Monday, November 18, 2013

Weekend Getaway

 I spent this last weekend in Venice, FL.  Mike and Linda, two of my favorite people on the planet, and my second parents,  have a condo on the beach and bought me a ticket for my birthday to come and see them to get a little break from the cold, gloomy Michigan weather.  As it worked out, my mom was able to come too!  With a direct flight from Grand Rapids to St. Pete in only a couple hours, a long weekend makes for a nice, albeit short, chance to get some much needed vitamin D while spending time with the most generous, kind and caring people I've ever met.  
Mom and I cruising the ICW
 Whenever I go and see Mike and Linda I get spoiled...really really really badly.  From refusing to let us pay for just about anything to taking us on boat rides on the Intercoastal, these people know how to be hosts.  This year we happened to be down during stone crab season, which also just so happens to be my favorite type of crab.  I was introduced to them a few years ago while visiting and this time the timing happened to be right again.  Instead of going to a restaurant to buy my own meal of stone crab, they bought six pounds of it to enjoy at the condo.  I now have a t-shirt that will always smell like crab - no matter how many times I wash it, I'll always remember the day I almost killed my mom with a large chunk of crab shell to the carotid and I'm certain that Mike and Linda will be finding remainders of that meal on their floor, in their carpet and on their walls for a long time.  I won't ever forget that meal; it was entertaining, rediculously messy, sometimes downright dangerous and most of all delicious! 

Prepare to feast...and feast we did!

The only casualty of the evening
 Although Friday and Saturday were a bit cloudy, it was still warm and we could still enjoy the beach, we also had to worry about sunburning a little less.  We lounged on the beach, read, napped and hunted for shark teeth.  Venice Beach is the shark tooth capital of the world, you know.
Mom looking for shark teeth
 A couple months ago my friend Jay got a job transfer from Michigan to the Tampa area.  And it worked out perfectly for him to come down and spend part of the weekend with us.  His wife and kids are still back in Michigan and are in the midst of completeing the sale of their home before they can move and since he doesn't know a whole lot of people in the area yet, and I haven't seen him in a couple months, now was a great time for a little reunion.  What fun we had!

The beach set-up

 I'm not sure what the reason was but the guys were catching fish almost as fast as they could get the shrimp bait in the water.  Flounder, lady fish and even a skate were just a few of the many catches.  We were even privied to a group of six or seven dolphins feeding right out in front of us, including two babies - my favorite.
On our last day the sun came out (of course) so we decided to take a boat ride down the intercoastal to Manasota Beach and see some new sights. 
The girls got in the water...the boys waited on the beach
Enjoying the change of scenery
 I didn't get too many pictures this weekend, I take that as a sign that I was having too much fun!

We came back to Michigan over a massive storm system, but with our smooth flight, we didn't actually know just how crazy the wind and weather was that we'd flown through until we were on our way home.  Wind, debris, tornado warnings and watches.  Oh, and no power at home.  Sweet.  To top it all off, the area where the boat is at had winds upwards of 70 and 80 mph with a tornado somewhere in the local vacinity.   I delegated the task of calling the marina to inquire about any boat damage to Ron.  Still waiting to hear back on that.  Either way, I'll have to go check on it this weekend just to make sure everything is okay.  I fear for our tarps

A HUGE, WHOPPING, REDONKULOUS thank you to Mike and Linda for your generosity and love!!! Thank you for all you've done and continue to do for me!  Not sure how I got so lucky, but I sure did!

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