Sunday, November 27, 2011

Leprechauns and Dolphin Watching

Granpa Leprechaun and Ashlyn

Part of our ritual on every trip to Okaloosa Island is a visit to McGuire's Irish Pub.  As you can see, they also have a gift shop which always manages to catch a few of our dollars before we leave.  McGuires has really great food, and they give you a LOT of it.  It ranges from great, big, flavorful burgers to traditional Shepherds Pie and Fish and Chips.  Of course, there is always Beer for those who care to indulge.

The girls love the one dollar bills hanging from the ceiling walls, and just everywhere inside the building.  It is estimated there are over a million one dollar bills hanging in there!  Quite a site.

This year we also went on a dolphin excursion (two hours) on the Southern Star.  If you have children this is the dolphin cruise of choice...they are very family oriented and there is no alcohol aboard.  They let the kids who wish to do so "steer" the boat with a Captain's hat on.  The girls got a kick out of that.  They also have a treasure chest for the children to choose something before they go ashore.  The dolphin pod we caught up with was very active and had dolphins from baby to grandma in the pod. Liv stood on the front of the boat "Titanic Style" with her arms spread wide and declared that she could fly!  That one is a girl after my own heart!

Today we are going to celebrate Lucille and Kevin's birthdays (actually tomorrow) at Tropical Flava...our favorite local restaurant.  Great Caribbean food and festive atmosphere.  Lucy will be 95 tomorrow and Kevin with be 56. 

I haven't even been home 24 hours yet and I am missing the Gulf and Okaloosa Island.  The sound of the emerald colored crystalline waves as they beat upon the snow white quartz sand is so peaceful and relaxing.  The sea has so many moods, and each one is as beautiful and fascinating as the one before.  One morning it was so calm and flat and there were little sand islands all over.  The children got to see rays come up and feed on the bottom of the sandy was amazing.

The next day a storm had whipped the waves into a frenzy and the tide was higher than more little sand islands or rays but beautiful crashing foamy waves!

We all left Okaloosa with beautiful memories and we will go back again next year to celebrate.  I am planning on visiting my youngest son in Ft. Lauderdale for a couple days between now and Christmas, so I will get a few more of those Florida rays before the first of the year. 

For Christmas I am giving Kevin (actually for Christmas and his Birthday) a trip to Pittsburgh for New Years to visit his sisters.  He is looking forward to that.  I am a little nervous about having four days alone here with Lucy, but we will probably be okay.  I won't get any sleep however!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday with family and/or friends wherever you were.  We have so much to be thankful for. 

The traffic out on Interstate 75 today is extremely heavy with so many people heading home today, I pray they all arrive safely.  The airports are also crammed with people going home.  Be careful everyone!

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