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to the beach

Time to catch up on the happenings during my birthday season so far...I was away at the beach and did not want to steal time away from the family to post while on vacation.
On Wednesday evening we drove down to Panama City Beach, Florida.  We had not been to the beach as a family yet this year and it was long overdue!  Usually by May, we've been to the beach at least twice.  It's been a busy year...
The highlight of Wednesday was feeling the coolness of the white powdery sand inbetween my toes as we took a stroll down the beach around 11 o'clock pm when we arrived at our hotel.  It was so worth the evening drive and the late hour of arrival!
Thursday was spent poolside and oceanside all. day. long.  No leaving and doing anything but swimming, playing in the water park, and relaxing.  Well, I did climb the 10 flights of stairs to our room twice, so that's something different.  I have a personal policy on vacation to always take the stairs (unless I have to run back to the room in a hurry because I forgot something), but I've never had a room on the tenth floor before.  Ouch!  The boys and Scott played putt putt golf which was located about 50 paces from our hotel's parking lot.  I watched for 13 holes and then scooted over to catch the ending of the sunset over the water.  Always a treat!
Awoke Friday morning to a more sunny day.  Took a walk on the beach...watched the boys play in the pool...and then packed up everything and headed out for a new adventure.  We were wanting to go to Shell Island and tried to get on a boat, but they weren't having any more tours that day.  As our second chance effort we went to the marina and found Captain Mike who rented pontoon boats.  I love it when Plan B is way better than Plan A ever could have been!  When God closes a door...look for a window.
We loaded the boat down with our cooler of water and a few snacks; grabbed our swimsuits, towels, and sunscreen and off we went onto the Gulf of Mexico with our map in hand and sunshine on our shoulders making us happy.
Shell Island is simply beautiful.  I had always heard it was a great place, but now I know firsthand!  I can only imagine that during the summer it must be a busy place filled with boaters taking a break.  The west side of the island has calm waters filled with hermit crabs that are fun to watch as they scurry about in the sand.  The east side has fun ocean waves and plenty of white sand for everyone...and, of course, a few thousand shells.  A perfect day!
On the drive home, we were given a beautiful rainbow to enjoy for a few minutes.  It was actually a double rainbow.  The largest and highest rainbow was barely visible, but it was there, nonetheless.  (I played around with the photo's contrast so that the colors would show up just a little better.)
So, having spent day 3 & 4 of my birthday season at the beach, one might wonder what the rest of the month holds in store...we shall have to wait and see!  Today is a youth conference, RUSH for me and baseball games for my boys and Scott...and tomorrow is church and AWANA awards night.  During birthday season anything and everything is worth celebrating.  It teaches me how to appreciate even the littlest and most routine thing as a blessing. :)  Happy Cinco De Mayo, everyone!


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