Okay, so it has been a little (long) while since I’ve posted here. I apologize to everyone for that, sometimes time gets in the way.
I posted a LOT of pictures, since there are so many to catch up on. I don’t think I’m going to hit everything in these pictures as I write, don’t know how much I’ll be able to write today, though I wanted to talk about some of the things we’ve done since last I posted.
Joya and I took a trip to Barnes and Noble for story time. Unfortunately, Joya took a nap before hand and by the time she woke up and we got out the door and to the store, the story was already over. I decided not to let that get us down and let Joya play around in the store. Barnes and Noble has a train table set up with toy trains and a train track. She played on it for a little while, long enough for me to decide that if she is going to be a train engineer, she needs a LOT more training! Unless she wants to work for Amtrak, then I’m sure she’d fit right in! While we were there, she found a sticker on the floor — trust me, Joya is very good at finding stickers anywhere we go, even going so far as to peel price tags off of items at the store (I know, I know, we’re working on that). This particular sticker was of a heart that some other child had obviously dropped. Joya picked it up and was so excited to have found it. I’m telling you, the kid loves stickers! Another girl, probably 5 or 6 came into the play area and Joya ran up to her and offered her the sticker. The girl turned her back on Joya. I was able to contain my inner a**hole — barely — rude little child. Her mother said to her, “honey, she’s offering you a sticker” and the little girl replied, in a very haughty tone, “I don’t want it!” and turned her back again. You could see the look of embarrassment on her mother’s face, and I did feel a little remorse for the mother. But it didn’t stop me from grabbing Joya and saying, “come on, Joya, we don’t need to play with children like that.” (I did say barely….)
Next in the queue was a trip to Big Talbot Island State Park. What a hidden little gem so close to us! The park is situated on a barrier island and has several access points along Heckscher Drive. You park in a parking lot on the side of the road and there is access to a bike trail, other trails, and a trail that takes you to the beach. It’s $3 for access, which is very cheap for a state park, and is on the honor system — you grab an envelope, put your $3 in, tear off the hanging tag, put it in your window and drop the envelope in the collection box. A very small price to pay for this particular park. As a barrier island, the sands shift as the protect the mainland from the brunt of storm and sea. In it’s movements, sometimes the trees don’t necessarily move with the beach. This leaves a lot of skeletal remains of trees on the beach, some still standing and turned silver like a monument to their glorious past. Others have fallen onto the beach and are likewise silvered in the weather, having the appearance of multi-legged insects frozen on the beach as they were crawling to some prehistoric bug meeting before they were frozen in time. Joya enjoyed running along the beach around the skeletal trees. I sat her on one and she had to rub her hand over it trying to figure out exactly what it was.
We made a quick trip to Tampa to visit Uncle Stan and take a wine tour. Joya didn’t go on the wine tour with me, but we did go for a walk around the Riverwalk. It was a little sunny that day and Joya, like her mommy and daddy, doesn’t do too well in the sun (but we do have beautiful alabaster skin!). The picture of her sitting in the stroller is at her Uncle Stan’s favorite pizza place in Tampa. And it was a very good pizza place — New York Pizza that lived up to its name!
Since it is that season where we tell the government whether or not they stole enough money from us, we made a trip back to Virginia so I could fulfill my part in my own fleecing (TAXATION IS THEFT!). While there, we toured the Williamsburg Winery and did a wine tasting. Joya accompanied us on the tour, but did not partake of the libations — though I’m sure she would have enjoyed them, being my daughter and all. She got a new pink tricycle from her Aunt Trish and Uncle Russ. She can’t quite reach the foot pedals on it yet, but she likes to be pushed around on it. Once I’d fleeced myself, we drove back to Florida with an overnight stop in Florence, SC. Mommy is doing some genealogical research on a family from that area and she wanted to stop at the library to look up some information in their historical/genealogical research section. Joya lasted about two minutes in the quietness of the library, so we decided to go outside. On the way out, one of the librarians told me there was a child’s play area with a little playhouse, so we stopped there first. Joya was playing peek-a-boo with me around the doors, windows and curtains of the playhouse. When Joya had enough, we went outside and she had a blast running around in front of the library. It wore her out enough that she took a pretty decent nap when we got in the car to finish our drive to Florida.
When we got back to Florida, Joya and I took a trip to the Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens for a walk through the gardens. It was a nice trip and we decided to have lunch while we were there. Joya tried grilled shrimp for the first time. Apparently she liked it because in the end she ate a whole shrimp by herself.
Joya also attended Ash Wednesday Mass with me at Resurrection Catholic Church. She was very good through the whole service. So good that a series of older women complimented her on how well behaved she was. After Mass, I let her run around in the church lawn for a few minutes before going home. You can see that in the picture of her by the tree in the butterfly dress.
Finally, since we had gone to Big Talbot Island State Park, we decided to go to Little Talbot Island State Park. There was a twofold objective: 1) go to the park to the beach (which you can see Mayport Naval Station from — where mommy works), and 2) to get a Florida Park Pass so I didn’t have to pay every time I went to a Florida State Park. Ask me about that one. Joya enjoyed running on the beach. She LOVES the wind and there was plenty of it on the beach! I took several pictures that I refer to as “Christian Rock Bank Album Cover” pictures. They’re the ones were she’s looking off somewhere besides the camera with an almost indifferent look on her face (call it an homage to South Park and Faith +1).
This past weekend we went to the American Quilting Society QuiltWeek in Daytona Beach. I contracted some kind of stomach bug and am just now recuperating. It seems that Joya contracted a bug, too, and is finally recuperating. Keep us in our prayers, and we’ll keep you in ours! Bye for now!