Sunday, January 13, 2008

Birthday Weekend

I think the party is officially over...I guess that is okay since my actual birthday was Thursday. I worked Thursday so besides lunch with my boss and dinner with a friend, it was pretty uneventful.

Well, uneventful until about 9pm. That is when my friend, Amanda, arrived. We met the summer after we both graduated from college. We were in the same Journeyman class and got to know each other at the Missionary Learning Center in Virginia before we both headed to the mission field. During those five weeks we became friends and kept in touch while we were overseas. We also were roommates at seminary. We've only seen each other a couple of times since I graduated two years ago. This summer she moved to Tifton, GA where she is an intern at a church. Since it is only a four hour drive between Tampa and Tifton, we have been trying to work out a trip for one of us. I was very excited when she called and asked if she could come for my birthday.

We hadn't seen each other in a year and a half, so Thursday night we spent several hours just talking. Friday we began the day with a leisure breakfast and coffee. We eventually got ourselves ready and headed to Ana Maria Island to spend the day. It was a great day!

We both enjoyed watching the birds, especially the pelicans.

In an attempt to complete the Snap-It! assignment (a picture of an unusual building or architectural structure).

A friend gave me the idea of also trying to take a picture of the Sunshine Skyway for Snap-It! As you can see it was a little too hazy...If you look right about the water you can see a line which is the bridge.

After walking on the beach, shopping, and of course lots more talking we headed to the Sandbar for dinner. We actually arrived a little earlier than we planned, but it ended up being a good move because the tables on the beach were almost all occupied. We decided to go ahead and get a table and enjoy a leisure dinner. There was more than enough activity to keep us entertained as can be seen in the following pictures. All I could think of was how my mother would have been going crazy because she hates birds!

We enjoyed a great dinner and a beautiful sunset.

With the sun set, we began the drive back to Tampa. I wasn't satisfied with any of the pictures I had taken for Snap-It! so we headed to the University of Tampa to see what we could find. This was the best shot and my entry for the week. I had a problem with some of the pictures being fuzzy. I think I will need to read the book to my camera and look at some hints for taking "night pictures".

You might think we would call it a day at that, but no, we decided to go to a late movie. It almost felt like the days when we were at seminary and did random things constantly.

Saturday we did several things in Tampa before Amanda had to head back to Tifton. Basically things she can't do there like LifeWay, a local running store, and lunch at Mimi's Cafe. I think we both wished the visit would have lasted longer, but I keep reminding myself that it is only four hours and we can arrange some other visits. Saturday night (after a nap due to being tired from all the other activities) two of my friends took me out for dinner. Of course no day is complete without a trip to Starbucks.

Thanks for all the e-mails, voicemails, phone calls, cards, and MySpace messages. It was a great day or days! I had a great birthday and now it is time to get back to the real world.


Meems said...

oooo I love the pelican captures especially the one of them on the rocks. They are such interesting creatures. AND your Ring-billed Gull you know is mostly a winter resident... good job.

That elusive Skyway! Love your sandcastle pic- that one would have worked for sure.

Sounds like a perfect weekend for the two of you to fit every possible thing into every possible minute.

I keep forgetting to tell you we got a speeding ticket going through Tifton on our honeymoon... oh so many years ago.

Happy Birthday!

Jeff, Abbey, and Reed Land said...

AHHH! Not the birds! I'm jealous besides the bird part; it sounds like you all had a great time of randomness...something that you don't have too much of when you are in the 'real world'. And, technically your birthday isn't over, since I INTENTIONALLY bought you a belated card thinking I would send it on time and it'd be funny. Unfortunately, now it will be true since it's not mailed yet. And I can't remember if it was actually funny or not. Oh well, Happy Birthday again! (Where's a picture of you and Amanda?)

Jane said...

Meems- A Ring-billed Gull, huh? I didn't know that was what it called, I just loved the white tuff of hair on his/her head. It was a perfect weekend.

A speeding ticket? I'm shocked that y'all would break the law like that!

Abbey- I knew you would appreciate the bird pictures as well. I told Amanda the story of you being "attacked" by the sea gull and your sting ray shuffle. I'll appreciate the birthday card whenever it arrives. I can't give you a hard time about being late...I still have your Christmas present! To be friends!