Wednesday, April 6, 2011


Wow, almost a month since my last post. Guess you could say I have been on a blogging hiatus. I have had a lot going on over the past month. Week 4 of my half marathon training and the family and I went to S.C and Florida for 9 days. Been very very busy.
The trip to S.C. to see my Mom and Brother was nice...I only got to see them for two days. My mom was supposed to go with us to Florida, but she backed out at the last second as I knew deep down she would. Her health is not the best and my brother needs her to look after his daughters while he works and tries to put his life back together. My niece's mom is unfit nor does she care about her girls, which is very sad. It was good to see my nieces and my brother as well. Although my brother looks terrible. Breaks my heart. You don't how hard it was for me not to go across the street and kick my ex sister in laws ass for doing my brother and nieces so bad. (She actually lives in my brothers house across the street-well, for now anyway, until she gets evicted)...long story.
Anyway, we spent two days with my family and then drove from Belton South Carolina to Sarasota Florida...what a trip! I hate driving in the car that long. We drove all night that Sunday night, arriving in Florida around 11 a.m....16 hours in the car. It sucked. Once we arrived in Florida, it was all worth it though. We stayed in land for two days, driving to the beach, then spent one night at the Hilton Longboat Key Resort on the beach...our 4th day in Florida it rained and stormed all day long, so we packed it up and headed for home. We then drove away from the coast to Ocala Florida, spent the night there on Thursday night, got up on Friday and drove to Silver Springs...visiting the park until late in the afternoon, then headed toward home. Friday night, somewhere in GA we spent the night, after a two hour search for a hotel room. What a nightmare. Everywhere we stopped...booked solid. Eventually we found 2 nasty rooms at a Super 8 hotel....( I have never in my life stayed at such a filthy dump before)...never ever stay at a Super 8 or a Motel 6....degrading. At least for 2 rooms at 120 a room...what a rip off! They had you fooled as the lobby was, we just assumed the rooms would be too. They needed to be turned over to the health department, for real.

Anyway, we got up Saturday, hit the road by 9 30 head for home. Oh..while we were in Florida, on the 3rd day at the resort beach, we all got sunburned, with Max, the youngest getting the worst of it....I used sunscreen on them, but it wasn't a high enough spf I guess for the amount of time we were out...the day was cloudy and overcast, but they still got a sunburn, so Max was pretty much miserable Weds through Saturday....we stopped a lot on the drive eat, get gas and a winery in GA....all in all, if you don't count the drive time and Max's sunburn, it was a nice vacation. I already want to go back...just hope next time, we can fly.

Here are some pictures:

We took my Mom, Brother and neice out for dinner while was great to be able to treat them and spend time with them.

The cousins seemed to have a good time hanging out together. In fact, Alyssa broke down crying when we left Sunday night. I truly wish they all had more time to spend together. They got along so well.

The boys really enjoyed watching me and the hubby freak out over my brother's snakes and the fact that my neice was not scared to hold and play with them. In fact, my brother scared my hubby so badly with one, he threw his cup of coffee and just about had a heart joke.

3rd day on the Longboat Key...Max thought he found a shark, was just a broken shell. He spent hours looking for just the right "souvenir"...

Hubby enjoyed pulling his chair all the way up to the edge of the water and sit there, letting the waves wash over him. While Aaron played in the sand in the background.

Both boys enjoyed being "buried" in the sand while making a new friend at the same time.

Max's turn!

Our visit to Silver Springs!

We took this glass bottomed boat through the Silver was really neat to look through the bottom, see all the caverns and fish/turtles and vegetation that grew beneath the springs. Also, it was a cool thing to find out that several movies had been filmed there, including the original Tarzan and a movie that included Burt Reynolds.
Here is an excerpt from the website:
Six “Tarzan” movies, the “Sea Hunt” TV series, the horror movie classic “Creature From The Black Lagoon,” National Geographic specials, TV commercials…the list goes on and on of movies, TV shows and commercials that have been shot at Silver Springs over the years. Today, Silver Springs’ crystal clear waters, tropical jungles and thick forests are still serving as locations for the film and TV industries.

Film crews have been attracted to “Florida’s Original Tourist Attraction” since 1916 when the silent movie “The Seven Swans,” starring Richard Barthelmess and Marguerite Clark, was shot at the park. Many more small films followed, but it wasn’t until the ‘30s and ‘40s when Johnny Weissmuller starred in six “Tarzan” movies shot at Silver Springs that the attraction’s exotic surroundings became a popular location for films.

Since the 1940s, many movies have been shot in and around Silver Springs’ main spring area including “The Yearling” starring Gregory Peck and Jane Wyman, “Distant Drums” with Gary Cooper, “Underwater” starring Jane Russell and Richard Egan, “Blindfold” with Rock Hudson and Claudia Cardinale, “Never Say Never Again” starring Sean Connery, and “Smokey & The Bandit 3” with Jackie Gleason. Military training films on jungle warfare have also been shot at the park. finger got in the shot.

The alligators and crocodiles were amazing, as were the bird exhibits....the boys absolutely loved the parrots!

My favorite was the pink flamingos!

Taking a break! Hubby refused to be in the pooper!

Goofing off on this old "curved" tree...

Of course, hubby had to be more "vulgar" about it. What a goof!

What trip wouldn't be complete without a stop at a winery! They had the most awesome wine....had a glass there and bought a bottle to take home. It was so good, wish I had had the money to buy a case. Yum!

I would also like to make my back yard look just like this! So pretty!

All in was a nice family vacation. We had a few snafus...hubby lost his wallet on the second day, but it was recoverd and the day we left Longboat Key, we left all of his clothes hanging in the closet at the Hilton....five hours later, we discovered they were gone. But, all's well that ends well. He did have a few things i n the suitcase so we stopped and bought him a couple more shirts and the resort has shipped his belongings UPS....

Now, it's back to the, training (which I am proud to say I stayed on top of my entire vacation, only missing one 3 mile run)...

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