On second thought, I can see her letting me do it just so she can laugh at me.)

The beach is beautiful, albeit shelly. I know this place is known for it's shells. Apparently it's the shell capital of the world...some of the prettiest shells I've ever seen. But, they are freaking everywhere. And if I were to swim in the ocean, which I will not, but if I were to swim in the ocean...the shelly bottom would really bum me out. You literally cannot walk on the beach without water shoes. And of course, I refuse to do that so I walk down the beach hopping and cursing and picking broken shells out of my sore feet. Sure, I could walk along the water's edge, but that would mean getting wet...and cold...and I have no use for that kind of Tom Foolery.

It was raining all morning, but the sun is out now...so I need to scoot to the beach and soak up the rays. I'll be back next week with some American Idol commentary....