In The Middle

Life, Family, Yoga, Stuff


Morning At Stump Pass

Today is the last full day of my vacation.   Not just my vacation, Mady’s as well.   Tomorrow is a serious travel day of driving to the airport, returning the rental car and flying home.    

The weather didn’t look too hot this morning but we decided to take the kids out on the boat none the less.  That’s Lauren on the left and Mady on the right.  We took off in the intracoastal and headed south to Stump Pass State Park.  There’s a nice sand bar with a small waterway on one side and the Gulf water on the other.    

We beached the boat on the channel side.  Here’s mom and dad hanging out onboard.








When we hopped off the boat, we found the beach was littered with sea urchins.  They’d washed up and bit the dust.  Some of them were still alive so we tossed them back in the water. 


The girls loved handling the urchins and observing how they camoflauged themselves with leaves and shells. 








Just beyond this little sand grade, was the Gulf water.  We had to dodge this turtle nest though.  This whole area is really loaded with them this year, that’s for sure.








I was excited to get a few shots of this Osprey.  What a beautiful bird, he hung out high on this branch for quite awhile.  This was on the channel side.








I also got a photo of this guy on the Gulf side.  It was a nice beach, the girls found a lot of shells, but not too good for finding sharks teeth.

We enjoyed some sun and some clouds.  We ate our lunch of tuna sandwiches, chips and watermelon on the boat front.  We also fed some bread to a bunch of little fish.  They were super hungry and kept nibbling on my feet and toes after the frenzy.  It was really starting to freak me out, so I got out of the water for awhile.








Mady, me and Lauren at Stump Pass, Gulf side.   If I ever get any elective surgery, it will be to straighten out my legs.  Maybe I can call Kathy Bates up, she did a pretty good job in that film Misery. 

I am grateful to have the opportunity to take such a long trip and I’m grateful to have a family that decided to move to such a nice place to visit.  Tomorrow, it’s back to my house, my family, my yoga classes and basic reality tomorrow.  It’s going to be quite the adjustment.  I’m glad I don’t have to work until Monday.  I’ll need the weekend to get used to driving my car and many other things.  Thanks for taking this journey with us, see you soon!

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Adventures In Boating

First we were going to go fishing.  Then, we weren’t.  The weather didn’t look great out in the Gulf, but it looked decent here at the house.  Storms materialize out over the water and then move inward and vice versa.  We waited for a bit.  I walked to the beach to find a bunch of nasty stuff.  I like fishing, but we also fish responsibly.  Someone had fished last night on the beach and chucked all of their fish carcasses for beach goers to enjoy this morning.  I saw a huge Grouper head, two Stingrays missing their tails and some other stuff that had been picked apart by birds.

I walked home, the stench was awful and the sight disheartening.  The guys had returned from purchasing their fishing license, and we checked the weather once again.  We loaded the boat and left.  We headed out in the Intracoastal to Venice and entered the Gulf through the jetties there.  It’s a really scenic boat ride.  We went out eleven miles.  From that distance, the shoreline is hard to make out.  The water wasn’t really rough, no white caps, but the swells were large.  I didn’t fish much at all.  I manned the sandwiches, the sunscreen and the beverages and enjoyed the sunshine.  It was hard to maneuver around in the boat with the big waves, but we did it for awhile.

We didn’t boat any fish, but Frank and Bob both had a nice one on at one time.  Check out the end of Frank’s pole.  He just barely got his line on the bottom and something hit it.  He was using  way too small of a pole for the fish that latched on.  He hung out with this bent rod (and passed it around to all of us) for awhile.  Bob dropped down an entire bait fish on his huge pole next thing.  He had something on it right away.  It got off, but when he reeled in, the bait was pretty much mangled and the huge circle hook he had on was bent.  Unbelieveable.  We think Frank had a giant Grouper on, they don’t fight, they just hang out.  They’re sort of like bringing up a car hood.  Bob may’ve had a big Shark.  Definitely something with powerful jaws for sure.


The sky started looking kind of scary.  This is when you’re not sure if you should stay out in the Gulf, or head to shore.  We usually think closer to home is better, we were starting to see some lightning.


As I mentioned earlier, this is a real scenic boat ride.  Lots of beautiful homes and sail boats are anchored in this area.  It’s also home to a real good seafood eatery called the Crow’s Nest.  Check out my new house and boat.  There’s room for each and every one of you that read this blog, so let me know if you’re interested in visiting me.  The yoga teaching business is really good. 

Right about now, the rain started to hit.  It was painful.  Not just because we had to cut our outing short, but because it stung like hell when we were going fast.

Halfway back on the intracoastal, we decided to stop and park at the boat ramp by a school there in Venice.  There was some shelter there, but the wind was blowing and we were soaked anyways, so what in the hell did it matter?  We did get in the water there.  Why?  Because it was warm.  After wasting some time, the rain didn’t let up, so we headed out.  Just passed the marina there in Venice, one boat engine quit.  Then the other one too.  Uh oh.  Does anyone have their cell phone?  Whhaat?  Four people with 5 cell phones between them and no one thought to toss one on the boat.  What in the hell were we thinking? 

We floated around in the intracoastal and didn’t see a soul.  I mean really, who would be out in this crap?  Us, that’s who.  After some messing around with the boat engines, one started up.  ONE.  That meant we could move, but not really fast.  That was fine with me, I was tired of being pelted by the stinging rain.  Did I mention that it takes about 45 minutes (when you’re going fast) to get out into the Gulf?  It took twice as long to get in.  I’ve never been so happy to see the bridge at Englewood in my whole life.  We were freezing, literally freezing.  It’s amazing how cold you can get in the wind and the rain when the temperature outside is still rather balmy.

We made it home.  We jumped in the solar heated pool here at the house and it felt like a hot tub.  We ate diner and then I headed out to the camper alone and took a 2 hour nap.  Maybe we’ll try boating again tomorrow, who knows?  For now, we’re safe, warm and dry.  And I’m still on vacation and that’s a good thing.


Dinner Time

Today, we were up fairly early. 

My dad, his dive buddy Scott and myself were at the boat dock by 8:30 a.m.  Lucky for us, the boat dock is just minutes from the house.  My dad has a 27 foot Twin Vee Catamaran and it’s a pretty decent boat to take out into the Gulf.  We only headed out 3 or 4 miles this time.  They’d already staked out a place for diving, a place where there are several concrete culverts that are homes to lots of fish.

It was a great day for diving, but not such a great day for pole fishing.  I didn’t catch a thing.  My dad caught several.  I think that spearfishing is somewhat unfair, but I’m sure I’ll let that slide as soon as we finish dinner.  We boated 1 Grouper, 4 Red Snappers and 2 Triggerfish.  Oh and we got one Blue Crab too.  All are excellent eating. 

Triggerfish, good eating for sure!

My dad Bob.  Grouper, awesome eating for sure!

Scott and Bob bringing the boat in.

Blue crab.  He was floating on the surface.

It’s awful nice to know that I have like 26 more days or so to get those white legs of mine nice and tan!


Vacation Part II – Pine Island, Florida

Water Ride

Water Ride

Red Fish Pass
Red Fish Pass
Island House
My Sister’s Island House
To Upper Captiva
To Upper Captiva – Lauren & Ava
Stow Away Peace Frog
Stow Away Peace Frog
I flew Allegiant Air.  They’re cheap, they’re clean and they’ve been dependable.  I didn’t rent a car.  My folks have two vehicles.  A corvette and a ginormous, diesel pick up.  I didn’t want to drive either one of them the dreaded one and a half hours it takes to get to my sisters’ on Pine Island, but I had to.   In a series of short words and photos again, here goes.   Pine Island Sound.  Upper Captiva.  Boating.  Red Fish Pass.  Artsy Matlacha.  Ft. Myers Shopping.  Juno Soundtrack.  Homemade Pizzas.  Wine.  My niece.  My daughter.  My sister and brother-in-law.  The Sun.  The Sand.  The Surf.  Sand Dollars.  Canals.  Cat Stevens.  Brandy.  Frogs.  Flowers.  The Moment.  Dolphins.
Puzzle we worked, I penned our water route in

Puzzle we worked, I penned our water route in

My brother-in-law's beach ride

My brother-in-law's beach ride

My I-75 South Ride
My I-75 South Ride

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Vacation Part I – Englewood, Florida

Anole in mom's garden, he was tiny and quick

intracoastal waterway
intracoastal waterway

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.

mom's bougenvilla
mom’s bougenvilla
sea turtle nest, the beach is full this year
sea turtle nest, the beach is full this year
beach at mom and dad's
beach at mom and dad’s
mice pool at mom and dad's
nice pool at mom and dad’s
pineapple in mom's yard
pineapple at mom and dad’s


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Tiny Starfish in the Intercoastal WaterwayI took my yoga mat with me on my vacation.  I never even unrolled it.  I usually take it out by the pool, or to the beach.  I’ve even checked out a couple of studios.  Not this time.  I’d like to think I was practicing yoga in the other way.  The off the mat kind of way.  Swimming in the Gulf, enjoying being in nature on the boat, relaxing in the pool, walking on the beach, and spending time enjoying good food and company.  Today was my first day back to teaching at the YMCA.  I teach two classes on Wednesdays, Y in the morning and the studio at noon.  I like the Y.  I feel I have a nice connect with my group there, and it’s usually a big group, up to like 17 people on some days.  Today was small at 6, due the the July 4th week I’m sure.  It was OK.  We got to play and take in some things we cannot do otherwise with limited space.  I really focused on back bending this morning and the little that I got to do, felt good to me as well.  The group wanted to hang out and talk a little bit afterwards.  I wasn’t in a hurry, so I did.  Whenever that happens, I feel like I’ve taught a good class from my heart, and it feels good.  Let’s see if I can do it again in the next hour!