Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Greetings from the sunny south.

During my stay in Florida, I would like to share a few of my favorite treasures while they are still near and dear.

First, a quick overview of the trip. I traveled out on Saturday by car with my parents and friend, Holly. We are currently staying near Sarasota on Siesta Key Beach. It is fantastic. The sand on the beach is like flour, the ocean is perfect for kayaking, and the skies have mostly been sunny.

Onto the favorites…

1. The Birds.

Holly does not understand my appreciation for the birds, but I love them. They hang out on the beach all day long, and they will just sit in rows and look at the ocean. The idea or actual appearance of food visibly excites them, and if one spots an apple core or bread crumb, he calls all of his friends over. The best are the tiny little baby birds that run around very fast—they are adorable. I really like photographing these birds, and they are quite cooperative since they let me get so close.

2. The Elderly.

I noted tonight that so far on this entire trip, I have been immersed in the “45 and older” age group everywhere that I go. I mean, I knew that Florida was typically filled with those that retire or vacation here during the winter months, but I didn’t know it was this extreme. Consequently, I have really enjoyed seeing the aged walk along the beach every day. They encourage me to appreciate the youth of my life, and I smile at their courage to walk the beach with canes and shell search.

3. The Sunsets.

A bit cliché, but the sunsets here are beautiful. Every night when the sun sets, someone blows a horn, and the same happens for when it rises in the morning. One night, I went out to view the sunset up close and personal, and there was a huge crowd scattered out on the beach with cameras, friends, and lovers, peering out into the orangey yellow ocean’s waters as it fell from the sky. It’s a beautiful signature to the tropical warmth of the day.

Tomorrow and Friday are both supposed to be the first cloudy/rainy days that I have experienced, but with temperatures in the 60s/70s, I’m not complaining. Especially when I call home and find out it’s 10 degrees and snowing. It’s going to be fantastic on Saturday, so. I’ll hit the beach then.

Holly and I found this excellent little smoothie shop thanks to the cabana boy out here, so we enjoyed a strawberry smoothie with a twist of lemon yesterday. The ocean was in the background, the breeze on my face, and the sun shining down. I just don’t think life can get much better than that. Ok, it can. But really, if I had to pick a day of blissful relaxation, that would come pretty close to the description that I would give.

Did I tell you I took my turn at kayaking? It took me about 30 seconds being crammed into a 3-seater to figure out I’d rather go it alone. I tend to be more independent in activities that require my physical participation unless it is extremely difficult to pull off without a team effort, and so I gladly parked in a single red kayak and headed out into the ocean’s waters yesterday, leaving my mom and Holly to kayak in the banana colored 2-seater. It was fun and great exercise. We all had a nice glide on the ocean.

Holly leaves Friday, my parents will most likely take off on Monday and the Steffen family will come on Tuesday. I’m staying on next week to help out with the Steffen kids, so I have one week left yet here in the sunny state. My plan is to bring back a pocketful of sunshine, so if you’re an Illinoisan, look for a warm weekend on the 7th/8th.

Love you all!



Anonymous said...

Sounds like your having a great trip! I love Siesta Key Beach; you can't beat it! I am counting on that sunshine you said you'd bring back; don't forget :)

Heidi said...

ooooh....warmth and sunshine sounds amazing! I'll be expecting that sun you're bringing back.

Anonymous said...

i am not jealous.
i am not jealous.
i am NOT jealous.

i will rejoice with you.
i will rejoice with you.
i WILL rejoice with you.p

i'm trying...

megs said...

me too heather!! i'm ready for 90 degree burning days. i'm sick of coldness!! :)

Gab said...

we sure missed you last night.... but it was like you were there, esp with your picture staring us down.

sarah said...

sigh.... i love siesta key...... a lot

Anonymous said...

wish we could have been with you so you could get great pictures of us walking the beach with our great OLD bodies:)
Your old relatives that would love to be with you all
Keith and Diana

Tasha said...

ok first off, 45 year olds are hardly elderly. I can say this because I am thirty something and hardly view myself is a few years away from walking with a cane on a beach. Hilarous Taryn. Also, can't wait to come so you can watch the kids. Joking. I was wondering where is your self portrait on the beach. Come on Taryn.

Marla said...

Sounds like a good time! You are definately having MUCH better weather than we are! I had a "lovely" experience "ocean kyaking" before. Andy was in the back and enjoyed it A LOT less. (Before we agreed to try this out....neiterh he nor I knew the one in the back is usually doing ALL the work.)
Marla H.

Holly said...

a bit late on reading this... however its 0211( thats how we say 2:11 am in the medical world) and i am sitting in the dark remembering how wonderful florida is! you did a wonderful job at expressing it in words!