The Vacation Recap: Part 1- Canoe believe this?

I’m back. Yes, I know, it’s been awhile. I had every intention of updating while I was on vacation but you know what they say, the best laid plans….Anywho, I think I owe you an update so let’s get caught up shall we?

As you may know I left a week ago Friday to go down to Venice to meet my Sister and her family for vacation. My Mom was with me and we were super excited to see everyone. They got in very late Friday night so we didn’t get to officially see them until Saturday morning. While I would love to give you the run-down of the entire vacation, that would take forever because we were always doing something, so instead, I’m going to break this post into a few posts and I’ll give you some of the highlights.

On Saturday I went for a quick run and returned just in time to see everyone as they were waking up. I took a quick shower and my sister and her husband went to get fishing licenses. We were in the boat and fishing by the afternoon.
Me and my SisAfter fishing we all got ready and hit up the drum circle. The kids loved it! Little S loved it so much she wanted to dance so who was I to deny her? Me and my sis jumped right in and joined her. Unfortunately I don’t think we fit in with the belly dancers and the hula hoop-ers although I must admit we do a mean robot and a pretty good sprinkler. My sister does a much better running man, mine sort of looked like a skip with a side of seizure, but in my defense I was hunting sharks teeth at the same time so my coordination may have been a little off.

Nokomis Drum circleTypically I never jump in the drum circle, okay, I have never jumped in the drum circle before, but I get a little brave when my sister is there to jump in with me. All went well until we noticed the drone overhead that was probably shooting a video. So now there might be two embarrassing dancing videos of us out there. The first occurred when we were small kids and on vacation with our parents in Virginia. For some reason we decided to hop on stage and clog. Yes, that’s right, I said clog, and no, we didn’t know how.

I'm not right in the headI seem to remember mentioning that ‘we should just dance like Granny Clampett’ or something to that effect. Apparently there was a video crew there filming the entire event as it was part of a large festival. I’ve never seen the video and I’m not sure I ever want to but it’s out there….somewhere…and we’re most likely wearing tube socks.
But I digress….

We spent the next few days beaching and fishing.

The kids on the beachAnd then one morning my sister and I decided we should take the canoe, kayaks and paddleboard out and all head out to the island by the Venice inlet. It normally takes about 10 minutes to get there by boat with no wake so I figured it would take us at least 45 minutes.

After much deliberation, we decided to put Mom and my nephew in the canoe with the baby, my nephew’s wife and one of the kids in a kayak, my sister in a kayak, and one of the kids on the paddleboard with me. Let me just state for the record that my canoe is not the easiest to ride in. It’s a bit wobbly and it takes some getting used to. I’m pretty sure I’ve either fallen out of it or almost fallen out of it many times so MacGyver and I don’t let the smaller kids use it by themselves because we don’t feel it’s safe. My nephew is older and has children of his own so he was the best bet to ride in the canoe and paddle my Mom and the baby. (It’s a good thing I never gamble.)

The water behind the vacation house is brackish water which leads out to the Gulf. When you get to the Gulf of Mexico the water turns the most incredible shade of green. It’s beautiful. The brackish water is not. It’s dirty and you can’t see how deep it is or what’s below you and while I have witnessed someone swimming it in on a few occasions I would never recommend it. So, as my nephew stepped off the dock and down into the canoe my sister said those words to my Mom that would come back to haunt us only moments later….”Be careful Mom, you don’t want to fall in that nasty water.”

We steadied the canoe and lowered Mom into the boat making sure she was evenly distributing her weight and balancing. My nephew was already at the helm. Both people in the canoe should face the same way but considering the situation, it was easier to put my mom in facing my nephew. All was well and she was ready to sit on the seat but she stopped just short of it, in a crouching position, and insisted we put a towel under her. “No Mom”, I said, “You need to just sit down before you fall.” And then my Sister and everyone else chimed in, “Just sit down.” It seemed like we were telling her to sit down for ages but it was only mere seconds.

The look on her face was priceless and in what seemed like slow motion, she tipped over ever so slightly to the right and then proceeded to fall, right into the water, taking my nephew with her. She went under for a brief second and emerged screaming. “Get me out of this water!” “Help, get me out of this water.”

wrong way to canoe

Not my Mom…. but this is sort of what the canoe looked like. The two people would have been in the water though.

She then began to swim over to the dock with her flip-flops still on her feet and tried to climb up and onto the dock. After about 5 minutes of frantically trying to pull her up onto the dock and repeatedly dropping her back down into the brackish water, someone reminded her that the water was only 4 feet deep and she had on flip-flops and she could actually stand.canoe fail

So, I helped her walk to the side of the dock and climb up the rocks. She lost a flip-flop in the process but we retrieved it and finally I got her onto the shore. By this time the canoe was sinking and we had to also retrieve it and empty out all of the water and then get it upright. All of this while we were trying very hard not to laugh.

I’ve never seen my Mom run so fast as she bolted to the outdoor shower to rinse off. It wasn’t until the next day that I realized she used a half a bottle of soft soap, but she got all cleaned up and then, the hilarity continued on. We were able to get her into the canoe on the second attempt but we decided it was not the best idea to put the baby in there too and by the time we got the canoe situation handled the baby was tired so my nephew’s wife decided to stay back with the baby.

My sister and I got the other kids and she got in the kayak and I got on the paddleboard and off we went. My sister was in front, I was in the middle and my nephew and mom were in the rear. We laughed the entire way down the canal and both my mom and nephew tried to paddle the canoe and they ran into every tree in sight. I could hear my nephew threatening to turn around and go back at least 10 times. I think the only reason he didn’t is because he knew he wouldn’t be able to get mom out of the canoe by himself. It took about 20 minutes but as we got to the end of the canal my sister and Little P were having a conversation that went something like this:

Little P: Grange, do you know how to turn this boat around?
My Sister: Yes
Little P: Could you turn it around and take us home?

We all laughed and continued on. It took about an hour to get to the island but once we got there my sister landed first, followed by my mom and my nephew. I was last so I got to watch as the canoe started to roll up on the shore and mom leaned to side and once again she and my nephew fell out!

Canoe fail againThat was that for my nephew.

At the IslandWe played around on the island for a few hours but my nephew decided that instead of paddling back he would wait for the men to return from fishing and hitch a ride on the boat. The kids decided to go too and they all decided to go fishing. They took the paddleboard on the boat with them and so I rode back in the kayak while my sister and mom took the canoe.

I was in the lead on the way back and I couldn’t hear their conversations for the most part but I did hear my sister say, “Don’t paddle Mom, I got this.” Once again my Mom was seated the wrong way facing my sister so when I turned around I could see my sister’s face but only mom’s back. And that’s why when they plowed into the piling under the bridge I could see my mom fall straight back. After only a few seconds, she popped right back up and I realized she was okay. That’s when I started laughing which was killing my sister because she was looking right at mom and didn’t want to laugh. That made me laugh harder. I almost peed my pants. It was hilarious.

We made it home safely and without any further incidents.

I hope my Mom knows that she made that entire trip one of the best memories of the trip and we had one of the best times ever. My mom is a great sport and hilarious to boot.

Stay tuned. Tomorrow I’ll tell you how I got mocked by a parrot!

Have you ever fallen out of a canoe?

My weekend in paradise!

Hey from Venice…I know, I know. It was just a random weekend thing so here we are.


I’ve been trying to update since we got here Friday nite but unfortunately it’s been storming off and on and the internet has been a little sketchy. Well, there’s that, and the fact that it’s sort of borrowed anyway. Our little secret, okay?

So anyway, we got here Friday nite and the dogs immediately took their positions. Hank decided to nest on his bed in the big lazy boy chair.

Hank Sleeping
Boomer decided he wanted to sleep on the bed in the Nautical Room. If you ever wondered just how big Boomer is, keep in mind that this is an oversized Queen bed he’s laying on.

Boomer Sleeping

Yeah, he’s that big.

Saturday morning, I got up to run and MacGyver decided to head out for some early morning fishing. He had better luck than I did and ended up bringing home 13 of them. He actually had to go out and come back in quite a few times because he kept ‘limiting out’. There are limits based on the type of fish you catch, per person, and what you can have on your boat at one time. For mangrove snapper I believe it’s 5 or 6 per person, but obviously much less than MacGyver’s overall total hence the multiple trips.

Anyway, while MacGyver was catching dinner for the next 3 weeks, I went for a run. I wanted to do 10 miles and I left around 7am. It was ridiculously hot with 100% humidity but I was up for the challenge because I decided to play it safe and wear my hydration backpack instead of my belt.

Around mile 8 I spotted a really cool looking bird on the bank by the bridge, so I stopped at the 8 mile mark and started climbing down the bank to take a picture. That’s when I had a major fail. My foot slid on one of the wet rocks and I fell on my ass. I scared the hell out of the bird, (which happened to be a pigeon by the way). Guess I’m a little too used to seeing exotic birds and didn’t recognize the common MacDonald’s variety pigeon. On the bright side I managed to provide some awesome entertainment for two bicyclists and a few fishermen in a nearby john boat, so life is good. And, I walked away with only a minor scrape a bruise on my butt.

Here’s the scrape:

scrape on leg

Sorry, no butt picture.

After the run fail and MacGyver’s fishing success, we decided to take the dogs out for some afternoon fun in the water. They love the water and the boat. Boomer wore a new hat today. He was totally a ho dog for one of the brands Daddy’s company offers, ho dog, get it? Way to represent Boom!

Boomer in another hat

We put Boomer in first and he swam around for a while, then we put Hank in with him and Hank immediately tried to climb on Boomer’s back to ride. That’s when we got the idea to teach Boomer a new trick:

the dogs new trick

See the raft that Hank is in? That’s my cooler raft for my paddleboard but Hank fits in it perfectly. Then we tied a rope from Boomer’s collar to the raft. Next we threw the bottle out for Boomer, who can never resist a good game of ‘fetch the bottle’ and the rest is history.

It was so cute to watch all the people on the Island taking pictures and filming it while Boomer pulled Hank around. Then the passing boats starting taking pictures and filming. Pretty soon, MacGyver and I realized we better film it too and beat these people to the YouTube windfall. This is our golden opportunity, these dogs are our chance at retirement…

In case you want to see the cutest video ever, here it is, from my facebook page.

After we returned from our boating and swimming adventure, MacGyver made me the most awesome Fish Chowder ever! My favorite thing in the world is the Fish Chowder from Left Coast Seafood Co. and MacGyver attempted to make it for me only his was even better. He says he wants to make it a few more times to perfect it, but once he does, I’ll post the recipe but don’t tell him, okay?

All right, that’s all I got, I’m going for a run.

Do you have a place you go to when you need to get away for the weekend?
Do you put videos of your pets on youtube or facebook?

Monday morning and pictures of the most beautiful place.

Monday Baby

I couldn’t resist. That face, I just die.

I hope your week is off to a good start and that you had a great weekend. As you may know we spent the weekend in Venice. It was epic. Not only did I get to run on my favorite trail but the weather was just insane. And by insane, I mean beautiful.

boating in Venice

That would be my legs which are resting on the boat. You can’t see it but my fishing pole is on the right and wine on the left!

The water was so clear that you could actually see the fish as we caught them, no lie.

Venice Inlet

It reminded me of the Keys. The water was as blue as could be and crystal clear. We were in heaven. MacGyver caught 2 huge sheephead and we grilled them for dinner last night. I absolutely love hanging out on the boat down in Venice because there is always so much going on at the inlet. At any given time, there will be yachts, paddleboards, kayaks and speedboats, all in the water at the same time.

Venice Inlet The Venice Inlet

It was perfect. It’s pretty inviting, isn’t it?

Venice Florida House

Venice, Florida

We got home last night just in time for the Walking Dead and Norman. Norman Reedus. Ahhhhhhhhhhhh, Norman. I was talking to one of my friends this morning and she actually said she didn’t think Norman was hot. WHAT?

Oh no you di ent

We are no longer friends.

This morning I ran 5 miles in 57 degrees with 100% humidity but I am not going to complain because compared to the rest of the world, I think we have some pretty stellar weather.

How’s your weather right now?

Did you watch the Walking Dead?