I so envy Matt’s (our bonus son) parents, Carolyn and Jack. They live in the same town in Florida as our two grandchildren; therefore, they get to go to each and every ballgame, dance recital, and school program in which Jordan and Matthew participate. How fun is that!
Ted and I both are so very happy to have them so much closer to us than they were in Arkansas! So when Matthew let us know that he was playing basketball (what might be his last game this season) this past Monday night, we started packing. We also wanted to get our first look at the house Julie and Matt are in the process of buying!
Off to Miss Marsha’s went Maddie and Bear (they will be very excited when the move is made and the “no dogs” policy of the rental house is no longer an issue)! We took a leisurely Sunday drive down to Ormond Beach, stopping at the outlet malls in St. Augustine. Ted wanted some new shoes, and I wanted to check out Chico’s (would you believe I bought a hot pink pair of ankle-length jeans for the summer)! I mean, you can see me coming a mile away!
Julie and Matt have bought an “Old Florida” home on a great street between the Inter-coastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. It was built in the 60’s and has not been updated, so they are going to have such a great time “making it theirs”. This old Live oak tree is in the back yard, and Matthew is going to do a lot of daydreaming up there in the years ahead.
On Monday – after Julie and Matt went off to work, and Jordan and Matthew went off to school – Ted and I went exploring.
When Ted came down without me (I was sick) just before Christmas for Jordan’s dance recital, he saw the little house on the left while he was riding around with Julie. It was our first stop after a nice breakfast at Peach Valley Restaurant, a locals’ favorite. A cute 2-bedroom, 2-bath, fully-updated house. The ocean at the end of the short street. Our grandkids about four miles away. Hmm . . .
We’d ridden by Tomoka State Park several times but had never taken the time to stop. On Monday we did! Tomoka comes from the Timucua, a group of Native Americans who lived in northeast Florida centuries ago.
I’m having a great time experimenting with my new camera, and these brightly colored canoes caught my eye as a possible good shot.
The Tomoka River and the Halifax River (the Intracoastal Waterway) meet at the north end of the park, forming a natural peninsula. During the summer, manatees take refuge with their young in the Tomoka River, and Bottlenose dolphins occasionally surface. Even if we’d been so inclined, swimming was not an option since the American alligator is a familiar resident in these waters.
Beautiful Live oak trees, dripping with Spanish Moss, are everywhere, including around this monument to Chief Tomokie.
The temps on Monday were in the high 70’s, and this shaded bit of sand felt cool beneath my bare feet.
We crossed the bridge across the Intracoastal and wandered the beach for a while. Have you ever known any photographer who could resist seagulls in the sand . . . .
. . . or on the wing.
We didn’t walk far, but we were there long enough to remember how much we love the beach . . .
. . . and how beautiful the clouds can be – even on an otherwise clear day.
Crossing back over the Intracoastal.
We picked Matthew and Jordan up from school, took Jordan to dance, went back to the house and waited on Julie & Matt . . . .
. . . then hurried to Matthew’s ballgame.
Matthew is the youngest, the shortest . . .
. . . . and the most focused player on the team.
He also has the most hair!
Matthew’s team didn’t win, but the happy parents and grandparents sure had fun watching and cheering them on!
On the way home on Tuesday morning, Ted and I laughed about our trip. We felt as though we were on vacation on Monday, with new places to see and time to just ride around and explore. I know, I know – we’re always on vacation, but sometimes it just feels more like it than others!
Have a wonderful weekend, and here’s hoping your team wins the Superbowl!