Sunday, September 14, 2014

Evening adventures

Both of the girls did trip reports for their classes at school. As we were putting these together, I realized that we'd unconsciously organized our days with a loose but regular schedule.

Every morning we got up bright and early to eat breakfast and then hit the beach. This part of the day also included the highly coveted job of snack-packer...the kids divvied out the days to decide who was responsible for packing the snack each day! For some reason this was incredibly exciting to them to open up the pantry and decide which goodies would be accompanying us to the beach that morning.

We spent the mornings at the beach and then came home around noon to have a quick (okay, like an hour) swim in our backyard pool before lunch. Then after we ate, the girls and I would work (they had homework and I was working remotely). There was often a movie at this point while Nathan napped and the girls would drift in to watch as they finished up their work. Then once we'd all had a break from the sun, we would swim some more until dinner, then eat, then swim some more (man oh man we loved having that pool!!) and then we would often do something more adventurous.

One night we went to the Navarre Beach Fishing Pier to watch the sunset. This is the longest fishing pier in Florida and there were tons of fishermen there who we could imagine spend all day every day out there pulling in giant monster fish! They were all super friendly and let the kids check out their catches and explained the different varieties of fish to us.

Another day we checked out a place I'd read about on TripAdvisor that was supposed to have the best seafood in the area. I really didn't want to go to a place that felt like a chain or a big business--I wanted to replicate for the kids my own memories of eating super fresh seafood while I watched boats pull up the dock just outside the restaurant. We were quite a bit inland, but we LOVED this place! Super tasty...I think the grilled amberjack I had was easily the most flavorful fish I've ever eaten, and the jalapeno hush puppies were to die for. We also had a big platter of scallops, shrimp, and oysters that we shared and the girls and I decided that we loooove oysters. Yummy!

While we waited for our food we checked out these photos of how they prepare all of the different fish. Fascinating!

Lots of nighttime night after the kids were in bed Neil and I made up a synchronized swimming routine and then performed it for the kids the next day (it was Neil's idea and I don't think we've laughed so much at any one time during our entire marriage as we were laughing that night!).  Another night we put the boys to bed and let the girls stay up and swim with us--we did lots of diving for glowsticks! And on our second-to-last night we watched the sunset at the beach and then came back and all swam around in the dark with those hard-working glowsticks.

We took a couple of trips to the harbor--one at sunset to see the touristy-type boats come in...

 ...and another earlier in the evening to watch the charter fishing boats come in. It was a beautiful, well-kept (i.e. not stinky!) harbor and there were so many things to look at!
 One of our favorites was this giant piece of driftwood that was covered in really elaborate sea-life carvings on both sides. It was beautiful!

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