Weekly Photo Challenge – Contrasts – From Sun to Rain

Normally Fridays are the day that Daughter and I get together, run errands, do our grocery shopping, go out to lunch, occasionally tackle a project around the house, go to a movie, or just hang out and enjoy each other’s company.

This week we have a new big boss so I have been working longer hours and Daughter is down with a bug. Since I work Sunday, I intended to just relax a bit and catch up around the house. As it turns out the house is in pretty good shape as I have so much going on between work, Toastmasters (I have a speech coming up), writing (I have one script out and another article due by the 30th) and the show, everything has to be planned to the nanosecond to pull it all off. I always seem to do better when I’m overscheduled than I do when I have oceans of time. Go figure.

If it had rained, Plan A would have held. But it’s summer, it’s Florida, I had the day off, and it was gorgeous. I have a paid-for season pass to Smyrna Dunes and Lighthouse Point Parks and I’m not afraid to use it. It’s June and it has already paid for itself.

So off we went! It takes about hour to get there from Orlando and we arrived just in time for lunch. We stopped at Subway and I got a sub and some chips for us to split. The park guard remembered us from last time and had dog biscuits ready for the pups (they do that for everybody, but it was nice to be remembered).

As we were leaving last time I took a peek at a parking lot we pass every time that has a dog-friendly boardwalk we hadn’t explored. This time we explored it.

Exploring the Boardwalk

Exploring the Boardwalk

Turns out it goes to the Atlantic Ocean beach – hurrah! Dogs aren’t allowed on the beach (boo!) but we went as far as we could and enjoyed the ocean view.

Atlantic Ocean VIew

Atlantic Ocean VIew

Tinkerbell is over her sprained leg, but still attempts to get me to carry her. She walked the boardwalk (after some initial reluctance), which was easy and she loved the stairs (I think she would make a good agility dog – despite her short legs, she likes obstacles).

It was HOT! I brought extra water and it was a good thing. We walked the boardwalk, which only took five minutes or so. It meanders but we just took the straight shot to the beach, enjoyed the ocean view, watched pelicans glide by. There was surprisingly no breeze and it was HOT so we retreated after a few minutes to the covered picnic area. It’s behind the dunes (such as they are) so there is no ocean view, but there is a distant view of the lighthouse. The lighthouse actually looks a lot bigger in real life than it does in the picture.

Our lunch spot

Our lunch spot

We had lunch and the dogs killed off their first bottle of water, it was that hot. Back down the boardwalk and to the jetty beach on the Ponce Inlet side where dogs are welcome.

Dog Beach

Dog Beach

Lesson learned – go on Friday mornings! Weekends are insane – parking, crowds, lack of picnic space. On Friday mornings it’s a little piece of paradise.

Gizmo loves to swim and he dashed into the water with pure joy. Li’l Bit waded last time but decided to swim this time, much to my surprise. She loves the sun and now she loves the water, too. Tinkerbell still wants no part of it. She prefers to lounge on her beach towel and watch. Yuki surprised me. She’s not particularly a fan of the water either, and usually will stay on the towel with Tinkerbell but today she let it be known she wanted to go with me. As it turns out, she loves being out on the water as long as I’m carrying her. She doesn’t mind swimming back, she just doesn’t like the waves in her face so she won’t walk out past her knees.

There was no breeze on that side either, so we didn’t stay long, just about half an hour. On the way back Tinkerbell sat in the trail and refused to move. I’ve often eyed the covered picnic tables on the bluff and wanted to try them out, but they’ve always been taken. Today they were wide open so we took a shade and water break (killed off bottle number 2). Then the breeze came – hurrah! We took another half hour or so for Gizmo to dry and me to write, Tinkerbell to nap, Yuki to watch the boats come in, and Li’l Bit to greet everyone who walked by.

Yuki watching the boats while I write

Yuki watching the boats while I write

We arrived a little after eleven and left a little after two. I ran lines for the show on the way over and on the way back (I record my shows and play them during my commutes).

Gizmo drying off

Gizmo drying off

We arrived home a little after three and it was just starting to get cloudy.

Shade and nap time

Shade for Li’l Bit and nap time for Tinkerbell

We didn’t intend to bring the ocean back with us, but our usual “scattered afternoon shower” became a monsoon. Frankly I’m worried the car is about to float away. Maybe even the house.

From one extreme to the other

From one extreme to the other

The contrast between this morning’s beautiful blue skies and this afternoon’s thunder, lightning, rain and hail (!) is amazing.

And now that it’s raining I’ve cleaned the kitchen, done two loads of laundry, and am about to cook supper and write.

A beautiful, productive day – wahoo!

For more on this challenge, go here.

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