A Dreamy Afternoon

I had a blast last weekend with my sweet friend from www.diaryofafrancophone.com!  I played DJ as we took the scenic drive along 30A between Destin and Panama City Beach, FL.  We sang along to The Beach Boys and Taylor Swift and everything in between.  There is just something about road tripping with your girls that can turn any grown woman into an goofy teenager full of hope and excitement.

There are so many little treasures to be found on the back roads and this one did not disappoint!  There are several adorable beach communities that dot the road, each with their own charm and personality.

Entrance to Alys Beach

Entrance to Alys Beach

Inside one of the towers at Alys Beach

Inside one of the towers at Alys Beach

All that singing on the drive made us hungry, so we were on the hunt for a great lunch spot.  We had heard of this place called Grayt Grounds of Monet Monet and decided to check it out.  I searched for it in my GPS and burst out giggling when the results came in.  One day and 19 hours!  What!!! I don’t think we are going to make it back to work in time!

We did find Grayt Grounds to be only about 15 minutes from where we were.  We both fell in love with it and can’t wait to go back!  The food was phenomenal and the garden was magical.  There were hidden surprises everywhere you looked and it just begged to be explored.  The property is inspired by Claude Monet’s property in France.

Garden at Monet Monet

Garden at Monet Monet

I don't why I thought the face this lion was making was hilarious, but I did

I don’t why I thought the face this lion was making was hilarious, but I did

We made our way back to Seaside and stumbled upon the Seaside Plein Air Artists Colony Invitational (www.pleinairseaside.com).  It was so fun strolling through the peaceful grounds watching artists capture the moment so gracefully!  My favorite artist participating is JJ Zanetta.  Go check out his work at www.zanettaillustration.com!  His paintings of Pittsburg are my favorite, so full of passion and life.

For me, the best part of the day was connecting with some incredible people.  I don’t know how often this happens to you, but we had three people randomly open up to us and share their dreams and aspirations.  It was so fun getting excited with them and encouraging them in any way we could.

I think sometimes we forget that our dreams aren’t just about us.  We have gifts and talents so that we can bless others, not to make us feel better about our shortcomings.  Using your gifts is a responsibility, not just an opportunity.  And, I’m not just saying that because our first new friend plans to open a restaurant featuring local ingredients. 😉   Our other new friends shared with us their artistic aspirations!  I can’t wait to see all of their dreams come to life!  What’s that dream you’ve been afraid of pursuing?

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France in Florida?

This weekend I have a little adventure planned with friend and fellow blogger Diary of a Francophone. Who knows what will happen; who knows where we will go!  I am one who loves to just get in the car and make it up as I go along.  While we don’t know where we are going, we will be on a bit of a scavenger hunt.  I am helping her find a little piece of France right here in Florida and she is helping me find adventure and something beautiful.

Since we are talking about France, I thought I’d share a few photos from my trip to Paris.  Don’t worry, it’s not another standard photo of the Eiffel Tower or Arc de Triomphe that you’ve seen a thousand times before.  Like I mentioned in a previous post, I have this silly habit of taking photos from moving vehicles, so most of my Paris photos are from the top of a big, red double decker tour bus.

This was my favorite sculpture on the Arc de Triomphe.  What is that facial expression all about?

This was my favorite sculpture on the Arc de Triomphe. What is that facial expression all about?

I fell in love with this carousel!

I fell in love with this carousel!

Look up from inside the Eiffel Tower

Looking up from inside the Eiffel Tower

My favorite place in all of Paris - Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris!

My favorite place in all of Paris – Cathédrale Notre Dame de Paris!

The stained glass was amazing!

The stained glass was amazing!

This incredible opera house just made me want to put on a ball gown and belt out my favorite aria!

This incredible opera house just made me want to put on a ball gown and belt out my favorite aria!

Loved this sculpture on top of Le Palais Garnier!

Loved this sculpture on top of Le Palais Garnier!

Lion

What The Hay!

Montana

Yesterday after church, some family members and I piled into a couple cars and took the scenic drive from Great Falls to the Utica/Hobson area for the annual What The Hay contest (see www.montanabaletrail.com  for additional info). Contestants used a lot of straw, spray paint, and imagination to come up with some very creative sculptures.  As we drove the 22 mile loop from Windham to Utica to Hobson, there was much chatter in the car about which display was our favorite.  Below are a few of my favorites.  Which one is your favorite?

Wizard of Straws

Wizard of Straws

Year Of The Farmer

So God Made a Farmer

Hay 1 Steak Sauce

Hay 1 Steak Sauce

Mike and Sulhay

Mike and Sul-hay

Despic-hay-ble Me 2

Despic-hay-ble Me 2 – I about jumped out of the car when I saw these guys!

Rudolph and Friends

Yukon Corn-hay-lious, Herm-hay the elf and friends

Smart Hay Pants

Smart-hay Pants

Snoop-hay

Snoop-hay

Tow M-hay-tor

Tow M-hay-tor