It seems like we’re doing a lot of traveling these days!  We returned on the 12th from a WONDERFUL vacation on North Captiva Island in Florida, and we leave for Wickenburg, Arizona in just a few days for the Dude Ranchers Association Convention.

We must first thank David and Elisabeth Ibeson from the UK, who were guests this past year and David’s sister, Anne Gow.  They invited us to enjoy their vacation home on North Captiva and it couldn’t have been a more enjoyable week!  This was the first vacation we’ve taken as a family and the memories we made are going to be treasured greatly!  We even hired Tyler from Life Point Photography to take family pictures as a lasting reminder of our trip! It’s truly an honor when you choose to spend your vacation here at the ranch with us, but we can’t say enough good things about our time on North Captiva or our accommodations at the Blue Door Villa!

If I wrote about everything from our trip you would need to put on a pot of coffee, so I’ll just touch on a few of our highlights and things we thought were fun about being on an island!

•  “Boatpacking” our groceries (paper sack inside of a plastic sack) – How fun that this is a normal option at the grocery store!  There’s not a grocery store on the island, so we had to buy our groceries in Cape Coral before heading to the marina to meet our boat captain who took us to North Captiva.

•  No motorized vehicles or pavement on the island. – You can take a nice walk, ride a bicycle, or navigate your golf cart down the narrow sandy pathways.

• Shelling – We all enjoyed walking along the beach collecting seashells.  Becca got up before the sun one morning and went for a walk on the beach as the sun rose. Because it was early and low tide, she found a perfect Sand Dollar in the waves.  That was the only Sand Dollar any of us saw that week!

• Kayaking – We all went kayaking one evening around the bay and loved the peacefulness of the water and watching the fish jump out of the water around us. One afternoon Bammaw and Grandpa Cow (Patricia & Kim) played with Teagan, while Tye, Becca, Ruben, and Haley went on a kayak adventure of their own.   They kayaked from North Captiva to another island and got to see DOLPHINS swim all around them!

• Fishing – We hired a captain to take us out for a day and we had so much fun being out on the water!  Each of us caught a different kind of fish, and each of them tasted really good that night for dinner.  Except for the frog fish, we threw him back!  We also ate lunch at Cabbage Key that day, which is where Jimmy Buffett reportedly wrote “Cheeseburger in Paradise”.

Lastly, and most exciting about our trip…

• Ruben proposed and Haley said YES! We all love Ruben, and are so excited to have him as part of the family!  They are so great together and we couldn’t be happier for them!

We would have had a lot more pictures to share, but Becca has lost all of the pictures she took on our trip and has been trying for the last week to recover them.  If any of you have any ideas PLEASE let us know!

We’ll be updating you on the DRA Convention!

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