Thursday, November 18, 2010

Clearwater and World Championships

Well we made it to Clearwater, and the beach was as white as can be. The weather couldn't be more perfect. Our hotel was on site of the race venue. Lola and Lolo's hotel was down the street, about a 15 minute walk on the beach boardwalk to our place.

We left Orlando at around lunchtime and drove for about an hour and 30 minutes to Clearwater (an hour of which Olivia took a nap...phew ). We checked in and unloaded our stuff in the hotel room. They we went straight to the site where Martin could register - which was across the hotel parking lot.

As soon as we got there, Olivia caught sight of the huge playground and of course the white powder the surrounded it. She quickly slumped down in the sand and let it run through her hands and fingers. She was in heaven. Yay! She literally did not move from that spot. Even though there were tons of children running around and playing on the giant play structures. She was surely going to enjoy the beach.

After our tour around the site, it was close to dinner time. We drove over to the other hotel where Lola and Lolo were staying. We checked them in and walked around their area. Interestingly enough, although Clearwater is a pretty popular place and beautiful, there is nothing but tacky touristy stores and pubs. It was kind of disappointing. But hey...we didn't come here to shop and dine, we came here to enjoy the beach. After dinner we decided to call it a night. It was a long day and tomorrow would be "beach" day.

The next day we all met up after breakfast and headed down to the beach. We rented a cabana and some beach chairs. We really had quite the set-up. We took out Olivia's sand toys and she was ready to go. She played quite contently with her toys and then realized there was a huge body of water before. That was it, she was gone. I have to say, Martin went swimming early that morning, with a wetsuit and said that the water was freezing. And it was! Nobody really was swimming in the ocean it was too cold. But there was Miss Olivia loving every moment in the water. hahahha. EVerytime a wave would come she would scream and still went back in. :0P

She spent most of the morning with Papa collecting sea shells and running back and forth to the water. We walked over to the beach canteen and had some lunch. Lola and Lolo decided to go for walk around the area and I decided to put Olivia down for a nap at the beach. She slept sooo well under the cabana it was too cute. When she woke up, of course, she wanted back in the water. sigh. It was getting late so it didn't last too long. We had an "athelete" banquet that night, so we called it a day.


For dinner that night, the athletes had to go to this beach site for a buffet dinner. It was quite an experience. We had been to the one in Penticton for Ironman Canada, but that was in a convention centre. This buffet was entirely outside. It was windy and somewhat cold, but the atmosphere was pretty cool. As soon as you walk in, you go under a huge tent where you "collect" you food and then you find you seating in the outdoors. Tables and chairs were set on the sand right next to the water. They had a special flag ceremony which showcased all the countries that were represented in this championship race. Lola and Lola were quite suprised to learn that there was 1 Filipino athlete representing the Philippines. And yes we took a picture of the flag. :0)

Olivia seemed to enjoy it although it was hard feeding her in the dark. Wasn't sure how much or what she was eating. She sat on my lap which made it pretty difficult too. I think though she loved the entertainment but enjoyed running around the site more. In the end, I was soo tired running after I put her in the carrier. hahahaha. Haven't done that in awhile, and man...she was heavy. We decided it was a long day for her, and headed back to the hotel. Tomorrow would be another beach day.

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