A lazy morning here on the island, so I’ll share a few details of our trip so far to keep me from having to write 5000 words about it when we get home. Of course, I may end up writing more than that this way, but that’s your gain!
Ok, the drives down were uneventful. Sure, everyone was cranky by the end of each day, but there were no major issues. Not having been through this before, I didn’t realize that all the Catholic schools in Indianapolis have spring break at the same time. So, until we hit the Florida border Saturday morning, we saw more Indiana license plates than any other state. When we ate breakfast at our hotel in Valdosta that morning, the dining nook of our hotel was dominated by families with Indy Catholic school gear. We even saw people from St. P’s, although we didn’t know them.
Same thing once we got to the resort we’re staying at. We saw St. P’s people and folks S. knows from growing up. And, coincidentally, we have good friend staying a five-minute walk from us. I had heard that everyone from our home school district comes to the same spot a little further down the coast on their spring break. It’s weird to see so many people who we can run into twice a day and drop off and pickup 19 hours from home.
I keep running into people who are KU fans or from Kansas City, too. In our first hours here, just as the Big 12 championship game was about to start, I saw a kid, maybe 10 or 11, wearing a full, alternate red, Jeff Withey uniform. We’ve run into KU fans while walking the streets, had a guy who grew up in a small Kansas town come say hello during dinner last night, and heard our waitress, who had an Eastern European accent, tell some other patrons, who were apparently from Kansas City, that she had lived there for several years.
Like I said, this is probably nothing unusual to those of you who have come to Flordia or Texas for spring breaks in the past. But it’s weird to me.
Yesterday had the ingredients for disaster but turned out to be a great day. We met our friends on the beach and, after about five minutes of sun, the clouds began blowing in. Soon the skies got dark, the wind picked up, and it began to spit rain. We decided to wait it out, because that’s what you do in Florida, right? While we were waiting, and as thunder got closer and closer, we saw some dolphins maybe 150 feet out from the shore. The girls screamed and jumped up and down and pointed. A few minutes later we saw some more. Eventually we saw a solitary dolphin maybe 30 feet out, slowly cruising down the shoreline. More screaming and pointing. We started walking with it, and it came a little closer. We walked farther and he came closer still. Soon it was 10-12 feet away and we could see its belly as it flipped on its side. I’d never seen a wild dolphin before, so I thought this was incredibly cool. You can imagine how amped up the girls were.
The dads headed back to our spot and while there, watched as a dolphin cruise boat went by and a pod of 7-8 dolphins took turns leaping through its wake. It’s like the dolphins are on the tourism board’s payroll. While we were watching the show, the girls and moms were still walking with the first dolphin, who eventually got within five feet of the beach. Between that and all the shells they were finding, the girls were beside themselves in happiness.
Soon the skies opened and we had to scurry over to our friends’ place. They have a large home for their entire family, which includes a screened-in pool. These are pretty common down here, but us hayseeds from Indiana had never seen them before. Once the lightning passed we threw the girls in and swam in a heated pool as the rain poured in from above. It was a strange, but delightful, experience.
Those are the highlights so far. It is still cloudy this morning, but is supposed to stay dry. We’re going to sneak our friends into our resort’s pool later. The girls want to go shelling again, but low tide hits in the middle of the night so we can’t hit the ideal times for the best shells. But I’m sure they’ll add to their already impressive collections.