Thursday, June 25, 2009

Kayaking in Florida

Wednesday of last week 4 of us girls rented kayaks and paddled down the Hillsborough River northeast of Tampa. What a beautiful area.

Here is Celeste as we're getting into our kayaks. Here we go!
And Melanie and Sara were having a great time!

It was a nice mellow ride most of the time with stunning scenery.
At the launch, we saw this sign.
And sure enough, we saw several alligators. They were a little shy tho. This one was about 6 feet long. Gorgeous!
We saw turtles...
And Great Blue Herons... A couple of times we had to duck overhead logs, and at one point we had to get out of the kayaks and carry them over a log. No alligator bites and no leeches on any of us, either. Yay! And I was surprised to only see a couple of mosquitos.
Sara looks like she was having a great time. I know I did!
I'd do it all again in a heartbeat. What fun!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Holy Moley

Whew! June has zipped by and is nearly gone already. Amazing. Seems I have been so busy with the Toledo All-America City Award efforts that the days just flew by.

Florida was an amazing experience. We flew down a day early and stayed in ocean front condos on Belleair Beach, just south of Clearwater. Here is the view from the balcony.
I got up early Tuesday morning and took a swim in the warm gulf waters and a stroll up and down the beach for some pics. There was a lot of seaweed on the white sand, which is made up mostly of shells. Beautiful!There were several fishermen out there, and each bait bucket had an attendant blue heron waiting for a handout.They were a lot less skittish than the blue herons here, so it was not too hard to walk up close to them and get some good shots. Ditto the great egrets, which I have a special affinity for.

These are white ibis.And according to my travel guide, this is a laughing gull.

Brown pelicans were in abundance too.Lots more pics to come as I sort thru them and pick out the best ones to share. Yahoo!!

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Cohen's First Birthday

I had the privilege of capturing some fun images of Cohen today on the occasion of his first birthday. What a doll.

Went halibut fishing this morning about 15 miles offshore, the ocean was nice and flat, it was raining lightly and pretty foggy, but an awesome day to be out there. Caught one small halibut, so fresh fish for dinner again tonite, woo hoo! Looks like another busy weekend coming up too. Yay! Hope yours is awesome.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Toledo, Oregon... All-America City Award Finalist

Things are coming together for our trip to Tampa in a couple of weeks to do our presentation for the National Civic League jury on why we should be one of the 10 cities to win the award... the fundraising is *almost* done, and we have had a ball with the events we've been putting on.

Memorial Day weekend, Iron Chef and Toledo Mayor Rod Cross and his crew cooked up some amazing prime rib and seafood lasagna for our fundraising dinner at the Elks... what an awesome evening that was.

Some of our helpful servers... Jane, Rick, Bob and Amy. They were great!

Then this last weekend, the Chamber did their famous pancake breakfast in the City Hall parking lot. Kim, Terri, TC and Celeste chatting each other up during a lull in business...

I spotted this couple taking a break on a Main Street bench. I see them walking all over town, the bassett hound is hard to miss, especially in his yellow rain slicker and sou'wester in the winter.

After breakfast, it was the All-America City Challenge, a scaled-down and localized version of the Amazing Race. One of the challenges was to 'shave' a whip cream beard using a popsicle stick. Here are a couple of good-natured Challengers, Tyler and Kylie...

And a big gold-and-blue 'thumbs-up' from Gregg and Janice. Great job, guys!!
Another City Council meeting tonight with an agenda that is two full pages long. Whew. Will be a long one.