Going Places

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Today we took our boat out of Beach Marine and headed up the Intracoastal. The boys were looking forward to a new adventure.

Underway

We headed west on the St Johns River toward Jacksonville and we’re soon approaching the Dames Point Bridge.

Approaching the Dames Point Bridge

We had crossed this bridge plenty of times in the car, but this was our first time traveling under it.

Dames Point Bridge

Along the way, there were a lot of little barrier islands to explore, so we tied the boat up to one and Cindy snapped some pictures while the boys did a little swimming.

Barrier Island

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So, I won’t lie, the best thing about this little car is cruising with my little buddies. This time, grandson Carter John comes with me to get some gas…

Cruising

and whatever else comes our way! The road is calling…

Cruising

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So, Jess and the grandkids are here for a week’s vacation! This afternoon, we needed to get out of the house, so we headed to up the road to Veteran’s Park!

But first, for some reason, we have to DAB (whatever that is)…

DAP DAB

With so many kids to carry, it’s a good thing Dad was there to help out with transportation!

MG at the Park

Anyway, there are plenty of things for the kids to do…

Like SPIN…

Spin

and SWING…

Jess and Carter Swing Alex and Carter Swing

and SWING some more…

Jess and Oliver swing

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Yesterday was the viewing and today is the funeral for Pa…

The sign

This isn’t the boys’ first experience with the death of a loved one. They lost their Nanny Vera (Cindy’s mom) a few years ago, but they were only 3-years-old and really too young to comprehend what was happening. This time around, they saw and spoke to Pa while he lay sick in his bed. Now they’ve seen him lying in his casket, and although they seem to sense the weightiness of the situation, they’re still protected by a childhood innocence. The most interesting thing was their compulsion to touch Pa…they laid their hands on his forehead. During our drive to Virginia, we talked about Pa and I explained that he was dying. Alex asked if he was going to Heaven to be with God. I said, “Yes he is.”

My cousin Mark, who is a Methodist pastor, performed the funeral. I was touched by his words. The sky had opened up about an hour before and the rain was pouring down. Mark reminded everyone that Pa was a farmer and would’ve appreciated the rain. This made me smile. After the ceremony, we moved to the gravesite. I was one of the pall-bearers and helped lift Pa’s casket into the Hearse and from the Hearse to the grave stand.

Casket

Mark said a prayer at the gravesite and we left Pa to the funeral workers to lay him next to Granny to whom he has now been reunited…

Gravestone

WELCOME HOME!

Granny and Pa

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So, we’re in Virginia and visiting family. I wish our trip was under better circumstances, as my 99-year-old grandfather (“Pa”) is very ill and not expected to make it through the weekend. Right now he’s home and being attended to by family and Hospice. We drove up yesterday and headed straight to his house. Most of the family were there, so it was pretty crowded. Everyone who came to the house came in to say “hello” to Pa and sit with him for a bit while he lay in his bed; there was singing and a lot of laughter. Although he couldn’t speak very well and he was very weak, I believe he enjoyed the visits.

Today, we spent most of the day with Pa. It was a little rough on the boys, but fortunately, their cousin Mike was there to treat them to rides on his four-wheeler…

Four-Wheeling Four-Wheeling

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I came home from work today and the boys wanted to hit the water! What a GREAT idea! The weather called for a chance of showers, so no worries there! I changed my clothes and we were off…

However, it is Florida in the Summer and a “chance of showers” can quickly change to “thunderstorm imminent”…

Thunderstorm

Anyway, it wasn’t too difficult dodging the storm. In fact, the storm actually split as it moved (much like the parting of the Red Sea) and we were able to shoot right down the middle and around the storm. We end-up taking a leisurely cruise down Black Creek before skirting the storm clouds on our way back to the marina.

Crusing

Funny. There was rain all around us, but we didn’t feel a drop!

Smiles

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This afternoon, the boys and I went to the IMAX theater to see the new “Avengers: Infinity War” movie. Needless to say (if you’ve seen the movie, of course), the movie’s ending left us wondering “what the h…”, a sentiment especially reflected in the boys’ somewhat bewildered look…

Infinity War

Still, we can’t wait for the next installment!! (which is just the point 🙂 )

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Well, we’re heading back home today, but before we go, we’re going to make a quick stop at Disney Hollywood Studios. We don’t plan on renewing our Disney Annual Passes next year because we want to do some other things, like Universal Studios, Sea World, etc., so wanted to make sure Adam gets to ride the “Tower of Terror,” which he’s been wanting to go one f-o-r-e-v-e-r!

But first: Pictures!

Family

Family

We had four Fast Passes for “Tower of Terror,” but nooo waaayy was Alex getting on there. So, Adam and the Birthday Girl rode it, while Dad and Alex went to one of Alex’s favorite attractions at Hollywood Studios, “The Frozen Sing-Along Celebration”. And Adam for all his bravado, still needs to hold Mom’s hand (or maybe it’s the other way around)…

Family Family

And the ride went something like this…

Whew! Glad I didn’t ride it! I’ll just stick with the “Frozen” thing!! 😉

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And so we head-off to breakfast, and like everything at Disney, we wait in line…

Heading to Breakfast Heading to Breakfast

We didn’t have much planned at Animal Kingdom today…Fast Passes for “Everest” again, this time it was Adam and me, while Mom and Alex went to the “It’s Tough to be a Bug” show (which Alex loves!). As you can see, Adam has learned where the cameras are, so he can make faces during the ride…

Everest Again

and then, it’s Cindy’s favorite show, “The Festival of the Lion King”…

Lion King

Pomba

We were going to do the “Kilimanjaro Safari” ride, but Cindy and the boys were anxious to get to the pool at the resort, so we left a little early. The pool was really nice…

Caribbean Beach Resort Pool

and so was the beach…

Caribbean Beach Resort

So, while Cindy relaxed and sipped a tropical drink, and the boys ran wild in the water, I slipped-off to the Magic Kingdom to visit the “Hall of Presidents”.

Yes. I went there for that one attraction. Not only is it one of my favorites, I hadn’t see it since they added President Trump. Anyway, I drove to the park, walked to the gate, got on the Ferry to Magic Kingdom, walked down Main Street U.S.A. to Liberty Square and arrived just 15-minutes before the show started.

When I arrived, the Muppets were putting on a show right next door…

Muppets

Soon, the doors opened for the “Hall of Presidents” and the crowd strode in. I had an excellent seat…

Hall of Presidents

and the show was GREAT! As always.

Hall of Presidents

After the show, I walked back out to Liberty Square, down Main Street U.S.A., got on the Ferry back to the gate, walked to my truck, and drove back to the resort. Just so you know, this single attraction journey took about 2-1/2-hours.

Dinner was a BIG BUCKET OF CRAB LEGS at Joe’s Crab Shack and a slice of Key Lime Pie for the birthday girl.

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Tomorrow is Cindy’s birthday and surprisingly, she wanted to spend the weekend at Disney World. I was working in Tampa, so drove up here a little early to check-in and get things set-up. Cindy picked-up the boys early from school and headed down.

Happy Birthday Button

We’re staying at Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort and will be spending this evening and tomorrow at Cindy’s favorite park: Animal Kingdom.

Resort Room Looking out the window

We had a few minutes before we had to get to the park, so the boys chilled out for a bit in the hammocks on the beach outside the room…

Hammock

Soon it was time to go, so the boys dumped the sand out of their shoes and we took-off to Animal Kingdom. We had a Fast Pass for the “Expedition Everest” rollercoaster. Alex didn’t want to ride, so Cindy and Adam went on…

Expedition Everest

We also had a Fast Pass for the “Na’vi River Journey” in Pandora, so before we ate dinner, we visited the Na’vi…

Na'vi River Journey

and then took some pictures…

Pandora Waterfall

then, as the sun was going down, we enjoyed our Pandora feast…

Pandora Drink Pandora Meal Pandora Dessert

After dinner, we had our last Fast Pass for the “Rivers of Light Nighttime Experience,” which turned out to be AWESOME!

River of Light

River of Light

River of Light River of Light

River of Light

River of Light

When the show was over, we headed for the gate because the park was closing. What a fun night! Back at the hotel, the boys chilled a bit before bed…

In Bed

but not for long! Tomorrow will be a busy day!

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