December 2019

Our days are winding down from Legacy Marina. Journeyer has had all her repairs done, and she is ready to move on to her next destination. Just a few more days, and we will be off to Longboat Key in southwestern Florida.

Under the moonlight the marina lays still.  A cool breeze has replaced the heat of the day.  The sun sinks lower in the sky as the light of the day drains away and the suns spreads its largess into the sky.  Hues of rich red and orange spread a protective blanket across the sky as we enjoy the dazzling display of thousands of Christmas lights and decorations covering the winter estates of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

Christmas Lights at Thomas Edison and Henry Ford

18 Mile Bike Ride to Manatee Park

We took an 18 mile bike ride to Manatee Park. It is a non-captive warm water refuge for the Florida Manatee.  It was well worth the bike ride.  We saw many manatees. These sea cows come to this canal because the water is warmed by a nearby gas fired power plant that is across the street.  The power plant pumps clean warm water out into the water, and in the winter months when the water is cool, the manatees come up to this area to enjoy the warm waters.   These gentle giants are a threatened species.  As the Gulf of Mexico becomes cooler (temperatures which are sixty-eight and below) the manatees seek warmer water to avoid cold stress.

Fort Myers to Venice

During the holiday season the waterways come alive with creative mariners who decorate their boats for parades along the canals, bays and rivers.  This year we were in Venice for this Nautical Event.  We had a superb dock for viewing the parade at Fisherman’s Wharf Marina.  Fisherman’s Wharf Marina is just minutes from the beautiful City of Venice. While we were waiting for the parade, we were serenaded by musicians.  Music filled the air, like waves filling holes in beach sand, elevating the spirit of Christmas.

Venice to Long Boat Key, FL

As we made our way from Venice to Long Boat Key, FL our playful sea friends joined us riding our waves.  It is an amazing experience to watch them glide alongside our boat. 

We are staying at the Longboat Key Club Moorings.  It is about 6 miles from downtown Sarasota.   The marina provides on demand rides to St. Armands Circle, which offers many shops and restaurants.  You are away from the busy action, but still able to enjoy Sarasota.   The marina offers many amenities including a nearby golf course, resort style pool and hot tub, and a fantastic restaurant. The island offers many great places to walk in the morning.

Air plants seen on our morning walks.

Christmas at Punta Cana, DR

Our flight left early on the 21st.   As I peered through the window, the sun had stretched out over the horizon and the clouds decorated the sky, free to fly with the wind.  The aerial view of the ocean was amazing.  The blue water stretched in every direction of the horizon.  A rainbow arches through the sky with its startling band of colours as the plane descends.

One more flight to catch.

Acklins Island in The Bahamas
Acklins Island
Uncle Daniel entertaining an Elf on the plane.
Hey, I am not an Elf! I am a huge Candy Cane! To you too?

The greatest present one can have at Christmas is sharing the joy and love with family.  This year we were very fortunate to spend it with our loved ones in Punta Cana.    It was a very magical and memorable time.  Santa could not have gotten me a better family.

Emmett Dancing
Emmett Dancing
Brandon on Stage Being Sexy!
Brandon and Lindsay on Stage
Brandon impersonating Celine Dion
I am having a blast!

Excursions

Punta Cana offered a variety of exciting excursions.  Our best excursion was babysitting!  We all took turns, so that Mom and Dad could enjoy themselves too.   We agreed to rules, but the problem was the kids were too fun!  Sometimes the rules disappeared.   Emmett and Malcolm were too much fun.  Their laughter, their sense of play was what we yearned for.  The giggles, the silliness, their tempers!  It was like they were kites exploring the skies, and we were their anchors protecting them, loving them, and having so much fun!  Their eyes shown like pebbles washed by the ocean and their smiles ignited the inner laughter in us.

Snorkeling Excursion – Sean, Petia, Daniel, Gram and Gramps

Our adventure started onboard a ride to an underwater world of fish and fun.  We took a short boat ride out to some reefs that unfortunately were not so vibrant, but there were lots of tropical fish.  We enjoyed a floating bar, music, and the breeze in your hair.

Oh No! What are you doing Uncle Sean?
Might be a No! No! But, I (Malcolm) think you are cool Uncle Sean!
So, so sweet!

Dolphin Swim – Gram and Gramps

I have always had swimming with a dolphin on my bucket list.  The kids provided us with the unique opportunity to participate in a 60 minutes swim session with two beautiful dolphins.  We had the opportunity to kiss, touch, swim, and be pushed through the water by the dolphins. Thank you!

The dorsal tow, where two dolphins pull you across the water as you hold on to their dorsal fins.   

Okay, Chuck is going to look like a pro, but in all fairness to me.  I was the first up.  I had no idea what to expect. The famous foot push, where two dolphins lift you out of the water and push you at a tremendous speed across the water.  It was an awesome experience; however, a bit scary at the same time.  Oh no!  The wall is getting closer, and closer!  The look on my face explains it all.  Then, the face plant.  The dolphins stop just in time. 

Chuck’s turn

Here comes the dive! No face plant.

Show off!

While we were off enjoying our dolphin excursion Sean, Petia, Brandon, Lindsay, and Daniel were off on a dive excursion.  Nick and Mara were hard at work babysitting.

A busy day with cousin Malcolm.
A busy day for Gram too!

Christmas in the Dominican

In the Dominican, the families get together on Christmas Eve not Christmas Day.   Christmas dinner is on the 24th not the 25th

Nick and Mara Cave Exploring

Santa comes to Punta Cana

Brandon, Lindsay, Emmett and Nick, Mara and Malcolm – A visit with the monkeys.

Look we match!
This is pretty scary!

Sean and Petia’s Helicopter Ride

Surprise Helicopter Ride for Petia’s Birthday. Petia’s Birthday was on the 21st of December. The day we arrived at the resort.

Off-road Dune Buggy Adventure