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

Henry David Thoreau

An easy end to a very nice year

Sunday December 29-Tuesday December 31, 2013
Oscar Scherer State Park
Osprey, Florida



No bugs, and cooler weather.


Since we arrived on Saturday at Oscar Scherer we’ve just been hanging around.   We’ve gone running twice to try to get rid of some of the holiday excess.  Or at least I’m trying.  David has no excess to get rid of.  He says he wants to get ‘back in shape’ whatever that means.  His running is good cardio exercise but he can’t afford to lose any weight.  As problems go, I’ll take that one. 




I have spent an inordinate amount of time just sitting on the patio reading now that I can.  What a joy to be able to sit outside and eat outside and not be constantly bothered by noseeums. 

The park has a nice rotating book library in the gate house and as you can see I have found a big stack of things to look over and possibly read.  I’m finishing up a memoire by Carolyn Heilbrun and then I’ll read 25 pages of each of the books I found and see which ones pull me in enough to read them through.  I love having a book in my hand, smelling the paper and ink. 


Oscar Scherer’s take one leave one libraryDSCF2766



The weather has been chilly in comparison with what we experienced at Sebastian Inlet and perhaps that’s why the bugs are worse over there although when I asked the ranger when there were no noseeums she said ‘never’.  It was lovely the day we arrived but we got here too late in the day to do much and the past two days the high has been 69 and the low 59.  I know, I know, hardly something to complain about but sadly for me not really beach weather.



It was a long trip to get good news.

The biggest and only event yesterday was a visit to the Moffitt Cancer center in Tampa for David’s 18 month check up.  It was a long drive, 80 miles one way, but worth it to find out that things are still excellent.   Red and white cell counts are still down which is a bit worrisome to me but the doctor says not a big deal and I guess he knows.  This was all a welcome relief especially since a former colleague of David’s was diagnosed with multiple myeloma just over a year ago and died this past month. The news was quite sobering.




In addition to running, we’ve done a bit of biking, up to the library twice, out to the recycling center with the “red bag” and around the campground though we haven’t yet gone out to do any of the 15 miles of trails that run between Sarasota and Caspersen Beach.  There is an entrance onto the trails directly from the park and we would have gone today but we were too tired from running.  We really are out of shape.  But biking is up coming on our agenda.  



We haven’t had pizza in ages and today I got a craving for it.





David had something else planned but I just had a hankering to send off 2013 with a home made pizza.   I was kneading the dough when he said “look over here”.  “Who me”?? Some picture. 

But the pizza turned out delicious.  We used our pizza stone but didn’t put the pizza directly on it.  We put the pizza on our regular pizza pan and put that on the stone to see if we could still get a nice crispy crust without the tricky business of getting the pizza on and off the stone.  Worked great!  We probably will never cook directly on the stone again.




While the dough was rising and the pizza cooking I went outside and cut my hair.  I actually like my hair long but I just can’t get through that stage where it hangs in my eyes.   So the flowbee and I had a date.  A couple of people commented asking what was flowbee when I mentioned it in a previous post.  I’ve put it in my blog several times but thought I’d do a set of pictures again for those who haven’t seen it yet.   I’ve been cutting my own hair, for better or for worse, since we went on the road.  I find that I don’t like the cut the day I do it but it evens out and settles down in a few days.  And then I love it. 





I just turn it on, choose the right length of attachments for the length of my hair and move it all over my head with a bouncing type motion.  I stop, change the attachments making them shorter and shorter as I do it again and again until it’s short enough to suit me.  It layers my hair and puts the cuttings in to the tank on top of the motor.  No mess.  LOVE IT!







My “new year” started on the day that daylight began to increase but there is the calendar we all are tied to.  I am amazed at how fast the calendar year 2013 has seemingly flown by.  Is the warp speed with which everything happens now and our constant frantic attempts to keep up? Or is it just a phenomenon of aging that makes time seem to go more quickly?


In a contrary effort, we don’t have any New Year’s eve plans.  So it will be a quiet evening at home.  We had a very rough 2012 and are thankful that 2013 has been a wonderful year.  Hope yours has been too.  Here’s to a GREAT 2014!


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Last Days at Sebastian Inlet

Thursday December 26-Sunday December 29, 2013
Sebastian Inlet State Park,  Vero Beach, Florida




After Carrie left, we had two more days at Sebastian Inlet before moving on. 



We didn’t do much, the weather was cloudy overcast and cool.  I was there as usual but there wasn't much of a sunrise.







 We thought the day was too cool to go in the water, but we went over to the beach to see what was going on.

The surfers were undeterred.   The mother of this mother daughter pair had on a full wet suit.  The daughter just her two piece.  Seemed mighty cold to me but………..I’m not a surfer.

In addition to the surfers, there was this guy water skiing off of a jet ski.  They were doing a lot of hot-dogging.








David spotted this helicopter in the sky.  Maybe Paul Dahl knows what it was doing going back and forth out at sea parallel to the beach.






The Sunset did not disappoint!








On his last day at Sebastian Inlet David wanted to go out for breakfast at his favorite place, the Long Point Restaurant.   It’s just across the inlet and up the road from the campground.





We’ve been here several times and have always been impressed by how clean and neat the restaurant is.  Everything looks as if it has just been newly done or cleaned.  I don’t know if it bothers you like it does me but when I go into a restaurant and the glasses and silverware are spotted, I’m not impressed.  The waitress here is sitting with the water glasses straight from the dishwasher using a towel to go over every one to make sure there are no spots.  Now that’s attention to detail.





Hats off to the breakfast cook as well.   Everything was perfectly done.  Eggs over easy and “lightly” scrambled were exactly that.   When I asked for hot water with lemon, she brought me an entire pot and came around frequently to see if David would like his evil brew topped up.  (wink*wink*Paul)





We took a last look around the park.   Here are some of my favorites.




my sunrise beach in the afternoonP1010001




sea turtle swimming in from the ocean up the inlet – SO exciting to see it.P1010008A



pure joy at sunrise beachP1010011




path along the inlet back to the campground from the oceanP1010016




our favorite park tree, the gumbo-limboDSCF2677



snowy egret and royal turnDSCF2708



our last sunsetDSCF2715


the last afterglowDSCF2728







Saturday morning we said good-bye to Sebastian Inlet which we love, all but the bugs, which were relentless the entire time we were there.

We did an easy though fairly lengthy, for us, 180 mile move across the middle of the state to Oscar Scherer State Park which is near the town of Nokomis and the Gulf of Mexico.  We’ve been here before too and though I couldn’t get one of my favorite campsites and couldn’t get anything for an entire 10 days, we are here in Site 93 for 6 days on South Creek   Yes it’s a back in site but who wants to look at the road when you could look at the mangrove lined creek?   Good thing we have lots of power cord and water hose so we can stretch it to enable us to be any direction we like.  We got the bikes off of the car, had dinner and walked up to the nature center/club house to see the monthly schedule of ranger talks, walks, pancake breakfasts, movie nights, game nights and all the other things that the Friends of Oscar Scherer put on that makes this state park unlike others we’ve been to.





Seems we got to Oscar Scherer just in time for the rains.  They started in the night and it was still drizzling when we got up.  We both went out for a run.  We had oatmeal pecan pancakes for breakfast and spent the rest of the day noodling around. 


The duckies and company look longingly from the end of the picnic table at south Creek.



What did we do all day today?   Who knows other than this post.   Apparently not much since neither of us took even one picture.  In the afternoon there was a lull in the rain, so we took the kayaks up to the boat launch at the South Picnic area and locked them down so that we can have them there any time we want and not have to keep them on the car.

From the launch into South Creek you can paddle down under the Tamiami Trail and out into the waterway between Casey Key and the mainland.  You can paddle all the way to Nokomis beach if you like but you’ll be sharing some mighty big water with some mighty big boats. 




We have 10 days here so who knows what we might get in to.  One thing for sure is I need a flowbee haircut!  And so far I’ve encountered few bugs so I might even get to sit out under the awning in my chair and read.  Now that will be a treat!


The time flew by

Monday December 22 - Wednesday December 25, 2013
Sebastian Inlet State Park



It’s been a whirlwind stay.




Carrie arrived on Solstice Day Saturday December 21st and had to leave on Christmas Day.  The cost of the flight to come just before Christmas and stay after was over twice what it was to come several days before and leave on the day.  She wasn’t able to take the entire week off so we packed as much into her time with us as we could.






Monday was our third GREAT beach day.


The weather was wonderful enough to spend Monday on the beach and swim in the Atlantic where the waves were BIG.  We had another fabulous time….and in December…..amazingly terrific!











We played games of Save the Everglades but it was hard to get funding to combat all the pollution.  We sang Santa Baby along with Eartha Kitt from 1953, watched the Grinch steal Christmas and Kermit & Miss Piggy play Bob Cratchit and his wife in a Christmas Carol with the Muppets and Michael Caine as Scrooge.






We saw herons and egrets, terns and skimmers in the air and on the water.




We saw groups of pelicans and this group of wood storks.     Hmmmm  which one does not belong.







On Tuesday the weather took a big turn.





The temperatures plummeted, the wind gusted to between 20 and 30 mph.  Not a beach day for sure.  The McLarty Treasure Museum is in the park and seemed like a great place to be inside.  There we found out why this area is known as the Treasure Coast.

It seems that in the early morning darkness of the last day of July 1715, a hurricane destroyed a Spanish fleet on its way from Cuba to Spain.  Over 1000 people were killed.  1500 survivors of eleven ships made it to shore and camped at this spot. Attempts to salvage the expensive cargo began almost at once. English pirates raided the salvage camps.   The ships still rest off the barrier coast in this area along with some 30 other wreckages.  Thus it has become known as the treasure coast especially because of the 20th century reclamation of some of the Spanish treasure. 



The ships were almost forgotten until the late 1950’s when a building contractor from Cincinnati Ohio named Kip Wagner found a piece of eight on the beach near Sebastian Inlet after a hurricane and decided to find out where it came from.  The story of his finding the fleet is an interesting one and can be read here.

The museum itself is small but does an good job of telling the story and showing some of the things which have been found.  There is another local museum in Sebastian on the mainland which also displays some of the booty.  The 45 minute film is an excellent introduction to the history and the museum.  See it first.







In addition to the film and the informational panels and dioramas, there are miniatures of three of the ships amazingly complete to the last detail.




Much of the loot was said to be the dowry for the new Queen of Spain who supposedly would not consummate her marriage until it was provided.   I always thought the bride provided the dowry not received it.  Guess I’d better do some more checking into history here.  There were religious articles, precious gems and stones, jewelry and a great deal of gold and silver.





Also those famous pieces of 8 apparently by the barrel full.






The walls also have some beautiful art work.  My favorite is this oil painting of a storm tossed ship.





Although the museum is located on the water behind the dune it does not have a path to the beach.  It does have a great boardwalk through the maritime forest to an observation deck in the shape of a ship’s bow complete with wheel.





The strong winds are causing the captain to have to lean into steering our vessel.




The beautiful shore line along which in as little as 15’ of water, you too might find sunken treasure like a family did in September of this year.   Check it out!





Wednesday, Carrie’s final day with us, begins with chocolate chip pancakes on the griddle.






We walk down to the beach and find the wind is again in control of things.






But wind doesn’t stop these hearty ocean-o-holics!   We have to leave to take her to Orlando airport by noon but that leaves just enough time for ONE MORE visit to the water.   The temperatures are in the 70’s today rather than the 80’s of Monday or the 60’s of yesterday.   It’s good enough for us.





The waves are rolling.  We all check it out but only David decides to go on in. 












We’re especially glad we passed when we find several of these Portuguese man of war washed up on the beach near where we are sitting.  But David says he saw none of them, the water was warm, but the waves were strong and tiring.




Carrie expresses her opinion about the day and we wrap it up with one last picture of the 3 of us.






Then we’re off for the 90 minute drive to Orlando made a little more tense by a last minute stop for gas.  We see her into the hands of the TSA agents and head back on the road arriving home in time for sunset which is a beautiful one this evening.





The pelicans and dolphins are both out as usual at sunset.  The only thing missing is Carrie.  These pictures are especially for her.







The after colors in the sky are beautiful.




Just for you sweetheart, the spot we came to every evening while you were here. It’s missing you.   Me too!





Up in the air junior bird men!  Don’t we wish it were we three.





What a great time when you are here.  Hurry back soon!

   Love Mama and Papa

I miss you when you go!!

S&D Santa Hats