Wow-eee! Things have been busy here. The best news since my last post... Jonathan is back! It's been about a month and half now, but still thankful for it none the less. His father snapped this photo as he left Vero Beach headed north for the last leg of the trip (right).
Before he got back, Archie and I took one more trip to the beach and made sure the washing machine was wide open to be able to run uninterrupted until all of his gear was clean (luckily the stop in Vero included a load or two by his wonderful mother, so it wasn't as intimidatiing at home as I thought it would be!) Since then we've been getting back in the groove of opposite work schedules and fitting in as much fun before summer starts!
Naturally one of the first things that had to happen was taking the truck out for a spin... several actuallymore like 6. (And remind him that the camera phone is still very much working, despite his dreams that maybe I got over taking photos).
These last two months we've really enjoyed visiting the Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. This place has been on my date ideas list and in an effort to both be more active and keep exploring we've been a couple times now. This research reserve protects 73,352 acres of land here in northeast Florida, and has quickly jumped on our list of places we'd love to take visitors. The landscape is different on each trail, and after reading my Finding Florida book last summer (yes, this is back on the reading list) it's great to actually step foot into this 'old world Florida' and be able to explore it with Jon and Archie. Spring time has been nice here too because the colors have really changed. (Yes, mostly greens primariy, but the greens have changed)
This park protects a very wide variety of fish and wildlife. 'A species list recently compiled for Guana River Marsh Aquatic Preserve indicated the presence of at least 44 mammal, 358 bird, 41 reptile, 21 amphibian, 303 fish and 580 plant species. It contains habitats essential to 48 protected animals and 8 protected plants.' And that is extremely evident as you explore the winding trails of this park.
After Jonathan got back from his tropical vacation in Key West, we were hit by some cold weather here. Of course I loved it, but the couple evenings of deep freeze created quite a stir for the plants (the succulents had to come inside!). Good excuse to pull out the heavy wool coat, although I really could have used some mittens, mom has all those in Illinois though :(
I've been dabbling in the studio some (more on that coming soon!) and Archie loves it too. He's a pretty good studio doggy now, and lays his head right on my lap as I work on the floor. He also loves the sunshine that comes streaming through later afternoon now.
Dog Treat Makin' Date Night
Jon and I made dog treats! This is the first time i've ever tried this, and it turned out pretty well. (Although I would note either dry them in the oven more than we did, or use them faster). It was an easy recipe - just pumpkin puree (good for his tummy), peanut butter (and who can resist that), an egg, and oatmeal (which I pulsed in the NutriBullet). This recipe is pretty good before being baked, but afterword they are just as tasty, and are good to freeze as they still stay somewhat soft, but are nice and cool!
(Foggy) Sunset sails, truck time and taco night-perfect way to spend some extra time together on the weekend before the summer schedule gets busy!
For her spring break, my lovely friend Adrienne came to visit! For a week we chatted, explored, and tried all the food and drink we could fit into the schedule! The weather was so cooperative, which makes doing all of this so nice too. Archibald loved the attention of course, and all of the extra exploring he got to do :) Just like about everything else I post on here, here's some photos from our explorations and fun times!
Keeping the nature theme going, we also went to Guana River to get some light trail hiking and nature time in! After walking through the more tourist heavy areas of Saint Augustine (coffee shops, ancient forts, my favorite residential streets & sailing included) it was so much fun to show this practically untouched reserve off that we've fallen so much for. We took a new trail and checked out some of our favorite look outs too.
And what trip to Saint Augustine, to visit us or even on your own, would be complete without a sailing trip, or TWO? We took to the seas on the Schooner Freedom twice while Adrienne was visiting. This gave her and us a great opportunity to go out during a not so windy sail and another one with some pretty great tacks. She even sailed through one!) Jon helped answer some water and sailing questions for her students as well, and more answers will be on the way too Kansas soon!
Geesh, could you tell my dad was gone and I quickly became the center of all the photos on here? I was really happy he came home so we could drive in the truck too, then get photos of all three os us. Thought it was time to take some control and post for myself now though. (I did it all on my own for the record, although mom did have to plug the phone in to get the photos on the computer). When i'm not napping, which lets be real is most of the time, i've gotten to do some pretty cool stuff.
I got this really cool new bed! It's a Coolaro or something they tell me, but all I really know is that it's super comfy and keeps me cool, although I like it best when my fuzzy blankets go on top of it.
On Saturday and Sunday mornings I get to head into work with dad for a bit. I love going down the docks with him, just wish I had more projects to work on!
I get to sit on the porch too, the birds and lizards are out there so it's always fun. My favorite is to crawl in moms lap, while she sits in the chair. For some reason she says I don't fit there on her lap in the chair but not sure where she gets that idea from.
Did I tell you i'm an excellent studio assistant yet? Mostly when Gilmore Girls is on Netflix though.
My favorite place is the beach though, I just wish I could always be swimming and rolling around in the sand.
Little Bits of Happy
Well that's all for now folks, time to get some chores done and enjoy sitting on the porch more reading a book or doing some art projects. We are trying to plan a little getaway before summer gets going too, although I think it'll be an 'off the grid' sort of trip (no phones) i'll still share where w'ere going! As always, my instagram is updated regularly, and i'll get an April post going too! Have a great rest of the weekend, and enjoy springtime weather wherever you are!
Love from FL,