Sunday, March 30, 2008

Beach Day

Growing up in Florida, I wasn't much of a beach bum. I rarely, if ever, went to the beach. My kids wanted to go today since it's a novelty to them. When I was little, the beach was there. It was a normal every day thing. No big deal. We decided today to go to Caladesi Island. This was actually a place I mainly went with my grandmother when she visited. It's only accessible by boat (well... actually, since 1985, you can walk from Clearwater beach, but it's a long walk) so we headed out today on the ferry.

It was heavenly. We got an umbrella for my mom to sit under, and the kids played in the shallow and surprisingly clear water. Now, in "Clearwater" the water is not clear. But over here on Caladesi it was. The shelling was incredible. We found several sand dollars that weren't alive, yet were whole. I found a nice sized conch and even found a live sea urchin! The urchin obviously went back into the water. We were there for four hours. It was so pleasant to sit on the beach . It wasn't hot. It wasn't cool. There was a great breeze coming in too. My daughter even found a little playmate under the umbrella next to us.

I was surprised to hear that Caladesi is ranked as one of the "Best Beaches" at first. It's always been right there and I never gave it much though. However, after my visit today, I suppose I can see what others see in it. It's quiet, restful, nice water, activities and lots of great shells.
We are definitely going to add Caladesi to our list of things to do in the future. It was SO much better than Honeymoom Island or Clearawater Beach.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

It's different down here

My son had a great idea to go to a children's fine art museum. He found a brochure for one at the Dunedin Fine Arts Center which is few miles from his grandmother's house. It had a great exhibit called "Artist as Inventor". Before we went I just knew no one would be there. Sure enough, we pull up to an empty parking lot. No one else in site, except at the pool across the field. We walked in and the lady there seemed excited to see us. She went through a whole spiel about the place and even talked to my mom about a big fundraiser gala they have there. But no one else was there. During our hour long visit, one other child came through. That was it. It was really cool too for kids. They had a whole real stage area for the kids to perform complete with theatre lights that they could adjust. Several different areas where they would look at machines and draw and different parts of machines that the kids could assemble on a magnet to create a sculpture. Granted... it was small. But it was nice. But like I said... I just knew no one would be there. Something like this at a children's museum would be busier in Madison. Some of this stuff would be a huge hit there. I'd also love to see something like this at the Madison Children's Musuem.

One other thing I noticed there that was odd - there was some articles laminated from previous exhibits, and one in particular was about a Learning Tree that they had at one time. There was a quote from a parent saying something to the extent that at her kids experience at the exhibit it was the 1st time her kids have ever picked up books and sat down to read. Really? Worse.... the quote was a highlighted part of the article. Color me confused.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

It's a nice place to visit...

... but I don't want to live here anymore.

So I am visiting Florida where I grew up. It's a great place to come to when the weather is in the thirties and your where you live has reached over 100 inches of snow - a record for the season - and winter won't seem to leave. But living here just doesn't have an appeal to me. I am amazed by the quantity of people that *do* choose to live here.

I will admit that I am enjoying myself but I feel like a tourist. I am doing touristy things since I have 2 little kids who want to do all this stuff. We have been to Clearwater Beach and to Sunken Gardens in St Pete. I don't recall if I had even been to Sunken Gardens, but with my reciprocal membership from Olbrich back home, it was free, and why not, right?

One perk for my 7 year old was that the Space Shuttle Endeavour Landed in Florida last night and we were able to hear the sonic booms from the landing. We were hoping to see something, but alas, we were not.

What to do today? We shall see. I am sure that it will be something that charges admission.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

I absolutely totally 100% hate flying.

Why do I have such a huge fear of flying?????

I am supposed to go to Florida to visit my mom on Tuesday and I cannot stop checking the weather to see what the weather will be like here and in Detroit. Right now it's rain/wind/snow showers. I like to fly in pristine conditions. Fortunately, landing in Tampa should be good. It's just getting there. Here's my rationalization. Right now, Madison should be ok. It's going to be above freezing - but it will be raining. The forecast calls for wind. So far it only looks like 15-20 mph gusts. I think I am ok with that. Detroit isn't as great. Their temp is a little lower and calls for the same rain ... but of course possibly as snow. This I am not as ok with.

I have had some bad experiences flying. Last year the plane was struck by lightening. Another time we were almost on the ground and we had an aborted landing. Another time I was in a VERY small plane in snow and turbulence (like 10-12 seats - one on each side). This was flying from Rome NY to Newark. I think that flight was actually the beginning of my fears. I vividly remember a passenger in front of me grabbing the seat with all her might. I remember praying to just get on the ground safely. Prior to that flight I had flown tons and never had a problem.

Of course, my fear got worse after I had kids. 100X worse.

I just want the flights to be over and be in Florida and done with it. I want to travel and I want to go to Europe sometime but I can't even imagine. After about 2 hours on a domestic flight, I am *ready* to get off the plane. Like seriously, I feel the need to open the door and get off NOW. Of course, I wouldn't, but how in the world would I make it on a 5+ hour flight??

Anyway... this helps to write it out. I need to vent about my fear.

I hate flying.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Welcome Spring!!!

Hooray! It's Spring!!!

That is all.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

An outing

We headed to the Childrens Museum today. A and her friend were there and they had a nice time. Their older siblings don't really enjoy this museum. It's a nice place, but best for the 5 and under crowd. We actually spent 2 hours there. After, the girls had a nice Happy Meal, princess style, of course.

Snow, in spring.

Ok, I am tired of the snow. I have dealt with 92 inches of it and I am really ready to call it quits. Apparently, mother nature is not. Unfortunately, I have to work tomorrow and I have to drive through the awfulness. I hate going out in snow. It makes me very anxious and very unhappy. The only way I can avoid the snow is if work is closed. Unless there's going to be a foot, I doubt this will happen. I have something else coming up that I am dreading too. Flying. I hate flying with a passion. If I had it my way, I would be content to ride a train, drive or take a boat. I know flying is safe, but I still hate it. I have all this anxiety pent up about snow and flying it makes me quite unhappy. When Wednesday gets here and there's no snow or planes for a week I will have a few days of happiness. Until then, I am going to be a big bundle of nerves.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It Figures...

So, we leave on a trip in just a few days and my son is sick. He's also disappointed that he will miss beach day at school tomorrow since he's pretty sick. He's already had the flu once this year and I am not sure what's happening here. Poor little guy.

It's been a while... welcome back.

Man. I abandoned this for almost 2 years. I have decided to resurect my blogs though. I am using twitter, have a facebook page, actively use flickr and work for a techy company (which I cannot discuss) and so, I want to revive the blogs. Don't let me forgot about you again, Blogspot.

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