Our bedrooms are on the east side of the house and at 6:51 am I hear, “Mommy, it’s morning…can we go to the beach now?” Gotta love little Matty bear. Of course my answer was, “Matty, mommy is sleeping…not yet and go away.” 🙂 At 8am we fixed breakfast and at 9am we headed to the beach. The weather was beautiful and the water was calm. Paradise. Immediately after we set up the beach chairs and toys Colin says, “Look mom a dolphin!” We grab our cameras and start scanning the horizon. Sure enough there was a dolphin family, including a little baby dolphin. The kids loved chasing after them in the water and it was so fun to watch their faces as they all got to swim with the dolphins.
Tag Archives: Fish
Sarah and the boys are down visiting for spring break and Easter, so today (Good Friday) we decided to take them fishing on the pier at Anna Maria and then spend the day playing on the beach.
We fished for about an hour, only two of the four poles were working and for whatever reason we only caught two fish. The first one I caught with in seconds of tossing in my line, and the second one Charlie caught. He was so proud. The bravest of the five boys was Emmett. He liked to pet the fish.
After fishing we decided to walk over to Two Scoops for some lunch. We figured it would just be easier to eat lunch now and then not worry about having to bring them in off of the beach. Hot dogs and ice cream all around!
I have to say this was one of the windiest days I have ever seen here. The day was beautiful, but we laughed saying that if we didn’t get sunburned then we would definitely get wind burned. Liam, Davy and Charlie surfed the waves for hours, while Matty and Emmett played in the surf and dug in the sand.
Sarah and I layed on the sheet, drank Malibu buckets from the Sandbar, and took turns chasing the boys back down the beach when they drifted off to far.
The last thing the boys did before we left was to all get together and dig a big hole. We loved watching them play together…. Much love for them. 🙂
August 7: Sunday
It is a beautiful Sunday here on the island for the family to spend together, so we took the boys the church for a little worship. The Roser Memorial Church was built 1913 by Charles Roser as a memorial to his wife Caroline. He had decided that since so many people came to visit the island that it would not be given to any denomination, but would stand as a house of union for worship. The original church still stands and is beautiful. The people were friendly and the boy had a great time in Sunday School.
For lunch we headed down to St. Armand’s circle. Andy and I always have a craving for Tommy Bahama’s when we head this way. He loves the cheeseburger and I love the Ahi Tuna Poke…yum!
After walking through the shops, the boys were so good that we treated them to ice cream and promised to stop at the Long Boat Key playground on the way back. It was a pretty park and we had it all to ourselves.
As we crossed back over to Bradenton Beach, we decided to drive down Bridge Street to see what was there. We’ve passed by here so many times, but we had never stopped to check it out. What did we find??? Minigolf! It was so hot out, but Davy loved showing us his golf moves and at the end the boys got to drop their ball into a Plinko game and Matty won a free round next time we came back.
For the evening activity, the daddy’s decided to take the boys fishing. They all climbed into the back of the truck and told stories about who was going to catch the whopper fish of the day.
Everyone caught a fish today and we celebrated with Two Scoops Ice Cream…
To break up our day trips to the beach, we decided to take the kids down to the Mote Aquarium in Sarasota. It was our first time visiting this aquarium and surprisingly it was bigger than I expected. What I didn’t expect was how much of it was going to be outside! Late morning in August… in Florida… and then there was the long walk from one building to the next. Ugh… However, the kids really enjoyed it and the Manatees were adorable. For lunch we crossed the street to go to the Salty Dog and to wrap up the day we found it fitting to have ‘Movie Night’ with the movie Oceans.
Baby Ryla looking at the fish…
Pacific Moon Jellyfish.
LOOK!!! There’s Bruce!!!!
While the kids were watching their movie…us grown-ups went out for date night. We took the golf cart over to the Beach House and enjoyed the company, ambiance, and cocktails. :O)
Today we started our day with some scrambled eggs and bacon for the children. Afterwards, I ran over to Ginny and Jane’s and picked Kelly and I up a couple of Latte’s. About 30 minutes later Brandie and Laurence stopped by and said, “Let’s go to Bean Point!” We stopped by Beach Bums to find out exactly where the foot path was, and we were off. I had to park the golf cart at the Rod and Reel pier, but the views and solitude were worth it.
This picture is so funny to me…. For some reason we have had terrible AT&T service today and poor Brandie has been constantly checking her phone just hoping that her work emails are coming through.
Me and my Matty Bear….
After dinner we decided to take the boys fishing; with the sun setting on the west side and it being a little later in the day we were hoping that it wouldn’t be too hot. In retrospect, this is something that definitely needs to be done with the daddy’s here….there are just to many little people wanting help with baiting their hook, casting, and pulling off the caught fish. We bought some bait over at the General Store and went down to the Anna Maria pier. The boys were so excited when uncle Laurence showed up to help them. All of the big boys caught fish, they were so happy!
I love this picture because Emma’s face is just classic….
YAY!!! It’s vacation time! With much anticipation we have been waiting for this vacation for what feels like months! We reserved the house back in May, and we have been dreaming of our two weeks of fun in the sun all summer. This year Kelly and I decided to set our eyes on Anna Maria Island. We love it here and come quite often for the day, she’s never been here, and it is close enough for the husbands to drive back and forth as needed for work. The house we found is Anna’s Cottage – 309 Spring Ave; it is on the north end one block off of the main street Pine Ave and is three blocks to the beach. The house is a three bedroom with a pool and is adorably shabby. Check in time was 3pm, so Saturday morning we packed up and headed out.
Here is Andy’s truck: 6 scooters, 5 bikes, 3 tricycles, 3 fishing poles, 2 wagons, beach toys, chairs, and tackle boxes, 1 bike baby seat, and 1 easy shade. We loaded up the van, Kelly’s SUV, Brian’s Camry and off we went.
The beach house was everything we expected and so much more…. We are all in love with 309 Spring Ave.
I had to include this picture, because when we arrived at the house, a FedEx from work was already there waiting for me. I just found it so funny that work beat me to my vacation…. :O) If you are wondering what it is, I have been having computer issues and needed a new battery for my laptop. After we had unloaded all of our stuff, we sat down to enjoy a nice cold beverage… :O)
It was a little late and still a little warm, so we let the boys swim in the pool out back.
We went for a walk down to the beach so Matty could see the water…. All little Matty has been asking for, for the last two weeks, is to see the beach.
Kelly’s cousin Brook is still in town visiting and she agreed to watch the boys so Andy and I could go out to dinner. While posing for a picture, I guess the boys are so used to the family photo they just snuck in like it was normal and smiled. :O) Love them.
The next morning, we decided to take the boys fishing before it got to hot. We went over to the Anna Maria Pier. At the end of the pier they have a bait shop, but much to our dismay they were out of bait. How does that happen? Especially, on a weekend. We let the boys cast a few times and then we packed it up because we knew that they weren’t going to catch anything.
After naps we picked up our golf cart and went to Scoops for some ice cream.
Aunt Brandie and Uncle Laurence arrived today so we had to go over and see baby Ryla. Their rental house is 3 beach blocks from ours. She just loves Matty bear.
For dinner we all went to the Waterfront Restaurant. 7 children and 7 adults. Afterwards, we went over to the beach to feed the seagulls and watch the sunset.
My favorite house on the island. :O)
At 8:30 we drove back to Brandie’s house to drop them off, we hopped back on the golf cart, and it wouldn’t start. So funny… so we left it there and walked back home to put the boys to bed. You can see how tired & wet they are… :O) I love being on vacation.
When I think about the West Coast of Florida, one of the first things that comes to mind is “Fish”. There is never a shortage of fish here in the Tampa Bay area, and one of the best things is that you can get it fresh…catch it yourself or buy it right off the dock.
A while back ago we came upon one of the best “straight off the dock” fish markets while having lunch in Bradenton at The Cortez Kitchen, the Cortez Fish Market. They are located in the same parking lot and the prices are very very reasonable for the fish being so fresh. We wandered into the market, and in addition to the fish they have a full array of spices. My husband loves fish and I am constantly trying to think of new ways to cook it for him. I spotted the lemons and knew that piccata was it.
I am a personal fan of the recipe “Grouper Piccata” found on page 82 of Capture of Coast. The recipe is easy and the fish is delicious. Since then I have made this dish for my mother, my father-in-law, my next door neighbor and everyone has loved it…Hopefully you will too …. :O) Bon Appétit!
- 1 pound fresh grouper
- ½ cup all-purpose flour
- Pinch of salt and pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 egg, beaten
- ¼ cup white wine
- Zest and juice from one lemon
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- ¼ cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 3 tablespoons capers
- Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rinse the fish and pat dry. Mix the flour with a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper in a shallow dish. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Dip the fish in the beaten egg and dredge in the flour mixture to coat. Place in the skillet. Sear for 1 to 2 minutes on each side until golden brown. Place the fish on a baking sheet, reserving the drippings in the skillet. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes or until the fish is nearly cooked through. Add the wine, lemon zest, lemon juice and garlic to the reserved drippings in the skillet. Simmer until the mixture is reduced by half, stirring constantly. Stir in the butter and capers. Heat until the butter melts, stirring constantly. Return the fish to the skillet. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the fish flakes easily. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place the fish on two serving plates and spoon the sauce over the top.
A last minute decision today landed us at the Florida Aquarium. Andy went to Chicago for the weekend to see his friends and family, so this gave the boys and me a lot of time to play together. Kelly had planned on taking her kids, so when she asked us if we wanted to come along… of course we said yes.
When we lived in south Tampa we used to go to the Aquarium often, but lately not so much. So, I renewed our annual passes and am excited about the adventures that we will have this next year.
Some of our favorite parts of the Aquarium are: the coral reefs, the sharks, the penguins, the sting rays, the touch tanks, and Explore a Shore. Explore a Shore is an outdoor play are that is filled with water jets, climb-on animals, a pirate ship with water cannons, a water slide, a sand box, and a place just for toddlers. Also, should the parents need to cool off…they have a large Tiki bar.