Spring? April 11, 2019

Remember when I talked about a winter storm yesterday?

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That’s my sunrise shot for today.

And the roads look like this:

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Schools are closed. Many offices are closed so working from home today.

The wind with this storm is really strong and you could hear how strong it was inside as it was driving the sleet to hit the house pretty hard.  Snow, sleet and rain is involved in the storm causing terrible road conditions.  It will continue throughout the day into the evening. It is much worse in the southwestern portion of Minnesota than here, north of the Twin Cities area.

Temps should be back into the 60’s next week so it won’t be hanging around for too long. Unfortunately, in Minnesota, this doesn’t mean the last we will see of snow.  One would hope it was over with this storm, but Mother Nature may decide otherwise.

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Mandy: Dang, enough already of the cold bathroom!

(she was a blur to get back in the house…moving PRETTY FAST).

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Fidget: No problem… just stay inside!

I’m just feeling like one of these are necessary:

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Back to Beverly Beach.

Happy Thursday!

No Sun Today – April 10, 2019

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Was looking for a beautiful sunrise.

20190410_060539.jpgPeeking out JUST a teeny bit on the right side.

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Still looking but the clouds are just taking over, though a little sun is sneaking a look on the left.

Okay – so by now you must get the drift, no sun today, later snow and LOTS more snow. Some high winds could be thrown in…hey that sounds like a Blizzard. We’ll see.

Perhaps the visitor below should be alerted:

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This duck is swimming in a pond of water on the farmer’s field across the road. It is not supposed to be a pond, but alone and looking for friends, he has decided to make it his home. Will he vacate in the next 24 hours due to weather conditions?

Since the weather is on the gloomy side right now a pick me up would be to  talk about the vacation in Florida again.

SO….

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Leaving the beautiful, tranquil setting of Beverly Beach behind we took off for our next destination.

Fort Wilderness at Disney World.

Now I didn’t take a lot of photos as we have been to Disney World so many times.  But we were pretty excited to see Pandora.

Unfortunately, Mandy could not go, no pets allowed.  So she was either staying with our camper or in Disney Doggy Day Care, which we have never used before.

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It was nice but we kept our days short at the parks because of worrying about her being in a new place.  She did okay, but was happy to get back to the camper each day.

They had camera in the room she stayed in but she generally managed to stay in part of her room that the camera did not see.  The funny thing is that with the app. for this video thing they have there, I could talk to her and distribute treats and play music for her.  None of which she found helpful or amusing. Originally she wasn’t supposed to be with us on this two week trip that had been planned, but with Dad’s accident, the whole thing changed and we didn’t know how long we’d be in Florida, so we brought her with us.

ANYWHO:

Here we go!

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Pandora!

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Very crowded!  We had fast passes to a couple of things that had wait times of over an hour to get into.

The River of Na’vi:

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I took a few photos when inside, of course cameras don’t really do justice.  BUT I will also say that there was over an hour wait for this 5 minute ride, was not worth it.  Had I been waiting THAT long for this attraction, I would have been pretty irritated.  We had a fast pass and didn’t wait nearly that long.

On the other hand, we also had a fast pass for Avatar Flight of Passage so we didn’t wait too long for that one either, but the normal wait time was often close to two hours.  That is really too long to wait in line for any ride.  BUT it was just spectacular.  We loved it and would have done it again if it weren’t for having to wait so long without the fast pass.

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The foliage and scenery of Pandora was really out of this world.

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Weird flowers. (of course they weren’t real)

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I have a lot of photos of the strange things growing in Pandora, but you should go sometime and see for yourself!

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Mandy: I love my camper.

Happy Wednesday!

April 9, 2019 – Sunrise

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Sunrise progression.

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Another lovely start of the day.

I understand we’d better enjoy it because after tomorrow we are in for some heavy, wet spring snow. Ack! Well perhaps it will miss us, but the weather folks are saying we could get up to 15 inches here with blizzard conditions.

Anyway, good time to share a little more about our FL vacation.

One of the things we did while at Beverly Beach is venture off to see:

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The Ponce de Leon Inlet Light is a lighthouse and museum located at Ponce de León Inlet in Central Florida. At 175 feet in height, it is the tallest lighthouse in the state and one of the tallest in the United States.  Nope didn’t walk to the top, not crazy about heights.

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By the Lighthouse was:

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Beautiful area, relaxed and casual.

But even better…found this little jewel:

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And Hidden it was!

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It’s the building back at the back of the parking lot for the lighthouse, and is, as we found out by going in, on the waterfront.

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20190224_122200.jpgIt is very casual, not at all fancy and just kind of sucks you in.  Of course the first question was, do you do Gluten free? (me being a Celiac it is SO important)  The answer is yes and they were not kidding.

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So simple and so yummy. Fish, coleslaw on top…with a little Swiss cheese to hold it down. I love pickles and corn on the cob as well. It was perfect. We both enjoyed the food.

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My drink…keeping it simple.  It was almost like having a picnic by the water.

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And though we had a lot of ‘friends’ joining us, they didn’t even give us a glance.  Every pole ended up having a Pelican, or occasional other water birds, flying in to hang out in the sun.

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They would groom themselves endlessly and just take a break.

I will say, I didn’t see this sign when I sat down….

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or I might have chosen a different spot.  I have kind of a reputation regarding my head being a target for birds passing over. I’ve had birds ‘hit (poop)’ me through the sun roof of my car. The sun roof wasn’t even ‘directly’ over my head. BUT nothing happened except good food and entertainment.

At Hidden Treasure Rum Bar & Grill they have a very unique weather station and it is really very accurate:

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It was a fun spot and I will go back anytime we are in the area, I might pick a different table…. 😉

Happy Tuesday!

The Saga Continues – April 8, 2019

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Gotta’ start with Sunrise this morning…lovely.  Enjoy it now because come midweek they are saying SNOW.  Yuck!

SO…back to the vacation portion of our nearly two month stay in FL. While we were staying at Beverly Beach we went a couple of places during the day. Most impressive was St. Augustine.  We also went over to Daytona, but didn’t really like what we saw there a whole lot. We didn’t really stick around Daytona for some sightseeing.  Maybe another time.

However, we did enjoy St. Augustine and after being there for just a day, we are thinking we need to get back and see more in the future.

Love the historical feel of the place.

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Here are just a few street scenes from when we were driving around.

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(above a moving car photo, lovely blur, but had to get the horses in!)

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While there we did a couple of tours and really enjoyed them.  The first one was:

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Loved the tour. It was really very fun and at the end of it was a sampling of the items they make there. Bourbon, Gin, Vodka, and Rum.  They do a bunch of other things and have them in a store also in the building. BBQ sauce, different honeys,  I mean, they do a lot of things with their liquors.

Some photos from the tour:

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This is their cast iron syrup kettle.

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It is in the waiting area to start the tour.  Mater of fact the next photo is as well.

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Things that go into their product.

Portion of the tour below.

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This guy was a great tour guide and his t-shirt says Eat. Sleep. Bourbon.

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Different distilling kettles made from different materials, depending on what is being distilled.

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And of course same for the aging barrels.

They are very community conscious and Eco based so for them it is all about giving back to the community. These barrels, in the end, are used around the city for other things once the distillery is done with them. They pull the majority of their resources from local suppliers as well.

And their rum is excellent! I am also told by a source very close to me that the gin is really good as well. 🙂

They also make their own mixers, all organic, gluten free and tasty.  A sample of  each of their liquors was made into drinks with several of their mixers and put into little plastic shot glass types samples for you to have.  And yes we had one of each.  They they have a bar in there and when you go in you can sample the bourbons…they have a few different ones.  I don’t like bourbon, and though they say distilling takes the gluten out of alcohol, I kind of steer clear because of my being a Celiac.  But I did take in the smallest sip of a couple of the samples…and may I say, cleared my sinuses and burned all the way down. Then there was the ‘beginning’ to sweat phase…;)  Yeeeah….sticking to rum in the future.

So the logical thing for us to do next was another tour at a different place.

Enter the San Sebastian Winery Tour.

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It was a good tour and we tasted quite a few wines. I am not a big wine fan but I keep trying.  We did pick up a couple of bottles while there. One being a bottle of Port which I have had one glass of and I think we still have the wine I picked to get there. Though I do believe Bruce’s picks are gone, he is much more of a wine drinker than I am.

But the most important part of the wine tour was that it was next to the Chocolate Factory tour.  We ended up getting there 20 minutes after it closed. (sigh) But not to worry…the gift shop of the winery had some of their chocolate, so we hoofed it back to the winery and bought some of their chocolate. After all, Chocolate is MOST important when it comes to conscious dieting!  I must say it was tasty even if I don’t remember what the name of the chocolate place was.

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Glad we went to have something to eat on the roof though. They had a live band playing up there so that made the atmosphere nice. Though my scenic view was of the town electric station with the two tours behind me…I really didn’t care. Now I don’t have a photo of that so I hope you aren’t too disappointed. 🙂

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Mandy: Mom…take a breath!

Yes, yes Mandy.

ANYWAY, that pretty well takes care of the St. Augustine portion of our vacation. Then it was back to the beach.

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Happy Monday!

 

Today Out My Window – April 6, 2019

20190406_071850.jpgYup…rain. Didn’t see the sunrise today.

Didn’t see it yesterday either. But Thursday…

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a gorgeous sunrise!

Spring has sprung with rain instead of snow, though it is dreary, we’ll take it! The area that looks like a little pond across the road from us is actually a farmer’s field…and is not supposed to be a ‘lake’.  But the flooding here from the snow pack, frozen ground and now rain has been a real problem.

On the plus side:

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Things are blooming inside. My orchids are doing nicely!

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I have three of them. Two of them bloom at the same time and the third blooms some time later. I have had them for years and they go in the camper with us when we are going to be gone for an extended period.

I’m not big on plants but these three have been pretty easy, so they are still around. 🙂

Now quickly back to our stay in Florida with my Dad, on the weekends we would sometimes take a drive just to see what we could see.

We often did that with Dad when we were visiting, he seems to enjoy getting out with us when we go on these little outings.

But since he was in the hospital we would take off for a couple of hours on the weekends, roam around and stop to eat.

One of the weekends we took Mandy over to Sumter’s Landing.

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It’s a pretty area, nice and clean, goes along Lake Sumter in the Villages.

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There are a lot of shops and eating places, but we stuck to the boardwalk area around the lake.  Stopped for some ice cream, but the seagulls were being fed by some people so birds were loud and flapping all around.  Mandy wasn’t having the ice cream.  It was pretty warm that day so it was melting all over the place. It was quite the mess trying to get her to eat it. We finally gave up and moved on.

One of the places we ate a couple of times was Bone Fish Grill.

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This is on the bar side of the place, not the greatest photos when taking them kind of on the sly.

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It is a pretty nice place and I do have a better shot of ‘that’….

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Yes there was food too! Should have taken a photo of the other consumables.

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But by the time the food came, I was all about the food and forgot about photos.  Guess I got photos of the most important part of the meal. 😉

We also took Mandy for evening walks each night. One of the nights on our walk the sky looked like this:

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Yep, that is the Moon peaking though the clouds…a hole in the sky. Beautiful and very dramatic.

Happy Saturday!

 

April 2, 2019

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Sunrise! Some rain in the forecast today and highs in the 50s. No complaints about that. We FINALLY got our gutters in yesterday.  This is a new area and the gutter companies were just overloaded with folks wanting gutters in.

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We were in Chicago awaiting a new grandson when we first settled on the house, if you all recall, did a quick run back to MN to close, then back to Chicago. So some things were delayed just enough to not be done before the winter set in heavily enough to halt things until Spring.  Gutters was one of them.  But now they are on and we are looking for rain to test them out. Hopefully they are nicely installed and work well.  Gutters…there is something folks don’t get real excited about, nor even think about most of the time.

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Though I would like to mention that ours has folding spouts so I will be running out to put them up when I see the maintenance folks cutting the grass. (I guess we will see how long it takes for them to run them over…and mash them).

Just want to share the progression of the sunrise this morning…pretty fantastic.

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The view through my window:

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For a short time it was a scarlet sky and the light washed across the kitchen.

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Beauty!

So…moving on to our vacation week while in FL.

The first thing we did is went to Beverly Beach and camped on the beach with our RV. Something we had always wanted to do. It was just a little over an hour from where my Dad was doing physical therapy rehab so we still pretty close if I was needed.

Below you will see some photos:

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Truly a beautiful place.  Very tranquil, especially in the midst of everything we were dealing with at the time. So glad we went. Would love to go back one of these days.

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Mandy has been on the edges of lakes before so I really didn’t know how she’d feel about the ocean, she seemed to enjoy being out there with us.  The water a little cold so not much swimming was going on.  February is Winter in Florida too. 🙂

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Sandpipers and other birds were following the ebbing and flowing waves, grabbing things to eat as the tide provided. They were fun to watch, almost comical at times.

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There were a couple of foggy days:

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Sunrise is there somewhere.

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Now THAT is a foggy sunrise! The fog drifted away by late morning.

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But most sunrises were absolutely beautiful! A great way to start the day.  In the lower right hand corner you can see part of the seawall we were up on. The camper wasn’t directly parked in the sand of the beach of course.  There were pads up on the seawall and steps down to the beach proper.

Due to the hurricanes they are always working around the area to restore the beaches. They added sand at the top portion of the beach and even planted some little plants to help with erosion.

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Mandy: Ahhh…to feel the sand and water on my paws again. Yawn….

Happy Tuesday!

 

Happy Birthday Fidget – April 1, 2019

Hey….Fidgie…

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

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Still the green eyed beauty you have always been big boy! Hope your day is a good one.

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Now on with today’s post.

Sunrise!

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Early on above.

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A little time later in the morning this was the view our window…looks a little like mountains in the distance, though there are none. A beautiful pastel sunrise today.

I want to take you back to Sunday’s sunrise though.  It was gorgeous and very dramatic:

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It had a bit of a flare to it as it rose.  Pretty cool!

This weekend my oldest daughter had surgery Friday morning early on and was released later that evening. She is doing well now, but it prompted our Grandson to spend the night with us because we weren’t sure if she’d be coming home Friday night or not until Saturday morning.  Her husband stayed over there with her so we took our Grandson out to see him Mom, then have dinner and come back to spend the night at our place.  We watched somethings he wanted to watch on Netflix, and then played some games.

It was the first time anyone had stayed with us at our new place so we let him pick where he wanted to sleep. Instead of picking the guest bedroom, he chose the futon in the sunroom. He is always so much fun to have around.  We don’t get to spend as much time as we used to with him, as he is older and has plenty else he wants to do, so we value the time spent with him. It was a lot of fun!

When coming back from being with my Dad in FL, we decided to stop in the Chicago area and spend a day with our youngest daughter and her family.

The stay was, of course, way too short, but we enjoyed our time with them. Some photos follow:

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Oldest Grandson on the roof deck, not sure why he decides to wear his goggles, but he sure was having a good time.

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This is my daughter and the little guy… he was about 5 months old then. He is so big for 5 months! Lots of smiles and giggles from this little guy.

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Looks like Grandpa is having a pretty good time as well!

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We then went to dinner at a Kurdish place, one of my favorite places to go when we are there to visit.  The kids are always so good when we go out.  All of our grand kids are.  It is always a huge pleasure to be with our daughters and their families.

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Fidget: Yawn….Give it a break, Mom…nuff said! Besides, you are making Mandy sleepy.

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Happy Monday!