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

Henry David Thoreau

Our Solstice Celebration

Friday December 21, 2012
Oscar Scherer State Park site 6
Osprey, Florida


Our holiday always begins with bakery treats. 

And so we go in search of a bakery which can pass our “danish must be delicious” test.   You have no idea how difficult this is.  We were spoiled by Foods of All Nations in Charlottesville, Virginia and have found that there aren’t many home town down and delicious bakeries any more.


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First and last on our list is Jim’s Small Batch Bakery.  We have our fingers crossed.

We also need to make a Whole Foods run today so we set out for Sarasota early.  This is mainly so we can make sure we hit Jim’s Small Batch Bakery before all the goodies are gone.  As it turns out, Jim is on Florida time not New York time and he is just turning out the first things at 8am when the store opens.




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Jim does not disappoint!  He and his staff make everything by hand and fresh.  You can watch all the creations going on.  OH MY are his pastries good.  Our family ritual requires delicious pastries as a prelude to the gift exchange.  We are able to get them fresh out of the oven and more than stock up.  It is embarrassing how many of those delicious yummies we buy.  If you are in Sarasota don’t miss Jim’s Small Batch Bakery.


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Since we are saving the pastries for tomorrow, we go down the street to have breakfast at Word of Mouth. 






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Carrie and I order the Vegetables and Spuds.  This is their home fries covered with at least 10 different vegetables and then 2 eggs prepared however you like them.  Carrie has the biscuit.  I make the mistake of having rye toast instead.  The biscuit is nearly as big as the plate and David whose biscuits are, in my opinion, the best in the land, seems very pleased.


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Having just eaten more than we should have, we head off to Whole Foods where we are not tempted to buy more than we need.  Always good to go to the grocery on a full rather than an empty stomach.   Even so, I feel about like this harried “shopper in training”.  I hate shopping.


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Since we are so close, we do a quick stop at Siesta Key Beach.  Billed as “The Nation’s #1 Beach” , not sure by whom, the beach has sand the consistency of fine white sugar.  You must go barefoot on this beach.  It’s amazing.  But today it is WINDY and thus too cold for bare feet.  At least for us.   The beach is really wide and seems to have a huge 180 degree sky above it.l 

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If I wasn’t pretty sure The Ducks are in Arizona, I would have thought they were here.  These aren’t seagull tracks in the wavy white sand.

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Siesta Key with its beautiful sand and broad broad beach is a tad too urban for me.

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Clearly there are different tolerances for wind and cool even in the same group.

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We see this surfer coming in.   He marches up to the water front, pauses, turns around and goes right back out.  Water too rough?  Winds too strong?  Whichever, we follow him out.


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Back home we have to find room for our $170 in groceries.  This is always a challenge in a small RV kitchen.   But the master puzzler does it again!




And then, because of the 5:40 PM sunset time, we head over to Nokomis Beach to watch the sun go down on the longest night of the year.

Looks like the waves washed out the Christmas part of this message.


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I try to help put it back.P1070823


The gulf waves are doing ocean wave impersonations.


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So happy to be watching the sunset over the water on Winter Solstice.

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And there it goes. 
There are several groups on the west coast of Florida holding all night vigils until Sunrise tomorrow.  I think that would be so much fun to do but am afraid an all nighter is not something I could sell to my family.





We can hear the rhythm of the drums as the sun goes down and find this small but mighty group on our way back to the car.  Too windy for them on the beach I guess.   But their constant rhythms made a wonderful background to the sunset.

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Our final activity on this Solstice eve is to join the group of movie fans at the park’s Nature Center for a Christmas movie.   They have 7 to choose from and when the votes are tallied they choose The Christmas Story.   None of us has ever seen it so we are looking forward to an addition for our list of favorites among which are the Alistair Sims A Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street, Holiday Inn,  It’s a Wonderful Life, and Polar Express


When The Christmas Story finishes we unanimously agree that we will never watch it again.  I guess “Shoot your eye out” is just not our kind of Christmas humor.   Later we look up the 10 worst and best Christmas movies and it is on both lists.  Clearly there is a variety of opinion. 

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Back home for bedtime.  The party continues tomorrow!

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  1. What a marvelous way to usher out the longest day.

  2. I have to agree with you about the movie. Maybe it gets better with more glasses of Christmas cheer?

    I admire your self control, going to the bakery and then saving your purchases for the next day. Not even a little nibble? ;c)

    Marry Christmas!

  3. You know, Robert grew up watching that movie, but I had never heard of it until we were married. It was 'required viewing' during our first Christmas. I don't think I have sat down and watched it in the 17 Christmases since!

  4. :( that is Ricks fav movie of all time..maybe because he wanted a rider when he was little...he watches it every year...glad to see you enjoying yourselves..Merry Christmas to you David and Carrie...(oh and I totally agree with you about the movie)...

  5. It has been a family tradition for us to watch that movie as adults. My brothers and sisters and I LIVED that movie with our dad who was a LOT like Darren McGavin. It is very funny to us now, it wasn't as funny back having a dad like that in the '50's growing up. We certainly understand people not liking it. Eldy fails to see the humor in it, but it's still one of my favorite Christmas movies.

  6. Mmmmm -- don't you just love the aromas inside a bakery? And everything tastes so darn good!

    Wishing you guys a very Merry Christmas!

  7. I like "a Christmas Story" and after 20 years is growing on Catherine.

  8. so happy to have solstice behind us as now the days gt longer... just the way I like them...

  9. Where oh where is my favorite Christmas movie National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. Such silliness and fun! We are having a White Christmas here.. actually it was a surprise.. we got about 3 inches... and drove while it was falling last night (Christmas eve). It truly was beautiful. I see David's Christmas lights are still shining brightly. Wishing you all 3 a beautiful Christmas Day with each other!

  10. Merry Christmas Sherry, Dave and Carrie!

  11. I have been putting together a library of Movies for the road and I must say.... A Christmas Story is not on that list. Once is definitely enough. though I am a sucker for It's a Wonderful Life. I say I won't watch it again but alas, Christmas comes and I watch it again. Yep, last night I watched it again. Yummy looking pastries!

  12. Merry Christmas- Going to pick up your dad in a little bit will cook pork roast today since we ate at my friends last night and had the prime rib.- Have a great day together. Cindy

  13. Ah yes ... beautiful Siesta Key Beach ... we spent a wonderful weekend there several years ago and actually welcomed the wind because it kept the swarming love bugs at bay.

    Merry Christmas.

  14. Oh, to be in both places at once! This had to be some Florida Duck that we haven't met yet.

    So many people told me I must see "Christmas Story." I sat down to watch it, but couldn't finish. It ought to be cute, but I didn't like it.

  15. I have to say that we didn't watch any Christmas movies this year. Christmas Story I like, as well as Christmas Vacation. It's A Wonderful Life is still my favorite.

  16. Wonderful summary of our day and good explanation of our Christmas Story experience - I just don't get it ;) From dawn to the movie, I think it was a lovely Solstice all around...even if there was some shopping required...


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