Tag Archives: Florida

Last Chance for the Beach

We head to central Florida tomorrow so it was today or never if I was going to get to the beach one last time this winter. After running errands and tidying up the house, we finally left for the beach about mid-afternoon – Yippee!
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We drove north on A1A until we came to Treasure Shores Beach, one of the lovely Treasure Coast public access beaches.
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Oh, my, it was beautiful!
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But it was a bit windy!
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We had a lovely walk along the beach
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and I was having a grand time having the waves lick at my toes
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even if as I was taking that picture the next wave came up to my knees. That’s just the risk you take when you walk along the water’s edge!
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Such a beautiful day!
After a bit, we hosed off our sandy feet and continued north along A1A until our stomachs told us it was time to turn around and get some dinner!
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It was a bit of a splurge, but my-oh-my there are few things as yummy in my book as fresh seafood (especially when you add in some crab meat and creamy spinach!). Yes, I ate the whole thing!

As we were finishing up dinner the clouds rolled in and a light rain began to fall. Perfect timing! We made it back to the camp in time to join our SOWER friends for one last night of games and then had a prayer circle to send us (and most of the others) on our way!

Chores Done
Beaches Walked
Tummy Full
Heart Overflowing
A Very Blessed Day

Sisters’ Winter Getaway – Part IV

Yes, we slept late(ish) and lingered over our coffee.
Yes, we worked on the puzzles and played more games of Rummikub than we could count.
But we knew there was more to Florida that beautifully landscaped properties, white sand beaches and snowbird traffic. In an effort to experience Florida in its more “au naturale” state, we took one of our last days to check out the Florida Everglades.
What an excellent day!! While the weather looked a little dismal as we started out our tour
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the weather eventually warmed up which invited all kinds of critters out into the sun!
With Elna and her trusty scooter secured in the tram, we set off on a 90 minute tour of the Shark Valley section of the Everglades!
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Roseate Spoonbills!! We were so excited to see these beauties.
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But there were so many ‘mixed flocks’ that every corner seemed to reveal more amazing creatures.
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Wood Storks, Egrets, Alligators, Oh My!
Being able to climb up to the observatory was such a treat –
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and by the time we reached the top, the clouds had parted and the blue sky was brilliant! The view was spectacular!
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The ride back to the visitor center took us past more alligators, turtles, and beautiful birds.
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What a creative God we serve!!
Our days together might’ve been winding down, but we were making every moment count!!

Sisters’ Winter Getaway – Part III

Ten Days. At a friend’s condo. In the Florida Sun.  We three sisters were just about beside ourselves with giddiness in anticipation of the prospect. We didn’t have a clue what the condo would be like (just that we were essentially being gifted) or what the area would be like (apart from crazy traffic) or what we would do with eight whole days together(with two travel days tacked on either end), but we were pinching ourselves that this was really happening .  In all honesty, with the exception of making travel arrangements, we made zero plans. And that turned out to be the perfect plan!

Imagine our delight when we realized the condo we were being blessed with was over and above anything we expected.
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Oh, and mirrors!
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…count the Stephanies!
We were so thankful that Andi joined us for the first 5 days, not only because it was her place after all, but because she was so much fun!! She fit right in with our low key, no agenda type of getaway AND she knew all the good places to eat and the shortcuts to get there!!
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(Our official ‘group picture’!)
We went to the movies (Little Women – how excellent), did a bit of shopping (yay for a local Costco and a couple of thrift shops), and connected with some friends who were wintering nearby.
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Although we couldn’t find any scooter friendly beach access, Joie and I did manage to put our feet in the sand and feel the ocean breeze in our hair.

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(Man, I’m a bad selfie taker!)
So while we didn’t do any beach sitting, we did take a couple of drives up A1A where we ooo’d and ahhh’d over the ritzy houses and glistening yachts. We may (or may not) have whined a bit about the traffic, but that is to be expected (the whining AND the traffic!). No documentation of said traffic or houses or boats is available because after all I was driving – and you know – traffic.
So just what were we doing? Well, we were sleeping until we woke up, enjoying our coffee on the balcony, and working on a jigsaw puzzle
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or two.
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Games were being played
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and wonderful meals were being shared.
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Whether we were navigating the roads of Pompano Beach or hanging around the condo trying to find that odd shaped puzzle piece with just a little bit of red in the corner or walking through the neighborhood enjoying the beauty of the area, our days were filled with laughter (oh my, so much laughter) and memories and prayers and maybe a tear or two. They were wonderful, wonderful, grace filled days as we soaked in our precious sisterhood.  Days that we in no way take for granted.

While I have one more installment on our SWG,  just let me say now I’m praying this was just our First Annual Sisters’ Winter Getaway!

 

Sisters’ Winter Getaway – Part II

Scooting about!

How thankful we were that Elna decided to rent a scooter! Although she rarely used any auxiliary help when navigating inside the condo, and kept her crutches close for an occasional short jaunt, the scooter was an invaluable part of our Florida adventure. It was used for shopping
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for walks in the neighborhood
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and even walks inside the condo compound.
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What would we have done without it when we took a trip to Shark Valley in the Everglades where they just strapped that baby onto the tram and off we went!

Not to mention the fact that it enabled her to get to the top of the observation tower to get a panorama view of the Everglades.
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It even worked well at the pool!
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One of the things that concerned us as Elna researched scooter rentals was the fact that Joie and I were going to have to wrangle that baby into and out of the back of the pick-up truck. I knew we would make it work somehow, but we were greatly relieved when we realized that this particular model breaks down into four piece. Yes, the batteries were still heavy and yes, some of the parts were a little awkward, but it didn’t take us too long to develop a finely honed routine in assembling and disassembling this wonderful little piece of machinery!
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What a pit crew!

Unexpected Ornithology

It goes without saying that Florida has some amazing birds. Even right here on campus you can often spot a Great Egret with its beautiful mating plumage hanging around the lake.
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But when Gary came to get me this morning to see THREE Pileated Woodpeckers, now that was unexpected! By the time I got there one had flown away, but still it was amazing. We’d never seen two together and never so near to the ground. They also let us get pretty close without so much as a glance our way. So cool!
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They danced around that trunk for several minutes
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before they both paused to check out a squirrel that was approaching…
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Soon the third bird joined the party (or maybe the competition?). Can you see him ?
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He was easier to see when he moved to the next tree (the one with the squirrel!).
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We were enthralled watching these birds interact with each other. Given that (according to the All About Birds website) –“ Pileated Woodpeckers are monogamous and hold large territories; it’s rare to see more than two birds together at a time”, it was a great experience. Now that we’ve realized they are part of the neighborhood, we’ve spotted them several more times today and are listening carefully for their distinctive call and pecking.
I’m not going to tell you this is the most amazing video you’ve ever seen, but if you find watching these large woodpeckers mesmerizing (like we did), here’s about 45 seconds of pecking and hopping!
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It was a great way to start a Saturday!