Sunday, August 9, 2015

Birthday Overload

Today we were lucky enough to have some friends join us at the Florida Railroad Museum to cap Will's birthday weekend. The old train runs up the track about 40 minutes and then returns to the station backwards. 

It was probably about twice as long as the kids could handle but it gave us time enjoy the picnic lunch we had packed and then chase increasingly bored kids up and down the aisles and through the adjoining cars. 

Our train!

Frick and Frack.

A real conductor collected our tickets.

Zoe was bursting with anticipation.

Birdie tried to upstage Mimi in every shot.


Beautiful Mimi.

That smile!

Will spent the entire trip pacing up and down the aisle and avoiding the camera (please note the new train shirt especially for the occasion).

My precious girl.

The excursion proved to be much too long for some of the younger participants.

But Scott kept his sense of humor about him.
Thank you, Florida Railroad Museum!

Saturday, August 8, 2015

A Very Happy Birthday

Today we celebrated Will's birthday. We had planned on having cake and ice cream while the kids played in the fountains at the same park we always go to, but the rain started up again yesterday and the radar forecast wasn't looking good. So we cancelled at the last minute and invited everyone to our home instead.

After the kids rooted through every toy in the house we sang to the birthday boy and he blew out his candles (all by himself!). Then we all kind of sat around looking at eachother as if to say, "What now?" 

Emergency Responder Cake!

Luckily, the rain had let up, so I suggested we walk over to a park down the block so the kids could work off some of the sugar. This proved to be an excellent idea. For a while. 

After a while the kids found some mud and decided to make pies...

... which eventually devolved into complete chaos.

Best. Birthday. Ever.

Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday to you.
Happy birthday, dear Wilson.
Happy birthday to you!

Monday, August 3, 2015

Rain, Rain

It's been raining here in Tampa. A lot. We're fortunate in that our home happens to be in a higher point of the neighborhood and on piers, so we've been pretty dry, but many of our neighbors have not been as lucky. And driving is out of the question in many parts of town.

For reference, this is Bayshore Boulevard, which is about three miles south of us. Bayshore is not typically, you know, eight feet under water or kayakable. That little curved line on the right is the sea wall. To keep the Gulf of Mexico out. To the upper right you can see the onramp to Davis Island and Tampa General Hospital, where my children will not be going today for their annual and school check ups. 

... and this is Bayshore from street level looking out on the bay. Please keep in mind that water is rife with all the raw sewage that has overflowed from the past-capacity city sewer. Eeeewwwww.

Brad, my hero, spent several hours on Saturday night alongside another neighbor digging out an enclosed crawl space of an older home to save a feral cat who had taken refuge from the storm. As the water rose the elderly resident of the home had heard her crying. Thank heavens for sump pumps. Brad came home covered in mud and mosquito bites. The cat spent the night trapped under the house but found her way out the following morning, safe and sound. 

This is another neighbor shop-vaccing her spare bedroom. 

And here's the view from mere blocks from us. 

Now the sewers are backing up. People just four blocks south of us have sewage bubbling up through drains. It's supposed to rain until about 4:00pm. Then the tide comes in at 5:00pm. Keep your fingers crossed.

As I said, we've been lucky. I think we'll be staying inside today. Possibly with our pajamas on.

P.S. I wish there were a way to send some of this rain to California.