Florida Mayhem

In May, we made the short trip to Florida to visit family. It had been almost 18 months since my entire family had been together for more than a day, so we were overdue for a photo op that included all of these faces.

In fact, we were so overdue for a photo of all of my siblings that my brother rallied and somehow convinced us to recreate a childhood photo of the JADE crew.

Yes, I now own a white-tailed deer hoodie. The internet has everything.

Sibling shenanigans are my favorite.

Anyway, to get to my parents' home, Nate and I have to fly to Miami or Tampa and then drive west or south toward Fort Myers. When we picked up our rental car, Nate casually (almost sarcastically) asked about the availability of a Mustang convertible. The rental car agency must have known his upgrade price point, because $10/day later we were flying down Alligator Alley with the top down.

Cameo by Blue Mohawk; full-length presentation coming up shortly.
Driving in a convertible in the dark (combined with a bit of rain) had limited joys, but at least it gave us the opportunity to cruise around Cape Coral for a few days in the following manner:

Blurry can't hide our sister excitement.

But we weren't always traveling around on four wheels. My parents live in a fantastic community in SW FL where they are not only walking distance from frequently-visited haunts like a well-stocked ice cream parlour and the local deli...

In search of enough ice cream to feed a crowd

...but also steps away from a whole bunch of friendly neighbors and friends, some who we've known for decades.

Dr. Wells: Getting younger with every passing year. Two wheels for the win!

Strolling the Esplanade with family every day gave us many opportunities to walk and talk, enjoying Florida's late spring weather and meeting and greeting my parents' network of pleasant faces along the way.

The area my parents live in is very relaxed and friendly, where people have their favorite hang-outs and love being locals. One such place was Island Café - an on-the-water restaurant in Matlacha that is known for their live music, sunset views, and broasted chicken.

Island Café was good enough to take a reservation for all ten of us, and the combination of friendly staff, home-cooked food (get the wings!), and sunset views gave this group a lot to smile about.

That amazing evening light reflecting off the water made my camera nearly jump out of the bag. Not that gorgeous light is especially required when you have gorgeous subjects...

Soon I'd convinced everyone to pose with the almost-birthday boy: Papa Parks.

These two. Heart explosion.

The sunset views did not disappoint.

Our evening ended back at home with some family photos - a tradition now, since we're only together so often. But Nate wanted to switch it up this year and make the experience a memorable one. I don't know how to label the hair pieces we donned, but it certainly gave everyone a chance to show their alter ego.

Adding to the hilarity was our lack of a third-party photographer. I had to rely on a tripod and timer delay. Taking the standard "jumping" photo took some coordinated guesswork.

Third time is the charm!

All too soon, our extended weekend trip was wrapping up and it was time to fly off again, but not before we'd spent morning, noon, and night trying to get our fill of these people.

Singing through the streets of Ft. Myers after a night in the River District.
photo by DJP

We'll hurry back as soon as we can, but we know our absence won't stop Mom and Dad from setting an awesome example of two people who are loving life and loving each other.

And when they need to add some crazy to their lives, they'll know who to call.

We've successfully been doing just that for thirty years.

Here's to more sibling shenanigans in the not-too-distant future. These people are my lifeblood!


  1. Two wheel tire vehicle is much interesting for carry or drive. I say about those vehicle which drive by Dr.It's also interesting for children Because it's make day to them.