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

Henry David Thoreau

David’s Birthday Week

January 7-14, 2017                                                                                            Most Recent Posts
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David’s birthday is on Monday but his birthday week starts on Sunday as does our second week here at Sebastian Inlet State Park.

IMG_9111The highest temperature last week was 60 with lows in the upper 20’s.  Not at all what we were expecting for Vero Beach on the south east Florida Coast. 

It’s supposed to get into the 70’s later on this week but for today, we take a walk over to the ocean on the south side of the inlet.  Same side as the campground.  It too windy to stay long. We do see lots of birds.  Pizza for dinner warms us up. 


His birthday dawns cloudy and windy.  I don’t mind getting out for sunrise at 6:30am so I can see the dawn but not when it’s 38 degrees and windy.   Sebastian is one of the parks where I can walk to sunrise and sunset but so far it’s been too cold and windy for the former.

Eventually we go over to the north side beach where the red flag continues to fly.


There are two piers at Sebastian Inlet which really is seriously geared for fishermen.  The park is open 24 hours a day and someone mans the entry booth.  It’s the only state park I know of where you can come in for night fishing. They have a fishing museum in the park.   There is a pier on the south side, the first picture, and a longer one on the north side.  Picture below.   The waves are rolling high and the winds are strong but the fishermen line the pier.


It’s a foggy day.  Looks like rain.  The air is  moist but no raindrops all day.


The cold and wind didn’t keep the surfers away.



Of course the weather didn’t keep the Black Skimmers away either.


It’s David’s day and one of the subtle reasons he wanted to come check out the beach on the North side was BG’s Surfside Grille.   Just walk right up and order lunch.


When we come to a park, he always checks out nearby resaurants and reads their menus.  The Grille had a Bratwurst sandwich and fries for $6.95 which sounded like a bargain so that was his birthday lunch at a table overlooking the ocean.


Just beyond the boardwalk leading to the beach from our table a red bellied woodpecker is  hanging around in the sea grape.



By the time we finish lunch, the fog has scaled back and the number of fishermen on the pier has increased.


The birthday boy poses smiling by the shore wearing the shirt his daughter gave him for Christmas.


The later part of his birthday is spent at the American Icon Brewery in Vero Beach.  His choice for brew and dinner.


American Icon Brewery is located in the historic Vero Beach Diesel Power Plant building constructed in 1926.  It’s on the National Historic Register  It is the city’s oldest municipal building.  It remained in continuous operation until 1958 and served as back up to the new power plant until 1994..  The one remaining engine pictured below is a 1937 750 killowatt Busch-Sulzer air enjected diesel engine.


It’s a day of a big appetite so David orders lobster, crab and artichoke dip  as an appetizer.



It’s warmed up this afternoon and being off the beach, the wind is controlled so we are sitting outside.  Here’s our view showing additional outside comfy seating.


He chooses a burger for dinner but not just any burger. It’s a “Legally Drunk Goat Burger”.  That’s “Icon lamb and beef blend, whipped honey goat cheese, baby gem lettuce, tomato, special sauce, and New World raspberry jam”.   Who comes up with these things?    Sure hope that special sauce didn’t come from the other place that calls theirs that.

Whatever, he pronounces it delicious!



On the 3rd day of birthday week we head back over to the north beach. where again it’s windy but not so cold.   We are able to spend a few hours on the beach for the first time since we arrived.



We take a walk on the beach going north and find a number of thick shelled whelks in the sand.
Not many footprints leading as far up as we go.


I really love their spirals and the variety of colors.  I know someone will come along and take these but it won’t be me depriving people of the pleasure of seeing them on the beach.



You must never know what the sea will wash up or uncover.  What animal fossil does it remind you of?



David’s pacing himself so he turns back before I do.


He misses this sweet message I find.


He also misses this seagull actually drinking salt water.  I had no idea they did. 


I walk myself clean out of the park and find that tiki huts on the beach are the rage among the beach front homeowners.  Well maybe not the rage but there were 3 of them in a row.  Maybe it was a buy in bulk sale.


When I return, so has the fog and although David can’t see her, there is a woman doing yoga directly behind him.


Most mornings, my walks are fogged in.  This morning a lone fishing boat is shrouded in the mists.


But the birds are out and things look nice and clear close up.  Notice the snowy egret’s “golden slippers”.


The area along the Indian River near the campground often has a number of white pelicans hanging around.  Probably hoping the fishermen all along the water will toss something their way.



Today there was a lone wood stork.  They are so ugly, that they are fascinating.  And PINK feet.


They sure look homely on the ground but they are stunning in the air in flight with the black markings on their beautiful white feathers.



You can see how close in the fog is in this picture.   Can you also see which one doesn’t not belong in this birds of a feather group?


And the answer is . . .

Like the fishermen, this paddle boarder is willing to brave even the windiest and coldest days.  He looks pretty seriously dressed for the occasion.


While I’m out walking, David is making his birthday breakfast.  He’s decided that he  makes a better breakfast then pretty much any restaurant he’s ever been to.  This is his home fries, bacon, biscuits and omlet breakfast.


Caught the cook chewing.

Sunrises have mostly been fogged out here but the sunsets are often lovely and easy to see since our site is just steps away from where I took these pictures.



Finally on Thursday we have a good day for going to the beach.  It’s still windy,  still a red flag day, still not swimable water IMO but the winds aren’t sand throwing sand, the sun is out and the temperature is in the 70’s.

Boy are the surfers out today.   Still in full wet suits, there are at least 20 of them in a line directly in front of where we park our chairs.  Somehow they manage to maneuver around each other.  Sure would make me nervous.

We brought books with us but the waves were so good that it was hard to take your eyes off the surfers grabbing them right and left.


We found out later that the inaugural Florida Pro Surf Competition is taking place here the weekend AFTER we leave.   Bummer!!  It’s billed as having the largest total  prize purse for the women’s competition at $50,000.  This is an unusual event in that the women’s prize money will be substantially higher than the men’s.  But it was the men we saw on the water today.

These are just a few of the pictures I took today.  There was only one female surfer that we could see and I never saw her get up on her board. 



Surfers weren’t all we saw.  Here’s my position in the front viewing row.  Notice I have on long sleeves and long pants.  A windy 70 is not “warm”.  There were few other spectators.  These girls must have been covered in goosebumps.  Their attire is even skimpier on the reverse side.



In contrast, the surfer is covered from chin to ankles.


The surfing was definitely the show.  We wondered if they were practicing and are so sorry we booked our site a week too earlly.  Lots of flips, 360’s, riding inside the curl.


The birds were putting on a show as well.  It was only the 2nd day in two weeks we were able to spend any time on the beach and the only one where we spent the entire afternoon.  We had a great time!



The rest of birthday week was very windy so we closed it out with a visit to the Barrier Island Sanctuary in the Archie Carr National Wildlife Refuge which runs for 20 miles up the east coast here.


To stay out of the wind we hiked their lovely hammock trail.




The Barrier Island Sanctuary itself is dedicated to the education about and the preservation of sea turtles.  It’s a beautiful building right on the ocean behind the dune.  It has terrific educational exhibits and excellent educational films along with a nice book store.  


During the summer, they do sea turtle walks to take the public to watch the giant turtles dig their nests and lay their eggs.  These guided walks are done after dark very carefully to insure that the turtles are not disturbed.  I trust that this is true but even so, I don’t think I could do one out of respect for the turtles.    That said, the refuge has had amazing success at protecting the turtles.  This past summer they set a new record for females nesting.  Just look at the numbers of Loggerheads and Greens.

Despite the weather, it’s been a good birthday week.   After two weeks here, we’re leaving for Hillsborough River State Park just east of Tampa. 



  1. All of your photos are exceptional in this post!! Love that first one and the sunset. Great shots of the wood stork who seemed to be posing for you. I could sit on a beach and watch surfers all day. You caught some great action! The row of bird spectators makes me laugh :-) I don't know how all those fishermen don't tangle their lines with so many of them lined up in the wind. Happy Belated Birthday David, looks like you had a great week of yummy eats and fun times at the beach!

  2. Well, it looks like a nice Birthday WEEK!!! That burger sure had a major list of ingredients and toppings:o)) Always fun to see David enjoy his favorite foods and brews!! Here's to many more Happy Birthdays!!!

  3. Beautiful shots! Those waters can get really rough.

    The stork looks like quite a character.

  4. I see David is making the most of his birthday week:) I might suggest that for my next ome:) We are all pretty unhappy with our FL weather. Last night was 22 and tonight is 21 one:( We had an FMCA rally last weekend and it was cold but we were doing ok with the gas heat. At the Saturday breakfast everyone but us announced they were going home, so we headed home as well.

  5. Beautiful pictures I love the Sebastian Inlet have Camp there several times... seeing pictures makes me missing Melbourne my dad's place was right on the Indian River... I was able to get beautiful sunrise pictures every morning I posted on my Facebook page ...I'm not so lucky over here in Crystal River but I have other wonderful things over here...

  6. I like David's thinking on having an entire week to celebrate a birthday! Happy Birthday, David!! :-)) Beautiful photos of the birds and beach and sunsets. Even the Wood Stork is beautiful. I know they're odd looking, but I really like them—they remind me of a Dr. Seuss character. So inspiring to read of the success of the nesting turtles. That sanctuary must be doing really good work to help educate people.

  7. What a great birthday week David had!
    I just love that first sunset photo.

  8. Happy (belated) Birthday David!!!! What are they fishing for? That shot of the Black Skimmers is superb! I think Herons hang out with everyone. Where does David put all that food? Love that shot of the two of you on the beach. Great sunset shots. Think I'd rather watch the surfer show before the crowds arrive.

  9. I guess that stork gets its pink feet from delivering only girl babies? :cD

  10. Way to celebrate your birthday, David! You found some yummy eats, but I agree your breakfast looks better than any restaurant:) Happy Belated Birthday!

    Your weather certainly hasn't been very pleasant lately and You are very cold right now...brrr!!! Hope it warms real soon. That poor wood stork is so pretty from the neck down. He does have one of the ugliest heads. Great photos capturing the surfers.

  11. What a nice birthday week David had! All his favorite things :) Love the sound of that burger, love goat cheese. Our waves here have been spectacular. In Half Moon Bay they have the Mavericks surf championship. The surfers have to be ready at a moments notice, but they canceled it Tuesday because of south winds. Too bad, they only have a brief window of swells apparently.

  12. Happy Belated Birthday David, You sure know how to celebrate

  13. David, you don't look a day older now than you did when I started reading the blog. Hope you have many more happy birthdays.

  14. Thanks for all the belated birthday wishes - it is always a fun week for me to enjoy. Sherry even found me a copy of Disney's classic "Song of the South" on DVD - not easy to find, but I hadn't seen it in sol long and still having those zippidy doo-dah days, wanted to see it again. That was fun.

  15. Happy Birthday, David! Looks like you got to have some meals that you enjoyed! I love the photo you took of the skimmers all flying! The snowy egret looks quite regal- beautiful feathers! The wood stork looks prehistoric like part pterodactyl. I guess he/she would be attractive to another wood stork. Love the flying birds and the waves. xxxooo

  16. Happy birthday,beautiful places.

  17. Overall, a great week...too bad it wasn't consistently warm! The shirt looks great on Dad :) Great photos! The skimmers one I especially like.

  18. I am still catching up, so belated Happy Birthday David! What a great way to celebrate, birds, surgers, fog and great eats. You do know how to celebrate your big day!

  19. Happy birthday David. Looks like it was a great celebration week...so much to celebrate and be grateful for. Gorgeous 🌅 colors.


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