Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Florida, Part One (Don't be scared! I swear it won't be boring. Much.)
So we got to Tampa at about 3:30 on Friday afternoon, jumped in our convertible, put the top down, and set off across the causeway to the Clearwater area. GORGEOUS weather. We were staying at my Aunt and Uncle's beautiful house. That night we got to go to my cousin Mark's house for a fish BBQ. Have I mentioned that my family is OBSESSED with fishing? My uncle and my other cousin Cam go out at least 2 times a week, so all the fish we ate was caught two days earlier off Cam's boat. Mmmmm! Anyway, take a look at Mark's backyard:
I swear that's his backyard! Awesome, huh? Anyway, we ate fish and grits (I love grits!), and I got to meet my newest little cousin. This is Cam's youngest:
The next morning we got up early and jumped on my Uncle's boat for some fishing. No fish to speak of (it was REALLY windy), but we got to see all kinds of dolphins. Bill had Ryan and I hang off the front of the boat and the dolphins were RIGHT THERE. So cool. That afternoon Ryan and I went down to the fish docks at Clearwater so we could get a drink (we were trying to behave ourselves in my Aunt's house), and so I could show him were my Grandpa's charter fishing boat used to be docked. While we were there we saw piles of grouper fish coming off the boats. Mmmmm, its my favorite. And we saw this guy:
The next day we went out w/ Cam on his big boat to go offshore. The day was so calm and the water was incredibly clear! You could see absolutely clearly 60 feet down. It was so clear, in fact, that when we were trolling, we could clearly see a baracuda hanging out under the boat for an hour just waiting to steal our catch. It was amazing being in the middle of nowhere, not another boat in sight. It was us and the water, and there were dolphins EVERYWHERE. It was so amazing.
The best part was the bait fishing. You could actually see the bait swimming toward the boat! It was so fun to chase the bait around. I like catching the little fish. RYAN, however, just HAS to do everything big. That includes fishing. :-) Look at his rod!
That's Cam (who just put on his 'nice shirt' for the pictures) putting on the fighting belt for Ryan. It took Ryan about 10 minutes to actually get the fish to the boat. At one point the fish was actually at the surface then ZING!!, he pulled the line out straight to the bottom. But, Ryan eventually won out, and here's his catch:
So that's the first weekend! Tomorrow expect to see pictures of gators and drunk people (read: me) in Key West.
So today my plan is to watch all the shows I missed that I recorded to the DVR. Heaven! Ryan's at work, and its the first time in a week and a half that I've been without him. I miss the guy already! We were so lucky to have all that time together all at once. It was so great. *sigh* I wish life was a vacation.
I'm Amanda. I'm an engineer in an industry full of men, a professional wedding and family portrait photographer, a firefighter's wife, a traveler, and a dogMa.