Wednesday, January 18, 2012

"In truth a family is what you make it. It is made strong, not by number of heads counted at the dinner table, but by the rituals you help family members create, by the memories you share, by the commitment of time, caring, and love you show to one another, and by the hopes for the future you have as individuals and as a unit." ~ Marge Kennedy

Today my parents return home to the frigid and snowy north after spending a week with us here in warm and sunny Florida.  While they are seasoned world travelers, this is the first such winter vacation that they have taken in their nearly 60 years of marriage.  We did a great many things together while they were here.  We visited Sarasota and walked around its famed St. Armand's Circle, with its array of swanky shops.  We went to Dunedin, one of my favorite little towns.  They were hosting a wonderful arts and crafts festival.  We spent some time in the new Savador Dali Museum, located here in St. Petersburg - absolutely fascinating.  We walked through the St. Petersburg Farmer's Market, where my mom and I shared a scrumptious crepe with shrimp and scallops in a lemon, butter and caper sauce!  We also had an incredible dinner at The Columbia Restaurant, where I had Cannelloni de Langosta- tender cannelloni pasta filled with Maine lobster meat, shrimp, pan-seared scallops and sauteed shallots blended with a lobster sherry cream reduction, smothered with a lobster sherry Mornay cheese sauce and pieces of lobster.  I just had to share that!  

We also spent a beautiful day in Tarpon Springs, where we enjoyed a festive street fair and then took a one and a half hour cruise with Sun Line Cruise.  The cruise took us along the Anclote River and out to Anclote Key, where we went ashore for a bit of shell hunting.

~ Anclote River before entering salt water ~
~ shore birds ~
~ two elusive dolphins ~
~ cormorant ~
~ Anclote Key prior to going ashore ~
~ such beautiful water ~
~ Mom shell-seeking ~
~ Dad ~

~ found one ~
~ and another ~
~ a washed ashore sponge ~
~ I'm sure that he was lively in life ~

~ nesting osprey ~
This beautiful home was the setting for much of the 1953 film "Beneath the 12-Mile Reef" staring Robert Wagner.
~ one of the boats on the sponge docks ~

I'm so glad that my folks had a chance to escape the winter's cold - it was great to have them here!


  1. What a sweet couple. I love to see long married couples. I bet they had such a wonderful time!! Clarice

  2. Thanks for being such a wonderful daughter! And sister, and wife and aunt and mother and friend ( :

  3. Your Mom looks so smart in that bucket hat! Great photo of your Dad looking out to sea. This is a beautiful post and I'm glad you shared highlights of their visit with the rest of us (in the snowy, cold northeast!)