On a lark late Friday afternoon, I asked everyone here if they wanted to go out to the beach on Key Biscayne. The answer was a resounding "YES!" so off we went.
It was 8-month-old Paco's first trip to the beach, so of course I took a lot of pictures of him. He's our spoiled little baby, after all. He did not like the water so much, but he had a good time digging around and running to and fro in the sand.
I'm working on my photography skills and trying to better learn all the bells and whistles on my Nikon, so I took a ton of pictures with lots of different settings. Here are the ones that turned out, well, okay ... in my opinion! ;)
Sophia, our most rambunctious child, paused for a rare moment of consideration before deciding what hell to raise first, once released from the hour-long stay in Miranda (our minivan).
Jack, still a diminutive lad at nearly 12 years old, looks considerably more grown-up in his facial features here, I think. Do you agree?
At 13½, Chloë is the least rambunctious of our children and preferred to stay out of the water. We originally tried to go to Bill Baggs State Park at the end of Key Biscayne, but upon hearing about the threat of Portuguese man-of-war in the area, declined to pay for the swim we wouldn't be able to enjoy. So, still concerned, she refused to even wade in the shallow water at the Key's dog-walking park.
Well, after running up and down the beach a whole bunch, Chloë was sweaty and hot. I convinced her to cool off in the water just a little bit, explaining how the man-of-war floats visibly on top of the water and is a planktonic animal that won't exactly swim after her. She relented!
I wanted a new cover photo for my Facebook profile, and this one seemed to fit the bill. However, I didn't like the way I had the kids centered, so ultimately I opted for this one instead:
Which do you think is better?
Rob, looking much trimmer lately since successfully finishing his year and a half on steroids to treat his brain tumor (yay!), manned the dog leash and stayed out of the water. He's doing well. He needs to get to physical therapy to get his musculature and balance back, but he's making excellent progress. I'm so thrilled about that.
It's hard to beat the sunset (or the sunrise, for that matter), over the sea. I've always been a big fan.
Little boy feet
Admittedly not the most flattering angle for anyone, I still think Sophia looks beautiful here.
Sophia Lorelei, nearly 10
Back to relaxing for the ever-photogenic Chloë Raine
One of the kids noted that a seagull dropped a fish. Suddenly, we were surrounded by shore birds. This is the only photo where it didn't look like a scary scene out of The Birds, so it stayed in the line-up. ;)
Sophie threw sand - I'm forever railing against such a thing - and accidentally got some in Chloë's eye. So we did an eyewash with Paco's bottle of drinking water. Fine, it worked, and no scratching was involved. But then, Rob dumped water on Sophia and Jack, too! Sophie didn't take too kindly to this! (And I wasn't too thrilled about wasting Paco's drink!)
Love my lady-babies!
Jack pointed out that there was a husky swimming in the water near that kayak, above. I couldn't even see it, until I took the pictures of it. Guess I need a new eye exam...
Chloë started a sandcastle - of sorts - and invited her younger siblings to join her. As usual, Sophia wanted an irrigation channel and Jack rallied for packing the sand with water. Not her plan for this "castle," but she rolled with it.
Naturally, Paco came to investigate the building. He permitted it to continue. (He didn't pee or poop anywhere in the sand, either. He's a struggle to potty-train, that one with an almond-sized brain, but I was glad that he didn't wiz in the sand at least!)
I love the colors in this one. The top of her bathing suit is almost mirrored in the setting sun.
Jack, the engineer in the family, oversaw the public works.
Just then, a woman with yet another pooch joined the dog park. This one was a fetcher.
Back and forth he ran, full of vim and vigor, while I snapped a billion pictures. What spunk!
Meanwhile, Sophia added a driftwood door to this rather, uh... simple castle.
Not surprisingly, the Odettelettes clamored to go pet the fetchy dog. They know to ask permission from both us and the dog's owner before approaching any strange canine, but Kota looked like a friendly fella, so we said yes. The lady was super-nice, too.
The husky (and his kayakin' owner) ran by. Yes, I watched. Meh.
Meanwhile, Paco was all about having a visit with Kota. We haven't socialized him well with other dogs, so we didn't know if he would behave. He's the friendliest little noodle-doodle with people, so it probably would have been okay, but Rob declined to let them interact.
And so, they moseyed away.
Jack said that the slimy muckety-mud smelled "like poop." That's what you get for playing with anoxic muck, little dood. Needless to say, all three cherubs entered the Bath Zone upon our return home!
More water-play after saying good-bye to Kota
Speaking of cherubs, how cute was this little toddler? He seemed to like having my lens focused upon him, and he gave me plenty to snap. What a sweetie! ♥
Sophia started crying about being stung at that point, and after I examined her, I realized that she had just had an icky run-in with some sea lice. Not dangerous, just annoying... but we were saved by the bell! The ice cream truck rolled by at precisely that moment, so I sent Chloë and Jack running to wave them to a stop.
Chocolate for Chloë and Jack, and vanilla for Sophia. Rob and I decided to break the tie by sharing a vanilla cone ourselves. It cost me $13 (one cone had sprinkles) for four measly cones! Why, back in my day... ;)
Thankfully, Sophia's tears halted while the ice cream was enjoyed. (How do you think I got through my Robby grief? It's hard to cry so much when you're eating ice cream, y'all...)
Paco LOVES ice cream - and the occasional Wendy's vanilla Frosty - so we didn't neglect him. He had more of Rob's and my cone than we did!
Not a drop was wasted.
Uh-oh, the sea lice were bothering Jack by that point, too. You know when the children are having fun at the beach and getting ice cream, and still asking to go home? It's time to go home.
Besides, the beach was growing dark, the sun was finished setting, and we were the last ones there. Yup, definitely time to go home.
See ya next time, Key Biscayne! Thanks for the memories...