Friday, June 23, 2017

What's for Lunch?

We headed into Portland for the Greek Festival and ran into a good friend, James Vander Schaaf, Anna's husband.  We enjoyed spanakopita, Greek salad, good conversation and memories of Anna.  
We brought home some baklava and Greek wedding cookies for later.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

A Friendly Surprise

Our friends, Archer and Karen Ann, are returning to Maine for the summer from Florida.  They were supposed to leave Sarasota a couple of weeks after us but unfortunately, they both suffered some medical issues which prevented their leaving until this past Tuesday.  They should arrive at their condo in Kennebunk on Saturday.  They have a short amount of time before heading west for a river cruise along the Columbia and Snake Rivers.  I thought it might be nice to spruce up their front garden so they had a little summer color when they arrived and didn't have to try to get some plantings done in their short window of time.

I picked up some impatiens and got them planted today.  Hope they like orange.
It was a fairly small area and 24 plants filled it nicely.  Now for a little rain!

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Monday, June 12, 2017

Back Cove Walk

After Bill's Dr appointment, we chose to walk the 3.5 miles around the Back Cove in Portland.  It was HOT, 90ish but with a good breeze, it was tolerable and we did remember to bring water.
Lots of these iris blooming; they are so pretty!
It took us over an hour to make the loop and we really only stopped to use the port-a-potty (ugh) and take a couple of pictures.  There is a kind of Ninja Warrior course on one side of the loop, looks like fun but I bet it isn't.
These were just a couple of the half dozen or so obstacles and this was the short wall.

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Sunday, June 11, 2017

Riding to Bug Light Park

After weeks of cold, wet, cloudy, dreary days, seems like summer might have finally arrived. Although it was predicted to be in the 90's, we took the bikes and headed for Wainwright Fields in Scarborough for our first bike ride of the year.  From there we rode to Bug Light Park, one of our favorite destinations.

It was hot (90*) but there was a good wind blowing, at about 10-12 mph.  We stayed for about an hour, having snacks and enjoying the spectacular day.  When we are in Florida, I forget how beautiful the coast of Maine is.
The ride back was a lot of work, pedaling into the wind but we enjoyed our afternoon.  This field of tall grass blowing in the wind was a lot prettier than the picture...
These flowers were blooming in bunches all along the trail.  I call them wild Sweet William but I'm pretty sure they are called something else.  
We also saw one of the 100+ cruise ships coming to Portland this summer, lots of flying kites and could hear music from the Old Port Festival.

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Friday, April 21, 2017

Another "Season" in the Books

That's what they call it down here...season...the months when all the snowbirds come and stay to enjoy the nice, warm, sunny weather.  I'm sure they all breathe a sigh of relief when we all go home, like we do when the summer is over and everyone goes home!  

Well, today we are leaving and heading home.  I always have mixed emotions...
I'm sad because:
     I love the warm weather
     I love the big, wide, sunny blue skies
     I love the canal with it's jumping fish and high/low tides
     I love going to the beach and parking for $.75/hour and hardly anyone's there
     I love the tropical birds
     I love the palm trees
     I love the lack of responsibilities and appointments
     I love Mercer's Coffee, the Celtic Ray and TT's Tiki Bar
     I love Charlotte harbor and the Peace River

I'm excited because:
     We are going "home"!
     I love being closer to my family
     I love sleeping in my own bed
     I love hearing the peepers and wood frogs
     I get to reconnect with my friends
     We get to go back to the gym and connect with our Brickhouse family
     I get to eat some of the great things Bill cooks 
     Titan gets his big, fenced in yard!

So, we are on the road again, happy to be heading home but sad to be leaving...

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Visit to MOTE

Another one crossed off our list.  We joined Archer and Karen Ann in Sarasota and they drove the additional half hour to the MOTE Marine Laboratory & Aquarium.  I have no idea what MOTE stands for but it opened in 1955 and the aquarium opened in 1980.
This is the only photo I took because I didn't think our friends would be too impressed if I stopped every few minutes to take pictures and to be honest, there wasn't that much that I would have taken photos of anyway.

It is a typical aquarium with tanks full of fish and sea turtles.  Most of the animals there have been rescued and are unable to live in the wild.  It is somewhat sad to see them swimming around in a big tank, rather than in the ocean with lots of room.  Unlikely they will be eaten by anything, tho. The sea turtles are either blind or vision impaired, the manatees were born in captivity and would not know how to live free.  

They breed and raise seahorses, which they ship to aquariums around the world.  There is a tank full of pregnant MALE seahorses because they carry the young.  Pretty interesting actually.  

It was nice to cross it off our list but I doubt we will return.

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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Wishing My Baby Girl a Happy 37!

Yes...she is turning 37 and yes...she will always be my baby girl.  I'm so proud of her entrepreneurship, her creativity, her compassion and her courage.

She's a super good "Auntie", too.
Happy Birthday Honey, hope it's as special as you are.  I love you, tons!

Thanks for stopping by...

Monday, March 27, 2017

Wendy and Dan and Marie Selby

Sunday, March 26...

We left early this morning (okay...early for us) around 10:15.  Wendy and Dan drove us to visit the Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota.  We made good time even though we stopped at Dunkin' Donuts for beverages and the bathroom, arriving at the gardens around 11:30.  
Fountains at the entrance
First up...the Tropical Conservancy!

Volcano Queen

This one hangs upside down!
My favorite photo of the day!
This red and white one had a great fragrance.
Nice little photo area near the exit.
This is just outside the Conservancy.
Photo by Wendy
This field of salvia is new since last year and it overlooks Sarasota Bay and the Ringling Bridge.
Love this tree...
When you gotta go ;o)
Next up was the butterfly garden and the chrysalis enclosure where there were a number of caterpillars eating and waiting to become butterflies.
Guess butterflies like these plants since they were planted in the butterfly garden.
Shrimp Plant
Dutchman's Pipe
There were a couple of plein air artists at work across this tidal lagoon
and Dan was kind enough to strike a pose
what a dork
Captured this fisherman in the bay.
Wendy was brave enough to try the yarn swing.
From here we walked back along the way we came until we reached the Selby House Cafe where we bought lunch and ate it outside.
We left there and headed toward the Koi Pond, passing a number of different bamboo trees.
Then the pond, always a very restful place.
Photo by Wendy
Photo by Wendy
We decided to pass visiting the Children's Rainforest Garden but couldn't pass a photo op at the base of the huge banyan tree.
We have been to the gardens several times but never noticed this tree in blossom before.  It's  a Shaving Brush Tree.
I don't think I would want to clean up after it tho!

From the Mangrove Walkway we saw a sailboat that was stuck in the sand and listing badly. We also saw this Best Party Boat Ever!
  We stopped in Venice to get gelato, then headed home.
When we buy one more large gelato, we get one free!  Woohoo...the ultimate discount.

At home, Bill sat in the shade on the front porch enjoying a cigar while the three of us huddled in the shade under the umbrella on the deck and drank homemade strawberry daiquiris.  Wendy and Dan also enjoyed a rum and Coke.
We had really good filets for dinner then took Titan for a walk along Rt. 41.  We watched a show on HGTV about people looking for a vacation home on an island I have never heard of - Nevis.  Learn something every day, or so they say.

Monday, March 27...

The four of us walked Titan along the Linear Pathway to the parking garage.  They were willing to watch him while Bill and I used the bathroom, which is the main reason we walk to the garage ;o)
We ate lunch at home, then they went to Hurricane Charley's to have adult beverages and "borrow" the pool, we went to Publix to buy cake for Wendy's birthday celebration later.  We sat in the shade on the deck until they came home but we all ended up inside reading because it was so hot on the deck.  

Bill fixed an early dinner of pasta carbonara, which we ate early so we could walk over the bridge.  We left the house about 6:30, parked at Hurricane Charley's, used the bathroom and headed over the bridge.  Every three minutes we did 12 walking lunges.  When we reached the other side, we did 30 seconds of squats before heading back and we added 12 incline presses every three minutes to the lunges.  We stopped just past the center of the bridge to watch the sunset and do another 30 seconds of squats.
I really like this one!
Always gotta take a selfie...
Twas a bit breezy.
We saw several large fish and 2 sting rays on our walk.

We stopped at the Tiki Bar for drinks because it's one of our traditions.
Photo by Wendy
Photo by Wendy
From there we headed home to have cake and wish Wendy a Happy Birthday, since we won't be in Maine to celebrate on her special day.
She's so cute!!!
Thanks for stopping by...