Category Archives: Travels

Almost A Month

It has been almost a month since I have written on here. There has been a lot going on. Instead of writing about it all, I figured I would just highlight the main points and direct you to my flickr page of our life in pictures. So, here are the highlights:

~ Celebrated Jason’s Birthday in New York City!
~ I went to the Women’s Retreat for our church at the beach!
~ Celebrated my Birthday at Jimmy Buffet’s restaurant and then also at Bucca di Beppo!
~ And celebrated our Wedding Anniversary – 8 years!
~ I also have been getting adjusted to life as a parent of a kindergarten girl! I have to remember to do homework again. And this week she had 6 worksheets and a journal project with Curious George!
~ I went with Natalie’s class to participate in One Great Day of Service.
~ Healthwise, the Dr discovered I have a cyst on my right ovary. It causes me lots of pain at times and it has completely messed up my cycle (let’s just say Aunt Flo did not visit this month)!

So, life has been a whirlwind! I am very thankful for all our celebrations. So stop by flickr and see all the fun.

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Hello Chicago

Jason and I went to Chicago this past weekend for a work conference. It was a terrific time! Lots of images still planted in my head. It really is a beautiful city. Although, I must say, I don’t think I am a big city girl. In fact, one morning I told Jason that opening the curtains to view the city just does not do the same for me as opening them to a view of the ocean. I asked him what he thought the draw was for the people you hear say, “I love the city.” He said, “It’s the energy. All the people.” To which I said, “That makes sense as to why I don’t like it so much.” (HA!) I’m more of a down-time, need my own space kind of girl. Plus I don’t really like relying on public transportation. It takes so much longer to get somewhere, and I really would miss not being able to jump in my car and buzz down the road to pick up something I forgot at the store. And yet, if there is a city that I would like, it would be Chicago. Because it does have the water scenes. I love the water!

Anyway, we had a great time. You can see my flickr page for the pictures. We had lots of fun sitting by the river, riding a water taxi, watching fireworks, and walking through the shops. Yes, Jason had fun in the shops (I guess he endured since he was able to go to two Baseball games before I arrived). We went to the American Girl Place. A huge store full of American Girl Dolls. If you aren’t familiar with this phenomenon among young girls, it is a huge trend. I couldn’t believe how big this place was! There were dolls everywhere, anything you can imagine to accessorize the dolls, a Cafe for your girls to come eat at with their dolls (the dolls have their own special seating), a Doll Salon where you have your dolls hair and facials done, a museum and Theater! I cracked up when Jason said, “This place is a cult!” I also laughed when I asked Jason if I could purchase a Mini American Girl and he replied, “What are we going to get Nick? A 25 cent pencil that says Chicago on it?”

So, it was a great time. Now we are back home for a full week of preparing for school to start. YIKES!

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We went to the beach for a little vacation this past week. Just wanted to share a few of the highlights.

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Hatching Turtles

We have been at the beach this week with Jason’s family. I just wanted to drop a note real quick here and share with you all what we were able to experience today.

The kids and I were walking down the beach to just take a stroll and explore. Well, did we ever have an experience! We were able to witness several little turtles who had hatched from their eggs make their way down to the beach. Oh my goodness…it was the sweetest thing!

They were so cute and so little! Just waddling their way on down to the water. We were right in the midst of them. In fact, one even touched my foot! I think what was so amazing to me, is the fact that they emerge from their shells and instinctively know right where they need to go! And once they get there, they know how to start swimming. Sometimes it was sad to watch one of them work so hard to get to the water, and a wave would come up and thrust it right back on to the sand again. And it would have to make the trek all over again.

The kids were just as amazed! Natalie even said that she wished we could pick one up and take it home. We were so thankful to have been able to witness it all! Especially since most of the time, hatching occurs at night. Unfortunately I did not have my camera, and even if I did have it in my bag, there may not have been enough time to capture it because those little guys were running as fast as they could. I did manage to find a few pictures on-line and wanted to at least post those here. This is truly what it looked like with like 20-30 turtles swarming to the ocean!


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Cypress Gardens

A while ago we went to Cypress Gardens. (wow…I can’t believe it has been that long ago! It’s a whirlwind, I tell you. A whirlwind!) Anyway, Cypress Gardens was so fun! I didn’t know the place was that fun! We are even considering getting passes there for next year because it costs the same to get a pass there for the whole year as it does to go to Disney for one day!

If you don’t know much about it, let me just tell you it is more than just a Botanical Garden. Back in 2004 they added lots of ride and coasters. And there are LOTS! We didn’t even ride it all. They also have a splash park with water slides. That was really fun.

Another really fun thing was having my mom there with us. She had been there, herself, as a little girl back in the 40’s or 50’s! It was fun to envision her sitting there on the grassy hill watching the water ski show, a similar show to what we were watching (only now they have stadium seating).

Check out this video of us riding a roller coaster! Watching the kids cracks me up!

cypress coaster from Jill Howell on Vimeo.

Here are the kids on an airplane ride –

And, yes, this is our 5 year old daughter riding the swing ride (which I would never go on myself)!

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Notice Anything?

Do you notice anything unusual in this picture?


Filed under Random, Travels

The Answer Is…

Wow…you guys were impressive in your photo analysis! From what direction it was shot, to the cast of the shadow, to the size of the rocks! I’m not really surprised that no one got it exactly right because we were quite surprised when we discovered it on our recent get away. Allison was right, that it was from our trip while Jason’s parents kept the kids for us. We had some Marriott points that we redeemed in Hutchinson Island, Florida.

That’s right…these pictures were taken right here in Florida! We were completely in love with this area of the island! We both loved the rocky coast in California and Hawaii, but had never seen a rocky coast in the state of Florida. I wish we had discovered it earlier in our trip because I could’ve sat there all day and listened to those waves crash against the rocks! What a magnificent display of power!

So, if you ever have a chance to go to Hutchinson Island, I highly recommend it! It is off the coast of Stuart, just above West Palm. Only like 2 1/2 hours from Orlando. Here is a picture of the sunset we enjoyed there on the Indian River side. Which is another thing, the Island got to a point where it was only a little wider than the two-lane street we were on. With the Indian River on one side and the Atlantic Ocean on the other side. Very cool.


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