Monday, June 8, 2009

52/365 - Day 158 (iHeartFaces Vacation Story)

This week over at iHeartFaces, they are taking a "vacation" from the weekly challenges/contests. In honor of this break, we are posting pictures of a vacation and telling the story through the images.

I could not have planned this better myself. I could certainly go back into the archives of trip photos...but it just so happens that we went away this past weekend. We needed a get-away and wanted to celebrate our 5th wedding anniversary. We packed up the car and headed to Ft. Myers for the weekend.

We got in late on Friday night...checked into the hotel (a little Mom & Pop type place)...grabbed dinner close to the hotel...and walked on the beach in the pitch dark. "A" was very excited about going to the beach and could not wait to get in the sand so we took a family walk along the water.

Early Saturday morning, we headed to Lover's Key State Park. We were going on a shell hunt and supposedly this beach was supposed to have good ones. I finally found a few nice ones all the way at the end of the island near the inlet...but nothing to write home about. But, the park was very pretty and "A" had a great time picking up lots of broken treasures from the sea.

Here you can see the seas turtle nest being protected on the dune, the sea oats that grow on the dunes, the one-eyed pirate crab that was a very cooperative subject, and the pelicans roosted on a huge piece of "driftwood" in the inlet.

And for people...Daddy and "A" walking on the beach, "A" collecting treasures, the seldomly captured photo of Mommy (I need to work on photo-taking skills with DH), and finally "A" enjoying getting her toes wet.

At some right as we were leaving the beach, "A" decided to get soaked. She got too close to the waves and got knocked on her keester. At which point she decided that it would be a good idea to run away from the water and sit in the dryer sand. Now wet and covered in sand, she was a total mess with no change of clothes on hand! We stripped her, showered her and she was content to ride home in a dry diaper and shoes...nothing else.

We drove around the park for a few minutes before leaving...I got to take some more pictures of pretty things...and play around with camera settings. Here are a few of those.

Back to the hotel for a quick lunch and minor cleaning up before heading off to another beach. I packed the beach bag, swimsuits, and a change of clothes for everyone (this time I was going to be prepared). We decided to drive over to Sanibel Island.

This was taken while driving over the bridge to Sanibel.
I took it through my sunglasses. A total experiment...but I like it!

Our first stop was Ding Darling Wildlife Refuge...this was perfect because "A" was asleep in the back seat and she really needed a nap. We didn't see too many exciting animals but is was quiet and peaceful and allowed enough time for "A" to finish resting.

Then off to Bowman's Beach. The parking area is quite a way from the beach...definitely a long walk for an almost two year old...but she wanted no part of being carried. It took forever to reach the sand. But once we did, the sun was shining and the water was blue...choppy, but blue. We hung out for a couple of hours and played in the sand. I can tell you that the shelling in Sanibel is over-rated!

Our first view of the beach (so pretty), Daddy and "A" getting water in the bucket, "A" and her reflection watching the approaching wave, "A" with her bucket of water.

"A" striking a pose on the beach, playing with my camera and depth of field to take pictures of the bucket, "A" checking out the seaweed.

We had dinner on the island and headed back to Ft. Myers for sunset. When I walked outside for sunset, there was a couple getting married. I offered to take some pictures for them as they had no photographer. I wish I would have had all of my equipment so I could have captured better pictures but I think they turned out alright under the circumstances.

Sunset was pretty but the sun was really blocked by the clouds so I didn't capture what I had envisioned...but I guess you really can't plan those things. And i was able to play with silhouettes. It took me forever to convince my husband to throw her into the air and this was the most he would do. I think she wanted more...she was laughing and having a great time...the little dare-devil.

Here are a few of the wedding couple and their little boy (who did not want to let me take pictures of him!) Hopefully they will like them...I guess some pictures are better than no pictures.

We got a late check-out for Sunday and played on the beach in the morning. We tried to build a sandcastle...all the while "A" saying "I helping, I helping" which really means...I will tear it down and destroy it.

Finally, we got cleaned up and ate lunch before packing the car. Just as we started loading the car, we got hit with a snadstorm...seriously 30-40 mph winds and my car is now full of sand. Even the window squeal when I roll them down. So much sand! Check it out!

We took the long way home with through torrential rain at points, stopped at Marco Island (I was the only one to get out of the car and walk down to the beach - and I must say the shells were the best so far!). We also took a little detour to Chokoloskee (a very small Everglades town)...and arrived home safely right before dinner time.


Diana - FreeStyleMama said...

Wonderful photos! Love the experimental one! Mine is here.

WendysPhotos said...

Sounds like a fun weekend. I realy like the sunglasses photo - I have thought of that before - especially, when looking through those 'rose-colored' glasses that make things seem so warm and bright. I will have to try it sometime. The way you did it was cool - getting the glasses frame, too. Lots of nice photos!

WendysPhotos said...
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TanishaRenee said...

Beautiful photos, the silhouette is my favorite! I reall love the one shot through your sunglasses, too!

Erica said...

there is nothing like a beach vacation! ahhh i love the beach! my husband and i will be celebrating our 5 year anniversary in august! apparently 2004 was the summer of love ;)

shirley said...

Looks like a great time! My parents have a place in Estero, so we visit the Ft. Myers area almost every year. Lovers Key is so different from Fort Myers beach, but you can't go parasailing there! We've always enjoyed Sanibel, too, (but we feel it's a bit of a pain to get to).
I love the picture through the sunglasses, the sandbucket and the silhouette. It was very nice of you to offer up your photography skills to the couple.