Gulfport, FL – Part V

Time for our next visitors! But first, I completely forgot about the amazing eclipse we witnessed back in January. So, a little out of order but wanted to mention it here. Ben and I stayed up and waited to see it around 11:30 PM. We promised the girls we’d get them up. It was incredible. Around midnight we got them out of bed and all went outside in the cockpit of the boat. The clouds had cleared and we had a perfect view. Melissa on Livin’ the Dream had texted and said to use our binoculars for a better view. They had a telescope as well. We settled for Ben’s good stabilized binoculars. This sounds kind of ridiculous but through the binoculars you could see the spherical shape of the moon. We all know that’s the moon’s shape, but to actually see it was really really neat. The girls each took turns as well, wrapped in blankets but enjoying the view. Ben tried for awhile to take a better picture with his good camera but we settled on these as the best we could get. Very cool experience.

Back to our next guests! My friend Debbie and her two kids, Laurel (Molly’s age) and Nate (Maddy’s age) were supposed to fly down on a Wednesday morning in February. It was snowing in Chicago and I was up watching her flight status. As they arrived at the airport the status flipped to canceled. They couldn’t get rebooked until Saturday! So, we anxiously awaited Saturday afternoon. We have a lot of visitors and the girls love them all, but it’s always special when kids their age come!

They arrived and we got swim suits on as quickly as we could (ours were probably already on) and headed to the pool for a late lunch and swim. Then spent the rest of the day just hanging out and relaxing.

Sunday we awoke to clouds and fog but no rain. Just sort of gloomy. We piled into the dinghy and took them out to the island. Fog never stopped anyone from playing in the sand.

Another boat showed up with kids and a paddle board and the kids all played together and took turns swimming and paddle boarding. This led us to head back to the boat after the fog burned off and grab our paddle boards. The kids did 2 and 2 on the paddle boards switching up who was on which board for the next couple of hours. They had so much fun. Laurel wins the contest for most times in the water….although many of her “falls” were self inflicted. They all had a blast.

We headed into town to O’Maddy’s for dinner that night. And who can resist a big chair? They’re everywhere and require a picture.

Monday was cool in the morning so we headed to the library and then the playground for a bit and then drove over to St. Pete Beach when the sun warmed us up. We took a windy walk on the beach to see the Gulf and collect some shells. And see dolphins!!! They were right there in the swimming area. Always fun to watch. The kids did some rock climbing and posed for some cute photos and we headed back for an afternoon at the pool.

No one ever tires of the pool. Debbie and I had a great time sitting poolside and visiting while the kids took turns between swimming and poolside giant Jenga.

Goodbyes are always tough but we are so thankful that people want to come visit us and make the effort. It means a lot! Right after Debbie, Laurel and Nate left for the airport it started storming. It rained the entire rest of the day and night. When it finally stopped the next day we got some beautiful post rain pictures. We were guest free for a bit as we had to head back to Chicago again. So I will end with a collage of sunset and sunrise pictures from this beautiful location. They just never ever get old.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *