Ater seven busy days and nights, littered with more boxes and seemingly making bigger messes after opening each one instead of it resulting in a more organized home, we left it all behind and crossed the bridge that separates the bay from the white sandy beach of Clearwater.
I closed my eyes and let the sound of crashing waves come in and wrap my soul in warmth... salty, ocean warmth. Little brother ran to the coast line and back, chasing the receding line and running from the white froth of an oncoming wave like it was his passion in life and sister followed daddy out to let the ocean caps toss her around a bit before digging her feet into the white powder beneath them.
We wanted to take our houseguests somewhere fun. You know, after making them help hang our TV and build our office furniture. So after plucking shells from their resting place on the shore, we headed to Frenchy's, a local favorite seafood joint and downed grouper and burgers, chips and gravy fries in the cheerful outdoor setting of yellow, blue and orange. Oh, and deep fried oreos, we ate those too.
And then jogged the 13 miles back to our house... or not.
This was their stage, and they danced, danced, danced.
But we did wave goodbye to a burning sky hovering over the dark waters as two salty and sunscreened little babes fought sleep in the backseat.
Though, when we pulled into our driveway, we had the privilege of carrying each one to their beds and tucking still-sandy feet under the covers.
It was the perfect juxtaposition to the fall show that is breaking out in my house. Starting with a pumpkin stuffed Chrysanthemum and an apple spice candle that's getting a workout each day, thanks to a couple of housewarming gifts from nearby friends, and the scent of our first pumpkin bread of the season.
And we can't have fall without the candycorn adornment on the counter, one of those random grab-it moments where I swipe it from the shelf as the cart whirls by.
I'll be digging in the garage soon (since there are no basements in Florida, our boxes are in the garage) to find the one marked Fall Decor to let the season fly a little higher in our home.
Because it definitely isn't happening outside of it right now.
With only a touch of sharpening, this is just how the sky looked, no color adjustments or other enhancements were done to this photo.
But this? This pretty much makes up for it.