Week 21 | 365 Days without Dad

A full week of sun, sand and surf. And a bit of alligator watching at my dad’s house in the panhandle of Florida. This trip felt full of all the good things of summer. Indulgent meals, ice cream shop visits, lazy mornings, sandy toes, extra freckles and time spent with family.

Week 21, August 05 through 11, 2016.

08.05.16 | Space to Run
My mom commented, as we sat in the shade of the umbrella, that the beauty of the beach is that kids can be as loud as they want and act as wild as they want. And no one really cares. Except the birds. The birds get tired of being chased.

girls running along beach, summertime beach, playing at the beach, Fernandina Beach Florida

08.06.16 | Checking out the Gators
A trip to their grandpa’s isn’t complete without a visit to Wakulla Springs to see the alligators and maybe get a peek at some manatees. No manatees this time, but loads of alligators!

Wakulla Springs, grandfather and granddaughters, family, summer vacation

08.07.16 | Front Porch Stories
“…and they were asking which one was biggest and I was like, ‘Uh, duh, that one right there!’ ”
And Grandpa just listens and tries to follow the stream of conscience spilling from Adeline’s mouth with great animation.

grandpa and granddaughter, front porch, summer memories

08.08.16 | Family
Five children, three parents, two grandparents and one great-grandparent. Four generations spanning eight decades of experience, life, loss and lots of love.

four generations, great grandmother, family, generational portrait

08.09.16 | Shell Hunting
In the morning, we don bathing suits, apply sunscreen, pack towels and water bottles and a blanket and a sand bucket and head to the beach to play in the waves. In the evening, the girls throw on bathing suits and we head to the beach empty handed to walk and hunt for shells. Today I found a shark’s tooth. My work is done.

beach combing, shell hunting, Fernandina Beach Florida

08.10.16 | Surf and Sand
We stayed out at the beach for three hours today. My mom and I took turns staying closer to shore with Adeline and venturing out to deeper water with Sydney. We walked the shoreline and found more treasures. The girls played in tidal pools. Swimsuits were filled with sand and hearts were filled with joy.

wave jumping, summertime, beach trip, Fernandina Beach Florida

08.11.16 | Strengthening the Bond
We all have a choice about how and with whom we spend our time. Living two time zones away from my mom makes Sunday dinners and afternoon coffee stopovers impossible. But choosing to squeeze a final trip of the summer in to visit is not impossible. Creating memories, sharing stories, and experiencing family in person in this age of FaceTime and text messages is so important. Not easy. But the good stuff rarely is.

grandmother and granddaughter portrait, beach portrait, family

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