Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.

Henry David Thoreau

Finally a Fantastic Day

Friday-Sunday January 9-11, 2015
Oscar Scherer State Park
Osprey, Florida





More efforts were spent on the phone this morning to get the drug thing straightened out and after no call backs by 5:00, it’s clear it is going into next week with no resolution.  I think I’d better clarify that the drug in question is not something you can have your doctor write a prescription for to be filled at CVS, Walmart or Walgreens.  This is a specialty cancer drug costing thousands of dollars a month and has to come through a specialty pharmacy.  Everything was working fine until our insurance company decided it would no longer do business with the specialty pharmacy which had such great customer support for its clients.

But better news arrived today too,  David’s major myeloma number from last Wednesday’s blood draw did come in and thankfully it has not gone up during these  weeks without medication.  For that we are very surprised and extremely thankful.




We did get out for a hike in the park on the sandy trails.  We went by to check on the eagles and the only picture I could get showed a very vague adult head toward the rear of the nest.  Not sure you can even see it in the picture.  That little white thing on the left.  S/he is giving me the back of the head.   We also saw a flicker and some scrub jays but I wasn’t able to get good pictures of either of them.



David had been drifting off to sleep throughout the day, pretty much every time he sat down so when it happened again at 7pm I persuaded him to just go to bed and see how long his body wanted to sleep.  The next morning he felt much better after 11 hours of sleep.






Low of 44, high of 63 today but windy so it wasn’t exactly beach or kayaking weather.   I hiked my 10,000 steps on the South Creek trail and part of the Legacy trail listening to Isabel Allende’s book Daughter of Fortune.  David was so refreshed after his big night’s sleep that fairly bustled around.  He wrapped up and  sent off his camera for the THIRD time.   His infinite patience isn’t serving him well with Panasonic I don’t think.   He wrote and sent a birthday card to his younger brother Randall and also put a new speaker in the passenger door for Ruby.   I’m not sure if he used any of his new tools in any of this. <grin>




Speaking of tools, Carrie gave me a cleaning kit for my camelback as well as a new hose and mouth piece. It’s really hard to clean those camelback hoses and after a while my water was just beginning to taste funky.

The cleaning kit comes with a little brush on the end of a very long spring so you can easily clean out your hose. Great tool. But today we found even another use for it. Our refrigerator drain pan has been freezing up and that seems to be because the hose isn’t draining well. So we tried the camelback hose on it. Boy the yuck that came out of there was black.  We cleaned the hose both from outside and inside the refrigerator so I think we’re good to go. Thanks Carrie!











Sunday turns out to be the fun day.  We start off with breakfast at Millie’s with Jeannie and Eldy of Where’s Eldo.  We met them when they were full timers. 

They have since settled in Bradenton. They seem very happy there with their home and their life where Eldy has taken up biking and golfing and Jeannie loves substitute teaching.   It was great catching up with them over good food.  I think I caught the guys off guard but Jeannie has a great smile.  Sorry guys!

After hugs good bye they head  home.  Since we are fairly close by, we go to check out where best to put in to kayak the mangrove tunnels IF the weather will ever cooperate during our last week here coming up.   The tunnels are known as the Lido Beach tunnels so we stop at Lido beach to see about it.   Neat entrance, big wide beach, very urban, high rises in two of three directions but no indication of mangrove tunnels.

Based on the blue skies and brilliant sun, it looks like we’re going to have a great day FINALLY.






Using my phone I do some more google searching and find that we need to go further south to SOUTH Lido Beach.

We don’t find the tunnels there either although we do find an osprey who is sitting in a tree and calling and calling to someone.  The winds are up out here on the tip of the island and that must be pretty common judging from the way the palms are staked.





Further investigation shows that we have come too far. We need to go to South Lido NATURE Park which is back just a bit but has no sign on the road. Great if you know where it is but not so much if you don’t.

We do find it and judging from the kayak put in and the map it looks like a winner. So now we have 3 interesting paddles to try as soon as we can get the reasonable temperatures and winds.







After that we think we’ll go to Whole Foods for groceries but since we are out on the barrier islands we decide that first we will drive up to Anna Maria Island and see Coquina Beach which Jeannie and Eldy said we should not miss.  The sun is out and it looks like a great day for the beach.

Coquina Beach has a “Beach Market” whatever that is today so we’ll have to check that out first before we go down on the sand to stay.   But just in case the crowds pick up, we decide to go stake our claim on the fairly deserted beach.  Surprising since it’s after noon.  It’s another wide beach but goes on forever it seems.  We set up fairly close to the water.  Those two little dark dots are our chairs.   Great looking beach as promised.




Walking down the path to the market, we pass bicyclists and the cute little brightly colored changing rooms.  They are on skids and chained down to concrete anchors in the ground so they can’t be blown away or stolen but can be moved if the need requires.  Very clever.






The vendors range from flea market types to serious craftsmen to farmers.

Found some nice alligator boots protecting vintage Lionel trains.  I am interested in look of the boots (too big for me), David in the trains.



How about these?  I am just dumb founded that anyone would wear a shoe designed like those green ones.  You’d be walking on pinched toes.  All I can think about is what that would do to your ankles and hips.  Must be my age.




There is a huge ground display of metal signs.  Some of them are very funny.  $15 each or 2 for $25.



Love the vegetarian and the Teach a man to fish.   Click the picture if you can’t read them.




Delicious looking vegetables. 



And very fine woodworking.






One vendor was decked out in here “when I am old I will wear purple hat”.  She looked great!


Pottery and music.   The singer was actually pretty good which rather surprised me.







We noticed from the map showing all the things along this very long beach that across the road is a mangrove walk.  So we add that to the things we do here.   The Everglades is a favorite place of ours and we love being in the mangroves even if we aren’t in a boat.  And this is the PERFECT time of year since the mosquitoes are not there.






We enter the walk by crossing over a bridge above the canals that make up the mangrove trail.  I wonder if you can kayak this one but learn as I go that it is really too short and the bay surrounding it too big with too many noisy speed boats for me to want to.  But it’s beautiful just the same.




The mangrove boardwalk goes off from the main trail but before we reach it, we see this sign for a “spectacular” view from “high” up on what they call a coastal ridge.   Hmmmm “spectacular” is a pretty strong word.



Well it didn’t seem spectacular to me but it was high enough to see out to the bay so perhaps in flat Florida that’s enough to qualify for the description.







But then come the real mangroves.  I just love them.  They are particularly great right now as the sun has been blazing and it is getting seriously hot out there.   Inside the mangroves, it is wonderfully cool



We are both very impressed with the length of the boardwalk and the excellent construction.  They have put a lot of time and money into this lovely walk.  Really well done Sarasota parks.



We see both red and black mangroves growing and are proud of ourselves for remembering which is which from our Everglades education.  The reds are the roots all entangled above ground.  The blacks have what look  like pencil roots coming straight up out of the ground.   No white mangroves here.







When we finish the walk we are ready for the beach.  It’s HOT!  Over 80 for sure!   It’s a perfect beach day and we’ve had only one of those in the 3 weeks we’ve been in this area which we came to mostly for the beach.


We head down to our chairs and before I sit down I look at my not cheap Tommy Bahama back pack beach chair which is coming apart at the seams after little more than a year.  I am not pleased with Mr. Bahama’s workmanship at all.





But it still holds me up for a great afternoon on the beach.  We couldn’t have asked for a better day.





Most folks think it’s pretty hot out here so I’m really surprised to see these two in their winter sweats out walking down the beach.  You just never know what you’ll see.




David takes the opportunity for a little nap.



We read, people watch, have lunch and finally decide we really do have to go to the grocery store so about 4:00 we pack it up.  80% chance of rain tomorrow so I’m sure glad we could take advantage of this beautiful day in this beautiful place.




  1. Green Shoes: Yikes. I even quit wearing most any kind of heeled shoes. It's all about comfort now.

    Beach Chair: Quality seems to have gone down in a lot of things. We have two Kelty chairs, one much older than the other. The newer one is falling apart already.

    Winter Sweats: When I lived in Texas I went to a baseball game in Arlington with a coworker. Well, the temp started getting down into the low 80s and she starts putting a sweater on! I couldn't believe it. I'm originally from Wisconsin, so even 70s isn't sweater weather. Maybe those folks just have really thin blood. Still a strange sight to see on a beach.

  2. That David is an agile get er done mechanic type of guy. Amazing what a good long sleep can do.

  3. I find getting those 10,000 steps much easier while listening to an audio book too. It's a great diversion for me.

    Beautiful beach and a great day all around! I need to look into that Camelbak cleaning brush! Never knew such a thing existed, and I agree, those things are really hard to clean.

  4. I keep forgetting to say that I love your new profile pic! Like little kids, we still fight sleep when it's really what we need :-) I love my audio books for walking! Especially since we were unhappy with the outcome of both the football games, your Sunday was certainly more wonderful than ours. I love all the unexpected turns you made, and all the fun things you found as a result - with the reward of a beautiful spot on the sunny beach. If you were sitting inside and saw Bill and I walk down the street on a Spring day you would have no idea what the temperature was.....he in t-shirt, shorts and sandals - me in sweater, pants and shoes. Bummer about the TB chair! I'm hoping our new Gander Mountain chairs hold up for a long time.....they weren't very expensive but they are very sturdy and seem to be well made. Hope your Monday is a great one!!

  5. Those Florida beaches are just gorgeous...that sugar white sand is amazing! Don't know if we'll ever make it out that way, but it's nice to live vicariously through you!

    After having multiple problems with a Panasonic Lumix DSC35 and having to deal with Panasonic service, I will likely never buy another Panasonic. I have since purchased a Sony WX350 pocket camera and am very happy with the quality of the photos. I've only had it about a month so fingers crossed that it holds up better than the Panasonic!

  6. What a lovely beach day! I'm really waiting for some warmer weather to drive over the hill to the beach here in CA. In Northern CA you really wear sweat clothes to stay warm. Love the mangrove boardwalk, what a pleasant place to walk.

  7. I would never consider those toe pinchers, heal or no heal. No way, no how! Looks like you had a great day indeed. It is always necessary to take advantage of good weather days when they appear.

  8. thoroughly enjoyed your day and your pics. . .I too could sit on the beach for hours, and do nothing. . .

    just got a FitBit (pedometer style thingy) and am trying to work my way up to 10,000 steps per day again. . .

    as soon as I read about you listening to your audio book. . .light bulb. . .that's exactly what I need to do. . .load an audio book onto my IPod (Lord help me!). . .I listened to audio books, and podcasts constantly when I carried mail. . .amazing how quickly I'd forgotten about it. . .awesome!

  9. I hope that mess with the drugs gets straightened out quickly. Thank goodness David's numbers have stayed stable.

    Glad you had a nice day after all the recent struggles, you deserved a great beach visit (even if Tommy Bahama is letting you down). :c)

  10. I love my Tommy Bahama chair, although I usually just use it while camping. The market looks like it has some interesting items; I like to buy fruits & veggies at a Farmer's Mkt with no additional attractions. Mine does have a bread table, as well as honey, almond butter, organic meat & eggs. I haven't bought any meat there, but I think you have to order it. (I don't even care for music while I shop, and lucky for me they don't have it during these winter months.)

  11. Wow what a wonderful Sunday!!! We will want a well marked map for all those wonderful places;o)) We are finally out of the cold, but instead it is pouring rain;o(( Can't wait to get to those sunny beaches!!!

  12. thanks for the explanation about the mangrove....I've wondered what they were and now that I see them I'll be on the lookout

  13. Fun day indeed. I would have tried out the water but too many people (two to be exact) said the water was cold. Not surprising after the cooler than usual night time temperatures we have had recently. Oh well, better days ahead I am sure.

  14. What strikes me particularly in these shots is the colour of the sand!

    The boardwalk among the mangroves looks like a lovely place for a stroll.

  15. Had to laugh at those people on the beach in sweats. Do you know that we have a name for them down here? They are called Floridians!! In fact, that may have been Al and I.

    I'm glad you got a nice beach day. The water looked so clear and pretty with all that sugar white sand. I'll bet you're getting some rain today though. I know we are. I hope it clears up for you soon and you can get back to enjoying your winter. This is an El Nino year, so this is what happens.

    I'm glad to hear David got good news on his blood work. Hoping you'll find an answer for the drugs he needs.

    We kayaked through a mangrove tunnel, but I think it must have been summer. We weren't thinking and didn't really know what to expect. Once we got in, it was too narrow to turn around and the mosquitoes swarmed us. We couldn't even paddle very fast because it was too narrow to really put the paddles down. Yikes....were we glad to get out of there. Haven't been in one like that since, but learned to bring insect repellent if we ever do that again.

  16. We were fortunate to kayak in the mangroves a few years ago, what an amazing time we had. Nice to hear David's numbers are okay. Working up to 10,000 steps a day, but the cold weather isn't helping.

  17. A beautiful beach day. I wish it would warm up in coastal TX. I 'm working during the week and its been too cold on the weekends to get out walking or biking.

  18. Lovely day - despite yucky phone calls; that is great news that the numbers stayed in check and did not go the wrong direction! Reason to celebrate with in the mangroves and by the water! Beautiful beach and the mangroves are so mysterious and unique. I hope to get out to walk today - this is the first day it's been above freezing and not raining in awhile - nice to see the sun in your blogs! :) Never forget how lucky you are!!

  19. So happy to hear that David's numbers are stable. :-) What a gorgeous day you had -- the beach and water look so inviting. Love the boardwalk trail through the mangroves, too -- even better with no mosquitoes!

  20. Hallelujah to stable numbers and a sunny, hot day!

  21. Its great to hear that David's number are okey. His happy demeanor and positive attitude may have helped stabilizing them.
    Florida beaches are so white and refined compared to TX and so glad that you guys are able to have some beach time.

  22. So glad the weather finally cooperated enough for a beach fix.

  23. Oh you toads! It was 23 degrees today, dusting of snow and all of the schools were closed. It looks lovely there. I'm glad you had a great weather day. My grandparents used to go to Sarasota every winter.


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