Vacation All I Ever Wanted!

Just got back yesterday from our 6 day extravaganza in Siesta Key Florida. We must have had some seriously luck because we timed it perfectly. Before we left Ohio we were afraid that we weren’t going to be able to get into Tampa because tropical storm Debbie was raging down off the coast. Family who were already down in Florida when the storm hit were texting us about how they were trapped in their hotel for 3 days till it passed miraculously the night before we flew down. When we got to Tampa we couldn’t even tell there had been a storm they had cleaned up so well and it was bright and sunny outside.

Then we got news on Friday night that a massive “super derecho” storm hit Ohio with 80 mph winds and millions of people lost power across the Midwest. We were really lucky that our house never lost power, but my in-laws lost power for about 2 days and my poor mother up in Northwest Ohio is on day 4 of no electricity or air conditioning on 90+ degree days. It was nerve wracking being half way across the country and not able to get a hold of loved ones to make sure they were okay. 

Meanwhile, it was 85 and breezy off the coast and we had a great vacation. I did get sunburned and chewed up by mosquitoes, but that’s besides the point. I wasn’t able to work on any artwork while I was in Florida, but I did receive many gifts from the sea that I fully intend to use in future canvases. I also got to visit the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art. It was pretty awesome because on the same grounds as the art museum they had the circus museum and learning center as Sarasota is the winter home of the Ringling Bros. Circus.

I also took lots of photos, which I ended up having to take on my phone because our regular camera kicked the bucket on Day 2 for some reason. It worked out okay because for a lot of the photos I used this awesome smart phone app called “Instagram”. Basically you take pictures with your phone camera and then upload them to the program where you can then apply different digital filters to achieve various effects. Very cool, I highly recommend it. You can then share photos online with your Instagram account, or in my case email them to yourself and save the pictures onto your computer where you can print them out later. 

Anyway as the circus folk say- “On with the show!” My vacation in pictures (Note, some are a little blurry because they didn’t like being blown up)…

Outside my window on the flight to Tampa. I think Matt got sick of hearing- “I really hope we fly through the clouds!!”

The next morning I went for a walk along the beach and these beautiful Hibiscus flowers were growing next to our condo.
When Matt and I were looking for shells later than night we forgot to check for passengers. This little guy was hiding in a shell and was nice enough to crawl out on Matt’s arm. We dubbed him the “Squidapuss” because we weren’t entirely sure what he was!
We also saw a beautiful Snowy Egret on that walk and I named him Fred. (I like naming things) The others we saw later were Wilma, Betty, Barney and BamBam ha ha.
Day 3 on the way to the art museum we saw this awesome Lobster-mobile. You can’t read it very well but the bumper sticker says “Honk if you love art!”
This was my favorite piece at the museum that I saw. I love the colors! I found out later we missed the building that held the modern art, which was what I really wanted to see in the first place.
Clowning around at the Ringling history museum, sometimes I feel like I have to be the Ringmaster at our house!
On day 4 we were at the Botanical Garden for our cousin’s wedding. Everywhere there were these awesome tropical trees. I really liked the Banyan trees and this one, which is a Bay Fig tree. I want to figure out how to use them in artwork.
Another beautiful tree in the Botanical Garden at sunset. I love the Spanish Moss hanging from the branches. It’s way better than the Kudzu that covers everything in Georgia and northern Florida.
Me in my wedding finest 🙂
Finally this was the gorgeous sunset off the beach on our last day. It was sad coming home to stinky hot weather when we had been spoiled with a nice ocean breeze all week, but I am glad to be home with the doggies!


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