Theme Thursday – Sand

I really wanted to use a current picture for Theme Thursday this week, but that is not going to happen.  The only sand around here is in the park down the street and I am getting ready to leave Asheville to head to Pittsburgh and don’t feel the need to walk down to the park.

This theme would have been perfect for me if I was still living in Florida,

buuuuuuuuut,

I’m not so  I’m going to pull from past Florida pictures and Pennsylvania pictures for this one.

Crystal Beach, FL

Crystal Beach, FL

Crystal Beach, FL

Crystal Beach, FL

One of my favorite pictures from Erie, PA

One of my favorite pictures from Erie, PA

I found this note in the sand in Erie, PA and took a picture of it to send to my mom.

I found this note in the sand in Erie, PA and took a picture of it to send to my mom.

 

To see more sandy Theme Thursday posts, head on over to Clan Donaldson!

Florida Adventures (April in Review)

I know, I know, I have totally failed at this whole blogging thing for quite some time.  Between travels and spotty WiFi, I have a hard time keeping up with everything.

I am in a new marina in Fort Myers, Florida and have excellent WiFi so lets hope the posts are a little more frequent now.  (Fingers crossed!)

Let’s do an April recap to catch up on what I have been doing out here:

I stayed in this marina in Palmetto, FL.

I stayed in this marina in Palmetto, FL.

I stayed on this dock in Palmetto, FL.

I stayed on this dock in Palmetto, FL.

I visited the smallest post office in the United States.

I visited the smallest post office in the United States.

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I made it to another National Park!

I made it to another National Park!

I fed tarpon at Robbie's in the Keys.  You can see a short video of my visit here: http://youtu.be/K4S8wpVzYw8

I fed tarpon at Robbie’s in the Keys. You can see a short video of my visit here: http://youtu.be/K4S8wpVzYw8

I visited Key West

I visited Key West

Trying to flip a quarter into the groupers mouth at Captain Tony's in Key West.  If you manage to get a quarter up there, sometimes more quarters will fall out.  No, I did not make one in.

Trying to flip a quarter into the groupers mouth at Captain Tony’s in Key West. If you manage to get a quarter up there, sometimes more quarters will fall out. No, I did not make one in.

I visited mile marker 0

I visited mile marker 0

I was very excited about all the chickens in the Keys.

I was very excited about all the chickens in the Keys.

I saw the cat circus in Key West…..

 

And then this beautiful Sunset:

I learned some interesting things are in the ocean.

I learned some interesting things are in the ocean.

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I saw this handmade Cuban boat.

I saw this handmade Cuban boat.

I stood in this water in the Florida Keys.

I stood in this water in the Florida Keys.

 

Not a bad April!  Now, let’s see what May has in store for me!

 

 

Everglades National Park

I took a trip to the Everglades National Park last week and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it. I didn’t think hiking in the Everglades sounded like the best hiking adventure, but I wasn’t going to pass up the opportunity to visit! Some of the trails were really beautiful and they were all 1/2 mile or so long, so hiking them by myself was not bad at all.  Driving thru the park things look flat and boring, but the trails take your breath away.  You also learn a lot if you stop and read all the placards  that are placed along the trails.  Here are some pictures that highlight the trip!

(Quick side note:  I haven’t been posting because the WiFi in the Naples marina is terrible.  I’m currently in Palmetto, FL and have an AWESOME WiFi connection so hopefully I can get caught up on a few posts!)

Everglandes 128 Everglandes 008 Everglandes 012 Everglandes 015 Everglandes 034 Everglandes 049 Everglandes 060 Everglandes 072 Everglandes 073 Everglandes 077 Everglandes 083 Everglandes 092Everglandes 098

 

 

 

Travel Journal – From California to Florida

Day 1 – Friant, CA to San Marcos, CA – I had an emotional start to the day.  I actually broke down and cried at one point.  I was in the backroom fixing my hair and noticed a binder with my aunts name on it.  It turned out to be a memorial binder for her filled with pictures and letters written about her.  That combined with the emotions of leaving home hit me hard.  I locked myself in the bathroom until I got it together.  I was fine after that for the rest of the day.  I had a few more twinges of sadness for leaving, but overall, I was happy to be venturing off into something new.

We didn’t even make it off the road my house is on before we came upon a bad accident.  We got around that and made a couple of quick stops in town and then were off.  We were almost sideswiped by someone checking his phone on the 99, and hit bad traffic near LA (of course), but other than that it was a pretty uneventful drive.  Granny told me about her mother and father and how she had to start working when she was 14 and the different jobs that she had.  It was interesting learning about family I didn’t know much about.  We made it to San Marco, CA to spend the night with family.  We went out to dinner and enjoyed our time with family.

Day 2 – San Marcos, CA to Tucson, AZ – I slept horribly last night. We were up early again to take Reagan (my 8 year old cousin) to school & then were of to Yuma to see more family.  When we dropped Reagan off at school, she asked granny, “will I ever see you again?” I didn’t hear it, but granny told me about it and it about made her cry.

We stopped in Yuma to visit my cousin and meet her new twin sons, Liam & Lane.  What cutie pies!!  It was great to meet the boys and visit with the rest of the family.  I wish we could have stayed longer, but we needed to cover more ground today than San Marcos to Yuma (it’s only a 3 hour drive between the two).  After our visit we stopped at Cracker Barrel for dinner (the first Cracker Barrel of the trip and unfortunately it wasn’t very good) and then headed out to Tucson.  We checked into a Super 8 and plan to sleep in tomorrow.  If we drive 8.25 hours a day from here on out, we will be in Florida by Saturday!

Day 3 – Tucson, AZ to Fort Stockton, TX – Today has been mostly all driving, not too much excitement.  We did stop at a roadside attraction to see The Thing in Arizona.  It is a gas station, gift shop, and museum.  It is only a dollar to go in the museum and see The Thing.  There is three buildings filled with antiques and artwork and the mysterious Thing.  I’m not going to tell you what it is.  I’ve waited all these years to find out for myself what it is, and I am going to make everyone else do the same.  It’s worth the buck.

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Granny discovered James Hunnicutt’s music today and fell in love.  It was awesome to listen to her sing along with the songs and giggle with delight when one of his Christmas songs came on.  Looks like I will be ordering her some CD’s soon. UPDATE – I let James know how much Granny loved his music and James, being the stand up guy he is, said he wanted to send her a care package.  What a sweet gesture.  If you haven’t listened to James Hunnicutt sing, please go to his website and check him out at jameshunnicutt.com

We are at a Super 8 again tonight (a MUCH nicer one than last night), in a small little Texas town.  I still need to map out the rest of our trip, but we hope to be in Florida by Saturday and are going to stop and see my Great Uncle for a few days before taking Granny to Clearwater.

Day 4 – Fort Stockton, TX to Brookshire, TX – We were up early to have breakfast at the hotel and need to drive 464 miles a day to reach our destination of Ocala, FL by Saturday.  We put in our 464 miles today and ended up in Brookshire.  Our plans to stop in Ocala have changed and we will be going straight to Clearwater now.  I’ve been tired all day today so we made it an early night and had dinner and checked into a hotel by 7:30pm.  I’m excited because I can read my book and hit the fitness center too.  I need it after being in the car for the bast 4 days!

Day 5 – Brookshire, TX to Moss Point, MS – I think I am going crazy.  It’s been a looooooong day.  My grandmother is starting to drive me batty.  We have the same conversation over and over again and it is filled with so much negativity I think my head will explode.  Eh, what are you going to do?  Family, can’t live with them, can’t toss them out of the car on the I-10!  Tomorrow we are making it a short day and only driving 4 hours and then will be in Clearwater, FL on Sunday by noonish.  I can’t wait!  We covered a lot of ground today, unfortunately  some of it was  at 5mph, but we got thru it all.   We started in Texas, went thru Louisiana and ended in Mississippi.  I love this part of the country!

Day 6 – Moss Point, MS to Monticello, FL – Today was a short driving day.  We went thru Alabama (which I absolutely loved) and are part way into Florida.  We stopped at the Florida Welcome center and took some pictures and stopped again to eat at Ruby Tuesday’s.  We are now in the hotel eating Subway sandwiches and I have made a new friend with the desk clerk, who happens to be from East LA.

Day 7 – Monticello FL to Pinellas Park, FL – We made it!  Granny is now all settled with my Aunt and  I am off to stay in Crystal Beach with my Uncle for a few days and then I’ll be headed down to Naples!

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I will be posting more Florida adventures soon!  My uncle will be taking the boat back from Crystal Beach to Naples and that will take him 2 days.  I will be in my van and it will only take me 4 hours, so I have to stretch that 4 hours into 2 days or be stuck in Naples with nowhere to go.  I’m excited to spend some time camping along the Florida coast!

Theme Thursday Catch Up

I’m leaving for Florida in 11 days!

I’ve been busy getting things in order for the move and trying to visit with everyone here in Fresno, CA before I leave.  I’ve been a bit more anxious about this trip.  I’m excited to leave, but sad at the same time.  I think the main reason is because I am doing this one on my own.  Lacy is staying home and starting a new job soon, it is a seasonal job though and we have already talked about her meeting up with me in Florida when she gets laid off.  We will see what happens with that one though.  For now it is just me and Granny heading out to Florida.  I will be dropping her off in Clearwater, FL and then I will be heading down to Naples, FL to live.

With all the preparations with the move I have fallen behind on my Theme Thursday posts, so today I give you Hearts and Dishes.  You can head on over to Clan Donaldson and see more dishes today too.

I snapped this picture of the dish aisle at the 99 cents store on my quest for oatmeal.  They had awesome Quaker oatmeal there 2 for 99 cents, while Target has them for $1.59 each!  Unfortunately they were out, but I got a picture for my Theme Thursday post.

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My heart picture (my late Theme Thursday picture) is of my Betty Dog.  She HATES her picture taken, she never looks at the camera.  She was sleeping and I went to grab the camera and she woke up and buried her face.  I finally caught this picture awhile later when she wasn’t paying too much attention.  Of course, you can see she is totally leery of what I am doing.  Maybe she thinks I am trying to steal her soul.  Anyway, here is Betty Lou snuggled under her skull and hearts blanket.

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