VACATION DAY 5: EAST COAST SUNSET, SCREWED TIRE AND NOT-SO-PROFESSIONAL BEACH PATROL

17 Jul

When we were almost home from Miami, like minutes from the house, Zach realized something on our tire pressure readouts- one tire was rapidly losing air. Thankfully we have digital readouts that let us know the psi and Zach stopped at a gas station to fill it up but it wouldn’t hold the air. Come to find out there was a screw in it! Luckily we were close to home and we just went to bed for the night to deal with it in the morning. Tuesday morning while I ran 4 miles around our loop, Zach ran around the neighborhood door-to-door trying to find someone with a good tire iron to get the bolts off (ours was a piece of junk). Once he managed to replace the tire with a donut he went to the tire place only to find that there were no open appointments until 1pm! We would end up missing half the day if we had to wait for that. So what did Zach do? Why he bought a kit and patched the tire himself and it held!! I’ll give you a sneak peek on how that went for us- IT HELD THE REST OF THE TRIP. And is still holding! 🙂 My man did good.

After we’d eaten we set off for the beach, Josh’s first day at the beach!

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He is a pretty goofy guy. 🙂 Him and Zach became instant BFF’s and we spent the majority of our vacation laughing. Hillary and I spent lots of time floating around with Josh accompanying us and Zach hung out under the pier this day because he was afraid he was getting a little burnt!

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Here’s me squeezing down in the inner tube because I am afraid my shoulders are getting too burnt. 🙂

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We had funny conversations the whole day and whenever we’d come across people making out in the ocean we would loudly burst into love songs. Josh pushed Hillary far out to sea in her inner tube and she did not appreciate that! We left the beach earlier than usual on this day because we had some other plans…

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After changing we headed back out of our HOT HOT (no air conditioning, did I mention that? With highs in the upper 90’s every day it was well over 100+ in that house!) house and went to Loxahatchee. Loxahatchee is a wildlife preserve and one of the best places to spot gators. When we have gone in the springtime we’ve seen lots but both summer trips there the alligators have been scarce. We did a long, hot loop around the marsh and saw pretty sights, but no gators.

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Josh did stick his hand in bird poop…so there’s that. After the trail we went to an observation deck and…got lucky!

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See him out there? It was hard to get a good picture but it was about a 6 foot gator and we happily watched him swim around.

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Then our luck doubled and we found this baby gator!! (He’s smack dab in the middle)

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First time I’d ever seen a baby one in the wild. 🙂 We were so happy that we at least saw a couple of things.

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Back at the house we had some down-time and we all started a vicious game of Phase 10 (which we still have yet to complete) outside on the patio.

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Then it was yet another outfit change for the day and off to dinner at Tiki’s Waterfront Sea Grill on a marina.

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It was beautiful and the perfect place to share a bucket of beer!

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Haha I could count on one hand the number of times I have been “that person” sharing a bucket of beer but it was spot-on for the occasion. 🙂 The food here wasn’t too bad either!

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I got a VERY good bowl of lobster bisque as well as fried plantains that were excellent. (They look burnt but that’s just the color they turn when all the sugar caramelizes when they cook.)

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Zach got a lobster roll and seaweed salad (surprisingly awesome!) and we shared everything, par for the course. 🙂

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We had a brief amount of time after eating to get to our next destination, the Sailfish Marina on Singer Island. Our goal was to see a sunset…on the eastern side of Florida. See, from West Palm Beach we really should only be able to see the sun rise but I searched tirelessly for somewhere to catch a glimpse and found this marina. Singer Island is a long, narrow island that is only connected to Florida with a couple of veeery long bridge. This makes it just far enough away from the mainland to see a semblance of a sunset. And it was beautiful!

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I am SO glad we got to do that! Since we were already on Singer Island, next on the agenda was waiting for it to get dark enough to look for sea turtles. We hung out on empty beach chairs listening to some music while we waited for the sky to get totally dark.

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The sea turtles come up in the pitch dark during the summer to lay their eggs. On all the beaches you see nest areas marked off with caution tape but especially on Singer Island beaches. Four years ago when we went to Florida in the summer (with Hillary, Kori and our friend Jesse) we got to see the whole experience of a sea turtle laying eggs and it was pretty cool. Well on this night I staked out a spot I thought would be pretty good to have a chance of a turtle sighting. Zach and Josh stayed at our blanket while Hillary and I walked down the beach to see what we could see when lo and behold a turtle came up out of the ocean RIGHT in front of the blanket. I totally picked a good spot. A group of people crowded around her and she started making her way up the shore when a dune buggy of beach patrol people pulled up and LEFT THEIR BUGGY LIGHTS RIGHT ON HER. I don’t know what in the world they were thinking since they are the “pros” and you aren’t supposed to shine anyyyyy lights at all (even the hotels on the beach have a lights out or drapes shut policy after a certain time because of the turtles) yet here they were, lights blazing. Sadly, our turtle turned around and swam back out to sea. We were furious as the dune buggy people drove off and we didn’t see another turtle the rest of the night. I didn’t even get a picture. 😦 At least we got to see one coming out of the ocean, it was pretty awesome and could have been even more awesome if it weren’t for those geniuses.

Last stop of the night was the Cruzan Rum Bar.

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This whole place was outdoors and it was a Tuesday night at 10pm and it. was. dead. We were literally the only people there and we had the BEST time! Hillary and I drank some super delicious rum buckets.

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We played games like “I’ve Never” and “Heads Up” and had an absolute blast.

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In fact this night became one of my favorite nights of the whole trip. 🙂 We rocked out to music all the way back to the house and that was Tuesday!

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