What a busy weekend we had last weekend. Non-stop from Friday night to Sunday night.
Friday night we were supposed to go to Praise in the Park but we had rain. The event moves to a local restaurant when that happens but we didn't want to fight the crowds. Wade, Diana and the girls came over anyways and we went out to eat at Smokin' Jim's. A REALLY good BBQ place in town. They'd never been there. If you've never been there, the restaurant will bring out a sample of their food, a couple of ribs, some pulled pork, smoked turkey. You could almost make a meal out of it.
We had already made plans to go to Clearwater Beach, our favorite beach, on Saturday. Here is Wade, Rossi and Layla posing with the turtle. I had some other pictures of Wade and the girls playing in the sand, but I must have deleted them, because now I can't find them.
While we were there, this ship pulled up to the beach...I mean RIGHT up to the beach. We discovered it was the Army Corps of Engineers and they were dregging the canal and intercoastal and bringing the sand out to the beach. The sand has been eroding this year due to some bad storms in the Gulf of Mexico. Once we knew what was going on, it was pretty interesting. Kind of scary at first to see this big ship pulling up to the beach, lol. But as you can see by the people in the water, they could have cared less.
The pole you see next to the ship is actually how far out they allow you to swim. Probably about 50 yards from the shore.
Here is the ship heading back out to the canal.
And here you have a jelly fish. Layla actually ran into this while we were looking for shells. Luckily she didn't get stung. Wade found a man with a shovel to come pick it up. I wish I had taken a picture of it in the shovel, because it filled the whole shovel up. It was a square shovel, so that may give you an idea about how big the jelly fish was.
After Clearwater Beach we headed up the Tarpon Springs for the Sponge Docks. I did a blog about that a couple of months ago after our first trip there. Layla was not with us the first trip, so of course we had to make a second one. We really love going up there. I can't believe we had never been there before this year. It's a nice, inexpensive day out. Lots of little shops and restaurants plus some boat excursions.
And of course we rode the St. Nicholas Boat Lines so that we could actually see a sponge diver. And of course our favorite diver, Frank, was there. Here you see Diana, Layla, Frank,Rossi and Wade.
Here is Frank getting ready to dive for a sponge.
Frank in the water, getting ready to deflate his suit so he can dive and look for a sponge.
Here he is returning to the boat.
Here you see the sponge Frank just brought up. To me it looks like a brain. It's real slimy. A sponge is an animal not a plant and they have a membrane over them. Once sponges are harvested they are set out to dry for a few weeks.
This is one of the few boats they use locally for sponge diving and harvesting sponges.
I'm such a bad photographer. Here is the Scianimanico family in front of the sponge diver monument. I cut off his head, lol. In the background you can see the kind of boat they used back in the 30's on up to present time for sponge diving. We also had some great Greek food while we were there.
Moving on to Sunday, I was finally able to be baptized. The last two times I tried the weather was too nasty. 3rd time was the charm, lol. Hut was able to take a couple of pictures of the event. Here I am with Pastor Leonard as he dunks me under the water. In the background is Youth Pastor Jimmy on the left and Kid's Pastor Chris on the right. And the kids to the left? They are getting baptized too.
All done! And I'm feeling really great.
The gentleman in front of Pastor Leonard was the only other adult to get baptized. With him are his two grandchildren who also got baptized. There were about 10 in all that got baptized that evening. Once everyone was baptized, we ate, everyone brought a couple of covered dishes and then we got to play in the pools. There was a diving pool, a big slide, a kiddy pool and a lap pool. So it was great fellowship, food and fun. What a great way to end a great weekend.