Last time we were in the Everglades we drove in on Alligator Alley. This time we chose the smaller Tamiami Trail. I mistakenly told Ben it was called Tamiami because it was the road “ta Miami”. Actually it is named because it connects Tampa to Miami. I dressed Violet in her Seminole skirt and Archer in an FSU shirt for the big day.

In Ochopee, we had our picture taken at the smallest post office (7X8-ft) in the country. The post office was temporarily closed as the post master had to leave the premises for a bathroom break.

Our favorite part of the day was visiting the Big Cypress National Preserve. There were at least 20 alligators hanging out in the canal in front of the visitor’s center. The alligators, which pretty much just lazed around, held our attention for all of two minutes. We were all captivated watching the anhingas trying to catch fish, balancing fish in their beaks, then playing keep away from all the other birds in the vicinity.

We celebrated the return to civilization by eating at a Cuban restaurant in Miami. Heaven!

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The first thing Violet always wants to do when visiting her grandparents in Florida is pick fruit. This visit the carambola (starfruit) was ripe for the picking so Violet went happily to work.


Mason and my sister picked some oranges.

Violet also harvested a bowlful of greens from grandaddy’s new garden.

Archer helped water. He used the phrases “grandma and grandma” and “grandpa and grandpa” several times during the trip. Next time he’ll have it down.

Grandma and Grandaddy have a friend that lives next to a modern day menagerie. Violet collected this bouquet of feathers while touring the grounds.

We stopped by “the locks” on the way back home.


One morning in Ft. Myers we visited Manatee Park and saw dozens of the sea cows. During our visit there was big ruckus in the water with lots of sloshing afterwards. Ben thought a manatee leapt up and did a belly flop when we weren’t looking but I think it was the herd being startled. Lots of interesting educational posters like the one above peppered the park.

The kids favorite memory of the Alva portion of our trip was roasting marshmallows and making s’mores. The spent lots of time playing in the sand. I enjoyed chatting with family. My sister’s baby is talking now! My brother announced he and his wife are expecting a BOY and we are all so very excited about that. Here’s a video they made of their parents finding out about the pregnancy.


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Violet really liked her swim teacher!

We spent a few enchanted evenings at the splash pad in downtown Round Rock.

One night when collecting the leftover chicken food I spotted a skunk in our backyard. We got a small animal trap and set it with cat food as recommended by online research. We ended up catching three opossums but no skunks. Unfortunately I never got to see an opossum play dead. Ben released them all in the same secluded area.

We also spied a roadrunner in our backyard one day.

Violet made this during one of our Art Thursday activities.

Terrible picture but all I got from a very impressive dragon dance performance. Violet learned to do this at camp and had the important job of controlling the tail.

My friend Maria and her six week old son Skylar visited us from San Francisco. I soaked up all the baby snuggles I could while they were here.

We hosted a fun water playdate with some friends. The kids quickly demolished a tub of water balloons.

They ended up in the backyard with a bubble pool and water guns.

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Ben and Julie Visit

02 Nov 2013

I can’t believe I’m still posting summer stuff. I can barely remember what we did now but I was SO glad Ben and Julie came to see us this summer!


At Kraus Springs

Uncle Ben is kind of crazy. You never know what he’s going to do. Here he is freestyling on top of Mt. Bonnell.

Archer getting in a post kolache snuggle with Aunt Julie

Uncle Ben popping out of a spiderman move at Mayfield Park. Later he’d try to pull a feather from a perching peacock.

Teaching Archer the spiderman move.

Violet at Cathedral of Junk

My brother on the Throne of Junk

This picture makes my heart smile

And what is a trip to Austin in the summer without bats? My brother surprised us all by trying to catch a bat midair. Fortunately he was never successful.

We love you guys. Thanks for coming to see us!

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07 Oct 2013

Our kids have been filmed for a KXAN report twice in the past month!

chicken news.jpg
September 8th they were downtown at an event called “Chickens in the Library” and got caught petting this sweet little silkie. Ben took the pictures with his phone. The right side is a picture of the T.V. while it was being aired. We organized our evening around trying to catch the news later that day. The kids saw themselves and were SO excited to be on T.V.

butterfly bullock news.jpg
Yesterday they were checking out monarch caterpillars at the Bullock Texas State History Museum while the same camera man swung by for a clip. This time we barely remembered to watch the newscast. The kids kind of shrugged their shoulders about being on T.V. Much less enthusiasm. I think it’s pretty remarkable of all the kids he could have filmed he got ours both times.

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2 Responses to “Newsworthy”

  1. Aunt Becca says:

    Alright!!! I remember when Alva Middle had to go to bottled water instead of using the water fountain and I had my crappy, peeling nail polished hands on local t.v….So cool that the kids had their faces on tv! :)

  2. Tootie says:

    “Meh, we’ve been on the news before. No biggie.”

    That’s so cool!

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