Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Home Again - Washington in April

We sometimes get confused if we are coming home for the summer or from the summer.  Fortunately we had a few really nice sunny days when we first got home to semi-adjust to the change in season.  Even though it was sunny, we had to layer on more clothes as our blood had thinned out after a couple of months of summer-like weather in the south.  Then the 4th day home - this is what we woke up to!
This Rhodie continued to bravely bloom through the snow storm.
Same scene as first picture above a day after the snowstorm.  At least snow at this time of year comes and goes in a flash.  By the afternoon of the snow day, it was sunny again.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Visiting Family - Salt Lake City

Anne and Gavin - Gavin wasn't feeling very good, and seemed to be on a mission to keep Cam and Anne awake 24 hours a day.
Cameron and Gavin having a nap.
Sylvia and Alex took us on a tour of Red Butte Gardens.  Salt Lake City is a beautiful place - especially in the spring.  All of the early bulbs and most of the flowering trees were blooming.  We had a gorgeous sunny day to wander through the spectacular gardens.
So many daffodils - so many shapes and colors - interesting new varieties I hadn't seen before too.

A natural stream flows through the park, forming a waterfall just before the amphitheater.  
Lots of play areas for kids - these snakes shoot water from their mouths to form a fountain play area.

One of my favorite areas - a whole section dedicated to medicinal herbs and plants.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Visiting Family - Tucson

Jaxon - trying on shoes that belong to Min and Mona  
It really hit us how much we missed our grandchildren when we stopped at my sister's in Tucson on our way home.  She has two adorable grandsons so we got a little "grandparent fix" after six months away from children.
 Mona and both boys doing "pilates" after a busy day riding bikes and playing in the pool.

Mona and Min's yard   

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Traveling, Traveling, Traveling

Spring is a lovely time of year, even along the freeways.  We enjoyed wildflowers all the way from Georgia through Texas.
 A lot of Texas is about energy - oil wells, cracking plants, wind farms, and storage facilities.

But at least you can speed through the 1000 miles pretty quickly.
We think this was a dirigible we saw over the mountains of New Mexico.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Florida Adventures April 2011

When we bought an investment house in Englewood, Florida in March, 2011, we decided to take our mostly unused boat off Lake Eufaula and put it on our dock at the new house.  This seemed like a pretty easy task - after all, we already had over 500 miles with the boat on the trailer - far more than we ever had in the water.  So what was another 500 miles?

The street in front of our new house.  Love that Spanish moss.
So we loaded up the boat on the trailer that hadn't been licensed since 2001, and headed out at 3:30 a.m. on Saturday morning.  We arrived at the marina where we had arranged for a tuneup on the boat by 2:30 p.m. and hoped to have the boat ready to take to our new dock by Wednesday afternoon.  "Murphy's Law" really applies to boating more than any other sport I am aware of.  First everyone in the marina had to go to New York for a funeral, which delayed our boat tune-up for a full week.  We cleaned out the garage of debris left by the last owners, washed windows, painted shutters, wrote on my memoir, visited a casino, and generally wasted time for a full week while we waited for the boat.  We started every day with a long walk in the sunshine in perfect weather.  Oh, did I mention no internet?  Yikes!  How to find how addicted you really are:  take a couple of weeks off!
Bird watching is easier for me when there are BIG birds to watch.  I watched this Great White Egret snag a baby gecho and digest it in a split second as he prowled our flower beds.

The only bad weather day we had in the two weeks we were in Florida was the day we showed up at the marina determined to get a definite time to pick up the boat the next day.  They announced it was ready to go NOW, and in the water.  It was already 4 p.m., we didn't know exactly how to get from the Myakka River to Lemon Bay, and we came totally unprepared.  In our shorts and t-shirts (it was 77 degrees) we took off at 4:30 p.m. with 15 gallons of fuel for our dock on Forked Creek, off Lemon Bay.   We thought it would be about 20 miles, and were fairly certain we just went straight south until we hit the intercoastal waterway, and then followed it to our marker and thence to our dock.
This is the relatively calm water of Lemon Bay where I finally dared to take a picture.

What innocents we were!  We didn't realize it was 42.9 miles (our GPS reading when we finally got to our dock) and there was a small craft advisory for all waters.  By the time we crossed Charlotte Harbor with 4' waves, we were both drenched to the skin and shivering with cold.  We arrived at 7:30 p.m. in our channel, only to discover it was a serious maze and our knowledge of our new GPS left a LOT to be desired.    On the positive side, we did arrive alive, we didn't run out of fuel, and we did find the dock before dark.  However, it was a seriously frightening ride, and I wouldn't recommend it to anyone!