Thursday, July 23, 2009

Team Glynn

We are a well-oiled machine. The only way you can haul as much equipment to and from the beach as we do is to be organized and have everyone understand the process and their role in it.

We pull up to the loading zone, jump out of the car, and proceed to pull the following out of the back:

  • 1 10x10 canopy
  • 3 folding chairs
  • 1 skim board
  • 2 boogie boards
  • 2 inner tubes
  • 1 cooler
  • 2 baskets containing books, camera, hats, sunscreen, snacks, blanket, 4 towels, sand toys, masks, fins, snorkels

Ray goes to park the car and the kids and I make like pack mules and haul it to the beach. Ray quickly catches up and the canopy goes up in mere seconds. People around us comment at how quickly we do this. Bridget arranges all the “furniture” to her satisfaction.

I could get used to this schedule. Aidan and I are up early so he can train w/ a local team. A big shout out to the Bluewater Bay Barracudas who have been so accommodating and friendly. The pool we have been going to is outdoors, apparently like most Florida swimming facilities. For some strange and wonderful reason, it is set in the middle of a woodsy swamp. This is how you get to it.

After swim practice we hit the hotel buffet – Ray and Bridget meet us there and in true Team Glynn fashion, they work as the “advance team” and scope out a table, get my tea brewing and Aidan’s waffle going.

After we’ve had a hearty breakfast we head back to our hotel room and relax for a few hours. OK – Aidan and I nap, I’ll admit it. Ray catches up w/ the news, a bit of work, and Bridget plows through the Harry Potter series.

After sufficient rest, we head to the beach and stay there until 6 or so when we finally have to drag Aidan out of the water. Last night he was trying to catch fish with his bare hands. A few days ago the kids caught a bucket full of jellyfish that have sparkly lights running up and down their bodies.

Yesterday, Ray rented a catamaran and spent a couple of hours sailing us up and down the shoreline. Aidan sailed too, as he learned how to wind surf at Boy Scout camp a few weeks ago. It was so beautiful out on the water, I loved it and loved seeing the big grin on Ray’s face as he was sailing.

It’s been quite crowded at the beach, but there is plenty of room for everyone. We wait until people start clearing out before Ray and the kids start construction on the sand castle du jour. Yesterday’s was Hogwart’s Castle complete with Hagrid’s Hut, a quidditch stadium and the Forbidden Forest.

A nice lady nearby offered to take a family photo of us, even though we weren’t wearing the requisite khaki and white.

The kids are definitely loving the beach, they play and play and play. Ray and I read and read and read. Like I said, I could get used to this!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Hello from the beach!

Photo of the day: Teaching your kid sister to ride the waves

We survived the car ride. Barely. A twelve hour trip becomes 14+ with a breakfast stop, traffic in Mobile, AL, and traffic on the one-lane bridge leading in to Destin.

We checked in to our room and headed to "The Wharf" for dinner and a whole lot of people watching. Must be wedding season because we saw at least three bachelorette parties cruising the bars, always with the bride-to-be wearing a veil. Two plate loads of raw oysters and a few cocktails later, we began to feel like we were on vacation and not on the verge of killing our goofy offspring who had gotten decidedly giddy in the last hour of being locked in the car.

Hit the beach yesterday and got my toes in the sand. Paradise. Destin is so pretty. White sand, blue, blue, blue water. Our needs are simple and it was a great day, with more to come. We finally had to pull Aidan out of the water near sunset, he'd play and swim until he dropped otherwise.

As we were packing up to leave, I saw a photographer shooting a family at water's edge. They were in white shirts and khaki pants, it was a lovely shot. Next time I glanced that way, she was shooting a couple dancing in the waves. In white shirts and khaki shorts. Coming down the stairs was a family of 3 generations, heading to the photographer. In white shirts and khaki shorts. After she shot them, she met another family on the little dunes. In white shirts and khaki shorts. Awaiting on the boardwalk were her next clients - in white shirts and khaki shorts. I guess she's got the formula down and just keeps crankin' 'em out as long as the light holds!

Today started early for Aidan and I, as we've arranged for him to train with a local swim team while we're here. It was an outdoor pool in a lovely area, nearly completely surrounded by a beautiful swamp, or bayou, or whatever it's called down here. Large trees, standing water with flowering lilly pads. The coaches were very accomodating and the kids were all so nice - it was fun to work out with a different team!

Time to hit the beach!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Odds and Ends

We are leaving in a few days to head to Destin, FL like we did last summer. We enjoyed it so much, we have to go back!

I've been gathering up all our electronics for the trip - phones, cameras, computers, game players, etc. and all their chargers, adapters, media, etc. and realized I hadn't actually downloaded photos off one of the cameras since Christmas!

So... here you will find just a few highlights of the last six months! First stop - Merry Christmas!

Remember the %&*# Elf? Well, here is a photo of Bridget and the %&^# Elf. She named him Robin. I guess he has to come back in about five months. Robin, I hardly missed ya.

Now, all you tree-huggin' liberal relatives out in California.... brace yourself for the next photo. Aidan's dearest wish was answered and he got a gun of his own. He IS a crack shot, afterall. This is a nice little gun and we've all fired it. It has 3 interchangeable barrels for fowl, deer and (hehehe...) squirrels. Now that we have a weapon in the house, I was forced to decide exactly how much damage I wanted to inflict upon any possible intruders. I think I want to do like Dick Cheney, and so when Ray is away, it's got the SHOT barrel on it so I can slow 'em down long enough to clear out and call 911.

Bridget too, is a crack shot, but of another kind. She enjoys photography. One of these days I'll encourage her to put more of her photos up on her blog. Santa answered her dearest wish and she got her very own camera.

Next we move on to Spring. You may remember we were consumed by Aidan qualifying for the Texas state swim champs. Papa Bud and Grandma Jan came all the way from California to watch him swim, and let me tell you (well, I already have), swim meets aren't exactly pleasant spectator events. But I knew it was worth all their troubles when Grandma got tears in her eyes the first time she saw him do his thing in the pool. Papa also got to have some fun in the garage with Ray and all his toys I mean tools.

Besides firearms, Santa also brought another kind of weaponry - bows and arrows. So Papa and Grandma also got to do a little of that with us.

And just in case you don't think we have enough weapronry in our house (believe me, we don't, by TX standards...), Aidan added to his arsenal for his birthday. He is now the proud owner of several "airsoft" guns. These shoot little plastic pellets and are all the rage among the pre-pubescent boys. They run around the woods shooting one another.

Papa and Grandma had sent a very generous gift at Christmas, which we tackled this Spring. It is a set-up for a zip line for the clubhouse. So many times I've composed a blog post about this in my head. Something along the lines of "If at first you don't succeed...." but we still haven't quite gotten over the heartbreak of all the effort to install the zipline and the fact that it still isn't done yet and a perfectly nice (but quite sick, unknown to us at the time) tree was harmed in the process.... So I will save the telling for another day and offer these two photos..... the one of the left is getting the "crash test dummy" (that would be AIDAN) ready to test it, and the one on the right is trying to get him out of the harness when the line sagged too much. We had a crew of workers here that day dismantling our Christmas lights and the guffaws coming from the other side of the house were hysterical. I bet they think we're nuts.

And finally, in May, it was SwineBreak '09 where our schools and many public events and activities were closed. So, the kids and I hit the road and spent a nice couple of days on the outskirts of Glen Rose, TX. There is a drive-through safari park, and a beautiful state park on the Paluxy River with many dinosaur footprints. We stayed at a nice little guest ranch and brought home some of their pasture-fed longhorn beef. Those cows graze right by our cabin.

All for now! I'll update from Destin.