Vacation. Is over. I’m back in the real world of laundry, grocery shopping and teaching yoga. In a series of short words and photos, here’s what we did. The first part of my trip was spent at my parents home in Englewood, Florida. Pool time. Frogs and anoles. Movies. Thanksgiving dinner. Short walks to the beach. Sunsets. Finding sharks teeth. Swimming in the Gulf. Family. Books. Good snacks. Sleeping late. Exploring with my new camera. Staying home, relaxing.
We’ve been experiencing unusually odd temps for July in our area here lately. Bright, clear blue skies, no humidity and low 80’s during the day and low 60’s in the evenings. I’m enjoying the windows open, and frankly, so are the cats.
Yesterday morning I led a yoga birthday party at the studio. What a great idea for a 14 year old. She showed with her mom and 7 girlfriends. None of the girls had ever taken a yoga class so it was a real eye opener for them. The birthday girl left the studio with a free eye pillow and a Tees For Change tank top. I had so much fun doing this. Here’s a snapshot of our fun group. I hope I turned a few of them on to yoga. Perhaps I’ll see them again at our studio, or at another. The main idea here was to get them interested no matter where they choose to practice. I think they left wanting more.
As soon as I got home Frank had the boat loaded and ready to go. This would be my second time to hit the water this week. We went to Stockton on Thursday and were on the water approximately 20 minutes when a gigantic storm materialized out of nowhere putting us in blinding rain, wind and thunder. Needless to say we caught 16 crappie quick-like before we pulled the boat out of the water and headed home. All in all that wasn’t a total wasted trip as we got a nice catch. Yesterday we didn’t catch any fish that were worth keeping, but we did enjoy the beautiful sunshine, cooler temps and blue sky. The water was smooth and the boats were minimal. Actually there were around 12 trucks at the boat launch this time, the most I’ve ever seen at Stockton. But it was a Saturday. On Mondays when we go we rarely see another boat on the water. I don’t care if I ever go to Table Rock again. We spent a couple of hours in a nice little cove where I floated on an air mattress and looked for fossils. Here’s a sampling of what I found. I like to press my clay into some of these fossils, then pull it out to see them in a different view. I found these at the High Point area of the lake.
Today the weather is lovely once again, but this will be a work around here day. I leave for Florida on Tuesday and I’ve been working on getting our daughter’s room in order. It’s a disaster area. I’m pulling her door off today and taking it outside and painting a chalkboard on the front. She’d wanted one painted on her wall, like in our kitchen, but her room is full of windows, doors and a built-in desk (which I wanted to paint white while she was away) made of knotty pine. It’s pretty wood, but it also makes for a dark alcove in a blue room with white trim. Our son’s entire room is knotty pine. He loves it, very cave-like.
Update – I finished Lauren’s door!
Enjoy the day.
I received this photo through an e-mail the other day. Whoa. That’s one big rattlesnake! I’m not sure when this was found, but the e-mail mentioned in July, not sure of what year though. The e-mailed stated that this snake weighed 97 pounds and was 9 feet and 1 inch. Supposedly the snake was found in the Poplar Bluff area of Missouri, around highway 67 at the J & L Tack, whatever that is. I didn’t think rattlers got this huge. Boa constrictors, no doubt. Wild.
I came home from Eureka Springs on Wednesday only to leave again on Friday.
This time it was to the exciting town of Bolivar, Missouri for the Kukal Family Reunion. This shin dig only happens once every two years for my father-in-law’s side. My mother-in-law on the other hand, has a family reunion every single year, in the same big town of Bolivar. I’d never been to Bolivar before I met Frank. Several of his relatives live on farms so that’s always on the agenda.
I didn’t grow up on a farm nor did I ever spend any time on or around a farming community. Frank’s aunt has a lovely, huge garden where she grows the best sweet corn ever. Of course she grows all the other good stuff too. Sporadically throughout her garden she’s planted beautiful flowers. I just got a new camera and this was my first venture with it. I had a great time with the macro option. I took all these with the auto settings. Need to read up on the manual stuff.
For lunch we met at a church. Around the church, I looked for things to take pictures of. I found a wasp nest, a bunny and some baby birds.
I spent a lot of time playing with my new camera and reading a book. I’m not an anti-social person. But, I am five years new to this family and when every one has known every one since they day they were born…..well, you get the idea. I will miss the next reunion the end of this month as I’ll be in Florida. Hopefully taking lots of great photos with my new camera that I will have learned much more about. Until then, it’s back to the regular grind until July 21st.
I took off. For three days. I found subs and split with some friends to Eureka Springs, Arkansas.
Eureka’s a lovely little, old town.
I hadn’t been to Eureka in a long time. Not much has changed. The food is still good, the shops are still quaint and the ghosts are still there. I’m totally not into victorian decor, but I do love to look at the homes anyways. Some of the homes have been updated from pastels to hues of greens. I failed to get a shot of my favorite home, so their little outbuilding will have to do. This place was arts and crafts style and it was absolutely amazing. This is just their “little studio” in the side yard.
Yellow victorian beauty.
I traveled with Darlene, Carrie and their friend Eve.
I met Darlene and her daughter Carrie (pictured left) when they came to my family yoga class five or so years ago. Carrie and my daughter Lauren are the exact same age and became fast friends. Carrie is really into ghosts (so is Lauren) and the last time they were in Eureka, they experienced some weird stuff. They also got some odd photos. I also get into this sort of thing on occasion. After all my birthday does fall on Halloween.
Carrie and Kirsten
We didn’t stay at a haunted hotel. We stayed at a really, really nice Best Western with a huge pool, waterfall and outdoor movies. We traveled with a complete bar which we enjoyed while floating in that big pool.
We shopped. We stopped at all the springs. We hiked great distances throughout the town. We even splurged on an expensive meal at the Grand Central. Highly recommended by the way. They all had the pan seared scallops and risotto. I ordered the salmon in pistachio butter. I know. Sounds like an odd combo, but it totally was not.
Eve, Kirsten & Darlene on the balcony of the Basin Park Hotel.
Carrie and Darlene took the ghost tour of the Basin while Eve and I enjoyed wine on the balcony. We watched the moon start to rise. Darlene and Carrie didn’t experience anything out of the ordinary on their tour.
I shot this photo of the Basin the first day we were there. Is that an apparition in the window? Is it a woman with a headband, a hat or a veil? Is it John Wayne? Who knows. It’s on the left of that a/c unit on the lower level of windows. I have two photos of this. This one is more of a profile, the other one is more head on. Odd eh? The moon was full what can I say?
On the way out we stopped at the big 75 foot Jesus statue, because you know, after all of this ghost chasing, it seemed like the thing to do. Plus, Carrie had never seen it.
We also stopped at the Magnetic Spring and dipped our feet into the cold water.
I think we all arrived home without any ghosts in our suitcases.
Eureka’s a great little town. I was a bit disappointed that the shops closed so early. Some were closed on Mondays and Tuesdays and some were closed on Wednesdays. Also, most of the shops open at 10:00 a.m. only to shut down for lunch at 11 or 11:30 a.m. Hello. I cannot give you my money if you’re not open. We also found one of our favorite eating places closed on Wednesdays as well. Give yourself more than one day, or you’re sure to miss quite a bit. Lots of buildings were vacant. I’m sure the economy could be the cause of that. But if you’re thinking of investing in property, whether it be a home or a business, this might be a good time to do so.
My parents made it back home safely to Florida with my kid. Here’s some excitement from yesterday, straight from the big town of Pine Island. The kids decorated their bikes. Lauren is on the left and my niece Ava is on the right. That’s my mom, with her head cut off in the background. Anyways, they rode their bikes in the 4th of July parade and Ava won a first place trophy for bike decoration. They think it was the coke cans that sealed the deal.
Good job guys, you look way patriotic!
Can’t wait to see you all on July 21st, I’m ready for a vacation!