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March 8, 2017 / lennonsoehl

Charleston-Sullivan Island Style

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Thursday was a travel day, pushing through remarkably from Punta Gorda, with a stop at Sarasota to see my friend Erin, and then straight through to our hotel at Mt. Pleasant. We found our lowest price gas of the road trip in SC, $1.96!  And we drove by my old stomping grounds of Hollywood, Ravenel where I had worked one summer doing bird research! It was dark or I would have tried to find our house. We also were getting low on gas before we stopped and we were within a marsh/wetland area that obviously was designated as a not development area because it was about 40 miles before we got to a gas station!

We were very tired and hungry when we got to the hotel and took a drive down the road and found the most awesome pizza/Italian restaurant (yes it was delicious) in South Carolina! More details and pics to come!

March 8, 2017 / lennonsoehl

Saying our goodbyes…

After the Harbor Cruise Wednesday we started packing for our drive home. We had such a wonderful stay in Florida, the weather was great and Ellie was, of course, the belle of the ball! A very proud Grandpa Lennon introduced Ellie to all his friends at the restaurant we went to for the evening, after  The Foot Landing‘s pub runs!

We packed our clothes and bags- which was a trying experience because we had everything from winter coats to tank tops based on the varying temperatures we would encounter along our drive.  We decided to leave Thursday morning and drive to Charleston where we would meet up with my very good friend from middle school, Nicole!

We also made a point to stop in and see Great Grandma Gerri in the morning for some coffee and tea before we hit the road. It was great to spend so much time with Great Grandma, who is 98, sharing plenty of stories about Amityville and “the olden days”. She adored Ellie and Ellie was all smiles hanging out with GG Gerri! We hope to make our time between visits much shorter next time!

February 24, 2017 / lennonsoehl

Harbor Cruise Ride

On Wednesday, despite some heavy rains, we went out on the noon time launch on the Charlotte Lady with Capt Ralph through Charlotte Harbor. It was a bit breezy, but Ellie enjoyed the boat ride. Must be something about the motor and the waves that lulls her to sleep. We enjoyed the trip and learned about the history of the area from none other than Captain Ralph!   After that we went to eat at the Celtic Ray and discovered that Ellie loves Potato Leek soup. She is also kind of fond of fish and chips (which are the best I have had)! After that, we went to visit with Grandma Gerry and it was a very nice time.                                 We are so happy that Ellie got to spend time with her Great Grandma!


February 23, 2017 / lennonsoehl

Babcock/Webb Lake walk

dscn7743On Tuesday we decided to do a walk out around Webb Lake within the Babcock Ranch wildlife area. We have been strolling with Ellie around the Emerald Pointe estates to get our exercise in the mornings (and for Ellie to take her nap). Ralph suggested we go out to Webb Lake and walk around to check out wildlife. We drove out on I-75 to exit 158 and made our way to this unassuming wildlife area. We viewed some vultures, egrets, sandhill crane, still no alligators and a large tract of burnt palms and pine trees. Got a few cute pics of Ellie who seemed to enjoy the breeze. It was a bit overcast and breezy, but was perfect weather for the 2 mile walk. Here are some pics of Ellie with her granddad and Sean.

February 23, 2017 / lennonsoehl

First Boat Ride!

Ellie’s first boat ride was on her grandpa’s boat up the Peace River to a rookery. She wore her little life jacket, which ended up fitting her perfect and she looked so cute! Within minutes of getting out into the more open, breezy water, she fell right to sleep. She did miss the views of the wood stork rookery and one alligator who splashed into the river, but we still consider it a successful boat outing. If Ellie sleeps on the boat then we figure she must like the sounds of the motor and the waves as well as the motion on the boat. I got a few good shots of the wood storks and a roseate spoonbill!

February 20, 2017 / lennonsoehl

Punta Gorda Arrival

Arrived in Punta Gorda Sunday night around 7PM.  Sean’s Aunt Tricia was down from Tampa to meet Ellie, Grandpa and Great Grandma Gerry were ecstatic to meet Ellie.  Of course, Ellie did not disappoint and despite a 6 hour drive, she was still in good spirits, waving to everyone and smiling. She has such a wonderful disposition, everyone loved her immediately!  We had a delicious dinner prepared by Sean’s dad, veggie lasagna with an organic salad prepared from Sherri’s garden. Ellie even had a little of the spectacularly rich tiramisu that Sean’s dad made from scratch! Ellie bounced around for a little bit after dinner and then finally went to bed..IN HER PACK AND PLAY! Until…Sean tried to move a blanket about an hour or two later because he thought she was cold.  So then Ellie slept with us the rest of the night— but she slept really soundly and never moved until the morning. Quite an accomplishment since we are used to being poked and kicked in the chest and back!  Today we went out on the boat and Ellie was an excellent skipper- for 5 minutes- and then she passed out for the rest of the boat ride. Details and pictures to follow!

February 19, 2017 / lennonsoehl

Savannah stopover

We decided to stop at Savannah to rest for the night. We actually got to our hotel , the Best Western which is near the Savannah airport in Pooler, GA. The hotels within Savannah were so expensive! We wanted to stay at the one that we stayed at on our last drive down– which was on Bay Street, conveniently along the riverfront, but was not to be. Ellie loves the art deco style with all the bright colors in the lobby. We fed her lunch while we waited for our room to be ready (got there before check in time), and Ellie was her charming self to everyone that walked in! She waved and said “Hi” to everyone and found a nice older woman who was willing to play along with her. We were very tired, so despite a pool and hot tub, we retired to our room and stayed there all night.  Ellie loved playing in the hotel room and adjusting the air conditioner by the window. She is very adept at figuring out buttons and will press all remotes or buttons until she gets what she wants. Smart girl! We gave Ellie a bath and she went to bed, later than usual, but we decided just to have her sleep in the bed with me. There were 2 queen beds, so Sean got his own bed to try and get a good night’s rest. Well, we are up and trying to get out to Savannah proper and take a tour of the riverfront and Forsyth Park before we head to Grandpa’s house! More to come later!