Showing posts with label Florida. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Florida. Show all posts

Monday, November 9, 2015

Another Rainy Day

A pleasant smile is the wisest comment, always interpreted favorably and rarely misquoted. - Robert Brault


Being at the beach always puts a smile on my face, so on this rainy November day, I look back, remember and smile. The gull in this picture is getting his smile on, too.



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Thursday, October 15, 2015

Just Chillin'


Enjoying a little R&R. 



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Friday, September 4, 2015

Golden Sunset

St. Augustine Beach, 2015
Sometimes Nature saves the best for last! This was taken on our final night at the beach.




Posted for Photo Friday prompt, Clouds.








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Friday, August 21, 2015

Photo Friday: The Mighty Oak


Giant Live Oak on Anastasia Island in St. Augustine, Florida
June 2015




Posted for Photo Friday prompt, Trees.






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Thursday, July 23, 2015

Spooning?

During our recent trip to St. Augustine, we had several opportunities to dine near the water. While we were having lunch at the Conch House restaurant one afternoon, this fellow was panning for his lunch in the shallows near the marina. 

This is the same location where we saw the manatee, pelicans, baby sharks and a sea turtle. Click the link to read about that...don't worry, I'll wait.

Okay, let's meet today's special guest.


This is a Roseate Spoonbill. From a distance we were reminded of a Pink Flamingo, except for his flat, paddle-like bill. For more information on the Spoonbill and hear what he sounds like, click on the link.

The Spoonbill is a wading bird of the Spoonbill and Ibis family, and is found in the Caribbean, Central and South America, Mexico and the Gulf Coast of the U.S.

They feed in shallow fresh or coastal water by swinging their bills from side to side as they walk, often leaving a trail behind them as they sift through the mud.

Their diet consists of aquatic insects, frogs, newts, crustaceans and fish too small for other wading birds.

After lunch, I got some video of him feeding and leaving a trail in his wake.


To see more of my videos, visit my YouTube channel here.


The music in the video is called "Squiggly Line" by Podington Bear found at http://podingtonbear.com.  I think you'll see why it is so appropriate for this video.



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Monday, July 13, 2015

Watching the Waves

My connection to the earth is reinforced 
through the rhythm of the waves. - Mike Dolan

St. Augustine Beach, June 2015

I often refer to this as recharging my internal batteries. To sit and gaze at the ocean relaxes both body and soul. Maybe it is the rhythm of the waves, or the layers of sand, water and sky, or the life-sustaining power of the ocean. Whatever the cause, the effect is the same.



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Friday, July 10, 2015

Linda Meets the Manatee

Here we have a couple of Pelicans hanging out looking for a handout. Fishermen were cleaning fish and tossing the remnants into the water. They are competing with a couple baby sharks for their lunch. Also present at this party was a sea turtle.


The star of the show, however, is the Manatee. Unfortunately these gentle giants are on the endangered species list. If you boat in areas where you may encounter manatees, please take a moment to read this.


This manatee likes to hang out where he can get a fresh, cool drink of water.


Here you can see his tongue and whiskers, and the algae and barnacles covering his tough skin.


I turned up my pants and got down under one of the fish cleaning tables to get a closer look. The hose to the right of me is where the sink drains.

Photo Credit: Ashley Morris
Such a gentle creature for one so large.




Yes, I petted the Manatee, and to answer one of the most asked questions, no he was not slimy. Although he might have been where the algae was growing. I felt the whiskers and they are like very thick hairs, flexible and not at all sharp.

Photo Credit: Ashley Morris

Bye-bye Mr. Manatee.  It was an honor to meet you!

Photo Credit: Ashley Morris

I compiled the video we got so you can see how he interacted with people and how much he enjoyed the fresh water. They truly are magnificent creatures.




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Monday, July 6, 2015

St. Augustine Highlights


The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only a page. - St. Augustine

St. Augustine is the nation's oldest city, founded by the Spanish in 1565, and named after the Catholic saint, St. Augustine. Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles named the area thusly since land was sighted on the day of the feast celebrating St. Augustine.

Our destination.
It had been many years since I had been to St. Augustine, and then we were merely passing through on our way to Daytona. I was pretty excited to get to spend time exploring the city and basking on the beach...well I don't actually bask anymore, but still it was great to hang out and watch the waves.




Our traveling companions, with my hubby in the back.

Everything in Twos - two couples, two cars, two kids (theirs) and two condos. Ashley and I had been looking forward to the day when we could all vacation together. This year it became a reality.

The gang
Where we stayed.
Pier Point South Condos at St. Augustine Beach on Anastasia Island. Our unit came with everything we needed, including beach towels and chairs. A big thank you to the thoughtful owners for such a well-provisioned condo.


Pier Point South Condos
What we did.
We struggled with high temperatures and high humidity so to see more of the city with less effort, we took the Old Town Trolley tour. You paid one price for three days of rides, getting on and off as much as you like. Our first stop was the St. Augustine Distillery. We all agreed that a tour, free tasting and A/C would be a welcome break from the heat.

After a brief tour of the distillery, we were taken to the tasting room. There we were treated to a Florida Mule made from their own vodka, and their version of a gin and tonic, again made from their gin. Everyone was offered a sample of both the gin and vodka neat. This was my first distillery tour and spirits tasting.


St. Augustine Distillery
On another day we toured the San Sebastian Winery. We arrived in time for the tasting that was just starting. We were given our choice of two wines on each round and we decided I would take one and hubby the other so we could both taste each wine. The first two were a dry white made from several of Florida's hybrid grapes and a dry red described as full-bodied, but I felt it was rather light. These were the driest of the wines offered. There were several made from their Native Muscadine grape, which were sweeter. Lastly we were served cream sherry and port styled wines.


San Sebastian Winery


We climbed the St. Augustine lighthouse which is 165 feet tall with 219 steps to reach the circular walkway around the tower just below the lens. This tower was constructed in 1874 and was automated in 1955.


St. Augustine Lighthouse

The view from the top was fantastic in all directions from the Atlantic to historical St. Augustine.


At the top - all 219 steps.

No trip involving water would be complete without a boat ride. We cruised the scenic waterways of St. Augustine aboard the Victory III. Visitors have been cruising these waters since the early 1900s seeing such sights as the Bridge of Lions and the St. Augustine Lighthouse.


The bridge of Lions

Scenic Cruise
Where we ate.
A unanimous favorite was the Conch House restaurant. Fish tacos, fish and grits, blackened Wahoo and fried shrimp were among some of the entrees we ordered. We also sampled conch fritters, gator bites and hot wings. We sat at large picnic tables beneath thatched huts overlooking the marina. As we enjoyed our lunch, we watched wading birds fishing for theirs.


In the hut at the Conch House


The Conch House - a view from above.

The Sunset Grille, about a block from our condo, served up tasty fare as well. We shared fish sandwiches and fish and chips outside on several evenings.

Sunset Grille
Other places we ate at along the beach were Antonio's for pizza, Rita's for Italian ice (the mango was delicious), The Salt Life, and Little Margie's. In town we had breakfast at The Bunnery, and lunch at the Ice Plant (next to the distillery).

Stay tuned for my manatee adventure!



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Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Friendship

Let’s swear each with our pinky
We’ll be the best of friends
Until we are old and wrinkly!


Good friends and good times make memories for a lifetime.




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Friday, June 26, 2015

I've Been Away...


It's been several weeks since I've posted, and no I didn't fall off the planet, get abducted by aliens or even swallowed up by a whale. I just took some time off to recharge my batteries, and in doing so, gathered lots of pictures and videos for blog fodder. I hope you will check back to see what I've been up to.



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Saturday, November 22, 2014

Sun on the Water


Sunlight resting on the calm glistening water
what a peaceful feeling.





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Saturday, January 18, 2014

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Is it a Blintz or a Crepe?

It is day 14 of the 30 minus 2 days of writing hosted by Nicky and Mike of We Work For Cheese. Today's prompt is "Where can I find a good blintz". Visit Nicky's post to see who's still hanging in, and where they go for a blintz.


This is the Sweet Sage Cafe in North Reddington Beach, FL.  We found this place last fall, and from the road it looks like a tiny little place, but there's plenty of seating inside plus a gift shop chock full of souvenirs, jewelry and pretty knickknacks.

The patio is even more quaint with signs, decorations and figurines everywhere.  They are open for breakfast, brunch and lunch, and the food is very good.


I'd never had crepes before.  I know you're asking how could anyone not have had crepes.  I like to try new things, especially while I'm on vacation, so when I spotted them on the menu I jumped at the opportunity.  I chose the banana & coconut, and they were warm with creamy filling and tasty toppings.  Hubby and I split this for breakfast.


Now from what I've read there is very little difference between crepes and blintzes.  However, since these are crepes, I can't tell you where to get a good blintz.  But I can tell you that I thoroughly enjoyed my first crepes, and highly recommend them, and the Sweet Sage Cafe.  It would be a lovely place for a Valentine's Day Brunch...if it just weren't so far away.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Pelican Party

As you know, we love to go to Florida.  That is where I recharge my internal batteries, and let life take a slower pace for a while.  Every so often we like to visit the Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary.  This is a wonderful place where all sorts of injured birds are rehabilitated and released.    For some release is not possible, and they live out their days here in relative peace.  I say relative, because anywhere you have a bunch of birds, it is seldom quiet.


The Sanctuary is located in Indian Shores, about 15 minutes from where we stay in Madeira Beach.  It is between Gulf Blvd. and the Gulf of Mexico.  This sign welcomes beach goers and beckons them to visit the birds and the gift shop.  Visiting is free, but donations are greatly appreciated.


 This handsome fellow (No, I'm not sure of his/her gender) looks like he is standing guard.


A large number of the birds you will find here are pelicans of all ages and varieties.  There are several large areas dedicated to them, each with their own swimming pool.  Below you will see what a grand time they have splashing around.


For more information, visit their website - Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

A Day in Lake City

As I alluded to in a previous post, there was more to my Lake City detour than just a waterfall.  The main purpose was to meet up with my friend Sara Healy, whom I met through the wonderful world of blogging.

We met through her site, "a sharing connection" about three years ago when I first participated in one of her story photo challenges.  I don't think I've missed a post since.  A sharing connection is funny, thoughtful and thought provoking.  Sara puts herself into each photo story challenge, offers words of wisdom and delights us with her fictional stories.  She has also been a great inspiration to me as I explore the world of writing.

So after a number of emails and Google searches for a place to meet, we finally settled on a date and time, each coming from a different direction.  We spent the night in Brunswick, GA and they drove in from Tallahassee, each about two hours. 

I had been looking forward to this for a long time, and I will tell you that Sara is just as delightful in person as she is online.  We had a wonderful double date with her and her boyfriend.  The long-awaited lunch took place at Mike's Cafe & Grille.  

I was worried about being late, so we ended up at the restaurant about a half hour early.  We walked in and when the hostess asked "two for lunch?" we told her we were having lunch with another couple that we hadn't met so we chose a table where we could see the door and keep an eye out for them.  Even though we'd never met in person, it was instant recognition, like greeting old friends after a long absence.

We chatted non-stop for two hours trying to cram as much in as possible.  We talked about food, wine, traded cat stories, and talked about their home renovation project (I hope that has been completed now), and of course, blogging.

Sadly, lunch was over way too soon - I felt like we had barely gotten started and could have gone on talking for hours.  We hugged, took pictures, and they headed home while we set out to see what Lake City had to offer.

Alligator Lake Park
First up was Alligator Lake Park.  Although we saw no alligators at the park, we did see a long-legged white bird hunting for its dinner, squirrels and dragonflies.  There was a playground for kids, and a wonderful screened in picnic shelter overlooking the lake.

Spanish Moss on a Live Oak
Then there was this old bearded tree.  At least all the Spanish Moss hanging from its limbs made it look bearded.  While I always thought that Spanish Moss was hazardous to trees, I find that is not true.  It is actually not even related to moss, and derives its nutrition from the air and rainfall.

Pretty Berries
I have no idea what these berries are.  I found these at Falling Creek Falls on a bush growing beneath a large tree.  They almost look like miniature grape clusters.  If anyone knows what they are, please share in the comment section.

Falling Creek Falls
Falls were not something I expected to find in Florida, the land of the flat, so I had to check this out.  While it doesn't have great height, only about 10 feet or so, it is still pretty and peaceful.  I posted the video of this recently.

Overnight at Cabot Lodge
Calling an end to our Lake City adventure, we looked for a place to bed down for the night before continuing on to St. Pete.  Thank goodness for smart phones, and Trip Advisor.  We found this small chain hotel only a few miles away.  Can you guess what was a big drawing point at the end of the day?  That's right!  They have a nightly social hour from 5:30 until 7:30 where they serve beer, wine and snacks.  There was a TV in the lobby and baseball fans were gathered around routing for their favorite team.

This was a lovely day, and our visit with my friend, Sara was definitely the highlight.

Friday, November 2, 2012

No Alligators?

Lacking in anything creative today, I thought I'd give you a glimpse into Alligator Lake Park.

Beautiful clouds.
I have dubbed this the year of the clouds.  Everywhere I've been, including my own home town, I've seen the most amazing clouds, and pictures rarely do them justice.

Where are the alligators?
Yes, I had actually thought to see alligators. 

Explaining the importance of this area.
This is a major player in Florida's drinking water.
This is just one of the places we visited on our recent vacation.  Stay tuned next week for "A Day in Lake City" where I reveal the main reason for our little detour.


Friday, October 26, 2012

Intracoastal Sunset

I love sunsets, especially at the beach.  I usually focus on those over the Gulf of Mexico.  The most beautiful sunsets are those with interesting clouds to absorb and reflect the sun's rays.  This evening, however, the beauty lay in the other direction.


Here are some satellite pictures of the area.


I took the picture from the end of the Boardwalk facing the islands.
The drawbridge has been replaced and was under construction when these images were taken.


This was one way to get from our condo to the Boardwalk.  We love having such a great choice of restaurants within walking distance.  


This was truly a beautiful evening!

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