ME in FL

We just got back from our annual spring break trip to Sarasota, FL. As some of you may know, we used to have a house there but sold it when Mikayla had to be in school all winter for some stupid reason. Now we stay with our good friends, Joe and Kristen, who are kind enough to lend us their beyond fabulous beach house. Unfortunately they were away– skiing, of all things– for their spring break, so we only got to visit them for the one day that we crossed paths. We were worried that Mikayla would be bored and lonesome without her friends Tess and Jack, but it turned out to be one of our best trips ever!  (Although, let’s face it– how bad could it be?? All our trips there are wonderful.)

The first day or two always seem to be spent running to our favorite restaurants and stores and picking up things we forgot to bring at Target and the drugstore and so on. But then we realize that we’re here:

  looking out at this:

and we finally start to relax and remember we don’t have to be anywhere or do anything except swim, take walks, and look for shells and revolting dead sea creatures that wash up on shore. Mikayla records all such finds with her trusty camera.

One afternoon we went to the Mote Marine, Sarasota’s amazing aquarium and marine research center.

We went on a Sea Life Encounter Cruise, where a marine biologist is on board explaining everything you see. The boat takes you to an island in the middle of Sarasota Bay where you get to take a little trail walk past mangrove trees and couples who thought they had found the most remote spot ever to have a romantic beach picnic. Then back on board, our guides throw a net overboard and bring up all kinds of amazing things that they pass around to all the children– sea urchins, starfish, regular old fish, and even a seahorse on this trip!

Of course Mikayla caught it all on film and made me promise to show it on my blog.

I always bring a few art supplies with me on trips, just in case, but I very rarely use them. The ideas usually start coming to me on the drive home and I know they’ll eventually make it into a drawing someday. I think the first one I’m going to do when I get back to work is of a blissful little girl with a seahorse, much like her parents, wrapped around her little finger.


Editor’s Note: All photos used in this blog were taken by Mikayla!

63 thoughts on “ME in FL

  1. Mary, i have beeb a fan of yours a long time; I received home companion many yrs. and miss it. I LOVE fla. and i love that area. We usually stay in longboat key; it is wonderful. We will be going in june. I am so happy for you to have a grandaughter. Mine is 10 also; she goes to N.C. beach with us and it is great. I did not know you lost a son, I am so sorry.That must be the worst pain in the world. Veronica from N.C.