Today’s beautiful weather prompted me to push for an afternoon drive. Though I had plenty of writing/editing and such to keep me busy, I couldn’t bring myself to remain indoors. I wanted to walk, enjoy some water and breathe in some fresh air. After a bit of discussion, we opted for St. Marys, Georgia, roughly 45 minutes from our house.
Rick, seldom without a camera, chose his Canon S100 a compact single lens that takes excellent pictures. This wasn’t about pictures as much as simply being outside. We climbed into the car and backed out of the driveway. Before we were fully in the street, I looked through the windshield, having felt a small bump, and pointed to a small black case sitting close to the grass. My heart sank. We pulled back in and I prayed we’d run over a rock or something else—anything else. We hadn’t.
After a quick examination, Rick quickly discovered that the $400 camera was toast. Instead of getting upset, he simply went into the house, grabbed a different camera, and we took off. The drive was lovely and the walk perfect. As opposed to St. Augustine (one of our options), St. Marys was devoid of tourists and traffic. The perfect afternoon.
We stopped for lunch halfway home and got in just in time to feed the dog—who knows exactly when it’s four o’clock. By the time I finished dishing out the dog’s food, I went in search of my husband, knowing exactly where I’d find him: on the computer, ordering a new camera.
Our three day adventure came to an end at 3:30 this afternoon. We left Orlando and drove to historical Sanford, situated next to Lake Monroe. We’ll, likely go back in May for the St. John’s River Festival of the Arts.
Though light rain pelted our windshield most of the way home, we enjoyed taking the back roads, driving through such cities as DeBary, DeLand, Crescent City and Palatka.
Fog seemed to be a running theme in our mini-trip. While visiting Sarasota, the fog was so thick we could barely see the water. After finally making it to Naples, my husband told me he wanted to get up early the next morning so we could get some sunrise pictures. He woke me from a sound sleep at 6:36 a.m. I hadn’t slept well (shoulder pain issues), but climbed out of bed, showered and dressed. Halfway through applying my makeup, my husband tells me to take my time because it’s foggy outside. Say what? He couldn’t have looked before waking me from a blissful dream?
This morning, I showered before looking out the window. When I did…you got it. FOG. Rain fell shortly afterward, improving visibility while giving us time to slowly get ourselves moving—not a bad thing when you’re retired.
I got to thinking about our short trip as we drove home. In the twenty-two years we’ve lived here, we’ve traveled down both coasts, up the middle of the state, and through the panhandle. I can proudly say we have traversed the majority of the state of Florida. Bring on the rest of the country!
Well, it turns out we did not look for a hotel before leaving Naples, because we had no idea where we would end up. So much for being prepared!
In truth, all worked out well. We did drive a bit further south to The Everglades, but knew we wouldn’t be staying the night there, so no small town worries. We took my sister’s advice and signed up for an air boat ride. Now, I am not in the least bit a boat person. I can get sea sick just thinking about boats. Putting that aside, I was quite excited about the prospect of weaving through the mangrove trees and catching a few glimpses of the wild life.
My husband, ever the photographer, snapped dozens of shots of the few birds we saw and the thousands of mangrove roots. We zipped over grasses and sand and did the obligatory 360 spin in open waters. And as crazy as it sounds, I found myself wanting more open waters and long, fast sprints. Maybe next time.
Opting to stop in Orlando for the night (definitely no hotel issues there), we drove up the center of the state instead of taking the coast road I had originally thought we might. It was a nice change of pace, and I now know where all the Florida oranges come from. Another discovery was how many lakes Florida has. Sheesh! You’d think we just moved here instead of having lived in the state for twenty-two years. lol!
My husband and I left our home on the coldest morning North Florida had seen in a very long time, and drove to Biloxi for a few days.
Now, if you live in Florida, you know winter is pretty much a non-existent season. It can be 55 one day, and 75 the next. There are occasional freezes, and an actual snowfall in 1989 (so I’ve been told on more than one occasion). On January 7 we woke to temperatures in the teens—very unusual.
In order to prepare and keep the pipes from freezing, my husband turned on the outside faucets so they would drip and keep the water flowing. We did the same thing inside, having the bathroom and kitchen taps dripping. This is a common practice for many, but one we don’t use often.
You can probably guess where this is going. The inside taps were turned off before we left on our drive, but it wasn’t until sometime around two o’clock this morning (Jan. 13) that the outdoor faucets came to mind. And it wasn’t until sometime around two o’clock this afternoon that I remembered to mention the water situation to my husband.
At least now I’ll know why our next water bill is higher than usual—or will I even remember?
Happy New Year!
I hope and pray the year ahead is filled with love, joy, peace and prosperity.
After a rough 2013, I’m looking forward to what adventures await in the coming year.
For many reasons, my blogging sort of disappeared last year, but I’m determined to put my best foot forward in 2014, and wow you with my wit and wisdom as my husband and I explore retired life.
Now, I left my job two years ago to pursue my writing and help assist my aging parents. With the loss of my mother a year ago and Dad getting older, he will definitely be part of the year(s) ahead. Just this morning, my husband and I took him to the emergency room. What a way to start the year, right? *rolls eyes, shakes head and takes a very deep breath*
During the coming year, Rick and I plan to take a series of road trips. I’m looking to discover some inspiration for future books, while Rick will pull out his cameras that have been gathering too much dust lately. We’re both very excited about a different way of life, and just a bit nervous about spending so much time together. Lol!
I hope you will follow along as I share some of the things we learn while living retired.
To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven.
Wow! I accomplished my goal. I’m so thankful for having participated in my “Year of Thanks.” I’m glad God put this on my heart, and that I followed through. I’m also thankful for friends who participated in whatever way worked for them.
A few months ago, I was determined to do this again in the coming year, but I don’t feel that’s the direction God has chosen for me.
I’m thankful for being able to share Mom’s journey with so many of you, and touched by all the feedback I’ve received.
I wish everyone a blessed and prosperous 2013. Looking forward to see what God has in store for all of us. ♥
I’m thankful for a nice final day in Houston. We had lunch out, then shopped for a neighbor who has been keeping her eye on our house. Afterwards, Jamie and I found a little tea house and enjoyed some English Breakfast tea and peppermint scones. What a lovely afternoon.
Packing is about done, and we head home in the morning. Thankful for a great time with family, and looking forward to a safe drive home.
I’m thankful for another safe day of driving in Houston traffic. As much as I love my family, I could seriously never live here again. Rick, the kids and I checked out a “Diners, Drive-in and Dives” restaurant near Galveston. I wasn’t as impressed as the others, but it was a nice time.
Now, we are beginning the packing process. Final day tomorrow, then headed home.
Today I’m thankful that my holiday cooking is done! Fixed a traditional turkey dinner, then made some turkey soup. I intend to eat leftovers or eat out for the duration of our visit. :)
From yesterday, I’m thankful we weren’t killed by a lunatic driver who decided to change lanes the same time we did. He was going about 90 mph, and apparently failed to see our SUV, or our blinker.