We've had some busy days this past week, so I wasn't able to get to the blog to finish out our trip. This post doesn't finish up our vacation time, so you'll have to come back for more, but it does include two of our most enjoyable days. Day 7 we woke up early enough that we could catch the 11 am dolphin boat tour. It was something we definitely wanted to do, so we called to see if we could make it. The boat had to wait a short bit for us, but we made it and all 13 of us went running down the pier to life jacket up the children. I felt bad for the old people on the boat who were probably thinking, "what, we waited for all these kids to join us? There goes our peaceful boat ride". Well, the children couldn't have been any better and the other passengers watched them with smiles and enjoyed their excitement as well.
All kidlet passengers from our group with life jackets on and keeping an eye out for dolphins. We had so much fun!
The ride seemed way too short as we headed back to the dock. As we departed the boat, we were given coupons for the restaurant that was beside the pier. That restaurant happens to be Coco's, the tropical restaurant we went to a couple days prior with the unhappy waitress. We had been wanting some key lime pie, so Jonathon thought this was the perfect time to get some and use the coupon. If you missed out on our first encounter with Tiffany the waitress, read it HERE, otherwise keep reading to see how we changed her life. : )
The guys and some of the children went in to use the bathroom and get our dessert. Jonathon placed his order with Tiffany, and she asked if it was for there or to go. He said, "Uh, we'll take it on the road this time". She responded with a much different attitude towards us than before when we dined in the restaurant. She said with sadness in her voice, "Oh, really?" Clearly she was disappointed that we weren't all staying. It was a great example to our children that we can make a difference in people's attitudes. We could have treated her with the same nasty attitude that she treated us with. We wouldn't have been welcomed for dessert at all. But since we treated her with love and kindness, she had a heart change about ALL of our children and had a happier countenance. It really was a great picture for them to see and be a part of.
So, after our delicious dessert, we headed to an animal wildlife park. It was a smaller park with a handful of animals, but the walk was along a nicely wooded path, and it wasn't busy at all. The children got some pretty up close encounters with some of the animals too which was really neat for them.
A bald eagle. Alegra had the camera for most of this stop. The camera focused in on the fences instead of the animal, so we didn't get too many good animal shots.
The children all had colored bubble gum mouths.
Sandhill Crane up close. So pretty!
The wolf exhibit was really neat. Well, so was the fox exhibit. The animals all had nice room to roam in a wooded area, so they could run and live a little bit like in the wild. We watched one of the foxes stalk a squirrel that was by a watering hole. So fun to see them in real life....and smell them. The wolves though had a big area as well. They walked right up to where we stood on the other side of the fence of course. They also had a building where you could watch them from inside. There was a small water area that we watched one of the wolves go in from the window. Really neat to see these animals up close.
We finished out our evening at a restaurant called The Mellow Mushroom. On their menu they served gluten free pizza, so we decided to treat Zeky. It ended up being a treat for all of us! Some pretty interesting combinations, but some delicious flavors. It was really good and an interestingly decorated restaurant too. We had plenty of pizza left over to take back to the room for the next days lunch. Yummo! Of course, the children went back to the hotel to swim. One of the nights the adults also joined in the fun and relaxed in the hot tub too. Can't remember if it was this night or not.
It was this night that I had laundry to do. Imagine that. : ) I knew I better get it done this night or I wouldn't have too many other chances with leaving this hotel in a couple days. I had just one load, and was able to wash it with no problems. But then when it was done and ready to be dried, someone else had their clothes in the dryer. That was okay, it was still fairly early in the evening. I kept going back and forth checking to see when the dryer would be available. Well, it was getting quite late, we put the children to bed, and I was growing a little impatient. After checking the clothes that were in the dryer (they were mostly jeans and heavy men's clothing), and seeing that they were still quite damp, Jonathon suggested that we go ahead and use our quarters to finish drying them. Okay, well then you have to stay up and watch a good movie with me while we wait. Hehe, I thought it was a good plan. So, we started the dryer back up and went back to the room to find a good movie. What did we find? Duck Dynasty. Our first exposure to a life changing show. Ha, not really, but Jonathon sure got a kick out of some of the parts. Back to check the dryer again and the clothes are all dry this time and still in the dryer. I was convinced by now that it was a single guy who didn't have a lady with him to keep track of his laundry and he forgot about his clothes and went to bed. We folded it all and put our's in and got the drying process going. Back to the room to watch more Duck Dynasty. What happened to my "good movie"? We finally finished up our laundry at 1:30am and went to bed for a full day in Savannah.
The guys had some things they wanted to do that the ladies weren't at all interested in, so they got up early and headed to a fort with a couple of the littles. They had a good time while we stayed at the hotel and did geography class with the older children. Then there was leftover pizza for lunch and swimming. After swimming everybody got showers and all gussied up for our family tradition of picture taking on vacation.
On our last Bovees/Brothers vacation we took time to take family pictures together. It proved to be a fun and memorable part of the trip, so we decided to do it again. With a growing family, it was much more difficult this year. But despite children not cooperating at times and not being happy with our joyous time, we still were able to get some great shots of everybody. We chose the park in Savannah where we had previously visited, and it was a beautiful location. So, just for fun the first picture is of our crew on our first vacation together in 2010. All the rest are from this trip.
Whose child is that?
Phil being, Phil.
My almost 8 month old baby on the trip. Now she is 8 months and I'm wondering where the time went.
The people that started these beautiful families.....
It was a little tricky finding parking, but we finally found one by a nice gentleman who used to live in Gary, IN, and we headed into the restaurant. It was good service, but we weren't fond of the prices for what we got. I guess we should have expected that being a celebrity's place. Oh well, we can say we did that now. : )
Just as we were getting ready to leave the restaurant, fire trucks pulled up. It was quite the scene there. Someone had called in saying they smelled gas. It sounded like it was coming from a vehicle parked along the street. It was definitely strong as we left to go to our vehicle. Glad that everything was okay and that we weren't in harms way.
Back to the hotel for some swimming and sleep before heading out the next morning. Saphira was so fun this trip. She started clapping and saying "Mom". Yep, that's what she says alright. Okay, maybe I'm the only one who thinks she is saying "mom" while the rest say she is clearly saying, "Papa". What do they know anyways. : ) Well, she is saying something and making more sounds, clapping, dancing while sitting, and just growing up too fast. We all really enjoy her!
Well, that finishes out these days. More to come for the ending. Hope you enjoyed this part of our journey.