Happy Tuesday and swim at your own risk

Another sign found on one of our Florida vacays.

Really? Doesn’t sound like much of a swimming area, does it?

Playing along with Comedy Plus and Happy Tuesday and Peabea’s Pictorial Tuesday.

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Happy Tuesday: Florida style

Another sign for a giggle on a Tuesday. This one is from a restaurant close to St. Augustine, Florida. It’s located on the bank of the Tolomoto River and has stunning sunset views. Serving fresh, local seafood (and, of course, alligator), it’s a bit like going back in time….as you can see from the sign posted on the bulletin board in their front lobby.

I think there’s a lesson here we all could learn. The history of the restaurant is a colorful one. You can read about it HERE.

Blog hopping today with Comedy Plus and Happy Tuesday.

Tuesday’s giggle

This was a sign we saw outside an ice cream store at St. John’s Pass Village and Boardwalk January of 2017. The Pass is a seaside area in Madeira Beach, Florida that has all sorts of unique shops and restaurants. Along with shopping and eating, it also is home to a lot of very aggressive seagulls!

Blog hopping with Sandee for Happy Tuesday over at Comedy Plus. 

Thinking about Christmas in July?

July quotography72

But here I am in July, and why am I thinking about Christmas pudding?
Probably because we always pine for what we do not have.
The winter seems cozy and romantic in the hell of summer,
but hot beaches and sunlight are what we yearn for all winter. 

~Joanna Franklin Bell,
Take a Load Off, Mona Jamborski

Here we are in July; smack in the middle of summer. It’s hot here in the middle of land-locked Missouri….with the heat index some days in the triple digits. It was the same during our recent trip to Florida to see The Golfer. But somehow, it never seems quite as miserable when one is at the beach! Funny how that works, isn’t it?

Playing Quotography along with Kelley at The Road Goes Ever On

She's 24! How did this happen?

The Floridian is 24 years old. Yes, today is my baby girl’s birthday. She arrived right on time around 8:25AM after a night of labor. And I do mean L.A.B.O.R as she weighed in at 9 pounds 13 ounces.

A Christmas present I can never forget. That year, Santa came a day late to our home because we all were hanging out in my hospital room, and there wasn’t much room for a tree and toys. No matter. Army Wife’s expression might tell you how she felt about the new arrival.

And I can honestly say I don’t know where the time went. It doesn’t seem like 24 years have gone by since that day.

She was my “quiet” child. I suppose I was more comfortable in my mommy skin by the time she came along so she didn’t sense the sheer panic of being a first-time mom. I remember thinking how in the world would I be able to divide my love between the two. Then, someone told me you don’t divide your love…you multiply it. And that’s so true. Both our daughters are have grown into beautiful young women; each with their own personality quirks, talents, accomplishments and, yes, imperfections.

The Floridian started out as most younger sisters, following her big sister around and doing everything she did. But, eventually, she found her own, unique style. Childhood was filled with gymnastics and dance classes, softball games and short-lived clarinet lessons. High school brought 4 years on the ladies golf team that eventually won her a college scholarship.

I remember driving to work one morning after she’d moved to college and the tears began to fall. Eighteen years was all of a sudden gone and my baby was now a college coed! The next four years included more golf tournaments, one where she showed me the meaning of tenacious! When she turned 21 years old, we were commanded to come and be her DD as she celebrated. We were more than willing to accept that job. During college, she experienced being a Homecoming Queen candidate and graduated on time in 4 years.

 

After graduation she was insistent on finding a job in Florida. I guess you just can’t land lock a coastal soul. Not accepting the possibility she wouldn’t find a job in Florida, there was no Plan B. When the moving van left in August of 2010, she had both job and apartment.

Now, she’s officially a Floridian and I doubt if she’ll ever be land locked again. She’s found a guy she’s crazy about, lives only blocks from the beach and living her dream.

 

Happy Birth Day, Floridian! You’ve come a long way. Can’t wait to see where you go from here.

W is for Wide-Eyed Wonders

Recently we went to visit Army Wife/Guy and Peanut when Army Guy graduated from Warrant Officer School. One of the days we kidnapped Peanut and took a day trip to meet The Floridian and her guy in Tallahassee. After lunch, we found an interesting state park called Wakulla Springs…which works nicely for ABC Wednesday’s W-day as well.

Wakulla Springs is one of the largest and deepest freshwater springs in the world. There you can find a beach, swimming area, nature trail and underwater cave. The 1937 Mediterranean Revival lodge on the property is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and designated as a National Natural Landmark. We took  the three-mile Wakulla River  guided boat tour that lasted about an hour. But before that we stopped in the ice cream shop…because in late May, Florida is already STICKY,  HOT and HUMID! Sans the afternoon nap, Peanut charmed the ice cream shop lady out of a cup full of maraschino cherries, drank her vanilla shake and was ready to hit the boat deck.

Now, since we adults like to think we’ve been there, done that for most everything, things really need to be spectacular to impress us. And my question is…at what age do we stop marveling at things in this world? Why do we lose our sense of wonder? When is amazement replaced with indifference?

A boat tour with river wildlife, flora and fauna is probably not the most exciting trip we’ll ever take. But to a two-and-a-half year old, it’s a whole new world opening up right in front of her eyes. And looking at that world through her young, impressionable eyes made a seemingly ordinary river ride something unique.

Here are some of the wide-eyed wonders she saw on the Wakulla River


Bald cypress trees covered with Spanish Moss growing out of the water.


Highlighted in red is a baby alligator. Most people missed it…but not The Floridian.


Turtle Love. Just hanging out on this tree trunk with my friends. The guide said they will stack themselves on top of each other 3 deep.


The highlight of the tour were the manatees. Can you see them?


An Osprey nest…with Mom or Dad on the lookout for presents to bring the kids.


Don’t know what kind of flowers these are, but I’d love to have them in my garden.


This is an Anhinga. It’s also called a “snake bird” because only its head is visible above the water when chasing fish. When it comes out of the water, it holds out the wings to drip dry in the sun.

There are 3,000 acres of forest refuge in Wakulla Springs State Park and it’s home to more than 180 varieties of birds. The underwater cave next to the swimming area is part of the longest and deepest freshwater, underground cave system on earth. More than 28 miles of its cave system has been surveyed and mapped. On average, the springs flow around 400,000 gallons of water into river. On a clear-water day, the glass-bottom boats will show visitors the bones of slain giant sloths, mastodons, camels and giant armadillos that the Paleo Indians hunted 12,000 years ago.

And if this isn’t enough to impress you, I have one more wide-eyed wonder…

A grandgirl…who left with us at 10am…rode two and a half hours…spent the entire day doing fun stuff..rode two and a half hours home…and didn’t take a nap all day.


She’s talking with Papa (who is driving) on her cell phone about her day. I should rename her the Energizer Bunny.

Submitted for ABC Wednesday. For more Ws from around the World, click HERE.

 

 

 

Creative Exchange: Sweet surrender

The Creative Exchange is back! Lisa, over at Lisa Gordon Photography, has revamped and revised the meme. The meme’s theme is now “your camera in one hand, your heart in the other.” And the *rules* can be found HERE.

Her first entry in this go-round is a stunning capture of a broken-down barn. It is here where the rest of us will attempt to follow her lead.

It is no secret I love sunsets. Love to see them and love to try and capture their stunning beauty. There is something about the last beams of light desperately trying to hang on before surrendering to the darkness that stirs my soul. I try and arrive early, scope out the best seat in the house, make last-minutes decisions with the camera settings…and wait. Once the colors begin to frantically explode on the horizon, I become almost OCD with the camera. When the sun is sinking into the horizon, there isn’t a lot of time to think about changing settings.

During one of our trips to see The Floridian, we were running late to the marina to capture a sunset. Out trip had been overcast for most of the days so this was my last chance before leaving the next morning. As Entrepreneur sped down the street, I fidgeted and anxiously watched the darkening sky, trying to calculate exactly how much time I had before needing to abort the mission.

With only minutes to spare, we arrived at the marina and wasted no time scrambling to the end of the pier, raising the camera to capture whatever I could in the process. After the aerobic workout of getting to the perfect place, my heart is pounding and I can barely hold the camera still. It usually isn’t until I see them on the big screen that I decide whether they’re keepers or not.

These two are keepers.

Very little was done to them in post. A little playing with the levels, but that’s it. Somehow, applying a texture just didn’t seem right. Not much need to improve on nature’s perfection.