Saturday, January 21, 2012

Snow Day!!

I know I said I would finish up my Manatee story, but this was just too much fun to skip over!  Today, my friend, Nicole, and her son, Aiden, came over to work on some shower invitations.  No, Aiden wasn't helping!  lol!  He came to hang out with Natalie & Olivia.  Nicole has 2 sons, and our running joke is that we have betrothed her sons and my daughters!  Aiden, the younger of her 2 boys, is totally on board!  Noah on the other hand, is 6 yrs older than the girls, and he thinks it is weird!  Yes, it is weird, but we still have fun with it anyway!

While Nicole and I worked on her sister's baby shower invitations, Natalie, Olivia, and Aiden got all bundled up and headed out to play in our newly acquired snow.  They were out for about a half hour, and Olivia came in upset.  I asked her what was wrong, and she said, "We lost our shovel in Bob's yard (our neighbor)!"  So, I asked what happened.  She proceeded to tell me that they were feeding Wilson (the neighbor's dog) snow off of the shovel, and that he took it from them.  They couldn't get it and needed help.  The first thing that went through my head was "GREAT, they had a snow shovel hanging over the fence feeding the poor basset hound snow, and they probably smacked him in the head with in when they dropped the shovel over the 2 foot fence!"  So, I proceeded to give her a mini lecture about how we treat animals, and how we should and shouldn't use shovels.  I got my shoes and coat on, and went out to rescue the shovel.

When I went out the back door, I see Natalie with a HUGE stick poking at something through the fence!  I was really amped up now!  I yelled at her, then asked where the shovel was.  Olivia showed me the shovel on the other side of the fence.  I looked all around and didn't see it......then, she points to a TINY green plastic SAND shovel!  Now my job got harder (I couldn't just reach over the fence and grab the shovel!), and I felt a little silly that I had reamed them for messing with the dog when they obviously didn't hurt him.  He took the "shovel" out of their hands trying to play!

I am SURE I looked quite hilarious trying to navigate between 2 rose bushes and over a 2 foot fence to retrieve a plastic SAND shovel!  I got it!  Then I had to come back through........the things we do for our kids!  Lol!!  I should have let Wilson keep the treasure he earned!

All in all, it was a fantastic day!  We finished the invites and little popcorn boxes for appetizers at the shower!  The kids played GREAT for the 8 hours we all had together!  Aiden will be a great son-in-law someday!  Lol!!

Stay tuned for the rest of the Manatee Adventure!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


This blog is long overdue!  I have been crazy busy with school, work, crafting, making gifts, etc.!  It is now time to talk about MANATEES!  Rich, the girls, and I had a fantastic time with these giant creatures!
Family portrait by Rich Synowiec
We snorkeled 2 days with the manatees.  They were both quite an adventure!

Day 1:
We were all excited!  On our trip was the 4 of us, a Mom and Son, and a couple from Atlanta.  The 8 of us loaded the boat, rode out to Three Sisters Springs, and anchored among the plethora of boats already there.  Natalie was SO excited that she had to be the first one in the water.  She jumped in and immediately started screaming bloody murder!  My thought was "Great, here we go", but I pulled her in, calmed her down, and told her that I would get in and then carry her to the area near the spring.  So.......I geared up, jumped in, and sunk to the middle of my calf into nasty, smelly muck!  I had to control myself so I wasn't screaming bloody murder!  Lol!!  It was SO GROSS!  

We then moved the boat closer to the spring since many boats were clearing out.  Once we were all in the water, we made our way to the spring area.  All around the area were Manatee rescue boats.  There was a female manatee who they thought had a broken rib and needed to be rescued.  She had a baby who also had to be taken with her.  The issue was that they had to wait for another boat to make the 2 hour trip to the area.  While they waited, they had to keep watch of the 2 so they didn't lose them.  I made my way to the outer circle to watch while holding Natalie in my arms.  Here's where more drama ensues.....there were SO many manatees!  They were coming up along both sides of us, brushing up against us and demanding to be paid attention to.  Natalie, not having ever seen an animal quite so large so close before, FREAKED!  She was screaming and crying, and we were asked to leave the area so as not to upset the manatees in turn driving the mom and baby away.  
We then spent most of the morning in the boat......along with Olivia.
This is the area just outside Three Sister's Springs.
 One of the rescue boats is pictured.
Even though we were on the boat,
we still had a ton of fun watching the manatees!

More Manatees!!

There's One!!



We had a friend who volunteered to
 remove the grass from our anchor line!

Coming up for a quick breathe!

Map of the area where our hotel was (bottom right),
 and the route we took on the river to get to the spring.
 The island the the dock to the right of it
 (near #1) was always full of sea birds!
 Cormorants, Pelicans, Blue Herons, etc.
 They were fun to see, but quite smelly!

 After spending a few hours on the boat, Rich was able to talk the girls into getting back into the water.  They had a blast snorkeling back in the spring where the water was SO clear!  We saw some manatees back in the springs, and were able to pet a couple!  All in all, the day went as I had expected, but it was great fun!  Not many underwater pictures of manatees, but I got a ton of topside pictures.  I was able to take 2 under water shots......
Olivia and Me!

Natalie and Me!

Momma and Baby!  (not the ones being rescued)

Olivia being a goof!

Natalie and her new hat!

Olivia and her new hat!


My Captain, Rich (aka my hubby!)

Pelican on the dock near the island.


I will post about day 2 in the next couple of days.  It was MUCH more fun than day one if you can believe that!  I hope you enjoy the pictures and the story.  We certainly had fun making the memories!  Until next time.......