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Published: April 26th 2011
FLORIDA – TAMPA, ST. PETERSBURG
After a 20 hour train ride we arrived in Tampa Florida the sunshine state. Warm weather, lots of sun hours and lots of ocean, sounds like Noordwijk but then without the warm weather and the sun hours. Nancy and uncle Bob picked us up from the station and brought us to Seminole Fl. Which turned out to be not in Tampa but closer to St. Peters-burg (what do we know😊) We arrived at uncle bob and aunt Jenny’s house where aunt Jenny was welcoming us in their nice house. We had our own bed room and bath room and everything was taken care of😊
After we updated each other about both families they invited us for dinner at a buffet restaurant, completely wrong for me of course because with my eating disability it is hard to control the amount of food that I put on my plate and go for seconds even though I have had enough😊 but the food was great! To walk of the extra calories we took in later that night we decided to go for a walk to the beach which should be about an 1,5 hour hike there and back. After
we were given directions by uncle Bob we set of for the beach (in the wrong direction of course). It was good to be at the beach again, I had really missed that! We waited for the sun to set in the Bay and wondered where all the sea gulls had gone which were abundant and loudly present just before sunset but no all had disappeared, where had they gone to? On our way back, by chance we walked in to a bird sanctuary and were invited in by one of the caretakers. There were all kind of beautiful exotic bird which all had their reason for being there. But we felt like we were being watched all the time but just couldn't pinpoint the source of it........... Finally after looking up at the trees we saw them, hundreds and hundreds of them looking down on us....... the lost Sea Gulls were no longer lost.
The next day the weather was beautiful and we decided to go to the beach to catch some sun on our pall skin and to swim in the Bay. After installing our selves on the beach we took a dive in the ocean where
I soon discovered a Stingray of which I thought it was special but soon found out that there were hundreds of them. They swim right up to the beach where the shallow water is nice and warm. Of course I wouldn't be my simple self if I would go and try to touch one, little did I know that these creatures can teleport them selves when in danger and ware a nasty sting. My only luck was that the Ray I approached already lost it sting to some other dumb creature. But OMG these animals are fast, a centimeter before I could touched it just disappeared, lesson learned. The next lesson we learned was the power of the sun in Florida. While walking along the beach some guy whom was fishing along the shore jelled at me “DUDE YOU ARE BURNED” and so I was, I looked like the butt of a baboon. Finally some color I though, that was of course before it started to hurt 😊
After coming back home and after assuring uncle Bob and aunt Jenny that we didn't need to go to the hospital for the treatment of 3rd degree burns 😊 they invited us
for dinner to ease the pain (thx guys😊 That night Brain, Nancy and Beth came by to catch up on what happened the last 15 years or so, and did Brain shared his free diving stories with us 😊
The Next day we went for pancakes in the local club house, which was funny beside being the youngest people there (by about 40 years) there was one surprise we didn't expect, they were serving 2 different kinds of orange, one normal and one with Vodka 😊 Without knowing Dari took the one with Vodka 😉 I don't think uncle Bob noticed it because he would surely have said something about it, or.........😊 Later Nancy took us to Clearwater beach, which is a lively beach town similar to Scheveningen (for who knows where that is) just a lot warmer 😊 After checking the place out we booked a speedboat tour along the coast of Clearwater with the insurance that we will see dolphins.
The boat ride was great, after some searching we found the group of dolphins that wanted to follow us and gave us a good show. For a long time they swam in the wake of the boat jumping out of the water as if they were playing (I am no expert, but I think they really had fun doing it) That went on for about 15min, very very cool! After the dolphins gave up the captain opened up the throttle and took us for a ride at about 45m/h.
After the boat ride we walked around a bit trying to stay out of the the sun, because we got even more crisp during the ride, and looked for a scuba diving school but didn't find one. It was then that we discovered that we have lost our camera containing all the pictures we took so far in Florida including the dolphins😞 We asked everywhere if someone had found it but without any luck. But no use to remain disappointed to long and luckily it was not our new camera but the pocket one.
That night Brain and Nancy took us out for dinner during which we had a lot of fun, it is funny how you connect to your family even though you don't see them that often (once every 10 years or so).
The next day we went to church with the whole family where we met Tim and later that day we went for dinner/BBQ at Brain and Nancy with the whole family where we finally met Joel so now the picture was complete, Brain, Nancy, Beth, Tim Joel a cool family!!!! Thx uncle Bob and aunt Jenny for taking so good care of us! And Nancy and Brain and the kids thx for showing us a good time. I hope you guys will have a lot of fun on your cruise and Brain please be careful during you free dives 😊
(as we said unfortunatly we lost most of our pictures of this period so if anybody can send us some it would be great)
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