I'm going to have to share the story of our Florida trip in three parts. I'm starting with the most bittersweet part of our trip which was our visit to the house that used to be the home of my grandparents.
They lived on Anna Maria Island just outside of Bradenton, FL. It's a beautiful spot...just a couple blocks from Tampa Bay and a mile or less from the Gulf of Mexico. The house sits on a canal that used to provide the opportunity to paddle boat, canoe, or swim. The quiet street was where we played football and various made-up games.
The back porch was where too many people squished themselves around the table for Sunday dinner. The living room was where we sat and downloaded the weeks events ranging from hilarous to tragic. It was where my grandpa died. It was where I brought my baby daughter for her debut to the family and where I watched her grow and start playing her own games in the street with her cousins. There isn't any way to feel better about losing it to it's new buyers who will have NO idea what went on in those halls and in those rooms. I took these pictures during my last look at the place and reminded myself that the spirit of those days lives on in my family.
Here are some more photos of Anna Maria Island in general. If you haven't ever been there and are considering a Florida vacation, first make the decision to visit the west coast and not the east. Then google Anna Maria Island to see what it has to offer.