There really is so much to write about. It was a full seven days of togetherness and activity. Late nights, early mornings on the beach and lots of laughs in-between.
Let's begin with the first few days.
Funny enough the comedy began on the very first day. The three mums headed to the corner market for a few snacks, breakfast items and other essentials. Just to get us through until we could do a big shop the next day. There we were, me helping decipher labels and brands, piling our goods on the counter, on the floor, wherever they would fit and the locals filing in and out of the store shaking their heads in disbelief. One man even went so far as to tell me there was a Publix just down the street. Yes, thank you for that. Do you know we are feeding nine children and six adults and this is only for breakfast and lunch for one day? Moving on. Due to the fact that substantial dinner choices were not available at this market the lot of us, all fifteen, marched across the street to a local restaurant with the best grouper sandwiches and tacos. We were quite a sight to behold. Nine children cruising the streets, each one trying to talk louder than the other, each one with a better story. Then we sat. Boys at one table, girls with the adults. Have I mentioned how I love being gathered around the table? Everyone seems to come alive. There was passing of condiments, toasting to the week ahead and smiles all around. The children were dishing out pleas for ice cream and candy, since we had all seen a local shop on our way in. I volunteered to walk with them to a convenience store and there we were each one making their choices, sharing and bargaining for their favorite flavor. I couldn't have been happier. They traipsed up the stairs to our condo and there they sat playing catch phrase and filling the building with their voices.
All the girls at dinner
All the kids and Catch Phrase
Morning came and we were set for the beach. After breakfast on the balcony of course. I no sooner drew the curtains and there were dolphins dancing for me in the water. A baby frolicking along side her family. What a sight to behold. I cannot tell you how much I cherish those mornings. Coffee steaming next to me, book open and the sound of waves crashing below.
No doubt there is a mighty Creator.
There was still shopping to do for the week and us Mums once again set out for the store, this time Target. I sometimes take for granted the fun that is Target, like candy land for grown ups. So much to look at, on an overwhelming scale. We meandered through and then got serious when we hit the food aisles. Four carts and two smallish baskets later we went through the check out, loaded everything in the family van and were more than ready to sit and relax on the beach. Only when we arrived the children must have forgotten that their three Dads were on the beach with them and no one fed them lunch. So as we unloaded groceries we also threw some frozen pizzas in the oven. A last minute pick up at the market, one which I was thankful for. The group was up in our room for lunch so I tried to balance the pizzas with some veggies as well and no sooner were there three pizzas then they were gone. The room emptied and their sounds filled the beach again. I wasn't too far behind. And then the fishing poles weren't too far behind us. What a way to end the day. Successful fishing for Brien and JP, father and son, both with catches right off the bat. Impressive. Then Thing 1 had one on the line and as she was reeling it in Steve was helping and it got away. Not before Steve lost his footing and fell in the water, with scars to prove it. He was desperate not to let Thing 1's catch get away. Alas it did and the fish outsmarted the two fishermen. I'll never tell though. And we did technically record it as a catch since it was witnessed by two adults. Really. Try and tell Thing 1 that it wasn't. There isn't much better, or at least there wasn't this holiday, then watching the children fish while the sun sets. Beauty.
The group, fishing