Monday, April 22, 2013

charter fishing

I guess I am on a roll this morning. This is the last of the Florida posts for the blog. I can't download any more pictures!

Here is one of my favorite times on the trip. In fact, I told Josh that it was one of the coolest things I have done in awhile. We went charter fishing. I have always loved to fish, and to fish with a guide on the ocean? Even better. It was a gift from the brothers for Josh's dad's 81st birthday, but I felt like it was an exciting gift for all of us too! When we headed out, it was a tad rainy and chilly- but nonetheless a memory I will always keep.

We headed out into the ocean which felt like it took forever, but it was only 4 or 5 miles in. Very very cool going so fast over waves and being so far into the ocean. We were holding on for dear life! It was a bit much for Josh. We all took Dramamine (and he even took double) but it didn't kick in for him too well. He was sea-sick. Poor guy.

We eventually headed into the smaller, much much calmer coastal area (poor Josh!) and did some more fishing there.
(Good thing Hannah didn't come, oh how she would have been soooo sickie!)

Between the six of us, we caught around 50 fish. Some of the one's we kept were sea trout, pompano, mackerel, jimmy's, and this striped one was a sheep head.

Lauren was this adorable little fisher girl. Her pole would cast out and she would bring one in! I know her arms and hands were getting sore, because mine sure were! She totally won the prize for the nicest and biggest fish. 

Here is the 29 inch bluefish she got! She totally rocked it.

Our Captain Austin said..."she is quiet but fierce!" 
Yes, she is!

Captain Austin was so great. He took about 30+ of our fish and cut them/filet so we could have them for dinner. Let me tell you, the freshest fish I have ever had.
The pretty bird below (you can see him to the right on this picture above) sat there and waited for Captain to feed  him. Once he had his fill, he flew off. Neat!

Here are our some of our fishies the boys sauteed up.
Yummy to our tummies.

St. Augustine

We had a couple rain days. It happens, right? So we headed up north with the folks to the oldest town in the United States- St. Augustine, Florida. I didn't know this, did you? It is a city that is steeped in history and beautiful, very old architecture right on the water. Good Cuban restaurants (interesting food), some boutique shops, art galleries (that were fabulous!) and the OLDEST school in the US as well. Check out a few pictures....

WOW, wow, wow-- have things changed....

intercoastal ocean times

Here's Captain Wesley and the whole fam on a houseboat. Too fun. I have never been on a houseboat before! We ate yummo BBQ and fish, sipped, coasted, put 10 layers of sunscreen on... ladies chilled....guys fished....chilled some more....fished some more.... a sun-worshipper

...jump off of it into waters filled with alligators and manatees!

We stopped to swim at the hot springs. It wasn't hot, but it was THE most refreshing and pure water to swim in. Luckily there were no big fish, alligators, manatees around. yikes!

The Florida intercoastal ocean rivers are so pretty. They are filled with lush swampy areas and beautiful old trees.

Wes and Lara live right on one of the coastal areas. Isn't it dreamy?

Hot tub and all.

New Smyrna was a sweet little town. 
We hit up some cutie shops and went to a great farmers market as well.

Vehicle for Change

Josh's brother, Wes and wife Lara, have run (for the past 10 years or so) a unique company. They go to many schools in Florida and Ohio and bring a ropes course, rock climbing wall and zip line. It's called Vehicle For Change. It's a portable outdoor adventure for kids that he designed himself. 

Can you believe that he hauls this around? It's a great tool for schools. He does programs and incentives that give kids rewards, builds teamwork/teambuilding skills, learn, build confidence and the ability to try something new and adventurous.
He was doing a demo day at a nearby school, so we had to try it out!

Lauren on the ropes course.

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