My aunt and uncle picked me up at the airport and we headed over for lunch at mom folk's place near Barefoot Bay Florida which is about 20 minutes north of Vero Beach. After lunch, we headed down to Vero Beach. It was windy but very sunny and beautiful.
These guys were our welcoming party,
but you have to be careful, because not all beach residents are safe to touch - even if they are absolutely gorgeous! My dad was walking along with me as I was snapping shots and I kept telling him "don't touch"..."don't touch" - I think it's so cute when the kid becomes the parent...
Loved that his feet were the feet for both his real body and his reflection.
This young man was surfing with a friend...his words to me when I asked if I could take his picture..."Anything to keep me out of the water - it's freezing."
Aren't these little guys cute? They were so very tiny...
...and smart - they knew exactly when to get a move on to get out of the way of the wave.
On Sunday, we stayed around my Aunt and Uncle's retirement community.
We took a tour in their golf cart - which my aunt, of course, drives expertly. I snapped some pictures of these oranges. Oranges were at the peak of their season so all the trees were loaded down.
My aunt and uncle on their porch! Aren't they cute?
Another ride in the golf cart...or did we walk...you do so much socializing and are out and about so much I forget how exactly we got there - this is the lake in their park. I took several shots but this one with the sun almost completely gone and the boats in the foreground was my favorite.
And on Monday - Valentine's Day - we spent a day on the other coast at Anna Maria Island, FL which I had not visited. We hit the sand and I have to say that I just simply took off - glad my aunt and uncle were okay with watching the chairs for a little while as I headed up the beach to make friends...
This guy looked really regal to me. Love that he has two reflections too - the sun was right overhead since it was right around noon so I had trouble capturing shadows - had to really work to get this one.
I didn't capture a picture (he declined to have his photo taken) of the lovely gentleman in the blue jogging suit who serenaded me with the theme from Camelot. We chatted a moment before he took off on up the beach to serenade some other lovely ladies (his words).
Love how he has one leg pulled up and how the fact that the sun is directly over us makes his shadow look a little bit like a bomb - or a fish - depending on how you look at it. Either way, for this bird, it's an appropriate reference.
I met a lovely family from Seattle. I stopped to take a photo of the Sand Castle just up from this one and as I started to pass by theirs - not wanting to interrupt their family time - I was invited in to take photos. Their daughter who was four had supervised construction of their "Seashell Palace". Isn't it gorgeous? I didn't meet her, but her two brothers insisted I take photos of their Super Trucks climbing up their Super Mountain. It's great how when you're that little everything is Super. I have to tell you that they were pretty challenging customers - lots of requirements for their photos but in the end the photos met their requirements - how do you know - lots of squealing and giggling when they looked at the screen on my camera.
Doesn't he look so incredibly free?
If this were a building instead of some little critter's house we'd demolish it - but just like with old buildings I find a sort of incredible beauty in this beautiful shell.
I played around with this a lot in lightroom to kick up the color and detail. Still not sure I'm in love with it, but another pretty good bird shot.
As we were driving in my Aunt had talked about a local beach - she wasn't quite sure where - that you could swim out just a little ways and collect Sand Dollars right off the gulf floor - as many pieces of Sand Dollars as I saw while beach combing I could believe it would be possible.
I was making my way back to my Aunt and Uncle who had been watching the chairs for quite a while when I stumbled upon this crowd - I wasn't sure why they had all gathered together, and then...
...as I got closer I saw what they saw...
I am pretty sure it was a beached jelly. I stayed pretty far away as I had ditched my shoes the second I hit the beach but isn't it cool looking!?
Loved the symmetry of the pair of kayakers, the pair of buoys, and the pair of birds who happened to be topping the buoys at the moment.
We left this beach and headed up to the cafe at Holmes beach for a great light lunch (yeah - corndog at the beach!) After our light lunch we headed on up the coast a bit more and decided to stop at Cortez Beach which was still in the Anna Maria Island area in Manatee County.
As we walked onto the beach there was a young family who was trying to get a picture so I offered to take their picture - they had formed their daughter's name and this little heart out of shells. I hope they like the photo I took of them. I loved their creativity. I love walking up to folks and just offering to take photos - especially families. I do it everywhere.
Isn't this little one adorable!
Time to leave the beach. There were lots of these little bridges along the parking area that ran along the beach - connecting you between parking lot and beach. Loved grabbing a shot of the weathered wood.
Best Valentine's Day ever ended with this HUGE plate of Coconut Shrimp at a great restaurant called WaterfronToo!