Today started like any other day that carries the number of the beast ... we woke up, had coffee, and sat out on the gazebo discussing what we were going to do with our day. The general consensus was that we would hang on the beach here in Indian Shores, then drive to Clearwater Beach (about 30 minutes north on Gulf View Drive) to do the Sea Screamer dolphin tour at 6:00pm; we are to leave the motel at 4:00 to give ourselves time to sight-see first.
So I helped set up the beach umbrellas and sun tent (amazingly it works much better when there isn't any wind), woke princess Casey from her slumber, then went inside to work for an hour or so.
That hour of work turned into three, so Casey played with the kids in the ocean until Hollie announced that since her sun screen doesn't work, her children will only be in the sun for two hours today. I'm really trying to destress, so I didn't spend any energy questioning that line of thinking. When those two hours were up she rustled the kids out of the water and sent them to shower, get dressed and eat lunch, after which she promised they could go with her to Walgreens to pick up her prescription. Why that excited our children I don't know, but it did. Unfortunately just minutes after Casey left for the Walgreens tour she returned to tell me that she couldn't go because Alex cut his finger.
The person who made this decision is the same one generating all of the 's today, so whatever, "Casey, watch TV while I finish working. [knock knock] Come in!" [Hollie] "Alex sliced his finger to the bone on a coke can, we are taking him to the hospital and I'm going to faint. "
So I guess I should stop working now.
She didn't faint; instead she lit a cigarette and hyperventilated on my patio for a while. After that she and Gabe took Alex to the Urgent Care. He didn't get stitches despite needing them. The doctor felt that the stitches would hurt too much so he's going to let the finger heal on its own. Doctor's instructions: Don't get the finger wet. There goes Adventure Island tomorrow.
They stopped at Walgreens on the way home to pick up Hollie's Rx. Pharmacist's instructions: Stay out of the sun while taking this medicine.
The rest of this vacation is going to be fun.
When they got back to the motel at 5:15 to tell us all of this, Hollie also informed us that we still had time to make the Sea Screamer so we should get ready; we're leaving in five minutes.
So we ran around like maniacs, jumped in the car, wrote the phone number on our hands in case we got lost, and we were off. I lead, Hollie and company followed. We got there in time, but the Sea Screamer didn't have enough passengers to do the tour. It was canceled. The excursion next door, The Sea Thriller, was soliciting passengers, so they decided to go on that instead. Casey and I didn't like the name or the fact that they boast 40 mph cruising speeds, so we chose not to do the adrenaline tour with the rest of the junkies. Instead we thought we'd try the restaraunt we drove passed on the way to the Marina: SKYLINE!
We didn't believe it at first, but sure enough, we had just discovered Cincinnati Chili in Clearwater, Florida!
Casey ordered her typical coney and a three way, but half way through she spit a huge mouthful of food back onto her plate. What was she doing you ask? She was trying to find the molar that had just fallen out. That's right - not only had we struck gold, but we lost a tooth in it! We dug it out of the chili and put it in a to-go cup to give to the coveted Tooth Fairy later that night.
An hour later the Sea Thriller was scheduled to return, so we paid our bill and headed back to the Marina. Hollie's mom enjoyed rubbing our noses in the fact that the boat ride was fabulous. That's what we get for being wimps I guess :(
We walked across the road to Clearwater Beach ... this might have been Sand Key, I don't know. (It wasn't - it was Clearwater.) I do know that the beach is like the one at Siesta Key ... white, soft, and seemingly never ending. The big difference is that this place has some hustle to it. Big buildings, thousands of people, street vendors, jungle gyms for the kids. If you want to party, this is where you'd want to go.
They have a Sunset Festival there every night from 7:30 to 10:30 and it was a lot of fun! For us it started off with this guy doing a fire show. He was very funny and we took a bazillion pictures of his various acts.
After that the kids saw the playground equipment and ran squealing across the beach. Hollie had to shop, though, so Alex and Christine had to go after they went down the slide. Casey and I didn't have a lot of desire to wade through the masses on the pier, so we walked down to the beach to watch the sunset. And what a beautiful sunset it was. This is the first one we've seen without a sand-sifting barge blocking the view!
The deal was if Casey let me enjoy the sunset, I would let her do the rock climbing attraction that was set up on the beach. So she did, and she made it all the way to the top! She looked like Spiderman up there. By the time she was done with both trips up the climbing wall, Hollie and family were done shopping and ready to go out to eat. So they went in search of a restaurant and Casey and I drove home with our ever-faithful GPS. We have two more days in this part of the state, so I think we'll be coming back to Clearwater very soon.
When we got home we noticed that the construction had made significant progress. Now they were directly in front of the resort, and the barricade has moved farther south. Our beach access is now 1/4 of a mile away. I wonder if they give inconvenience discounts here?
In closing, 6.6.6 was an interesting day. Not entirely catastrophic (Did I mention that Chris almost choked to death at lunch?); even enjoyable at times (see sunset photos). I am glad it's over though, and I hope I'll be able to sleep with the heavy machinery outside my bedroom window.