Ponce Inlet Lighthouse Day -
So way back in last year, I set up a tentative date with my friends to go to the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse so we could all see each other!! Well we kind of left it and forgot about it....until the week before, and then I realized how busy I was. A few days before the date was John & Katrina's wedding, and then was Gabe & Leah's wedding reception party the night before, and then the get together at the Lighthouse! And the Hopes were moving to Alabama. I seriously sat down and cried because I was so overwhelmed. Shannon wrote me concerned it was going to be too much.....and in the end after some discussion, we decided to go ahead with it. And I'm SO glad we did. It turned out to be a wonderful day and it was such a special time being with everyone. I loved every minute of our time together.
I listened to good music on the way up, and picked up lunch at Panera Bread for Shannon and I, and then picked up Shannon, and drove there. Mrs. DeVore, Holly, and MaKenna met Shannon and I for lunch there at the little park, and then we went in! But first there were screaming hugs. ;) haha.
Here are the photos!
I've started taking pictures of my shoes/boots/flats/barefeet in different locations and want to put it all together into a "travel" book sometime. I have quite a few already! It's addicting.
The girlies. Holly, Shannon, MaKenna.
The little loves.
Looking up. Way way up from the bottom. Haha. Dizzying. Just 203 stairs to the top.
And then looking down after climbing a little ways. I LOVE lighthouses so so so so so much.
Well fine then. I'll just take a picture.
Finally up!! Ok. Now see Shannon's gorgeous and curly hair? Ok. Now I must tell you something. It was VERY very windy that day. And cold. Now take cold and windy and go up 175 feet, where the wind is howling like the winter series from Little House on the Prairie and if you stand too close to the tower and too far away from the "free wind", you get literally swept around the inside of the circle of the tower because HELLO WIND. YOU ARE STRONGER THAN MY BODY WEIGHT.
So let's just say there were lots of gasps and "ohmyworrrrrd it is so COLD." and "I'm gonna be deaf this wind is so cold and loud." and we took pictures rather quickly and found out which side of the tower was out of the wind and tried not to move from there. hahaha.
Still. IT. WAS. BEAUTIFUL.
She's so cute I can barely stand it.
We found the least windy place, sat down and refused to move. hahahaha.
I will never ever ever get tired of this view.
Or this one.
Or this one. haha. So much windy glorious fun!
Mmmmmm. The Marina and the Mist.
See what I mean? Addicting. Plus, I'm 175 feet above the ground. SWEET.
Because it was cloudy/foggy/misty/windy .... the blues were SO aqua/green/blue. It was stunning.
See? That's the pier running out there to the ocean on the left. So gorgeous....I love that God loves colors.
Mmmmm. I love windy tendrils of hair and black and white moods.
The wires keeping us all in.
and in color. See the sand banks and different water depths in colors?
The million dollar houses and the ocean. Looking Nor'east.
Looking South. Like you might have noticed, I couldn't stop taking pictures because .... it's so peaceful.
Back on terra firma. And taking pictures of berries we can't eat.
And exploring the different houses/museums....and being typical rebellious homeschoolers....we found a fireplace to sit in. No one cared, so hey. Win-win. Because how cute. Look what Santa delivered.
MaKenna. That glow on her face is because an elf said she was adorable. That elf was me, btw.
Holly. Sweet, genuine Holly.
And Shannon. Our tiny Irish, go-for-it, sweetheart friend.
Neat artifacts from ages past. I'm distracted by shiny things.
Old Glory in the wind gets me every time.
Peering in the windows.
The little details. ;)
Love the unexpected shots.
And more "we are freezing, take it fast, I'm dying" pictures.
Love her radiant smile and spirit.
MaKenna was our model because the rest of us had cameras.
and because .... DUH. Look at her. Model.
Me? NOT SO MUCH. I was cold. That's why I look like an orphan. "Please suh, could you spare a mug of hot cocoa? I'm about to DIE FROM HYPOTHERMIA." No biggie.
That face. Love her.
So precious. (yeah, I know I sound 80. be quiet)
Good golly miss MaKenna. Stop it already.
And then because we didn't realize our time was running out and because we thought walking would warm us up....we headed over to the park and took photos on the park things because....we never grew up, that's why....and then we headed over to the little dock by the marina because we wanted to see the water and look who was already there. A lovely little flock of pelicans (I seriously just sat here and called them penguins TWICE....it really was cold) and seagulls. And we had a lovely little adventure.
I love this END OF RAMP sign. Like it took someone running full speed and falling screaming into the water for them to put up a notice. "Yeah, mon. We better put up a sign. People are complainin'. They can't see it don't go on forevah. Dese people, mon! Dey crazy! Can't dey see there's water?!!"
Ok. Enough fake Jamaican accent. We all know Dad's the only one who can pull that off in our family.
The water was SO clear because of the clouds and weather. Just aqua-teal-grey-green.
And then there were the pelicans paddling around.
Ok. So I had my 35mm on, right? So he was about......less than 2 feet from my camera/hands/face. And pretty intent on seeing what on earth the black clicking thing was. We named him Ronald. And I LOVED being up so close (he came up to us, btw)....but not everyone was thrilled about it. hahaha. Oh well.
Hello there, dude!
"Yes, yes, yes. I know I'm amazing." "Yes, Ronald, you are!!"
His amazing wingspan. We were SO close! Jerry was ignoring us on the far right there.
Such a cool thing to be so close. And for any people wondering out there - we kept our distance! They....did not. They wanted fish. When we told them we didn't have any, they cocked their heads and looked at us skeptically. And when they got a little too close or snappy or curious, I told them "NO." in a firm voice....to which they gave us sassy, bored looks and pretended we weren't there for 2 seconds.
Holly was smiling, but also panicking a little bit. I was concerned she was going to fall into the water! She never did, thankfully. haha. But she's not a fan of birds up close, which I didn't know. Whoops.
The gorgeous view from our dock.
I was sitting down just a little bit away from him, my back to a post. I found him very curious, bold, and yet responsive to tones and snapping fingers and "NO"'s. When in doubt, I just pretend animals are like a dog and assert authority while also giving them respect in how their behaviors are as God created them. It's a fine line between anticipating a need for dominion and also realizing they are incredibly smart and intuitive and to give them all the respect I can!
Ok. Not to turn this into a science talk. I was just incredibly fascinated. haha.
Watching the water....we stood up when things turned a little tense and tried to ignore Ronald and Jerry for a few minutes so they wouldn't think they were the sun and moon and stars in the moment.
And it seemed to work, since they realized we didn't have fish to share and they could huddle down for some warmth and listen to us chatter about coffee.
Look how cute.
Here is some video of the lighthouse view and the pelicans!
Walking back to the lighthouse.....we realized our time was almost out, and we also needed coffee!! So we left and met up at the Starbucks and had a wonderful time warming up and drinking coffee and taking pictures and looking out at the cold afternoon.
We shared hugs and said our goodbyes and then Shannon and I left....but our afternoon was still open, so we tossed around ideas before deciding to go see a movie. Only problem, no one was showing it that day (darn it), and so we drove around, on and off I-95 several times like a Disney ride, trying to find a theatre that did, until we gave up and sat in the Chick-Fil-A parking lot....neither Shannon nor I had anything to do that afternoon, and I was unwilling to let her go! So then I called up Tricia on the 1% chance that she would let us come over so Shannon could meet baby Ryan. I offered to bring chicken nuggets for David.....and it turned into nuggets for us and a large sweet tea for Cody, and over we went! When in doubt - a large sweet tea will pave the way in friendships in the South. So true.
I was ecstatic, because I had just met Ryan the night before, and I loved that Shannon could meet him too!!
What a love. All of 1 week old.
So so precious.
Couldn't get enough of his sweet face.
And those long Case fingers.
Expressive dreams. Love him so much.
It was SO special, thank you again, Tricia and Cody - that meant so much to both of us!!
And here is the great blogpost by Shannon about our day!! Love it. There is something SO fun about reading words by someone else about your day!
And that was our wonderful day. :)
With love always,
~ Jean Marie ~