Monday, October 31, 2011

Grandson Time in Florida

Hubby and I really enjoyed our visit with our daughters, Dawn and Gayle, and youngest grandson Joshua last week.  Like I said in my last post, it was an active week!

First, Joshua had to check out the playground at our RV Park.  He approved.

Then, we headed back to Grassy Water Preserve to find another alligator.

There was a lot more water at the Preserve this time - making it harder to spot gators.

"Where are you alligators?"

Oh well.  Joshua still had fun walking on Mom Gayle's shoes.

Then there was deep dinner conversation with Papa at our favorite seafood restaurant on the water, Panama Hattie's.

Of course, no visit to Juno Beach would be complete without seeing the turtles at Loggerhead Marine Life Park.

The baby turtles were particularly interesting.

Joshua never passes up a playground though!

Finally, it was off to the beach on a windy day.

Hubby made sure our fearless grandson didn't venture too far out.  There were riptides that day!

Joshua absolutely loved his first time at a beach.

Re-fueling time on my lap.

A good time was had by every member of the family - even the four-legged one.

Next time:  our first visit to Lion Country Safari in West Palm Beach.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Too Little Time Home in Arizona

Time to get back to blogging!  We spent a few days back home in Arizona and then our daughters and youngest grandson flew to Florida to spend some more time with us.  It has been a busy couple of weeks!
Our trip home began with a belated 60th birthday party for hubby hosted by our beautiful daughters and their wonderful  husbands.  Gayle's kitchen was a whirlwind of activity.  Then, there was quality time with the grandsons!

Jacob, 4 years old.

Joshua, 3 years old

All too soon it was time to head back to our 5th wheel in Juno Beach.  While Joshua was with us here in Florida, we hunted alligators back at the Grassy Waters Preserve, checked in with the turtles at the Loggerhead Marine Life Park, hit the doggy beach in Jupiter, and saw all sorts of wildlife from Africa at Lion Country Safari.  More about all that later.  I told you we had a couple of busy weeks!  I'm still catching my breath!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Home to Arizona - For a Few Days Anyway

We're leaving for Arizona this afternoon!:)  We'll only be there a few days but our daughter, Gayle, and grandson, Joshua, will be flying back to Florida with us for a little R & R.  Son-in-law, Jason, has to stay in Arizona to work though.:(   We're looking forward to seeing our other daughter, Dawn, her husband, Mike, and oldest grandson, Jacob, while we're at home too.  We can't wait!

Jacob - 4 years old

Joshua - 2 years old turns 3 this month!

As you can tell, I'll be a little busy but I'll be back to blogging again soon!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Jupiter Lighthouse and Museum

We survived the storm!  Maggie didn't like the blowing wind and shaking trailer so she had to have a nerve pill or two but, otherwise, everything turned out fine.  The predicted 8 inches of rain never happened here in Juno Beach.  An hour or two north of here, they received 12 inches of rain and significant wind damage though.  On Friday, before the really strong wind arrived, we went just up the road from us and visited the Jupiter Lighthouse and Museum.

It was built in 1860 at a cost of $60,000 and is still a working lighthouse today.

We started out in the small museum where we learned all about the history and importance of the lighthouse in the 19th century and then in the 20th century during World War II.  The building housing the museum were former Coast Guard barracks during WWII.  No pictures allowed inside the museum though!

The sign explains it all!

As we waited for the group ahead of us to descend (and make room for us!) we examined the huge Banyon tree growing at the base of the lighthouse.  They often have weddings here now.  The original lighthouse keeper's house was located in this area but burned down many years ago.

George Meade's original plans are displayed here too.

Soon we were beginning our climb.

105 steps to the top!  The original keepers of the lighthouse had to climb these steps every 2 or 3 hours to re-fuel the light.  Lard was the first fuel used and then kerosene.

Fortunately, there were landings every 25 steps, so we could suck in some air and check out the view from 4 different directions on the compass.

With some huffing and puffing we made it to the top!

There was a fabulous view of the Loxahatchee River on it's way to the Atlantic.

The light (all the glass still original from 1860) from the lighthouse can be seen 25 miles out at sea.

This is still an active station and the houses below are occupied by Coast Guard families.  They keep the lighthouse shining.  Fortunately for them, the lighthouse runs on electricity now so no more running up the stairs all night long!

Our time was soon up and it was back down the stairs.

But wait - we had more stairs!  Back at the museum they awarded certificates to us saying "I Survived The Climb!"

We really enjoyed our visit to the Jupiter Lighthouse but it wasn't over.  The Tindall Pioneer Homestead, built in 1892, is also located on the grounds - but I'll save that for another day.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

A Stormy Weekend

I don't normally blog on the weekend, but this weekend will be an exception.  The entire state of Florida is experiencing high winds and surf until the work week begins.  Isn't that the way it usually is?!  It's not a hurricane, but the winds are blowing about 30 miles per hour (it seems higher than that sometimes!) and boaters and swimmers are warned to stay out of the water due to 11 foot waves, riptides, and winds.

Naturally, I had to go check out conditions at the beach.

Even the surfers are staying out of the water today.

Hubby ventured outside our 5th wheel and took a couple of pictures too.

We'll be staying inside the rest of the day and figuring out how to use the new Family Tree Maker I just got in the mail.  The weatherman says we're under a flood watch too, and could easily get 8 inches of rain today.  It could get interesting.  Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Kayaking at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park

Last week I gave a little tour of this wonderful park.  This weekend, Hubby and I went back to try our hand at kayaking.  We've never tried it before and looked forward to another adventure!

We were out there, ready to go, as soon as the kayak rental office opened for business.  We opted for a two person kayak so we could be together on this new endeavor.  (Actually, I wanted to be able to rest when I got tired!)

It wasn't long before we got the hang of it and even went under Burnt Bridge - against the incoming tide!  Soon we were paddling around Lake Worth Lagoon.

As promised, we saw lots of wildlife like this huge osprey.......
and these pelicans.  They were all out trying to catch their breakfast. 

We saw fish jumping out of the water everywhere around us.  I don't think any of the birds went hungry!

All of the sudden, whole schools of fish would jump out of the water as if fleeing some unknown predator and jump in and out of the water for a long ways.  One time a school headed right for us hitting our kayak as I screamed!  One fish actually ended up in the kayak with me.  I'm sorry I didn't get a picture but I was busy trying to flip him back into the water with my paddle.

We finally reached Munyon Island where we beached our kayak on some fine white sand.  It is in an outlying part of the park that is only reachable by boat.

The tide was coming in so, on our way back, this part of the island was under water.

After cleaning the sand out of my shoes, and getting a drink of water, we headed out again.

A park ranger told us about a waterway into the interior of the island and we were soon paddling in some quieter water.

Eventually, we came to a bridge.

We beached the kayak again and did some exploring.

A boardwalk led to some boat docks and another beach.

Nature trails, a picnic area, and some signs explaining the history of the island were across the bridge.

There was once a hotel at one end of the island but it burned down almost 100 years ago.

Today, only birds, animals, and fish make the island their home.

All too soon our adventure was over and we could check something else off our list of things to see and do while we're in Florida.  One lady, who kayaks here every weekend, told me that in the cooler months she sees dolphins and lots of manatees.  She was even able to pet a baby manatee that came right up to her kayak.  Now, wouldn't that be an adventure!