Family at Cocoa Beach, FL 2011
This is total, unabashedly, family stuff. If you aren't related or know any of us this will seem maudlin. Even if you ARE family this might seem maudlin. As I said to a couple who happened to stop by, "I guess I am the father of all this".
We live in Eugene, OR. #1 son, Eddy, lives with his wife Jess in Orlando, FL and have a newer-est grandson Jake, 14 months. #2 son Matt lives in San Diego with his wife Andrea and three sons Jaden, 10, Silas, 7, and Ezra, 5, commonly referred to as simply, "the boys". Daughter Miyoko is currently employed by Teach for America as a high school math teacher in Jackson, MS. Realities, geography, and circumstances have conspired to keep us from all being together in one place at one time for WAY too long.
So we decided on a place and time...The Banana River Resort in Cocoa Beach, FL startng April 6th in 2011. We could not have made a better choice. The resort was the wedding site of Eddy and Jess...so was familiar to most of us. On a narrow barrier spit of land it has the Banana River (Lagoon) right out of the front porch with kayaks, windsurfers, and unlimited fishing opportunity...and 100 yards across the road is the Atlantic itself with sand beach, surfing, and unlimited fishing. Did I mention FISHING? "The boys" openly eschewed the Disney and other "theme" parks of Orlando in order to fish with grandpa in Florida.
When "the boys" arrived I had time for a quick hug before they found the rigged spinning rods I had set up for them. Thus began a week of total, non-stop fishing, kayaking, swimming, fishing, windsurfing, sun bathing, fishing, surfing, manatee-watching, boating,..... and fishing. After several days a man came out on a neighboring dock and threw a cast-net to collect bait. Jayden saw ths and had to have one....and it happened to be his birthday. Overall, the boys caught puffers, catfish, pinfish, shad, speckled trout, redfish, black drum, ladyfish, whiting, mullet, sting rays, and on and on....by the dozens. The speckled trout, whiting and redfish were delicious.
But most importantly my two sons got to spend some time together again and "the boys" and Andrea got to spend quality time with their Uncle Eddy and Aunt Jess and vice versa, get to know Jake....and vice versa. It was, in a word, priceless.
If the pictures give the impression that we did nothng but surf, swim, kayak, windsurf...and especially fish....that is about right. And we did it all together. Oh, we did one morning go on a "gator" airboat ride.
And if it looks like Florida weather,....warm....comfortably humid,.....it was. Eat your heart out.
After the maps to set the stage a bit...once started all the pictures will play automatically as a slideshow which you can speed up by hitting "next". Nothing special, just proud parent and grandparent stuff.