Day 4

  Today we went golfing!  I didn’t do so badly, but had a couple rotten holes and ended with a 43….. still not a bad score if it mattered to me  haha   😉

  What was neat though were the little bonuses on the course: there was a roseate spoonbill hangin out on Hole 6, a tree with a large, active bees’ nest, and that tree itself was neat because it had some sort of hanging tubers that had lumps that appeared to open into a flower….. very very strange.  Wow!  Just out of curiosity (and not expecting such a quick result), I did a quick search for “tropical tree”, went to the first site, and guessed at a name that might fit — sausage tree.  http://mgonline.com/Sausage_Tree.html  Would you believe it?  I think it may have actually been that kind of tree!  Ahh, the internet is a wonderful thing.

  After golfing, we went to our friends’ place for a pizza lunch.  Very tasty, very fun.  I had a tickle in my throat that I couldn’t get rid of though, so I was going nuts trying not to cough every two seconds.  A couple funny jokes were told, let me see if I can remember any.

  Two men got up to the gates of Heaven and were addressed by Saint Peter.  Saint Peter asked the first man, dressed in a leather jacket, shades, and slicked back hair, “…..and who are you?”  The man replied, “I’m Derek Smith, and I’ve been a pilot for 31 years.”  Saint Peter looks at his list, exclaims, “Ah!  There you are,” and gives him a golden staff, a silk robe, and lets him through the gates.  The second man walks up to Saint Peter and is also asked who he is, to which he replies, “I’m John Brown, and I’ve been a priest for 31 years.”  Saint Peter consults his list, exclaims, “Ah!  There you are,” and gives him a wooden staff, and a cotton robe.  The man pauses a moment, then asks, “Why, Saint Peter, I can’t help but notice a discrepancy here….. that man was a pilot and got a golden staff and a silk robe, while I was a priest and only got a wooden staff and a cotton robe!”  Saint Peter replies, “Ah, yes.  Well, here in Heaven, we go by results.  You were a priest, and have made people fall asleep for 31 years, but he was a pilot and made people pray!”

hee hee.    🙂

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Day 3

Gorgeous day today.  It started off cloudy (my dad and I were going to go fishing but since it was cloudy, they decided to let me sleep in instead haha), but it was still fairly warm, and then the sun worked its way out and it became quite warm.  We went and did a few errands while it was still a bit overcast, and my mom and I played some tennis.  The sun came out during our 15 minutes (we’re both still coughing up a storm), so my mom decided it was too hot out for her and walked to the library to reserve the new Sue Grafton book.  (She later told me she was 123rd on the reserve list….. I’m not even kidding.)  So I went and hit against the wall…… man, it was relentless.  (joke courtesy of Mitch Hedberg 😉 )  I love hitting against the wall though.  I can serve and not have to go pick up balls for every minute of serving, if I make a mistake it still comes back to me….. it’s just a good practice tool.  I did that for a bit, then we went back to the condo for lunch.  I went for a long walk along the Pass, well, many trips back and forth anyway.  Then I visited Julio at his crêperie and chatted a bit with him.  He’s still the one making the crêpes….. I don’t know how he’s managed all year, unless there is someone else trained and they just weren’t working.  I have a feeling the guy with him helping him prepare the stuff may have been there last year too.  I’d normally wonder if they were related but by the pale (in comparison) looks of him, maybe not!  The crêpe — strawberries and Nutella — was wonderful.  I wandered the Pass eating it, and saw many eyes drawn to it — one hispanic lady asked me what it was and where to find one….. after I’d passed I heard her say, “I want one of those!”  So Julio, there you go, some more business for ya!  Last year it was the same story — we’d walk around eating them, and would usually get stopped at some point with inquiries….. especially if my parents were also having one, because they’d usually have one with whipped cream which of course makes it look even more sumptuous.  I even got to hear Julio singing a little as he prepared it….. quite the lungs, and not a bad singer either!  Elvis, of course 😉   After he’d finished making the crêpe, he thanked me for coming back and wished me a good trip if he didn’t see me before then, at one point calling me “princess” — which, from anyone else, might’ve been seen as strange or even sarcastic, but you just know he’s sincere.  He’s just the type of person who always makes you smile.    🙂

  After finishing my treat, I walked the beach for a bit, through the water one way, then on the water’s edge the way back.  Here’s my daily list:

  • Maddy! and friend(?)
  • fishermen
  • fisherboys(?) with a net of little fishies they’d just caught, intending to use them as bait
  • 2 whistling construction workers 😎
  • again, not too many shells of interest (there haven’t been high winds lately, so that makes a difference)
  • a few butterfly shells appearing to be occupied (thrown back)
  • several sand fleas (dead)
  • 1 large crab — live!  He was in my path, scuttling around….. man was he cute.  I walked cautiously closer, and I guess frightened him because he lifted one of his front claws a bit above his head, threateningly….. it was hilarious and adorable at the same time.  I love crabs.  Anyway, I didn’t want to scare him too much but at the same time I didn’t want him to wash ashore and die (he appeared to be old….. I am aware they can come out the water normally haha), or stay in the shallow water to attack/get attacked by little kids, so I tried to usher him back towards the deeper water, even though the waves made me lose sight of him and I had to avoid getting pinched, myself!  He was definitely the highlight of my beachwalk.
  • 2 kids trying to bodyboard (again, waves <1 foot high…..)….. quite funny actually.
  • seagulls, herons, egrets, pelicans, skimmers, the little tiny birds that run around the shore…..
  • dolphins (well, that was when I was on the Pass — they were quite active today, almost jumping right out the water, splashing around playfully)….. actually I saw a few schools of them….. and moronic seadoers trying to get close and in the process frightening them away……  Seriously, let this be my one and only message to boaters: if you want to get close to dolphins or any sea creature for that matter, PLEASE turn off your engines!  If they want you around, they’ll swim TO you, you don’t have to be 5 feet away at all times.  Enjoy the scene, but don’t ruin it by scaring them or, Heaven forbid, hurting them.  Sure, you may have seen them following boats, but that’s up to them!  You certainly are not going to tempt them by having 5 boats speeding toward them every time they surface.  The people on the Pass enjoy seeing them too, so have a little respect for the other viewers, as well as the creatures themselves.  There.  I’m done.    😛
  • not many jellyfish today, maybe 2 little guys washed up
  • generally not much debris washed up either, actually….. good thing once in a while!
  • 1 gorgeous sun  🙂

Day 2

Today was Christmas!  Merry Christmas everyone!

It started with me waking up late, daydreaming myself awake.  Kinda lovely to do sometimes.  I got up, had a small breaky, sat on the balcony.  We’d already exchanged gifts beforehand (since my sister couldn’t come with us, we had our celebrations last week), but my dad still had a couple gifts to give to my mom, so after that we sat on the balcony and took in some sun with our coffees.  After a nice morning walk around the Pass with my mom, we went back to the condo for bacon & eggs and cleaned the place up for our dinner company….. then another walk …… and another….. then friends came over for Christmas dinner and we had a blast.  Such fun people.  I hope I’m that fun when I’m their age.  Of course, they’re my parents’ age too but umm…… no, I really don’t have a way to get my foot out of my mouth there.  New topic!

So today on the beach I was walking mostly in the water to search for the bigger shells, so I didn’t see as much interesting stuff today, but here’s the daily list anyway:

  • dolphins several times, lots of them including the mutant one!  In years past, we noticed a dolphin with a sliced dorsal fin….. we suspect it was from a boating encounter.  There very well could be hundreds like that, but we like to think it’s the same families that stick around the area, with his sighting meaning all is well with them.
  • several decent-sized shells with their residents still alive inside…… I threw them back into the ocean to hopefully have a few more days (or more!) of life
  • a large shell with resident inside…… I’m gonna research what kind he was, because I’ve seen the shells before and they’re beautifully decorated, so I’m curious anyway.  I’m told I found a sunray venus shell….. go here to view and learn: http://www.shellmuseum.org/Sanibel/shells_nimbosa.html  I had seen it near the beginning of my walk, and was dumbfounded when I couldn’t find it after the initial sighting (I’m a pro at shelling…… I don’t often lose a shell to the waves once I’ve seen it), especially since it was so large.  Anyway, after giving up (doesn’t come easily to me), I continued my walk, well, shelling session anyway haha….. and on my way back I was about to leave when I saw it again.  I’m sure it’s the same one I’d been searching for earlier because it was like a rose in a field of thorns — nothing else had been that large, and that particular type of shell wasn’t even found in pieces anywhere where I’d walked….. so I went to get it, and sure enough I lost it two more times before I finally grabbed it.  The problem was that it was so heavy it only strayed to the visible area on occasion — otherwise it stayed where the waves were crashing (hence the water was sandy and I couldn’t even see my feet in less than a foot of water) and there his colours blended in.  But I got him.  And of course threw him far into the ocean again.  I have to admit, there’s something kinda humbling about holding an entire creature in your hand who created this beautiful piece of art to house himself….. used to living almost entirely at the hands of the ocean.  He really has no defenses besides his shell….. anyway…..
  • Maddy and another heron!  …… they weren’t hanging out though.
  • fishermen
  • seemingly more people…… I think partially because it was a fair bit warmer today, plus everyone’s done their Christmas shopping!
  • (earlier, by the Pass) ~12 foot tall bird of paradise plant!!!!  seriously incredible.  I vaguely remember discovering it last year but boy is it impressive.  The flower parts are different colours from the regular bird of paradise wild oranges and purples….. I found out from here http://www.mgonlinestore.com/Juncea/  that it’s the white variety…… much larger than the regular orange kind.
  • 2 dogs in motorboats, 1 laying down for a nap, and 1 riding at the bow of his boat.  It’s not that uncommon really, but I always find it amusing.
  • 1 dude paragliding?  I’m not sure the term for it.  Yup, turns out that’s it.  Only this dude was motorized.  And boy was he flying LOW!

Well that’s all I can think of right now, mostly because I’m tired!  If I remember more, you can be sure I’ll get back to you with it.

Again, happy holidays to you, and I hope you all had a Merry Christmas  🙂

Day 1, Part Deux

Things on the beach, round 2:

  • butterfly shell guys digging in the sand
  • a turtle made of sand, complete with a seaweed toupée and a water bottle
  • another sand flea (actual creature, not flea made from sand haha)
  • 1 sea urchin
  • 1 fish head (please don’t let the song get in my head…..)
  • 1 couple stopping for a lil’ make-out session (don’t see that often….. mostly families, but even couples don’t usually do much of the PDA stuff, not that it’s a problem or anything haha, just unusual hence its inclusion on the list!)
  • 1 creep-o-zoid (plus, being bald with a sunburnt face is a strange look, folks….. just FYI 😉 haha)
  • 1 school of fishies
  • 1 gorgeous sun

My Spontaneous Field Trip

Today I went to Miller Hall’s geology museum, just for a visit. It’s been a while since I’ve been, and seeing as I pulled another all-nighter last night, it was raining, and the lights looked so inviting, I figured it was about time.

I started off by looking at the selection of rocks and minerals used in Geology class for first year engineers, which involved a little wistful reflection of those times so many years ago when we had to perform all the tests on the samples to determine their properties and later their names. I always have loved Geology, but I was going through so much during that time, I couldn’t even enjoy it then. 😦 I moved on to the end of the hall, where they had a few little samples of random rocks, and then I backtracked to my favourite part: the collection of meteorites. I had my music on high, and just immersed myself. It was wonderful. Peaceful. There’s also the additional effect it has on me, based on feelings I have toward nature (see the post directly below this for more info on that), so it was really a good mental break.
   
I then moved to the main room, where there appeared to be a class trip for some French-speaking kids, maybe grade 5 or so. I turned my music up and toured around, stopping at some of my favourites — the tall amethyst sliced-in-half-geode, galena, pyrite, azurite, the gorgeous chalcopyrite, molybdenum, smithsonite, sodalite, tourmaline, and of course all kinds of quartz….. and yes, I did just go to a random minerals site alphabetically 🙂 There were, of course, many others, but far be it from me to remember what they were. I’m always kind of surprised they don’t have (or maybe I just can’t find it) one of my favourites, lab-made bismuth. I had one once, and it disappeared somewhere, but it had what I just found out is called “hopper” qualities — where basically the mineral forms an empty cube without a top, and then stacks these box-like structures all over itself in really neat designs. It’s also got some iridescence going on, which is always pretty neat. Oh, and there was ulexite, which I love to look at because it has fiber-optic properties. Very cool.
      
I love just going to places like that randomly, it’s so inspirational and relaxing at the same time. It was also nice to see some of the children fascinated in the minerals, while the others ran around yelling. Haha, I guess it brought me back to my youth….. not a bad place to visit every once in a while….. 🙂

Tri-coloured discovery

I did not know tri-coloured tortilla chips were actually made from different kinds of corn.  Apparently, yellow, blue, and red corn is used to make them those colours.

I just thought they were dyed!  haha, learn something new every day…..

I skip it cuz I love it so

In the morning, I’m a very picky eater.

Whatever I eat usually can’t contain: milk, eggs, can’t be too sweet, can’t be too plain, can’t be acidic (no juices unless I’m having a bread product), and definitely can’t be sour.  Usually if I eat something, it’s probably bad for me and isn’t exactly going to propel me through the day.  😛   Now you know why most days I skip eating in the mornings!

On the other hand, if I’ve managed to have something small after waking up, about an hour later I can eat any breakfast food.  Except sour.  I still dislike sour.  haha.

Ironically, I love breakfast foods.  Life can be cruel!  😉