Monday, March 26, 2007




Take a Trip with Me . . .


Well, this may be the LONGEST weekend update with photos EVER on my blog!!! So, if you have somewhere else to go . . . by all means, go do what you need to do and then come back later. But if you can indulge me for a few minutes, grab a cup of coffee (or, if you're like me, your favorite diet soda) and sit back to enjoy a Photo Recap of our weekend trip to Florida.

We headed out early Saturday morning (we were on the road at 5:30 am) and made great time to Westville, Florida (about 45 minutes north of Panama City Beach). We were there for a family reunion organized by Gary's Gan Gan (his mom's mom) at the homeplace of Mama and Daddy Bill (Gan Gan's parents). Gary often visited Westville as a child and had fond memories of their home and his great grandparents (they stopped visiting around his 10th birthday or so, after they were both passed away).

Before we attended the actual reunion (meaning=eating lots of food!!), we walked the two houses down to Mama and Daddy Bill's house. The first thing I was struck by was the gorgeous flowers in the yard (Gary said that Mama always had the most beautiful flowers!); in fact, as soon as entered this Florida county, we noticed gorgeous, bright azaleas everywhere!! I've never seen any as beautiful!

So, let's get this photographic journey started (are you ready? lol) . . .

This is the old homestead...





The azaleas (when I saw these amazing flowers, I actually thought of you Maria!) ...


We took a TON of pictures in front of these flowers (every combination of family members possible, because they were just the perfect backdrops)...


There were also camelias everywhere...


Now, these are my absolutely FAVORITE pictures at the old house and out back. The backyard was completely overgrown and run-down and provided the best photo opportunities for Gary. The girls were calling this the door to a secret garden...





I had to have Gary sit on the front porch with Delaney in his lap, because we have the most wonderful old picture of Gary when he was maybe 5 or 6 sitting with Daddy Bill on a porch swing at this exact same spot (I think I can imagine a scrapbook page coming from that! lol) ...

And then a few family photos, of us and then the cousins ...




By this point, Sydney was saying: "But I don't wan another pictchure"...


And then a few shots of the actual reunion inside the community center (starting with a pic of me with the camera! lol) ...








Once a lot of food had been consumed and we had met a whole slew of cousins that we never knew existed (I told you Delaney would be amazed by that, and she was!!), and once we had plenty of time to reminisce and to let Gan Gan know how much we appreciated everything she'd done to make the reunion special, the girls and I decided to drive down to Panama City Beach for a quick little beach trip. Gary didn't go (I think just because he was so tired of driving all the way down there, and he wanted to sit down and relax and visit with his parents), but the girls and I had a BLAST! We didn't have our bathing suits, of course (and even though it was a gorgeous day--about 85 degrees!!!--the water was still VERY cold!), so we ended up getting wet. But it didn't stop us from running into the water, walking along the beach, digging up seashells, and building castles in the sand. A truly beautiful day...






I love these next two pictures, because I usually have to "stage" the hand-holding pictures everytime we go to the beach.But this time I didn't! I just looked up and there they were, holding hands and enjoying the waves coming in on their feet! It was so sweet and just made me smile . . .




And then Scout enjoyed digging in the sand. She didn't want to leave, as you can probably imagine...






Thank you for taking that little trip with us. I hope that it gave you a nice little "escape" for a few minutes!!

Looking forward to a big week ahead full of ALL sorts of good stuff---birthdays (McKenna's having a "Food, Flicks, and Java" outing on Friday night with seven of her friends, a Scrapbook Day at church on Saturday, and a Princess Party on Sunday with Scout. Also on the weekend will be an Easter Egg hunt and a children's Easter drama performance at church that Delaney actually wrote! SO much fun stuff going on! One of those weeks that sound tiring just thinking about, BUT that I will know will be absolutely full of memories!

I hope you had a wonderful weekend yourself and that you have a lot to look forward to!

38 comments:

aimee said...

I think we both posted our blogs around the same time! lol!

I loved your pictures. Especially the beach ones. Those are beautiful and I can't wait to see a scrapbook page of it.

Dawn said...

Hi Cheryl ~ After a month's break this was such a delight to read. The pics of the three girls on the beach are classics - especially the one of the two bigger sisters lifting the little one - I just love it. Time restraints make it impossible for me to scroll back over the posts I have missed in the last month. I do hope that all is well with you and the family and I hope to be back on track for regular visits. Love, Dawn xox

Jane said...

You went to Florida!! Wow, looks like you all had a great time and GREAT pictures, especially love the beach ones!

Adrienne " A little dramatic at times" said...

Awww, glad you had a good time. I LOVE The photo of the lock!!!!!

Amy Mowbray said...

What a great weekend. Your pictures are awesome. I love the beach shots. Glad yall had a great time.

Stephanie C said...

What gorgeous backdrops for photos Cheryl! Glad to hear that a good time was had by all :). It is always good to have a visit with family (we did the same thing this weekend). Have a great week GF!

Kelly said...

I am so missing the spring down south. I think this time of year is the best with the azaleas, crepe myrtles, etc. The Florida coast is beautiful as always. Thanks for the great pictures. Glad you got to go the reunion.

Dawn Bibbs said...

Hello Cheryl, Glad you guys made it there and back safely. And even moreso, that ya'll had a good time. Oh how I would've loved to have gotten some of the pictures with the flowers and the old house. How cool is that?
Looks like the girls really enjoyed the beach. I'm sure it was fun for you too, to be able to get a little taste of summer in March :-).
Thanks for sharing.

Cheryl Wray said...

Aimee--Funny! Yep. Iactually posted my Monday post before I headed to bed last night!lol Ican't wait to scrapbook them!!
Dawn--Great to see you back!!! I've been wondering about you! I also LOVEthat pic of the girls picking up Sydney.
Jane--We did have a great time, even though it was a quick trip!
Adrienne--Oh, I LOVE that pic too.It's my very favorite!
Amy--Thanks!! I love the beach pics too!
Steph--Glad you got some good family time this weekend too!
Kelly--Oh, it is beautiful this year!!! And we LOVE the Gulf Coast.No beaches like it anywhere!!
Dawn--I was in "camera heaven" with the flowers and the house! And yes, very fun to get a little Early Summer at the beach!

Vikki said...

Love the pictures, thank you for sharing. Those Azaleas those are gorgeous! Glad you guys had fun!

Jen said...

Great photos...gosh that water was pretty too!!

I love how your oldest has her jeans wet all the way up to her thighs....LOL

Michelle said...

what an awsome weekend you had!! I can just imagine how beautiful those flowers were in person and the wonderful photo ops you had there! what a fun reunion with a quick trip to the beach thrown in!

Gin said...

I just LOVE all the photos today, Cheryl!!! I felt like Iwas there with you!!!!!!

Misty said...

awww! you had such a great weekend! I love the pictures!

Cinderella said...

That water just looked sooooooo good!!! You take lovely pictures. Your daughter's are beautiful and those flowers-OMG!! Sooo pretty!!

It looks and sounds like your week ahead is jam packed!! But it sounds like a ton of fun!! You are one lucky Princess!!

What were the temps down there? It looked sooo warm! Like two different worlds!

P.S. Tell Sydney I want her cupcake, it looked Yummy =)

RYAN said...

Love the pics, esp. the lock! It's amazing how everyday things can become marvelous photos. How did D's game turn out Fri. night? I had to leave before the end. And we missed her voice in children's choir Sun. morning when the kids performed but it was still beautiful and sweet. (Of course, Meg was there...LOL!)

maria said...

OMG ---gorgeous pictures! Beautiful post! And those azaleas are totally amazing! Great pictures! :) I'm so giddy to read they made you think of me! :)

Phats said...

Wow looks like a ton of fun!! Those are great pictures thanks for sharing those with us. How adorable is scout, and I love the cartwheel picture!!

Princess Party eh?

Robyn said...

Cheryl those pictures are priceless! And so cool about Delaney writing the Easter drama! :D

Cheryl Wray said...

Vikki--I could NOT get over how gorgeous the azaleas were down there.Just amazing!
Jen--Yeah, isn't that funny? I think she tried to avoid it for a while, but then just gave in to the waves! lol
Michelle--It WAS a really great weekend!!
Gin--Thanks! I wanted you to feel that way!
Misty--Thanks!!
Cinderella--It was 85 degrees!! Can you believe that! and it's supposed to get near that here today too!! Gorgeous!! And yep, that cupcake was good! Scout always goes for the sweets.Like mother,like daughter!!

Cheryl Wray said...

Ryan--I LOVE the lock pic too.My favorite of the bunch!
Well, Delaney's team was tied 2-2 but she ran out of innings.Lucy came in to pitch and she walked a bunch and we lost 7-2.But that's okay...we playthem again tonight and we can beat them! I didn't even realize theywere singing on Sunday morning.We won't tell D!
Maria--I ABSOLUTELY thought of you when I saw the flowers. I knew you'd appreciate them as much as anyone!
Phats--Gotta do cartwheels on the beach!!! (I always did!) Wanna come join the Princess Fun?
Robyn--I love the pics too! We are SO excited about Delaney's drama too.I will have to tell you more about it later!

Gareth said...

Really nice post C!
The pictures of Gan Gan's house isn't really a house that I would necessarily associate with a Floridian home. It looks more like a Deep South or West home if you know what I mean?
I love family reunions especially when there is food involved. Teehee :)

Gareth said...

C went to the sea to see what she could see lol.

Ms.L said...

Oooh those were just beautiful!!

Jeff said...

Great pics! Thanks for sharing the great weekend! I'm glad you posted the softball outcome from Friday night too. Good luck beating that team tonight!

jessi said...

wow, wow, wow!!! what an amazing yard for photo's!!! you made me really miss the ocean with those wonderful shots of the girls on the beach!!! wow, wow, wow!!! looks like you had a fabulous time!! glad to hear you enjoyed it!!!

can't wait to see the LO's with these photo's!!!

have a great day!!

Cheryl Wray said...

Hey Gareth!!! It really is an interesting house and notreally a Florida style. But it's inland a bit, not on the ocean... And I love the little C Sea Ditty! LOL
Ms. L--Thanks!
Jeff--Glad to share the pics with everyone!! I sure hope we win tonight! One of the challenges in park ball (as opposed to travel) is that they limit your pitcher's innings (the idea is to force a team to build other pitchers), so Delaney can just pitch 6 innings a week. The other night, we only had 2 innings left with her. But tonight is anew week and we can pitch her as many as we need to.So we should have a really good chance--IF our girls hit the ball too!
Jessi--You're so fun!! Love your excitement! Ican't wait to do some layouts on them too, butso busy this week that I can't even think about that yet!!! lol

sohpiasmom said...

Wow...tons of awesome photos (I especially love the ones of the 3 girls holding hands on the beach)! Sounds like you had a wonderful time :)

jessi said...

hey cheryl... i'm back...lol!! I was wondering if you would like to email me your email address...you don't have a link to email you...and I had a website link I wanted to send for scout's b-day cake!!! just some ideas for you to mull (cuz you seriously don't have enough going on already...LOL!!)
oh and the next POTP online cro is in May...ummm...I can't remember the dates but they have already set the dates so clear the weekend and get ready for some fun!!!

okay..ciao..again!!!

cityfarmer said...

Whew!!!!!

Obviously alot of fun~

Leah said...

LOVE all the pictures! The beach ones are just precious. What a wonderful weekend!

Phats said...

Only if I can be the prince from Aladdin!

See had I been there i totally could have spotted her on a backhandspring, or tuck!

Susie Q said...

So glad you had a safe trip and that it was such a sweet one too. Wonderful photos! LOVE those azaleas!
I always love pictures taken at the beach...of kids just being kids. The best.
I know you will do spectacular things with your pictures in a scrapbook!

Linda said...

Thanks for taking us along Cheryl. I just love the ocean and the beach - I have a yearning to see it again (it's been too long). The flowers are incredible.
I'm glad you had such a great time!!

Cheryl Wray said...

Sopiasmom--Don't you just LOVE beach pictures? None better!
Jessi--Hey again!! LOL I've emailed you! And I willdefinitely try and make the next cyber crop!
Cityfarmer--Whew! LOL
Leah--Thanks!! We had a great time!
Phats--You can ABSOLUTELY be Aladdin!
Susie--i love beach and flower pictures!! Can't wait toscrapbook them!! (just won't have time for awhile to do it!)
Linda--I just LOVE the beach.Makes you feel so alive!!! Hope you can go back soon!

JR's Thumbprints said...

The beach photos are definitely your best shots of the whole trip. Looks like everyone got some R & R.

Phats said...

OK I am there then!

Will scout sing A whole new world with me?

Missy's Blog said...

Your pictures are awesome ... and SO full of memories!