Brent: Florida Vacation 2009

My dad turns 60 this year. To celebrate his longevity my stepmum planned for my siblings and me and our families to gather at their house in Florida. His birthday isn’t until April, but my younger brother, Ken, has enlisted in the US Army and will be reporting to Basic Training later this month.

Back: Mike, Richard, Ken, Scott, Brent Middle: Kim, Patsy, Christi, James (baby), Heidi, Kelly, Kirsten Front: Jenna, Skye, Hayley, Cathryn, Blake
Back: Mike, Richard, Ken, Scott, Brent Middle: Kim, Patsy, Christi, James (baby), Heidi, Kelly, Kirsten Front: Jenna, Skye, Hayley, Cathryn, Blake

I was fortunate to have meetings for work in Connecticut on March 2nd. This was beneficial because it meant I could expense the mileage from Maine to Connecticut and back. I left the meeting after the girls’ late checkout from the hotel and we were off. The drive was mostly uneventful except for icy roads in North Carolina. Kirsten and I enjoyed passing metropolitan areas in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We saw many cool bridges, airports and seaports along the way. Kirsten and I tweeted our progress for family and friends.

Entering Pennsylvania. 384 miles
5:31 PM Mar 2nd from Ping.fm

722 miles behind us. 722 miles to go. Virginia is my 47th state visited.
10:36 PM Mar 2nd from Ping.fm

PIREP. North Carolina. Roads icy. Snowing. Many cars in ditch.
12:02 AM Mar 3rd from Ping.fm

Stopped at Dunkin Donuts in Palm Coast, FL for coffee and, well, donuts. 1338 miles.
7:27 AM Mar 3rd from Ping.fm

We arrived at Dad and Patsy’s house Tuesday morning. In the evening Kirsten and Dad and I picked Mike and Kim up at the airport. They had flown all the way from Bangkok to surprise Dad. He had no idea they were coming.

Mike and Kim arrive from Bangkok
Mike and Kim arrive from Bangkok

Wednesday morning we went back to the airport to pick up Scott and his new wife, Kelly. They flew in from Utah. In the afternoon Scott and I changed the spark plugs in one of the water crafts before we took both out on the lake for a spin. I started with Kirsten and Skye on the back of mine, but Skye didn’t have fun–even (or especially) when I let her drive–so we dropped her off at the boat house and headed back out.

Me and Kirsten embark for a short ride
Me and Kirsten embark for a short ride

The girls were very excited to be able to swim in Heypop and Nana’s pool. They were quite disappointed to discover it was colder than expected. The frigidness of the water didn’t stop Skye, though. She strapped on fins and goggles, grabbed a boogie board and dove right in.

The pool water was too cold for Hayley
The pool water was too cold for Hayley

Skye enjoys the pool despite the cold temperature
Skye enjoys the pool despite the cold temperature
Michael enjoying the company at the bar
Michael enjoying the company at the bar
Kim and Kirsten are great pals
Kim and Kirsten are great pals

Thursday morning I went out early to take pictures while the lake was smooth. Then Kirsten and I walked to Dad’s office so I could take his picture and Kirsten could use a desk and computer to take an Anatomy & Physiology II exam.

Dad and Patsy's house
Dad and Patsy's house
Dad and Patsy's back yard
Dad and Patsy's back yard
The dock and boat house (boat ramp is to the right, out of frame)
The dock and boat house (boat ramp is to the right, out of frame)
Dad's Corvette and office
Dad's Corvette and office
Dad at work.  He's very good at what he does.
Dad at work. He's very good at what he does.

Thursday afternoon Scott, Michael and I and our significant others drove to Cape Canaveral and Cocoa. I remember as a kid roaming around Kennedy Space Center looking at the majestic static rocket displays and museum. Now it costs $38 for an adult just to walk through the front doors. So much for NASA’s mandate to promote science education. Needless to say, we didn’t purchase tickets.

An astonaut on the roof of the ticket windows making sure everybody pays
An astonaut on the roof of the ticket windows making sure everybody pays
Kim and Michael are gorgeous!  :)
Kim and Michael are gorgeous! :)
Beyond the fence and trees are massive rockets on static display
Beyond the fence and trees are massive rockets on static display
Kelly and Scott outside the Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Center
Kelly and Scott outside the Kennedy Space Center Visitor's Center
Skye and a rocket
Skye and a rocket
My big brother, Scott
My big brother, Scott
Kirsten enjoying not touring Kennedy Space Center's Visitor's Center
Kirsten enjoying not touring Kennedy Space Center's Visitor's Center
A NASA gunship.  Ooh.  Nefarious.
A NASA gunship. Ooh. Nefarious.

Friday morning Dad, Scott, Mike and I picked my sister, Christi, up at the airport. She had flown in from Memphis. It had been far too long since I had seen or spoken to her. It was nice to spend time with her and get reacquainted.

A self portrait
A self portrait
We spent a lot of time conversing at the bar
We spent a lot of time conversing at the bar
Christi shows Patsy the amazing features of her new iPhone
Christi shows Patsy the amazing features of her new iPhone
Christi and I chill on the pool deck
Christi and I chill on the pool deck
Skye loved the pool despite the frigid temperatures
Skye loved the pool despite the frigid temperatures
Kim and Mike's dog, Mufasa
Kim and Mike's dog, Mufasa
Mike and Scott enjoy the PWC on Live Oak Lake
Mike and Scott enjoy the PWC on Live Oak Lake

Friday evening we ate dinner at Dad’s favorite restaurant, Texas de Brazil. The food was amazing! It was nice to see Dad smile and enjoy himself.

Photo: Christina Denny - Kirsten and I enjoy dinner at Texas de Brazil
Photo: Christina Denny - Kirsten and I enjoy dinner at Texas de Brazil
Photo: Christina Denny - Patsy and Dad
Photo: Christina Denny - Patsy and Dad
Photo: Christina Denny - The crew (minus Ken, Heidi and Trent)
Photo: Christina Denny - The crew (minus Ken, Heidi and Trent)
Photo: Christina Denny - Dad blows out the candles on his sixtieth birthday cake
Photo: Christina Denny - Dad blows out the candles on his sixtieth birthday cake
Photo: Christina Denny - Christi and Kim finally got to meet each other
Photo: Christina Denny - Christi and Kim finally got to meet each other

Beware of the Green Paste
Kirsten Uhler, Cogitations, March 11, 2009

Dad wouldn’t let me drive his Corvette but he did agree to give me a ride…to 170 miles per hour!

170 Miles Per Hour!
Brent Danley, The Rhetoric, March 10, 2009

170 mph is, like, wicked fast!
170 mph is, like, wicked fast!
Scott in the SSR
Scott in the SSR

Saturday morning after taking pictures Dad and the five Danley siblings drove Scott and Kelly to the airport for their flight home. Back at the house we enjoyed a barbecue lunch, played a game of Hearts and went for a walk around the neighborhood and Dad’s offices. After dinner we said our goodbyes and started our long drive home.

Scott, Brent, Christi, Mike, Richard (aka Dad), Ken
Scott, Brent, Christi, Mike, Richard (aka Dad), Ken
Christi and Dad
Christi and Dad
Christi, Mike, Brent and Ken play Hearts
Christi, Mike, Brent and Ken play Hearts
Sleeping in the car
Jenna, Hayley and Skye asleep in the car
A reading light was included in the travel kits Kirsten and I assembled for each of the girls
A reading light was included in the travel kits Kirsten and I assembled for each of the girls

We stopped in Washington D.C. Sunday before spending the night in Dover, Delaware. None of us had previously visited and all were excited to see the famous landmarks of our nation. The girls were tired from the drive and walking but didn’t complain much. The sky was gray and the reflecting pool empty, but we got a good feel for the place and will be better able to plan a more thorough visit.

Jenna and I walk toward the Washington Monument
Jenna and I walk toward the Washington Monument
Skye, Jenna and Hayley at the White House
Skye, Jenna and Hayley at the White House
The Lincoln Memorial and a US Airways Express ERJ-170
The Lincoln Memorial and a US Airways Express ERJ-170
The Washington Monument
The Washington Monument
Hayley and Kirsten at the US Capitol
Hayley and Kirsten at the US Capitol
The US Capitol
The US Capitol

Monday afternoon we enjoyed lunch at Hooters in Wethersfield, Connecticut. It was snowing quite hard but the roads were good and we never had to slow down.

Hooters in Wethersfield, Connecticut
Hooters in Wethersfield, Connecticut
Kirsten loves Hooters, too
Kirsten loves Hooters, too
The fare isn't special, but the service is always great
The fare isn't special, but the service is always great
Hooters Girls and my girls
Hooters Girls and my girls
We went from 80ºF to 30ºF in 1,400 miles
We went from 80ºF to 30ºF in 1,400 miles

13 thoughts on “Brent: Florida Vacation 2009”

  1. Sounds like a great trip. It’s so nice that you could have that time together with your family. Someday I’d like to see those spots in Washington D.C. too.

  2. Thanks for sharing the pictures. Beautifully done. I would have been disappointed if you hadn’t put in the Hooters shot. ;-)

    Welcome home…

  3. @Sue – Thank you.

    I would have been disappointed if you hadn’t put in the Hooters shot.

    Because you want me to be me or because you just like Hooters? ;)

  4. Brent, that family picture is great! You make me look photogenic!! That doesn’t happen very often! :) Can’t wait to see how the others turned out!! It was great to visit with you guys and we’re so glad you came to help make Ken’s last days here a little more eventful!

  5. @Heidi – Thank you. The trip to Florida was wonderful! I enjoyed chatting with you at the end and wish we could have had more time together.

    I’m not happy with the pictures of the families because the sky was so washed out and my lights not powerful enough to compensate. I’ll try to get some contact sheets out to everybody soon so they can let me know which ones they’d like.

  6. Brent, your photos are AWESOME! You can make anything look good. Thanks for being the official photographer/memory capturer. I think everyone had a great time. Hopefully next time, it won’t take so many years.

  7. Great post, Brent! I’m so glad we were able to go down to Florida and see everyone. I really had a good time. Awesome pictures Babe! I like your processing of the ones of the back yard.

  8. I had fun in Florida. I like the photos. Remember when I would chase Mufasa around like he was my owner?! I talked to Nana on my phone a few days ago. Love you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *