Dreaming Warm Dreams

The wind has been blowing 30+ mph outside since yesterday morning.  We were hit with another snow storm, milder, but much colder and a little more intense with the wind and blowing snow.

The roads are snow packed and drifted and so I sit at home…again, for another snow day.  Driving conditions to the office aren’t safe and I’m not a risk taker when it comes to snow and ice.

I’m READY to get back to the office.  Tucker hasn’t had school since last Wednesday and the cabin fever is really starting to set in for my high energy kiddo.  Ella’s been sick since Friday night.  The respiratory flu bug hit her pretty hard.  Then it decided to hit Grady late Sunday night.  We were ALL home together yesterday.  Needless to say, I would really like to go to work today.  Tucker would really like to go play with his friends at daycare and Ella is missing her little group of daycare girls, too.

I have vowed, though, that I am NOT going to complain about the snow as this moisture is most definitely a gift!  We need it desperately.  I’d just like to get out and back to my normal routine.

In the meantime, I’ll reflect on some sunny warmth and share my pictures from Florida.

Several weeks ago Grady and I attended the NCBA (National Cattlemen’s Business Association) Convention in Tampa, Florida, representing the feedlot he works for.  It’s a 4 day convention packed full of educational seminars, an industry trade show, lovely meals and lots of networking.

The weather was amazing, 80° everyday.  The food was outstanding.  The company was fun and entertaining and the memories are cherished.

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The first day the guys had a very long meeting so, another wife and I took a VERY long walk along the bay.  This was our view for our 2 hour trek.  It was breath-taking.  I could do that every day!

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I soon figured out that jeans and my beloved Chuck Taylors were NOT the appropriate walking attire for that particular sunny day.  Too hot and the Chuck Taylors rubbed my feet in all the wrong spots.

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The convention center where all of our activities took place was only a 2 block walk away from our hotel. It had a really great outdoor cabana style bar setup where we could sit and enjoy a drink and the beautiful water. The fun “pirate ship” was docked right outside.  It looked so fun.  The “thing” Grady has his head stuck in is a fun scrap metal sculpture of a piranha at the bar.  The bay had several draw bridges across it.  This one was lit up at night with lights that would change from green to blue to red to yellow.  It was gorgeous!

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Our second night was a treat.  We were invited onto this beautiful boat for an evening dinner cruise with drinks on the deck and the most amazing steak dinner I’ve EVER had.

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It was fun to get gussied up for the night and feel pretty and special.

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The view from the boat was spectacular!  I love all the colorful lights over the water.  Tampa is a beautifully colorful city.

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Earlier that day, after our classes were over, Grady and I took a walk along the Tampa River Walk on our way back to our hotel.  The entire walk was lined with boat docks and beautiful boats.  There were condos all along the waterway.  Can you imagine pulling your boat up to your house rather than your car.  Wild concept for this land locked girl.

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In Kansas our natural paths are made of small gravel and rocks.  In Tampa, the natural walkways are made up of broken sea shells.

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Leave it to Grady to get a little goofy.  This was the only Florida gator that we saw on the trip.  The cowboy insisted on wrestling it.

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Our last day included an afternoon trip to Clearwater Beach.  The sand was a beautiful white.  The water was a chilly 40°.  The air was drastically different at 80°.

Sadly, within 20 minutes of getting there a storm started to roll in.  The skies turned grey, the wind started to blow and the temperature dropped at least 20°.

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We braved the cold water and wind for photo proof for the kids that we actually got into the ocean.  I immediately got right back out and covered up.

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Grady stayed in the water trying to find sea shell treasures for Tucker.  That was the only thing he asked us to bring back for him.  His daddy couldn’t disappoint.

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After freezing on the beach for another 20 minutes and then cozying up to a little local bar we all decided to head back to Tampa to go out for a nice dinner on our last night in town.  We had such a fun time with this group.  We had lots great belly laughs and made wonderful new friends.  I can’t wait for the next opportunity to go on this trip!!

So, now I’m back to reality looking outside at the blowing snow and white covered ground.  I’m thankful for the moisture and am now looking forward to the muddy mess it will all be by this weekend.  I’m looking forward to the balmy 52° forecast for Saturday and am praying for more rain, but secretly dreaming of 80° and sunny, sandy, white beaches with a fruity drink with a tiny umbrella in my hand.

Hey a girl can dream, right…?

 

Peace, love and warm wishes!

 

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