Life’s a Beach

LOL – Hi everyone!

GulfI’m back from our trip down South.  I think my husband thought we’d return to Ohio sunburnt and smelling faintly of chlorine.  Not so.  Due to the crazy weather patterns, the temperatures in Florida weren’t much improved over the temperatures in Ohio.  IT WAS COLD!! But we still had a good time.  Thought I’d share a bit about our travels.

A large storm was predicted for Kentucky and Tennessee on the day of our planned departure.  So we left a day early as our route took us through those states.  Consequently, my packing was pretty haphazard and rushed.  I did not take a warm enough jacket (I was going to Florida, for Pete’s sake), nor enough long sleeve shirts and sweatshirts.  Fortunately everyplace we stayed had laundry facilities which I used.  Most of my short sleeve stuff and shorts never left the suitcase.

The Florida panhandle is amazing.  I’d never been there before. We stayed at Ft. Walton Beach which is next door to the popular Destin beach.  The beaches are all white sand, called sugar sand.  Here’s some pictures on various days and locations.  The sand piles up in little hills and dunes, home to some scrubby grass and vegetation that grows on sand.  Check out the wide white beaches. dunes FullSizeRender[1]Check out the complete lack of people on said beaches.  Like I said, it was cold.  However, the temps didn’t stop the bleached white sand dollars from drifting to the shore.  Here’s my booty.  I actually found about 15 small sand dollars (sand nickles? 🙂 )Sand Dollars but they broke in my pocket.  I could see the remnants, though, of big thick broken sand dollars.  I never found a whole one of those. They take their fishing seriously here…and their pirates!  We were at Fort Walton Beach which has a Pirate Bowlegs festival every year in July when the weather is next and hot.  🙂 Billy Bowlegs

We hit lots of restaurants for seafood.  One of the more interesting places was an Irish pub named Mcguires.  There’s a money walltradition of tacking dollar bills to the booths, walls, bar, ceiling – everywhere.  The menu said the restaurant had over a million single dollar bills tacked on the walls.  Let’s hope they have fire insurance.  This is a picture of the wall by our table (that’s my husband’s elbow in the shot).  Later in the week, we met Trish and her husband for dinner at a Mexican restaurant.  That’s us on the left. Later we visited a really nice homey place called the Magnolia Inn.  Trish and ShaneThey describe themselves as a museum that serves food :-). Very nostalgic.

We moved on to Central Florida to a HUGE retirement community called The Villages.  The weather improved and we were able to lose our jackets.  I actually got to hang out at a swimming pool, but not enough to tan.  The villages are like retiring in Disneyworld.  There are themed town centers, 32 golf courses, a polo field, 2 large lakes with water skiing, 28 recreational centers, a hospital, a doctor’s office for every possible specialty and a whole lot of golf carts, the popular modeGolf Truck of transportation.  Here’s a few of the golf carts we saw (check out the pink one with baubles hanging in the back).  Bands played every night at the town centers which meant dancing every night. 🙂 Many, many shops to explore.Wisconsin cart  I don’t think I’d like to retire there, but it was interesting to lady

So tell me, how are you keeping warm this winter?  Been to any interesting places?  I’d send a sand dollar to someone leaving a comment but I’m not sure it would survive the US Postal Service.  Bummer.  But we can still chat.

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  • flchen1 says:

    How fun, Donna! I’ve never been to the Florida panhandle! I think I’ve only been briefly to Orlando, and never got to step too far away from the convention center there. The weather has been pretty moderate in California this winter–it’s currently flirting with the high 60s and even hit the low 70s a few days! Come out and visit here!

    • Hi Fichen
      One of these days we’ll vacation out on the West coast. Wait! That would be this summer when RWA has their convention in San Diego! Hope I get to see you there 🙂

  • Jane says:

    Hello Donna,
    We’ve been having some weird weather. It was zero degrees one day and then a week later we were in the 50s. My cousin has a friend who takes her family to Destin often for vacation. Haven’t really vacationed down south. Only been to Miami and Key West because of the cruise we were on.

    • Hi Jane!
      Key West is a crazy place, isn’t it? I’ve only been once, but I won’t soon forget it 🙂 . Perhaps we’ll try Destin again, but we’ll do it when it’s warmer. I’m glad we went, though. Always fun to try new places.

  • Ki says:

    Glad you had a great time despite the cold weather. I’m just glad it has been warming up here in Minnesota. The snow are actually melting! And yet we got news that snowfalls are still to come…. But then they’re not going to stick, hopefully!

    • Hi Ki !

      Yeah, it’s still February. We’ll have more snow before the winter is over. But it was good to see the lawn again 😀 . All the snowstorms have been south of us this year. This weekend was especially nice. Fingers crossed that it’s a trend.

  • Minna says:

    Well, like Jane, we’ve had a weird winter, too. Again. I guess normal winters and -30°C (or even -40°C) are the thing of the past. But at least we have plenty of snow this winter.

  • Helen says:

    Hi Donna

    Looks like you had lots of fun and as for staying warm I am trying to cool down over here LOL and this last week of summer is heating up big time we are expecting temps in the high 30’s to 40’s for the next few days that is Celsius hot and more hot LOL

    Hubby and I are going for a bit of a road trip tomorrow down to Wagga Wagga to visit one of our daughters her hubby and a couple of the grandkids it will be a hot drive to the country at least they have a pool and the car has air con

    Have Fun

    • Lord Helen – Send some heat my way!! I’m in Atlanta this week and it’s cold here too. Well, actually it’s not so much cold as wet. The rain makes everything cold But I’m here with friends and that makes all the difference:-)

    • Amy Conley says:

      Helen I am ready to come visit YOU! Seriously, the 30’s and 40’s are PERFECY for me, I don’t even like AC anymore! Actually, I was just talking about my trip to Oz and NZ, one of these days, and you can be sure it will be during Jan and Feb at the very least!

  • Charlene Whitehouse says:

    I am staying home and snuggling under a blanket with the dogs. Snoopy and Chloe. Reading a book.

  • Hi Charlene!

    That sounds wonderful, especially with the sound of rain here. Best way to spend a day – with a book 🙂

  • Amy Conley says:

    Hello Donna, Glad you made it to Fl and back without too much trouble.

    Since it has been so doggone cold this winter you can usually just find me wrapped up on my bed with either an old movie on tv or a book in my hands. Some days you could find both. We are leaving the 12th of March for Virginia Beach/Outer Banks area and are praying for super nice weather. By “super nice” I mostly mean mean not much rain! We spend a lot of times outdoors with our grandson and hubby has already found a couple parks he’s like to visit and we will of course be going to eat at one of our favorite places on the OBX, I don’t think I even know the real name of the place since the first time we ate their and grand #3 wasn’t even 2 yet and they have this huge pig with what I think is really suppose to be red, but really looks pink, outlining it, we just called it the Pink pig and it has stuck! And of course we will be going to the beach, with kites this time and visiting the lighthouse, which I refuse to climb, but hubby sort of promised the grand to try to climb up with him this visit. And we think we will FINALLY get to take him to Kitty Hawk since he’s so into planes right now.

    So, like I said, praying for no rain and temps hopefully in the 60’s at least! If it isn’t warm enough for me after we get home I may just take off to Florida!

    • Amy Conley says:

      OMG the typing/spelling errors! I’m embarrassed because I really do know it should there not their and a couple other mistakes I caught AFTER hitting “post”.

  • Amy Conley says:

    I left 2 comments last night and neither one posted :'(