(Click on the pictures for a full-sized view.) We spent most of the week of July 4th in Punta Gorda, FL at Kevin's parents' home. Unfortunately, my car spent the week (and part of the next week) in Sanford, FL where it died as we were making the drive. We had a good time, even with the shadow of a huge bill for transmission service looming over us.
Mary Beth discovered that sparklers are fun! We enjoyed our own fireworks on the evening of the 4th and she wasn't afraid of the flying sparks one little bit. After she went to bed, the grownups watched the city's fireworks display from the porch. We had to get up early the next day because we wanted to be on time for the departure of the Key West Express from Ft. Myers! The boat ride is 3 1/2 to 4 hours. It moves at quite a fast clip! Standing on the upper deck will certainly give you a new hairdo.
Once we got to the island, we wanted to have lunch at Sloppy Joe's, the bar that Ernest Hemingway is said to have frequented, but it was packed with people. No problem. There were plenty of other spots to eat.
After lunch, we headed down Duvall St. to Hemingway's house. The tour is a good one, and Mary Beth had lots of fun finding six- and seven-toed kitties! The tour guide would point them out for her whenever he saw one. We thought it was fun to discover that there are live webcams set up for viewing the Hemingway cats online. Click on the link to see what the kitties are up to! After visiting the Hemingway house, we stopped for ice cream at Haagan Dazs and then for a T-shirt at Margaritaville. We decided that Key West definitely deserves a return visit.
On the next day, we took a drive to Sanibel Island, one of the best beaches anywhere for finding seashells. Mary Beth found tons of pretty shells to save. We're still trying to dream up some good crafts that use seashells.
Aunt Amanda and Uncle Keith showed up on the next day, and we enjoyed spending time with them as well as Grandma and Grandpa. All in all, it was a fun trip, and a happy way to celebrate the 4th.