Saturday, July 4, 2009

Vacay Photos

We went to the Fort White/High Springs area of North Florida on vacation with my mom and dad and their two dogs and my brother and his girlfriend. I was afraid that many people plus us plus dogs would be annoying in the small cottage we stay in, but everyone was good. There were no drunken fits, no massive tantrums, no wrecks/crashes/injuries of any kind, no fighting, no peeing on the floor or any of the usual occurrences on a family vacation.

It was really relaxing and the cold, clear water of the springs was exactly what I needed.

Here's a family photo:

I'm the one with the shadow nub arms. I even manage to look bad in pictures of my own shadow. As you can see, my brother's girlfriend is really pregnant. It was fun to be around her big, moving pregnant belly for days in a row and to talk baby talk. The boys are psyched about Baby Ethan (aka Baby Efan). Big Kid's going to teach him about mammals and little kid's going to teach him about monsters and Big Kid's going to teach him that there's no such thing as monsters and little kid is going to teach him about super heroes and Big Kid will show him which trees are conifers.

Here's Big Kid at Ginnie Springs.

little kid discovered the joys of snorkeling while there and has honest to goodness barely taken the goggles off since. I had to make a rule about wearing them to bed.

Here's the Ichetucknee River, where we attempted the 3 hour tour.

Here's Ginnie Springs. The day here started off great. We were all floating down the river, quiet at times, chatting at others, spinning around lazily in our innertubes soaking up sun, when my brother's girlfriend starts screaming over and over again that she wants out. At first, I wasn't too worried since most pregnant people are crazy. Then my mom started hissing "Holy shit, there's an alligator, oh my God" and my dad and brother spotted it too. I couldn't see it and could only hear my dad saying "Oh, it's really big. It's coming this way. He doesn't look happy. This isn't good news." I knew he was bullshitting but still--a nearby alligator is enough of a buzzkill without the family comedian narrating for you. I finally spotted it and was well past it, and it looked camped out on the bank there, so I relaxed a little.

And then she saw another one.

That pretty much ruined the relaxing mood, so we stuck to picnicking and playing in the very cold springs area.

Underwater cave.

little kid's take on the whole thing.

He did this to me at the waterpark the other day too. I saw him wiggling out of his wet trunks and as I ran to stop him, he pulled it out and christened the baby pool. The other moms were not impressed.

note the ever-present snorkel.

Good times.

The little cottage we stay in has a tin roof and several decks and porches and on one of the porches, an 8 person jacuzzi with adjustable temperature. This became a very big, warm baby pool where the boys could wear themselves out while I read nearby. It was perfect.

Mr. Ashley and I have been there twice before, once when I was pregnant with little kid and once when he was 10 months old (he took his first steps there). Our entries in the guest book are becoming a mini-journal of our major life events and it was neat to share the house and area with my family. I got really emotional while writing the guestbook entry on the day that we left and sad that everything could be different next time I go.

I'm so glad we went, it was so nice to get away, hang out with family, and think happy thoughts for a few days. Now I'm going to go drink some drugs and light stuff on fire in honor of our Independence. I hope you do the same.


Amo said...

I love little kid's take on it all the best.

Jennifer said...

Great pictures. And that looks like a really beautiful place to visit.

Piece o' Coconut Cake said...

Former Fat Chick has been there. She says it's REALLY cold. Maybe we'll make it up there one of these days. Sure is pretty!

Megan said...

Great pictures! I love crystal-clear spring water, especially compared to the Gulf beaches. I'm glad you had a good time :) Love your blog!

Unknown said...

Great pics! Looks like you all had a fantastic time. I love the shadow family pic. What a great idea!

Happy Fourth to you and the whole fam!!!

Bren said...

It sounds like you had a wonderful vacation! It looks amazing (except the alligators of course! I would have started screaming too!). What wonderful memories - especially the christening of the springs! I just looked at he picture again and you can SEE him going! too funny!

Julie H said...

The alligators sounded pretty scary but besides that it sounds like fun!

Anonymous said...

As a Gainewville native now living in Daytona, I miss the Ichetuckee river and loved seeing your pictures. We have done many family trips down the river, stopping to pick up tubes on the side of the road along the way. Never been to Ginnie Springs though. Is it on the way to Trenton?
Amy, who forgets her google account

Dayna said...

I LOVE those springs!! All of 'em! Sounds like a great vacation and the perfect place to make many great memories. Welcome back :) Don't let the real world bring you too down.

Rachel said...

BK and lk are both just so adorable and funny, and I'm glad everyone there enjoyed it so much!

Joy said...

they are hillarious and cute

That place looks gorgeous, I headed to FL SOON and I am SOOOOO excited!

Maddness of Me said...

Haaaaa haa! I seriously would have to frame the pee picture. I mean classy matte and everything. Heeee he! Love it!

Anonymous said...

These are some great pictures!

katie b said...

That place is GORGEOUS!!

Anonymous said...

I forgot to add -

Your kids are gorgeous too!