Sarasota, FL: Paul and Nicole

We drove straight across the state of Florida … from Vero Beach to Sarasota, and arrived at Paul and Nicole’s house. Some of you may know Nicole as “Mrs. Pivec” of Golightly Place. When we arrived, we were greeted warmly with a chalk drawn “Welcome Friends” in the driveway. :) An entire crew of people answered the door when I rang the doorbell, and we got to meet everyone, including Paul’s brother’s family, who was down visiting from Minneapolis for a month.

That night we had a delicious meal…Nicole is a wonderful chef, and their family is vegetarian. We sat out on their back patio and enjoyed the fragrant orange blossoms as the smells wafted through the night air. We had big plans to go to the beach the next day…but when we woke up, it was raining. And the forecast said that there would be more “soaking” rain. We didn’t want to take the chance, so we had a day of thrifting and grocery store shopping. Before we headed out though, I got to use their VitaMix to make my green smoothie…weeeee! Love it. Later on, we made some magic carrot juice…oooooh the carrot juice! :)

Speaking of food, we also went to Veggie Magic (owned by Jenna Norwood of Supercharge Me!). It’s a new raw restaurant in Tampa and we were excited to go! We had a great time taking it all in…checking out all the raw goodies. One of my favorite things was the caramelized onion “bread”…but later on we found out that it didn’t really agree with our digestive systems :) hee hee. We had “living” pizza, a Mexican green wrap, curried cauliflower, and raw apple crisp. Delish!

On Easter Sunday, we enjoyed visiting their house church (which they just happen to live right next door to!)…and a crazy egg hunt in the backyard. Paul and Nicole’s home backs up to a small pond…which they assured us only has one small alligator…sometimes :) There are other exotic birds (or so it seems to us) and lots of lizards too. They have an orange tree, grapefruit tree, mango tree, and avocado tree! It was like the Garden of Eden! :) I’ve never had an orange straight off the tree and it was like juicy heaven. It was such a beautiful setting…perfect for celebrating the resurrection of King Jesus! After all that excitement, we had a potluck brunch, and then at the last minute decided to head to the beach!

I am sooooo glad we did. It was a GORGEOUS day at Siesta Key, which was just a short drive from their house. We were able to get a lot of sun, build several sand castles and get in a few boogie boarding runs by Bella. It’s just so relaxing being at the beach. It’s not something I’m familiar with…growing up in Iowa. I could lay there all day reading and listening to the sound of the waves. As we were leaving, we were able to see a drumming circle starting. Yet another thing that I could listen to all day! I love drums. We arrived home sandy and tired…but it was so worth it!

Bella really enjoyed playing with the “big girls”, whom she lovingly called “Friend” because she could never remember their names :) (i.e. “Hey FRIEND!! Where ARE YOU??!). They spent a lot of time on the swings and the trampoline. More swinging practice for Bella. I think we might have to figure out how to attach a swing to the RV!

Thank you to the Pivec Family for opening your home and hearts to us! Our Florida visit was wonderful!

Photo album here.

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