We took the boys to the beach a couple weeks ago and snapped some fun pictures of Ben’s first trip to the ocean. (Charlie’s 1 millionth trip) Ben slept the whole time in my handy ring sling, and in newborn life – that’s considered a success. Charlie on the other hand, tried to throw himself into the water, eat sand and wave at everyone he saw. We’re so lucky that we can take weekend trips to the beach in just a five minute car ride!
Finally! After what ended up being nearly the entire month of June, we’re back at home for the rest of the summer and it feels good. We started June with a weeklong trip home to the Midwest to see friends and family. Then, Mike surprised me with a 30th birthday trip to Niagara Falls. We just got home on Saturday from a week at the beach with the Metroka family. All such a good trips. I can’t wait to put together pictures and stories from our travels and to get back into a little bit more of a routine. So many good things to share!
As if we didn’t have enough fun this weekend, we took an adventure to the Loggerhead Marinelife Center up in Juno Beach on Sunday afternoon. It’s been on our list of places to visit for a while now, and I’m so happy we finally made our way up there!
They have a small aquarium inside that gives you a bit of an overview of the turtles you’re going to see outside, has a few indoor tanks (Charlie looooved watching the fish) and introduces you to some of the issues that sea turtles face in Florida. Mainly: trash. Lots and lots of trash that turtles eat. They’re indiscriminate between real food and fake food. If it comes near them, they eat it. So they get full on the plastic and forget to eat real food. As you can imagine, this causes problems.So Loggerhead is like a hospital for sea turtles. They get rehabilitated then released back into the ocean once they’re healthy enough.
This is Eloise, a 75 pound loggerhead who was found lethargic and unwell in the Atlantic. She’s been in her “hospital bed” at Loggerhead since March, and she’s well on her way to recovery. It was so amazing to see these massive sea turtles in real life! They had a variety of different turtles to see including Honda, a 150 pound loggerhead! So big!
It’s definitely making me think twice about my use of plastic versus more sustainable materials. These poor creatures! Think about all the turtles and marine life that aren’t being found or helped in time. I just saw this in the news the other day about a whale found dead off the coast of Thailand from ingesting 17 pounds of plastic bags. So sad.
Loggerhead also has nature trails and a beach for more outdoor fun. A huge perk is the free parking, even if you do just want to just pop over to the beach for the day! The Marinelife Center is donation based if you’re so inclined. It’s right by Juno Beach pier where you can fish, and they also have fishing classes for kids, summer camps, and events throughout the year! A friend told me that the sea turtle releases are the coolest thing. I’m definitely going to keep checking back for a release.
In case you find yourself in the neighborhood:
More adventures in and around Florida, right here.
Is anyone getting tired of hearing about the beach? I really hope not. Each trip just feels so distinct that I have to capture it! The ocean, the air, Charlie, and our experience changes every time.
This Saturday the water was crystal clear and calm. The sun shone high and bright. Charlie had just woken up from a nap so he was happy to go into the water and splash.
After a while, Mike dug him out his own personal swimming pool which he loved. He splashed, tried to eat sand, and sat looking out at the ocean.
I just keep thinking that life can’t get any better and then it suddenly does. And then Monday rolls around (insert crying face). But I’m counting my lucky stars for such special weekends with these two loves.
It was 4pm and it felt like we hadn’t done a thing all day. Charlie took a half hour long afternoon nap, then an extra half hour nap in my arms after that, and another half hour after that when I finally set him back down in his crib, shaking out the pins and needles in my arms. I banged around the house, halfheartedly trying to wake him up, peering out at the clouds trying to determine the likelihood of rain.
The sky had looked threatening all day, and I remembered the humid wind barreling toward us on our morning, post-church run that morning. A storm was coming. The urge to cozy up together on the couch was strong, but I also had the urge to see the waves. It had been a couple weeks, and we were due.
I finally heard a whimper during my overly enthusiastic search for beach towels in the closet right next to his room. On went his trunks, swim shirt, and into the car seat he went. The intracoastal was dark and choppy as we crossed the bridge to our little local beach, making us think that we may be too close to the storm to stay.
The waves were rough but not too big. A yellow flag waved, warning about riptides. As we got to the water the sand pitched down to the water in a steep dip making a little ledge to walk down to the ocean edge. We set our chairs up on the packed sand below the ledge and left our bag on a chair. The wind whipped around us, bending the palm trees on the boardwalk. I felt my hair turning into a birds nest. Charlie’s hat kept blowing off so I finally tucked it in our bag. We wouldn’t be out long.
Charlie stared out at the waves, unsmiling. Did he like it? Was it scary? Was the water too cold? Every time we come to the beach, he’s just a little bit bigger, a little bit older. What if he doesn’t like it this time? We let him stand in the sand and the waves came in covering him to his knees. Mike grabbed a handful of seaweed for him to feel. He grabbed a handful of sand and tried to bring it to his mouth, Mike stopping him just in time. I crouched down to rinse his hands with seawater, laughing as my shorts got soaked by a wave. We’re pretty sure he still likes it.
We didn’t stay long. Just long enough to call it an adventure. We’ll be back again next week. The storm came later that night, rattling the windows and bringing down palm fronds, tiny unripe mangos and bougainvillea blooms all over the neighborhood. I’m glad it held off for our afternoon. The slow end to a weekend that went by far too fast.
We ordered our food in the cramped little restaurant wondering to each other if there would be a table open on the back patio. Margarita or beer? Beer. The last time we were here, I was only weeks pregnant and I was still in the phase of having to remind myself that I couldn’t get a drink. Tacos or rice bowl? Tacos. Try two appetizers or an extra taco? Apps. Mike suggested trying a vegetarian taco which I immediately vetoed. Team decisions here. Choose meat for the team!
Charred corn two ways came out in little cardboard containers, one smeared with fried cheese and a spicy mayo and the other in a lime-y salad form. Another tray of steak and chicken tacos which mike spritzed with two wedges of lime. Mike and I looked up at each other from the meal and smiled. We sat outside on a bright yellow picnic bench with the cool ocean air surrounding us in a breeze. At 6:30, it’s still light out and will be until Charlie goes to bed in another hour.
Charlie stared longingly at the food and reached toward one of the containers of corn and grasped the little paper lining while I was taking a bite. Sneaky. He’s got a surprisingly strong grip. He pulled the paper right out and we dumped the corn salad directly into the container to save it. The other day I took him to the veggie market with me and I didn’t notice the sprig of parsley he had in his little fist until we were checking out.
We talked about Charlie, our pergola that needs replaced, work, this and that and what we have coming up. We eavesdropped on the table next to us. The son wants to go to Yale, and his painfully thin mom loves the art. We love to cook, so we don’t go out to eat often. But it was a treat to get ourselves put together for a dinner out.
The food was yummy, but the company was even better. ☺️