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

Henry David Thoreau

Great News in Our Family

Saturday and Sunday                                                                                      Most Recent Posts:
December 19 & 20, 2015                                                                                  Days of Wind and Preparation
Long Key State Park                                                                                         Historic Key West Walking Tour
Layton, Florida




Carrie arrives in Key West Airport at 12:01 today.  It takes about an hour and a half to drive the 67 miles there from Long Key because of the traffic, the two lane highway and the low speed limits on sections of the road.


Key West Bakery (1)

We set out early so we will have time to stop by the Key West Bakery to check it out for those Solstice Morning treats that are a family tradition.

They do not disappoint and Key West turns out to be the best of the bakeries we have sampled thus far.  We’re up to three now.  I know it’s a difficult job testing bakeries but we’re up to it.




Key West Bakery (12)


We check out the restaurant across the street for a possible lunch venue but the seating outside is limited and the noise from the street just doesn’t suit.  We still have some time left so we just stroll around Key West which always has interesting things to notice.


This is my very favorite address.





Too funny – I guess it’s wishful thinking in Key West.  Have they forgotten about shoveling?




Not Santa exactly.  Could he be the gingerbread man given the house he’s holding?  You really never do know what you will see in Key West. 



Then it is time to head to the airport.  The “Conch Republic Airport” is a small little thing where you exit the American Eagle and other planes onto the runway and walk directly into this little building which is the baggage claim.  The “terminal” isn’t much bigger but it’s on the second floor and you walk down steps to the runway to board your plane.




They have a great little model railway set up in the terminal for the holiday season.





And then, here she comes walking through the door.  I always heave a big sigh of relief when I see her safely on the ground and here with us.  Notice anything in this picture??







Carrie had to get up at 4:45 am in order to be at the BWI airport by 5:30 am for her 7:00 flight here.  Although she wisely brought snacks, she’s more than ready for lunch once we get her bag.  Normally she only brings a carry on and that was true this time as well except that when she boarded the flight to Key West there was no more room in the overhead bins so her bag had to be checked.  Thus we have to wait at the baggage carousels.

We take her to El Meson de Pepe which we liked a great deal when we were here one of our previous Wednesdays.  It’s a delicious lunch, we have Jose as our very funny excellent waiter and are entertained by the Cuban music from a baby shower happening across the way.

Back to the car for the long drive home.  When we arrive, I set Carrie up with one of the Santa hats. She, of course looks fantastic in it.  Minnie would be proud.   I should have gotten a picture of all 3 of us in our hats.  Next time.



We take a walk along the ocean front.  She says it looks like a big lake without the waves she’s used to on the Atlantic.






After dinner we three play dominoes.  Luck still eludes me.  David wins 4 of the 7 games, Carrie wins 3 and I lose every single one.  Apparently I’d better give up this game.  This is about the 3rd time in a row I’ve lost and lost and lost.  They sure look like they’re having fun.




If you haven’t guessed the great news by now, this picture will make it clear.  I asked Carrie to pose for this earlier in the day so I could use how lovely she looks to announce that we will be grandparents in May.  Carrie and Matthew are expecting a baby.  We are all really excited.  We wish Matthew could have been here with us but he is back in Maryland working at a new job.  He’s a wonderful son-in-law to share his wife with us for some holiday time.









On Sunday we’re up and out for the sunrise which gets blocked behind what seem to be the endless clouds.  Even though, the wind is again 20+ mph it’s a lovely temperature and we sit in the “front yard” watching the water and the water birds. 





At one point, a parade of willets passes by.   I take back what I’ve said before about the night heron being the most common bird here.  It’s definitely the willets.




We have breakfast on the picnic table in spite of the wind but Carrie needs her hoody to keep warm while David is in a short sleeve shirt.   It’s a great breakfast view despite the clouds.





We set up this picture of the 3 of us at breakfast that turns out to look like a line up. Talk about posed, too funny!!




Wildlife is everywhere I look.  Even on the back of the mirror on my bike which is parked under the bedroom slide.  Sure hope he doesn’t hang around and sing out over night.




It is Carrie’s understanding that you cannot bring wrapped presents in your carry on luggage without risk that they will all be unwrapped and opened by TSA.  So she needs to spend some time today wrapping the gifts she’s bought and when she’s finished she puts them under the tree to add to the festive feeling.  Pooh approves.





Once the wrapping is taken care Carrie and I take a walk down the beach.   Along the way we see the beautiful pink blossoms of the Cat’s Claw.  They smell wonderful.






The more times I walk this beach, the more impressed I am with the beauty of the coral.  There are so many types of coral that I’m not even going to try to identify these but their “art work” is fascinating.










We finish off our day with a round of the Birding Game and finally I manage to win something.


At this point I’m only two days behind on the blog and the next post will be about our Solstice Eve but the day itself is almost over in real time so I want to say I hope you had  a Joyous Solstice on the shortest day and longest night of the year.  We are certainly happy to celebrate the sun’s return and the lengthening of the days.   However slowly they lengthen, that is the direction they are going now as dark gives way to light.  A new Solar Year has begun.  We’re really looking forward to it and the new addition to our family with which we will be blessed. 


winter solstice


  1. Congratulations to your family! Best wishes to Carrie and Mike. How exciting and the very best gift:)

  2. Yeah. Soon as I saw that title I was pretty sure Carrie was expecting. Sure enough! Congratulations to all of you. What a wonderful thing for this coming year.

  3. Congratulations to your family! Grand babies are the best! Are you going to be Gramma and Grampa or one of the more modern names? Mimi or Mema or maybe Granny? Have a great Christmas and enjoy each other!

  4. Oh congratulations. What fun! Carrie is positively bloomimg, but then she always looks like that :-). Keep sampling those bakeries!

  5. Congratulations!! Grand children are a real blessing. My daughter and her husband just moved to the Baltimore Md area for a new job. We were up there this weekend to celebrate Christmas with them. Small world.

  6. That is wonderful news, how exciting! Now let the grandchild spoiling begin. :cD

  7. Lovely news and what a wonderful extra special solstice celebration!

  8. Congratulations to the whole family!!! Couldn't get a better Christmas present than a new baby:o)) Carrie looks wonderful and we hope she is feeling well also. Nice that you could spend this time together...next Christmas will have a whole new dimension;o)))

    Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and see you soon!!

  9. I thought that might be it when I read the title of your post. Congratulations to the parents- and grandparents-to-be.

  10. Whoohoooo for you all!! Congratulations Carrie and Matthew!

  11. Congratulations on the new baby. The title definitely gave it away. I guess you'll have to be up north in May for sure. It's too bad Matthew couldn't come too.

    The first dead coral picture is brain coral, not sure about the other. I'm certainly glad the days are getting longer.

  12. How very exciting! Congratulations to Carrie and Matthew... and to you two, the new grands to be! I think there will be even a lot more rejoicing in May. Nice that Carrie could be with you two over the holidays... thank you, Matthew, for sharing. Ironically, it will be almost as warm in the Baltimore area over the holidays as in Key West. However, we are lacking the sunshine that I see in your photos. Enjoy your games, each other, and the anticipation of this new little person in May. Merry Christmas to all.

  13. What a lovely beginning to your time together! Congratulations to Carrie and Matthew (she looks beautiful!) and to you two, as well. Everything looks so festive, and you all look so happy. :-)

  14. How exciting! Now it's not so bad being stuck on the East Coast for treatments...you'll be close to the new arrival!

  15. Congratulations on the new addition to the family, Sherry! That is such wonderful news, especially during the holidays. And I am right there with you on celebrating the "return to the light"...glad to see you are enjoying the joys of the season.

  16. I scrolled down to confirm my suspicions - congratulations to all! Us "May babies" are the best :-) The bakery research is a noble cause for sure. Wonderful little address, and wouldn't it be wonderful is RVs had more original paint jobs like the van?! Always love seeing pics of the three of you around the table - no matter who's winning. Look forward to seeing your celebration pics - our day was blessed with rain in the hills.

  17. congrats. . .congrats. . .congrats. . .Grands are the best gift ever. . .

  18. I was happy to read the "NEWS". What a lovely little "bump" she has now. Congratulations.

  19. Happy holidays and congratulations! I'm with my son (the computer dude) for the holidays and we're working to fix my opportunity to comment. Seriously, since our last exchange I've attempted to comment many times without success. Enjoy your visit with Carrie. Jude

  20. I am so happy for all of you, you are such a wonderful family, Mathew is lucky to be a part of it.

  21. I just knew it. Congratulations!! Such wonderful news.

    You sure know how to pick the nicest backyards.

    Merry Christmas!

  22. Congratulations to all of you!! What great news!!

  23. Congratulations! What a wonderful Christmas present for you both. Carrie looks amazing and what a big smile she has. Enjoy your time with her.


  24. Exciting news! I bet the grandparents are excited to the new addition to the family.

  25. How exciting for you all, congratulations.
    Merry Christmas!

    Celebrating the Dance

  26. What a lovely blog :) Thanks so much for all the lovely comments! It is great being here and celebrating - very excited for May!!

  27. Love, love, love the news! You must be so excited :)

  28. Congratulations to Carrie and Matthew!

  29. Truly great news and we are very excited for Carrie & Matthew!! Cheers & whoo-hoo! Now I suppose I will discover what it means to be a grand parent. It will be fun to watch this new life unfold from the very beginning and see where it goes.

  30. Lovely pictures of beautiful Carrie, and the three of you together! I’m so happy that she is soon to be a Mom and you two, the doting Grambird and Grantree (just made those up but they’re free for your use if you can’t come up with something more fitting!) I’m so glad you’re all spending the holiday together. I love the adorable little tree.

    And, on a much more trivial note— Is a buttonwood related to the mimosa? It looks similar and I wonder if it too smells exactly like the color pink would smell, if it had a smell (which of course it does!)-?

    Enjoy your Yule!!!

  31. Congratulations Carrie and Matthew! I know that everyone will be so excited to meet the new arrival in May. Enjoy this special Holiday Season!

  32. Congratulations Grandma and Grandpa. I am so happy for you!!!!

  33. What wonderful news!!! I am so glad that she could spend some Holiday time with you both. A perfect way to celebrate the holidays. Your little home looks so festive!!

  34. Carrie looks great and I assume she is feeling good as well. Your little Christmas tree looks so cute- very festive! Love that smooth little frog on your mirror. So glad that you can be together.... xxxooo

  35. I'm behind on reading the blog. I'm SO happy that y'all will be grandparents in May. It's delightful - so much easier than parenting. ;-) Congrats!

  36. Such exciting news! Congratulations all round! We just spent the last 5 days with our baby girl, Arya and it can't be any more fun! You all will have so much fun and laughter.

  37. Congratulations!!! If you want a job then bakery sampling sure seems like a good one.


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