Visiting Friends (by Madelyn)

My friends Laurel and Nate came to visit us in Gulfport.  They stayed on the boat with us.  They were supposed to come on a Wednesday but their flight got canceled because of the weather in Chicago.  That made me feel upset.  They ended up coming on Saturday.

The day they came we went to the pool and we ate lunch at the pool it was fun.  The next day we went to the Island.


We showed them the tree houses.  I built a house in the sand.  Another family was there and we borrowed their paddle board.

When we came back to the marina we got our paddle boards out and paddle boarded the rest of the afternoon.  Laurel kept on falling in on purpose!


The next day we went to Stella’s and we went to the library.  After that we played at a park on the beach in Gulfport and then drove to St. Pete Beach to see the Gulf of Mexico and collect shells.  We spent the rest of the day at the pool.  In the evenings we played a lot of Monopoly.  Laurel had all of the $500s and $100s!

Tuesday morning they had to leave.  I didn’t want them to go because I was having a lot of fun.



Grandparents (by Madelyn)

We just got back from visiting our grandparents in Cape Coral.  We stayed at Grandma Cathy and Jim’s condo.  We had lots of fun.  We got to go shopping with Grandma.  I used my own money to buy some toys and Molly bought some lip gloss.  We also walked through the farmer’s market in Cape Coral.  We went swimming and used our snorkels.


While we were there we also went to Looperpalooza in Ft. Myers.  We did a presentation on the Story of our Loop.  I talked about the Bahamas and some of what we did in Washington, D.C.

My parents went on a little trip by themselves for two days and we stayed with Grandma.

When we got back to the boat our other grandparents came.  They are staying on the boat with us.  We took them to the Gulfport farmer’s market Tuesday.


Yesterday we went to Ybor City with them.


We went to the Ybor City Museum.  The museum was set in an old bakery.  There was a ginormous really big oven.  There was fake bread in it.  They had to use a really long pole to put the bread in the oven.


We learned a lot about the making of cigars from tobacco.  People from Cuba lived in Ybor City and started the cigar factories.  There were a lot of roosters and and chickens running around outside.  We saw chicken eggs laid inside a utility pole.

If it warms up tomorrow we might take our grandparents to the island.

Gulfport, FL (by Madelyn)

12 days ago we got to Gulfport, FL.  There is an island with three tree houses. We can climb the tree houses.  We took our friends Matthew and Allison to the island and played there with them.  Their boat name is Livin’ the Dream.  We want to take our friends the Wilsons there today.

There is a cute little town.  2 years ago on the great loop Molly got interviewed and was in the newspaper, the Gulfport Gabber.  There is a nice Library we get to check out 3 books at a time.

We have friends, Gabi and John, with a marina close by.  Gabi let us come swim in her marina’s pool and took us to the beach.

We rode our bikes around the neighborhoods. There are some really pretty houses.  We also rode our bikes to the library to do school there.


Daddy’s uncle Geff played the oboe in a band.  After the concert there was a circus called the Sailor Circus.  There were a lot of cool tricks that they did in the circus.  It was all kids performing in the circus.

Mobile Bay (by Molly)

This whole river trip I have been so excited to see Dolphins. I remember when we pulled into Mobile Bay on our loop and dolphins were jumping. It’s like the dolphins are welcoming you. So when dad said we are getting close to the bay I went out on the bow with Maddy. Then we went to the cock pit because they like to chase the wake. We first saw one behind a fishing boat.  They like the fishing boats’ wake.  We also saw two off the bow of a container ship and they were jumping in the water the ship was pushing.

I also like to watch the pelicans dive when they see a fish.  They are a little funny to watch because when they see one they just go splat into the water.  After we saw our first few dolphins Maddy and I went back down stairs to play, then mom called us up and said there were dolphins. We went out front and there were only two at first off the bow, then there were three. They were not above the surface.  They stayed below but we could look down and see them. Then they drifted away and one jumped fully out of the water.  It was so cool to see. Then we went to the back of the boat and there was a pod of six dolphins behind us and they were playing in our wake, then they got way behind us but it was so cool to see. And we saw the pod of six in the gulf ICW not out in the bay.

When we got to the Wharf we immediately got off the boat and went to Lulu’s where we went to meet the Herbons and played for a long time in the sand.  We had an awesome time.


Off the Rivers! (by Madelyn)

Yesterday my family and I got to Mobile Bay.  On the way to Orange Beach my mom, dad, sister Molly and I saw a lot of dolphins.  We were so happy to see dolphins!  Molly and my mom saw a dolphin drift away from the bow and fully jump out of the water.

When we were tied up we went up to the office to check in.  After that we got into a Lyft to go to Lulu’s.  We met up with our friends that have kids. We played in the sand.  We all played family together.  We had dinner there together.  It was so much fun but we had to go back to our boats.


Demopolis (by Molly)

We arrived in Demopolis on Wednesday the seventh. There were rain storms that day so we sped up and went on plane so did Livin The Dream. So we sped up to beat the storm and instead we got there in the worst of it.  So that failed to try and beat the storm. We were traveling with a few other boats that could not go fast but the ones that could sped up then docked in the worst of it. When the other boats that could not go fast came in it had stopped raining. After we got there mom and dad decided we were not going to leave the next day so we stayed an extra day.

That night I played scrabble with Matthew and Maddy played dolls with Allison.  Those are the kids from Livin The Dream.  Then we all painted rocks together.


After we cleaned up we went back to Livin The Dream and played there while mom and dad went to a departure meeting for the next morning.

The next day mom walked into town that morning and when she came back she said there’s a playground and some shops and a library. When she got back I was doing a little school then we left and walked to town with the Zeeffs.  You do have to walk on the side of the highway a little but not for real long and it’s a pretty big shoulder. We played at the park but everything was wet because it had rained then when we were at the park it started raining so we hid under a pavilion.

Then after it stopped raining we went to the Library and after the Library we looked in two stores.

When we started walking back we found a merry-go-round and played on that.


After we went back to the marina we got the courtesy car and ran to Walmart but we only got fruit and not a lot of things because we are leaving to go back Chicago in a few days.

The Statue of Liberty – by Madelyn

We went to New York and my favorite thing was the Statue of Liberty.  The first time I saw her was on the ferry.


When we got to the Statue of Liberty we did the audio tour.  The Statue of Liberty is big!  She got here in thousands of pieces.  You can see the seams of the pieces.


Her torch lights up at night.  Light shines on it.  I think the Statue of Liberty is special and it’s really tall and big.


When we left New York we went past the Statue of Liberty on the boat and took pictures.