Afternoon Stroll

The sun is shining and the Spring Breakers are beginning to retreat.  Soon the changing of the guard will be finished and the Spring Breakers will be replaced by families building sand castles and friends baking to that perfect golden brown.  I’m looking forward to many walks along the beach before it gets too hot.

heron beach sunset

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Beach Day!

How perfect!  Yesterday morning I posted about wanting to go to the beach before all the spring breakers arrived, and by early afternoon I was hanging out at Panama City Beach, FL with a friend.  When we got there, the … Continue reading

Spring Break Is Almost Here!

With all this crazy weather we’ve been having it’s hard to believe that spring break is just weeks away!  I love the cool weather, but am finally ready for those perfect spring days full of life.  I’m not normally a beach person, but I think I need to make a trip before all the spring breakers arrive.  I took this photo a couple of years ago near Panama City Beach.  Every time I go I always ask myself why I don’t go more often.  So, what are your plans for spring break?

Panama City Beach Sunset

Sneak Peek at Florida Caverns Park

I love those days where I can set out with no agenda.  I took a quick trip to Alabama last weekend and on the way home I noticed a sign for Florida Caverns State Park.  I quickly got in the … Continue reading

Snow Day

It really snowed! Just not at my house. I kept waking up in the night to check for snow since the forecast continually promised a 100% chance (kind of like when I was checking on the snow status in Montana). All I saw was freezing rain the entire night. When I got up hoping to find a winter wonderland, I saw everything covered in a thick sheet of ice. No snowballs or snowmen for me, but I did run around my backyard crunching the frozen grass in my pajamas.

While I enjoyed this weather in pjs, I can’t say the same for many of my friends. Since I’m from Montana I’ve found the whole hysteria associated with this snow day hilarious. Yesterday morning while it was still almost 50 degrees, I saw many of my coworkers come in wearing big coats and hats and gloves and scarves. People were flocking to grocery stores to stock up and everyone was hurrying home before the big storm hit. My absolute favorite though was when the frostbite warning popped up! I could not contain my laughter! Many asked if I was going to do another polar plunge today (you can see my real one here). While that may have been fun, it just wouldn’t be the same.

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Snow For The Sunshine State

While my friends & neighbors are all abuzz about the possibility of snow in Florida this week, I am trying not to get excited too soon. Will it really snow? Will it be enough to notice? Will it stick? Or will it sneak in and out in the middle of the night and we will miss the whole thing?

I’m not expecting a beautiful winter wonderland like I experienced in Montana, but I would love to see it snow here! There is something about the snow, especially your first snow, that brings out the child in everyone. For many of my friends this would be their first experience with it. What an extraordinary week this will be!

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Chasing The Sun

Yesterday, a friend and I set off for an adventure day.  We love to get in the car with no agenda and no idea where we are going.  It always turns into a day full of surprises and adventure (see our last adventure day).  Well, somehow our adventure led us to a favorite shopping spot in a nearby town and the movie theater where we saw Frozen.  We had a blast & it was exactly what we both needed, but I don’t think you care to hear about how much I liked the movie Frozen. 🙂  Instead lets talk about one of my favorite adventure days last summer.

During July (and the whole summer really) there had been a tremendous amount of rain & flooding here in Florida.  One Saturday morning when I woke up I just couldn’t take another day of the waterworks.  I woke a friend up, we got in the car, checked the weather radar and drove east to find the sun!  We drove along the coast with the storm clouds in the rearview mirror as we tried to outrun them.  We ducked into a deserted beach resort where we stopped the car to talk to some guy wearing a shirt from her hometown, but we chickened out.  We blew right through the next little town, Port St Joe, because it was still quite ugly there.

Next stop was Cape San Blas and the weather wasn’t bad.  We came across a thrift shop with 2 surf boards outside and imagined ourselves spending the afternoon learning to surf.  When we inquired about them, the lady sent us to ask a woman at the café down the street.   We walked in the tiny shack and were greeted by a guy shucking oysters.  Not 15 feet down from him we saw a guy serving ice cream!  I just imagined all the ice cream flavors smelling & tasting like oysters!  We talked to the lady and bummer, the surf boards were not for sale.

We decided to keep moving and found an incredible boulder wall along the water so of course we had to stop and climb it in our dresses and bare feet!  We took a bunch of Little Mermaid inspired pictures since some little girls think I’m the real life Ariel.  We got back in the car and back on the road just minutes before the rain caught up with us again.

rock wall

Waving to my mermaid family while trying not to laugh

Waving to my mermaid family while trying not to laugh

We arrived at Apalachicola and searched for a place to have lunch.  We sat down at a cute little restaurant on main street & the rain really started coming down.  No one had even come to greet us yet, so we gave each other a quick look and decided to get back on the road in search of the sun.  We did pop in to the coffee/chocolate shop a couple of doors down first though to get something to sustain us.  We got 2 iced coffees and 2 walnut brownies to go and hurried back to the car.  We were driving along in the rain trying to figure out why the brownies tasted kind of funny.  We didn’t care too much because that was pretty much all we had eaten that day and by that time it was 12:30 or 1.  Then it hit me!  There was alcohol in those brownies!  The actual alcohol was cooked out of course but we laughed so hard because after that point all we could taste was the alcohol!

We got a glimmer of hope not long after when we could see clouds breaking ahead of us!  Unfortunately the road turned north and we started worrying we would lose our lead on the storm that was biting at our heels.  The next little town made us forget all about our race with the storm.  It was barely a speck on the map, but we kept seeing all these beautiful signs for an aquarium and of course we were intrigued.  We were just about out of town when we noticed sign for a hotel at the strip mall.  You know we had to get a closer look so we whipped into the last entrance of the parking lot and there on the front door of the shopping center hotel was a pirate flag!  After seeing that we had to go check out this aquarium.  I made a joke that it was probably just a couple of fish tanks in someone’s house.  Well, we found the aquarium and sure enough it was in a house!  Our giggles were uncontrollable at that point!  We left town & took the next road north so that we could begin to loop around home.

We came across some signs for Wakulla Springs and thought why not, we’ve heard good things about it.  So there we were at Wakulla Springs in our beach dresses catching glimpses of the sun while admiring the springs.  The moment was interrupted when some old guy called us out, “You girls aren’t going swimming are you … all dressed up with your makeup on?”  We did our best to contain the giggles as we pushed past him back toward the car.  As we were walking we noticed a trailhead and again thought why not.  Off we went into the woods for a quick hike in our dresses and flip-flops.

Wakulla Springs

Trail at Wakulla Springs

By the time we got back to the car we were starving so we headed to Tallahassee for dinner and then home.  Before leaving town we got coffee at my friend’s shop Eternal Grounds, and then followed the sunset all the way home.  We literally chased the sun all day and were so excited the next morning when we discovered that the sun decided to stay.

On To The Next Adventure

On To The Next Adventure

Dreaming Of A White Christmas

I think my internal thermostat may have been reset on my recent trip back to Montana.  Last week it got down to what Florida considers cold.  I was driving to work wearing just a light sweater and I got quite the look from the guy in the next lane.  He had on a huge coat, beanie, and gloves!  I seriously burst out laughing!  I wasn’t cold at all!

For years I tried to avoid the cold and snow.  I thought this trip would remind me why I moved away from it, but it completely did the opposite.  Now I truly am dreaming of a white Christmas.  I just want to breathe in that clean, crisp air once again.  I want to act like I’m 5 years old playing in the snow…making snow angels, building snowmen, sledding down the biggest hill.  I want to bundle up in those cozy sweaters and drink hot cocoa in front of a fireplace.  Christmas doesn’t feel the same when it’s nearly 80°F and the only white powdery stuff around is sand!

For more magical winter moments check out my Winter Wonderland series!