Monday, April 14, 2014

"Odball" Spring Break

Well Champs, I've returned from sunny Sarasota, Florida and I'd like to be able to report that I brought back some sunshine and warmer temps here to Michigan, but such is not the case. 
I'm once again typing this from my home office while bundled up with a winter coat. I'm serious.

But enough complaining. I'm just grateful to have enjoyed the out-of-doors for a week solid. To breathe fresh air. To bike and swim. It was all fabulous and I will be working hard to keep that 'vacation' mindset going in these last few lingering winter/spring months ahead. 

On the first Saturday we got down there, we made plans to attend the weekly downtown Sarasota street market. We stumbled upon it last year and knew that we wanted to come back.
Abby, is this what you're picturing for our downtown Zeeland Peddler's Market? 
I am. :)
(If you haven't already, put it down on your calendar: May 17 from 9-3 on Church st. in Zeeland).

 We took the above picture from on top of a bus that had been re purposed to a mobile cafe! We had just enjoyed delicious strawberry-banana smoothies which melted quickly in the hot Florida sun. Hard to imagine that now from where I stand (sit).
I remembered this artist from last year and maybe even posted about him before. He is the owner of Red House Design Studio and he makes all of these projects out of reclaimed wood leftover from his day job as a carpenter. My sister, Lo is thinking about ordering a special piece for her new house. I especially liked his 'beach' motif artwork like the one below. 

You can find him and his work at
I tried talking Ken into making something like this out of our leftover wood scraps but he shot down that idea quite quickly. He wasn't interested in planing and planning and painting to perfection like these. 
There were all kinds of different vendors. Homemade crepes, coffee booths, art work, pottery, flowers, herbs, annuals, sweets and pastries etc. It was packed with people walking up and down the entire downtown district. So festive and fun!

 My whole family-all my sisters and their families and our parents made the trip down to Florida for vacation and we made so many new memories with all of our 'forced family fun' activities that we packed into the week. 

My 12 year old nephew Jagger and I had a schedule of events you could attend to earn points for the duration of the time down there. At the end of the week, our 'sponser' Pata (my dad) bought prizes for the winners. Here's the agenda Jagger had prepared ahead of time and distributed once we got there. (Od ball is an acronym for the families represented-Ockerse, Denhof, Boeve, LeBlanc and LeBlanc (holly).
Here's some of the crew decorating team bandannas the first night of the competition. You were given a point every time you showed up at an event wearing your bandanna.

 Some people really took it seriously! Go Cole!

The Ockerse's had an unfair advantage. That family is really artsy and creative. Here's Robert designing his bandanna to represent the activities planned for the week.

 And here's the end product, which of course was voted 'best in show'.
 Here they were-all lined up for voting.

And here we are proudly wearing them as we battled out some newcom (sp)-(laid back version of volleyball) in teams. 
 In the mornings, Ken and I were able to break away from family bonding time long enough to get some beautiful bike rides in.  This was a trail we found 5 miles from our resort. It was a short 3 mile trek through beautiful Florida landscape. I should of taken a picture of the "Beware of Alligators" sign. I was a little unnerved but glad I was on a bike, and not a hike. 
This is on the boardwalk at Lido Beach near St. Armand's Circle. So pretty!
 Another shot of our morning biking on Lido Beach.

 Our closing ceremonies for the week included a 'decorate the camper' competition in which Team Ockerse literally decorated a camper. His name was Cole. We were supposed to use a roll of tin foil to commemorate your favorite Odball memory for the week. This was their interpretation of our mini golf tournament in which the teenagers spent more minutes checking their cell phones, than their golf score. That's Pata in the background getting everyone's attention. Of course Team O won again. 
 We even had a last minute 'twinning' night. Or 'Who wore it best'? No one dared judge that competition. We all wanted to go home on speaking terms. :)
My sisters and best friends (l to r front~Holly, Mom, Me back row l to r~Lauri, Cherie)
All in all, I couldn't have asked for a better time spent with family.
 On our 20 hour driving trip home we planned to stop in Nashville to walk around for a few hours and grab dinner. So glad we did. That place was so much fun! Ken and I had been there years ago for a long weekend, but the girls had never been. Glad we got there somewhat early before the nightlife got a little too crazy. It was a beautiful day to be there. Sunshine and high 70's.
Brecken and Kennedy livin' the dream.

 Ken and Christy livin' the dream:
And now it's back to the daily grind -although it was kinda fun coming home to this rug rat I have to admit.
 Not sure when I turned into a creepy cat lady but I did somewhere along the way.  This was Brecken's Christmas present that somehow became my responsibility. :)

Thanks for putting up with my Odball spring break slide show. 
I use this blog for professional and personal endeavors, so sorry you have to endure both. 
See you back here soon.


Anonymous said...

Um... what happened to the SPOKEN rule of "no posting photos without hair/makeup done"?

The Changing Room said...

ummm. i don't think your comment is so anonymous, Cherie Ockerse! :) You look great. I promise it won't be next year's Christmas card.

The Changing Room said...

ummm. i don't think your comment is so anonymous, Cherie Ockerse! :) You look great. I promise it won't be next year's Christmas card.

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