Early July Morning, Cocoa Beach, Florida

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Christmas Gifts for Mom and Dad

Every year, I have a hard time trying to figure out what to get my parents for Christmas.  My dad always gets on to us about it. He doesn't want anything, and he means it!  My mom on the other hand likes to get stuff. The problem is, I like to get things that have a special meaning. Since I've been into photography, I have been just giving them pictures of the kids. 

This year, I have come up with some good gifts for my parents.  My dad hates the new light bulbs (as I do too), and has been stocking up on the old ones. So, I've decided to buy him some old light bulbs., because they will not be making them in the near future. Sounds pretty weird, but I think he might actually get a kick out of that. 

As far as my mom, I've been doing a lot of thinking on that. Not long ago, I had my Young Women's Medallion on, and she commented on how she like what I had done with it. 

My medallion 

Years ago (like over 20) my mom had been Young Women's President for six years, and had earned her medallion. She told me she had no idea where it was. I can remember her getting it and thought how sad that she had lost it.  Since that time the program has come up with new medallions. They use to be gold with a young women in a flowing dress (which you cannot get anymore). Then they changed to your choice of gold or silver and had a temple on it. Most recently, they have added the "ruby" to the bottom. 

Just before I was released from Young Women's, the church librarian gave me a box of old Young Women stuff. I opened it up to find a bunch of old charms from the old Young Women's program. The girls wanted them, but I didn't think it was right to just be given them away, so I emailed Salt Lake to see what they thought I should do with them. They told me that I could just mail them back and they would destroy them. I don't think so!!!!!

In the old program, you would earn a charm after you graduated from Beehive, then one for Mia Maid, and then one for Laurel and you would then receive the medallion with the girl on it, making a total of four charms. Since I had gobs of these charms, I shadowed boxed a grouping for display in the Young Women's room. It was actually kinda neat. One of my counselors, who had grown up in the ward and moved away, then moved back, had just lost her medallion in the recent move. She was devastated, as she use to wear it all the time. I know she had earned it, so I just gave her one to replace the lost one. Then I went ahead and grabbed one to give to my mom. The rest are in the closet at church.

So, this year for Christmas, I made my mom a necklace to hang the medallion on. As you can see it is made up of many colors. Each color represents a different value. 
White for Faith
Blue for Divine Nature
Red for Individual Worth
Green for Knowledge
Orange for Choice and Accountability
Yellow for Good Works
Purple for Integrity
These were the original colors when my mom got her medallion, so I just put these colors on. About two years ago, they added one more value; Virtue, and the color is gold.

I have one more thing I want to do for my parents as a joint gift, and then I will be done with them. I love making things for people, and am grateful that I have this talent to make nice jewelry. I'm sure my mom will love her new necklace, and I know she will not be reading this. That's why I went ahead and blogged about it...

Monday, November 28, 2011

Cyber Monday

So, today is the day to shop via the internet. I have never done this before. I am actually enjoying sitting at my computer with my big sweats on and shopping. It is cold and rainy, and I am not one of those who likes to go out and fight the crowds.  There is really nothing I want that bad. I do have a few small things I need to go get, but, for the most part, I am finished with my shopping...yeah!!!!

One thing I have learned about Cyber Monday, is that you need to do some research before hand. I have also found that a lot of the so called sales are not all that great. Yes, most places have free shipping, but you have to buy a certain amount (which is a lot), and for the most part, I am buying a little here and a little there.  I did find though, that WalMart does have free shipping and you only have to buy $45 worth of stuff. That is not difficult. I have done most of my cyber shopping there, so I was able to get the free shipping. One thing I ordered from Bed Bath and Beyond, and one thing I ordered from QVC were both free shipping for that particular item, so I lucked out there. 

Well, now that I am mostly done with my shopping, I've been sitting here reflecting on our Thanksgiving. I really enjoyed having everyone together. Boy, I sure miss having everyone around. My husband and oldest son left for Tennessee Saturday morning, and my middle son left to go back to school just a few minutes ago. I guess it is just my youngest son, the dog and me now. It sure is quiet. 

In a few weeks, the noise will be back and we will all be together again. My parents will be joining us, which will be nice. I am really looking forward to having everyone over for our last Christmas here in Louisiana. 

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Joann's Brownies

Our library has a group that meets once or twice a month. This past month we met for our Knit Wits group (we crochet and knit) and exchanged our favorite holiday treats. I got this recipe from one of the ladies there, and tried it for Thanksgiving.

OK, so the picture does not do this recipe justice, but take my word for it, it is delicious!

1 box German chocolate cake mix
1/4 cup butter, melted
small can evaporated milk
6 oz chocolate chips
1 cup pecans (I used almonds)
14 oz caramel candy cubes (these were very difficult to find)

Set oven to 350. Unwrap caramels. Combine with 1/3 cup of evaporated milk (1/2 can) and microwave on high for 3 minutes. Melt margarine and combine cake mix, margarine and rest of evaporated milk. Pat 1/2 of this mixture into a 12 X 8 pan and bake for 5 mins. 

Sprinkle with chocolate chips and pecans then pour the melted caramel mixture over the top. Blob the remaining cake mixture in small blobs over the top and finish baking for 30 mins. The top cake may or may not run all the way together, it still tastes great!

Since I do not have a 12 X 8 pan, I used a 9 x 13 cake pan. Instead of pressing 1/2 the cake mixture in the pan, I pressed the whole thing, then just sprinkled the top with the nuts, and chocolate chips and poured the melted caramel on top. Keep an eye on them while cooking. It did not take the full 30 minutes in the oven I used, it just depends on your oven's temperature. 

Saturday, November 26, 2011


This year I decorated with blue and silver and wire wrapped sea shells I picked off the beach while in Florida in October. 

Okay, everybody, I'd like to know what you all have for Christmas dinner. This year, I'd like to change our dinner up a bit. Usually, we have turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes and gravy, green bean casserole, rolls, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato casserole, cranberries, fruit salad, and various desserts. 

Given the fact that we are moving, and we have our house on the market, I didn't decorate much at all. I put up a very small tree, wreath on the door, and that's about it. I do think I might rummage around in the attic and pull down my two soldiers I made a hundred years ago, and put them on either side of my front door. Other than that, it will probably be just table cloths and center pieces on the dining and kitchen tables. 

I would also like to simplify our Christmas dinner. I don't want it to seem that way though. We are having a small group, just my parents, our three boys, our daughter and her husband, and my husband and me; a total of nine people. One main reason I'd like to simplify the dinner is to be able to spend time with everyone, instead of in the kitchen cooking all day and then clean up. I was thinking maybe to do the food prep before. I usually do that anyway, except maybe the turkey, rolls and fruit salad. Christmas Eve we usually get all the chopping done, make the desserts, and put together the other stuff just to throw them in the oven after the turkey is done and resting.

In addition to simplifying, I just want something different. Christmas dinner is definetly NOT a healthy meal. All of us are trying to be more healthy, and I am wanting to loose some weight. I'm not going to get serious about it 'til after we get moved, but at the same time, I do NOT need to gain any more weight. So, I'm thinking we probably need to have a much healthier (but tasty) meal.

So, what do you do for your Christmas? Do you have any good recipes you would like to share? I really would like to hear what you do.

Our tiny Christmas tree. 

Peppers Galore!

Jalapeno Peppers

Unlike a lot of the country, our weather has been warm. I am just lovin' it!!! I have a feeling, though, that it is about to change. But until it does, I will be enjoying my summer attire, including my capris, sandals, and short sleeve shirts. 

Red and Green Bell Peppers

Along with the warm weather, comes a longer gardening season. Having a husband with an extremely green thumb, we have quite the garden. In the past I have posted about the garden. Most of our garden is pretty much gone,  but not our peppers. We had an over-abundance of peppers this year. Just wished we had had the tomatoes to go along with them. I had planned to canned some salsa.

Hot Peppers
More Jalapeno Peppers

We had so many peppers, that there was no way we could eat them all. If we were not moving, I would freeze or can hot pepper jelly. But since I have a lot of my canning stuff in storage, and we have the house on the market, I really can't do any canning (seems like every time I start a major project, a realtor calls wanting to show the house in 30 minutes).

Last Sunday, we took a bunch of peppers to church, and boy did they get snatched up. I was really glad to see that. Wished I had brought more. I also brought some to my daughter and her husband in Baton Rouge. 

We enjoy our garden and am so glad that others can enjoy it too.  Hopefully, our next home will have a nice area for a garden, and the summer of 2012 will bless us with a nice garden!

Friday, November 25, 2011

It's That Time of Year Again!!!

Every year, we have a tradition; probably not unlike many other families.  Mom wants family pictures for the Christmas card, so we all go out to a nice location to take pictures. Everyone complains, and the process takes forever.  Everyone becomes frustrated, and after a gazillion pictures are taken, everyone goes home upset. 

This year, I told everyone before we left for the park that if everyone would cooperate, it would not take long. So after getting our fill with turkey and all the fixin's we piled in the car and headed out. 

It was a beautiful day. Very sunny, and perfect temperature, probably 65 to 70 degrees. There were several people at the park, some brought their kids to playground, others were playing Frisbee golf. Others were just hanging out by the picnic tables visiting. 

We had a pretty good time just being with one another. I took several pictures, and so did my daughter. I had never used the timer on my camera, and I had also forgot to bring my tripod, so she took pictures of my husband and me . 

I really like my Transitions except for outdoor picture taking

I really wanted a family picture, so my husband suggested I just go ahead and try to use a picnic table for a tripod and we could try to figure out the timer. So we whipped out the instructions and read through it. I tried to pose everyone by one of the trees, saving a place for me. After messing with the camera a bit, I set the timer and  headed to the group.

The first try didn't come out too well. I really like to be hidden, but this was a bit obvious. So we tried again. 

Not too bad!  Everyone's eyes are open, no one is squinting, everyone is smiling, and we all look relaxed. I think we got our family Christmas card picture. Yeah! Now we can all go home and have some pie!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turtle Pumpkin Pie

I know most of you will think I'm crazy when I say I do not like pumpkin pie.  I never have liked pumpkin much except for pumpkin rolls. Now those are something I can sink my teeth into!  

This Thanksgiving , we decided to go down to Baton Rouge and spend it with my daughter and her new husband.  Being students, they live in a pretty small apartment. It's not as small as our first place, though. They are fortunate enough to have been able to get a two bedroom apartment, so my husband and I slept in one of the bedrooms, and our three boys took turns sleeping on the couch or the cot we brought, or on the floor.  Three days, three boys, and three different locations; each were able to take a turn in each area. 

Anyway, Ashley and I cooked Thanksgiving dinner.  We had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, dressing, green bean casserole, crescent rolls, macaroni and cheese, apple salad, and several desserts, including a Turtle Pumpkin Pie.  I was a little hesitant at first, but seeing it had caramel (I LOVE caramel), whip topping, and a graham cracker crust, I just had to try it. 

My lovely daughter 

First you take a graham cracker pie crust and pour 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of caramel ice cream topping into it. Then you top with about 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon of chopped pecans. 

Then you mix 2 small packages of vanilla flavor instant pudding and 2 cups cold milk, add 1 cup pumpkin, 1 teaspoon, ground cinnamon, and 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg.  Fold in 4 oz Cool Whip.  Spoon into crust and refrigerate for and hour. Top with remaining Cool Whip. Drizzle with caramel ice cream topping and pecans just before serving. 

Now I did it a bit different. Since I am not a fan of pumpkin (it's a bit strong for me), and we have a few family members who don't like whip topping, (or pumpkin either) I went ahead and mixed the whole 8 oz tub of Cool Whip into the mixture before refrigerating it. It was really good! I think I may make this for Christmas. 

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Good Bye Tire

Our third child, Scott, is a freshman at Louisiana Tech University. LA Tech is a short drive from our house, but a tad too far to drive everyday, so he lives in the dorms. Now, when our daughter went out to school in Utah, she did not take a car. We figured it was much easier for her not to have one.  A) She had little experience driving in the snow, B) It was a looooong drive out there, and C) more importantly, upkeep on it was more of a hassle than it was worth.  Besides, being a student at BYU, you can walk anywhere you need and usually want to go. 

So, why you may ask does Scott get to have a car?  Well, there are several reasons. First off, since we live so close, he can drive home on the weekends if he wants. He could even come home in the middle of the week if he needed to.  Also, church is not within walking distance, and even though he could probably get someone to pick him up, he just likes to be more self sufficient.  Pretty much the car sits in the parking lot during the week.  You may think I don't know what I am talking about, but the credit card bill comes to my house, so I pretty much know if he is driving the car a lot. 

LA Tech is on quarter system, so first quarter is over with. He had his finals Thursday, and then he was off down the road for a long Thanksgiving holiday.  Just a short distance down the road, and Scott had a bit of a surprise. As you can see, he had a flat tire. He called to let me know he would be late and that he was ok. When he got home, I was not expecting it to be as bad as it was.  Needless to say, the next day, the car got a new tire. It's kinda a bummer, as you can see the tire still had some pretty good tread on it. Oh well...Just happy Scott got home safely. 

Monday, November 21, 2011

What A Surprise!

As I have mentioned before, we are in the middle of a move. My husband has already started his job in Kentucky, but the rest of us are staying behind to sell the house.  In the past, most of our homes have sold pretty quickly. Not this time. Oh, well...

The last time I got to see my husband was over a month ago. I know I probably seem like a winer to all you military families.  Honestly, I don't know how you do it. I am such a wimp!  Anyway, Bill was able to come home for Thanksgiving. He left work early and drove the 9ish hours down here. Friday was a day of getting things ready for him. Early in the day, I got a phone call asking for me. They proceeded to introduce themselves from one of our local florist and was lost in our neighborhood. I asked to make sure they got the right person, and indeed they did! WOW!! So unexpected. She arrived with my gorgeous arrangement, and I saw the note was from my wonderful husband.  Just made my already perfect day even better!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Beautiful, Sunny, Mosquioty November Afternoon

This afternoon, I had the privilege to do another photo shoot.  This time with one of my friends from church and her family.  I love taking family photos, especially when it is laid back and fun.  I usually like to get to where I am taking pictures early and kinda scope things out; even if I've used the place before.  Places are different each time you go.  It had only been a week since I had taken pictures at this place, as I had a photo shoot with another family who I am friends with from church.  Today, unlike last week, it was cloudy and very warm. Last week, it was sunny and COLD!!!  But, today, it felt like late spring or early summer. The temperatures were in the 80's and we had a lot of mosquitoes, yes! those pesty bugs you get in the summer, and boy, were they hungry!

Anyway, while I was waiting, I noticed butterflies all over, so I started taking some pictures.  I saw one butterfly in particular that I thought was beautiful.  It was yellow (one of my favorite colors) and it was fluttering around some purple (my other favorite color) Mexican Petunias. I loved watching him fly around, and was hoping I could get some decent pictures.

I love the contrast of purple and yellow together. Well, I took some ok pictures. Those little buggers are hard to get, you and your camera have to be fast!
As far as the family pictures, they came out great. I can't wait to get them to my friend and see what she thinks. I love taking pictures at this particular place, as it is out by a lake that use to be part of the bayou. There are a lot of cypress trees and Spanish moss hanging from the trees; it makes a great back drop for those Louisiana pictures. 

Friday, November 18, 2011


We are planning on going down to visit with our daughter and her husband for Thanksgiving. Ought to be cozy, but fun. Since her and her husband both have to work on Black Friday, we decided to just go down for two days. Wednesday, we would just get things ready for Thanksgiving by last minute shopping, baking and chopping things up, and Thursday, we would do the big cooking and big eating. We would also play games and just enjoy family. Then, on Friday, whenever we got up and got going, we would leave to come home.

My daughter works four jobs at the moment (ya, I know...crazy!). She teaches and choreographs at two dance studios, is a photographer, and works part time at a clothing place in the mall. Figuring, she would be working at the clothing place AND at the photography studio, we knew Friday was going to be VERY busy. She just got her hours for next week, and guess what?! Well, the clothing place in the mall opens at midnight, so she works from 11 p.m. on Thanksgiving to 8 a.m. on Friday. Wow....what has Christmas become?

I think we have forgotten the main reason for the holidays. It is not a holiday tree...it is a Christmas Tree. It is not holiday vacation, or winter break, it is Christmas vacation. And...even though I like to give and receive CHRISTMAS (not holiday) gifts, do we really need to be breaking our necks to get to the store to get what seems to be bargains at midnight?  I don't think so! I use to get up to be at the store at 5 a.m., but have found it is just not worth it. Half the time, the things you are looking for are not there, because the store did not get many.  I much prefer my sleep, and go when the crowds are not so vicious.

We are in the midst of an economy crises. Part of the problem is that too many people spend way too much, especially times like Christmas. I have a friend that bought her 8 year old a $500 TV as ONE of his Christmas gifts. Now that is way overboard. We have a family of 6 (four children) and I don't think I even spend that much on all the kids combined. We have become a society of having; and we all have too much.

It is my hope that we remember what the holiday season is all about. It is about our Savior Jesus Christ. And if you do not choose to believe in Christ, then don't call this season what it is not. You can choose not to celebrate, but for those of us who want to celebrate, we need to step back and think about what we are doing. It needs to be simplified; Christ was a simple man. I don't see anything wrong with giving gifts and decorating, and even Santa, but when things get out of hand, as they have, we need to step back a bit.

So, this year, I plan to step back, simplify, and I think because I will be simplifying, our family might just have a better, happier time.  I encourage all of us to do the same. Then maybe one day, so many of us won't have to work these crazy hours and be able to spend time with much more important things, like the people who matter most in our lives. We might even be able to spend time with those who are in need. I bet the Savior would appreciate that a lot!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Is It Snow? Are They Bugs? What Is It!?

When I got up this morning the sun was shining and it looked to be a beautiful day. Since I walk every morning, I like to check the weather, so one of the first things I did after I put my whole wheat bread into the toaster was to get online and check to see how cold it was. 47!  Wow! Sure didn't look that cold; better bundle up!

After I got my shower and ready for the day, I started vacuuming and mopping.  Never know when that right person might come to look at the house and want to buy it.  Anyway, as I was moping I looked out the back windows and what did I see!?  It appeared to be snowflakes dancing around my backyard. Wait a minute... I know that is not likely this time of year in Louisiana. Besides, it was already into the 60's! I took a closer look and assumed they were bugs. Now that I can believe, but as I looked even closer I could tell they were seeds.  Yes, fall is here, and Mother Nature is planting her seeds for next spring.  Looks like the cattails have popped open, and that is what I saw.  Looked pretty cool, and so I tried to take some pictures.  I figured I could get a better shot if I used my telephoto lens and put it on the sports mode.  I got a few ok shots. At least you can see why it looked like snowflakes at first.

I really could not get a picture that can give you the full affect, but it was actually quite beautiful.  Isn't nature wonderful!?

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Your Happily Ever After

Tonight, I had the privilege of attending our ward's Young Women's In Excellence program. The theme was Your Happily Ever After, after the talk by Dieter F. Uchtdorf.  What an incredible talk. I hope you take the time to listen to an excerpt of it. 

Young Women In Excellence is a yearly activity when the Young Women have a nice evening of sharing what they have been working on in their Personal Progress. They invite friends and family members and talk a little about the program. 

Because the theme was based Your Happily Ever After, Disney characters were used. There was a lot of work that went into the night, and it looked very nice. Since I was able to attend, you know me, I had to bring my camera. I'd like to share some of the evening through pictures.

The new Young Women's president made this incredible cake.  She also did all the value posters with the Disney characters. Everything looked so nice. I did hate to eat that cake though. Gotta say, it taste as good as it looks!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Fall In The South

I am so lucky to live in the south! This morning when I got up it was 70! Right now at 4:35 pm, it is 84, and it's mid November. I just love it!  One thing I do not like, though, is the time change.  Benjamin Franklin was a very bright man, but his idea of daylight savings time was, well, not a good one.  We lived in Indiana for just over 5 years. While I hated the cold winters, I loved not having to change our clocks.  Everyone got along just fine with leaving the time alone.  The year we moved away, though, they had to be like everyone else, and voted to observe daylight savings time.   With the  time change now, it starts getting dark at 4:30 yuck!  I like the sun too much to see it get dark so early.

I think we are in for some cooling down, as we are suppose to get some storms tonight. I think it is suppose to get down to 67, and then bring in some cooler weather. By Thursday night, we are looking at 37 for a low.  Did I mention I hate cold weather?  Well, I don't think it is suppose too last long. I am happy to say that this weekend we are looking at 70's and 80's once more. Now, that makes me happy :D

Monday, November 14, 2011

Personal Progress

I served in the Young Women's program at our church for the past four years, and loved every minute of it.  In our ward, we have some of the best girls. During these past years, we have worked hard on our Personal Progress, which is a goal setting program that helps the girls to grow into happy, strong and productive ladies. You can read about it in my blog dated 4 Feb 2011 titled Goals. I tried to instill the importance of the program by not only the girls participating in the program, but my counselors and I working on it too. If it is important that they work on it, it is just as important that we all work on these goals, and strengthen our knowledge and testimony of the Gospel. I also got some of the ladies at church to help out, and introduced the program in a Relief Society lesson one Sunday.

Personal Progress starts when a young lady turns 12. She works in different areas until she reaches 18, including reading and studying the Book of Mormon.  It is a very involved program and one must work hard to finish. Many compare it to the Eagle Scout in Boy Scouts. Our girls worked so hard, that many finished before they turned 16. If this happens, the girls can continue to work on it again, by mentoring a young woman and reading the Book of Mormon again. They then receive their Honor Bee.

Last November, I finished my Personal Progress and received my medallion. I love wearing it, as it reminds me of who I am, and what I represent. I had a goal to earn my Honor Bee before I was released from my calling in Young Women. This past August, I was released, and sadly, I did not finish. I was so close, as I had everything but just a few books in the Book of Mormon to finish.  Well, yesterday, I finally finished reading, and I'll have to say again, my testimony has strengthened.

Each time I read the Book of Mormon, I am amazed. For those of you who do not know what this book is, it is another Testament of our Savior Jesus Christ. It is the story of the people who lived on the American Continent and talks about Christ's visit to them after His death and Resurrection. Christ talks of His other sheep in the New Testament, well some of those other sheep are those who lived in the Americas.

I would like to close, by saying how grateful I am to have been involved with the Young Women. They helped to strengthen me, and it is my prayer, that they continue on the path they are now on, and grow to be strong, happy individuals in the Gospel.

Young Women's Torch
"Stand for Truth and Righteousness" 


Thursday, November 10, 2011

Jeeping Around Grand Island, Bahamas

I told you that I would blog a little about our cruise, so here is a little about our one and only excursion we took. 

First off, I'd like to mention, that we left Port Canaveral on the Carnival Sensation on Sunday, 23 Oct. I had never taken a cruise that late in the season, and I was a bit nervous about the weather.  I'll have to say, we had perfect weather.  When we left the port, it was sunny and probably in the low 80's. Our first port of call was Freeport, Bahamas.  This is where we decided to go on an excursion, since there really isn't much to do there.  

I had been to Freeport a couple of years ago, and we got off the boat and did a little shopping at the nearby shops, then just got back on the boat and enjoyed the slides and such. 

But anyway, back to the excursion. We signed up for the jeep excursion which was suppose to take us all over the island.  It was to include several informative stops, potty breaks, lunch, and the beach. 

My sister had always wanted to drive a jeep, so we let her drive. My mom was co-pilot and I was the photographer in the back seat. Mom and I really didn't care to drive especially since they drive on the wrong side of the road, and the steering wheel is on the American side.  That was REALLY weird. 

We stopped at a jetty that divided the north and south part of the island. Our guide, Tony, told us that the north end is hit by hurricanes more than the south end; and you could really tell.

After our visit at the jetty, we took off for our drive on the beach.  This picture I took without even looking. I thought it came out pretty good.  I just turned my camera around and held it up and pushed the button.  I actually did that on several of my photos and they all came out.  lol

After we got off the beach, we headed into some forests.

We stopped and Tony talked a little more about the island. 

Here you see a lot of dead trees. In 2004, there were several hurricanes that came through, flooding this area with salt water, and killing the trees.  Sad, yet interesting to see how nature can damage such an area, and yet just a few years later, much growth is coming back. 

So, what is this?  Do you stop or yield? Notice how short the signs are.  I am guessing it is because of the hurricanes. The high winds probably knock a lot of signs down.

One of our stops was Garden of the Groves.  This is where we had lunch and had the opportunity to do a little shopping.  I just walked around the area.  It is actually a very beautiful garden area.  We also were visited by some strange ducks while we ate our lunch.  They wagged their tails just like dogs, and even panted like a dog.  I thought is was really funny.

After lunch and all our stops, we headed for Taino Beach.  The water was a bit cool for my taste, so I just sat in one of the chairs for awhile, then walked around and down the pier and took pictures and enjoyed the nice sunny weather.

This excursion was pretty fun. As with all excursions, I do believe it was a bit overpriced.  As far as the weather, it was perfect.  While in the jeeps, it was a little cloudy, but as soon as we hit the beach, the sun came out, PERFECT!!

Here we are....having a great time!

Hang loose &