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

Henry David Thoreau

Wrapping Up Our Holiday Fun

Friday December 26, 2014
Oscar Scherer State Park
Osprey, Florida


Friday morning Carrie and I take a hike out to spy on the Eagle nest which has been occupied for years at Oscar Scherer.  The section of the trail that normally circles around by their tree is closed off once they return each year and you can only view them from a distance.   The eagle tree is way far back over Carrie’s left shoulder.   There is an excellent viewing bench.  You can see them with good binoculars or a 50X zoom camera.






There is an excellent sign board with great information about the bald eagle and this pair in particular.  I think you can read it so I won’t retell the information.  David and I will be here in January as well so I’m hoping we might get to see the hatchlings.  Wish we’d get to see them fledge but that doesn’t happen until April.



I did zoom in enough to see one of the parents on the nest.  That huge bird looks mighty small in the nest.  I wonder if this nest is 8’ and weighs 2 tons.  It’s definitely enormous.





They are predicting a warm day with a high of 77 although partly cloudy.  The trouble with the predictions here is that they are for the nearby towns and don’t reflect the difference between the town and the gulf beach front with its winds.  Carrie is up for a beach day on her last day in Florida.


After breakfast, on the way to the beach,  we go a little out of our way to visit the Nakomis Groves.  Not sure why they have these little bushes blocking their very nice mural.   As with most groves, the retail store front isn’t much to look at but the side mural is a nice touch if you could see it walking in.




I walk back to take a picture of it.  Don’t think we ever had our ladders tilted quite that much when we picked fruits at the farm.




Inside they are decorated for the holiday and all the various fruits they grow are for sale along with many other “gift shop” type items.  We pick up a 5# bag of Red Navels for $6.  Love red navels, sweet and not too juicy.






Then it’s outside to stand in line and see what all this ice cream is about.  They actually have T-shirts that say “I survived the ice cream line at Nokomis Groves”.




Carrie opts for lime and orange.   She looks pretty happy but clearly the first lick is a bit of a shock.  Still she says she loves it.





I choose orange/pineapple.  Mine is heavy on pineapple.  If I come again I’ll get vanilla and orange to see if it tastes like a creamesicle.   Not sure how they can call this ice cream since I don’t think there is any dairy in either of these cones.  It isn’t exactly sherbet either.  It’s more firm than sherbet.  But it’s very good.  We’d recommend it even at $4 a cone for a small which is what we have.  Forget the large, it’s huge, although that’s what everyone else we see has.  Probably because it’s a “bargain” at $5 a cone.




The groves are right out back.




We arrive at the beach and find that there is a band playing very loud music in the main shelter near the parking lot.  Sounds to me like some high school kids practicing but they sure are loud so we walk as far down the beach as we can to get away from the disturbing noise.   Clearly we’ve come far enough for the napper.






It’s a gray day, calm enough waters for a couple of kayakers.  I’d love to kayak in the gulf if I could be sure the water would stay this calm.





The sun doesn’t come out, the wind picks up but none of it bothers this trio.



When the naughty napper (whose cap says nice on the other side) wakes up, we vote to give it up as too cold.




We take a farewell shot for this last of Carrie’s visits to the beach and head home to make dinner and play some more Mexican Train.  It is definitely addictive.




David spends about an hour making potato chips out of 4 potatoes.  In a previous post, I detailed this process we happily stole from Nancy Mills.  Thank you Nancy!   Here he’s slicing the potatoes into cold water.  Then he dries them off on an old beach towel we keep for the purpose.







David has added one non-Nancy step.  He dries the potatoes more in the toaster oven before putting them in the microwave to crisp up.  He says he dries them 3 to 5 minutes there.  He rotates them from the drying towel, to the toaster oven, to the microwave.

 Then into the microwave for about  90 seconds at power 9 on our microwave.  Then turn them and another 60 seconds at power 9.  Turn them again 20-30 seconds power 9.  Full power seemed to burn them for us.


And voila, home made potato chips served tonight with Rainbow Skillet Hash and quinoa.   Absolutely delicious!   And no oil.





Then it is back to Mexican Train.  Carrie is the big winner this evening.  Actually each of us has won one set of games but the Family Mexican Train Champion for all 3 days of games played is David.  And I’m the FMT Loser.   Oh well, there’s always next time.






  1. I know Carrie was sorry to leave, but it looks like a fun last day. Love the dreamsickle idea.

  2. We look great in those santa hats! That day was a really fun one! Great ice cream (or whatever it was), time on the beach, potato chips, great dinner and a Mexican Train victory. The worst part was that 'band' at Nokomis - that bass just went on and on down the beach - quite annoying.

  3. bald eagle are my very, very favorite. . .great shot!

    Told you that Mexican Train was addictive. . .but soooo much fun. . .

  4. What a great visit you are having!

  5. Sounds like a great visit with your daughter, we miss playing Mexican Train going to have to teach it to the folks around here, used to play all the time in VT.

  6. I'm impressed by the potato chip making effort....all that time to make them and seconds to devour them...at least in my case. My favorite domino game to play is chicken foot. You can find the rules on line.

  7. I didn't realize that an eagle's nest was that big! They are big birds and the one in the picture is dwarfed by that nest! Love the shot of the sand pipers and the three of you on the beach in your Santa Hats! How were the potato chips? xxxooo

  8. The beach looks entirely too comfortable!

    The eagle nests are quite big. I've seen golden eagles, but not bald eagles in the wild, though they're not unknown in my part of the continent.

  9. Love the 2014 Family Santa Beach Photo!!! What a nice tradition:o)) Don't have a toaster oven...maybe my blow dryer might work;o)) Regardless...love the chips!!!

  10. That's a lot of work for some chips! Bye bye Carrie! Great visit.

  11. We, too, enjoy playing Mexican Train Dominoes ... and yes, you're right ... it's addictive! The most fun we have is playing with another couple (Tallahassee friends), and we all get kinda out-of-control (in a fun way)!!

  12. That nest must be just huge! That gigantic bald eagle looks so small.

    I need to get some oranges when we get to Borrego Springs. We could use some fresh OJ for a change.

    It is going to be hard to say good bye to Carrie. Sure seems like you three had a wonderful time:)

  13. Those are huge small cones of whatever. So glad you got to spend this time with Carrie, even on a grey beach. Mexican Train IS addicting.

  14. Nice ending to your holiday time. Love the hats! So lucky to get a peek at the bald eagle!

  15. Love your collection of holiday hats! I laughed out loud at David in his hat asleep on the beach -- he looks like one of Santa's elves totally worn out from delivering gifts. :-)

  16. That nest is quite the building marvel! Nokomis was my wolf's name, it means Grandmother in Lakota, and even as a puppy she had these amazing wise eyes. We had her for fifteen years. I'm sure that ice cream cones that grow on trees (wall painting) have to be very special - and their "small" is a lot! David indeed looks quite naughty in that pic - great shot! I already miss Carrie :-( Wish she and Matthew could get their own rig and just follow you two around......no? I think our table might be too small for FMT......

  17. I know you two enjoy seeing your daughter as much as we enjoy seeing ours during this holiday time... we are fortunate to still have Katie till the 2nd...

  18. Glad to see Carrie was there for Xmas. All the gang is here and it's the Arya Show all the time. Such fun! Merry Christmas!

  19. I can't wait to try the potato chips! BTW, the picture of the 3 of you on the beach would be a great Christmas card.

  20. I used to like Mexican Train until my locomotive ran off the rails...

    No wonder David wins so much, he cheats! Look at him spying on Carrie's dominos. The truth will win out! :cD


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