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

Henry David Thoreau

Ending 2017–Before and After our Trip

Gamble Rogers State Recreation Area                                                            Most Recent Posts:
December 18 to January 1                                                                               Our Real Holiday Joy
Flagler Beach, Florida                                                                                      The Season of Celebrating

From Wekiwa Springs we bring our coughs back to Gamble Rogers to recover.  Our first 3 days here things are beautiful and we are starting to feel better.   Highs are in the upper 70’s and lows in the lower 60’s.  Very fine for late December.  I LOVE it!!

This is our second and last stay here at Gamble Rogers this fall/winter and we have an ocean front site again.  This time right by the boardwalk down to the beach.


Sweet view out our front window.  We usually turn our captain’s chairs in toward the center of the coach when we are parked but not when we’re here.  If for any reason you can’t be on the beach, the view from the passenger’s chair is unbeatable.


Particularly when the birds gather right on the beach in front.



We’re not feeling well enough to expend a lot of energy but we can spend time on the beach and a little  in the water.  Pretty amazing on the 19th and 20th of December.


We’re still coughing so we don’t over do.  One day Safari Dave walks in the water.

Another day, Santa Dave checks it out and decides he feels well enough to take the plunge.  At this point he’s coughing less than I am.



The waves are just right for the salt water to hold you up as you float along.  Just lie back and relax.


Wednesday is a particularly beautiful day with a lovely sunrise


We spend several hours of the afternoon enjoying the waves and the birds both flocks of them and individuals.


Breakfast at the beach.

“We were strolling along…”


Yes, it’s true, I can sit here for hours and read and watch.  Good thing when I’m trying to conserve energy.

It’s a great day from beginning to end.   We walk over to the park’s other side across A1A for sunset.



The skies after sunset color pink and include a sliver of a moon in the sky.




We walk back across A1A and through the entry way to the beachside campground. Tomorrow we leave our paradise for a trip north.


Only a trip north to see Carrie and her family could get us to leave such beauty. On Thursday we drive to Jacksonville and take a flight to Baltimore.   My last post was about that visit.   The link is in blue at the top of the blog if you’d like to see it.  We think we’re feeling fine for the trip and we have a good time though still coughing.  But after two days of  air travel and days of celebrating, when we return we find we’ve used up all of our energy.

When we return on Sunday, we do enjoy Florida’s take on the holiday.  These were taken at the Jacksonville airport.            “On Flipper, on . . .”

Back at the campground, our neighbors tell us the weather has been great while we’ve been gone but in Quebec where they’re from, the cold front headed our way dumped this much snow. 

No wonder they are here and brought their “snowman” with them.   Not so happy to hear they also brought some up coming bad weather with them.  I was really looking forward to being in the warmth and sunshine after Baltimore.


The weather definitely turns more and more raw  over the next days after we’ve returned and we both have relapses of our colds.  Back to zero energy and too much coughing.   I get out on Monday to catch the dawn, dark clouds over sunrise and some neat sand sculptures from the lovely day before.   But after that there is no visible sunrise or sunset and mostly we watch the red beach warning flags flying in the 20+ mph winds.  We even bring in our slides for a couple of days and take down the Earth Flag.  It’s winter in Flagler Beach.


Just has to make you smile.

The sculptor put the creations in little bowls to keep them safe.  At least for a while.


Ominous skies.



Here comes the sun.  Last time we’ll see it this week.




Winnona is dressed in her Santa hats as the sun’s glow hits her too.


She has a nice sunrise view.  But for the next 5 days there is nothing out this window but gray.


By this afternoon, things really change.

We arrived back Sunday, and for the next 5 days we don’t go outside. The weather turns nasty .   Highs in the low  50’s, wind chill in the 40’s.   Gray skies and so much wind make walking on the beach unattractive.  Not to mention we don’t have the energy. 

But I do go out on the boardwalk Thursday and take this video of the seas.  It’s just over a minute long and at points the wind drowns out what I’m saying.  The weather has been like this now for days.  Too cold and rough even for the sufers.

By Friday we’re pretty sick and tired of being sick and tired so we haul ourselves out to the movies to see The Darkest Hour which we very much enjoy except for the coughing spell I have in the middle.  Coughing is exhausting.

Saturday morning the seas are down some but it’s still pretty gray and cloudy.  No visible sunrise.


But the sun comes out for a bit in the afternoon for the first time in nearly a week and folks head down to the water.  After 5 days of cold and dark and dreary even a high of 57 with the sunshine lures a few of them in the water.




Boy have I missed the blue skies.


The shade is creeping up on me as I enjoy the beach once again.  It will be too chilly to stay out once I can no longer sit in the sun.


Even wearing fleece pants and a sweatshirt, it’s great to be sitting in sunshine.


So glad to have the winds die down and the skies brighten.  Seems a long time since that sliver of moon early in our stay.  The moon is nearly full and tomorrow we’ll be moving further south.

Unfortunately heavy winds, 22 mph+, and rain are predicted for tomorrow.  Boy do I hate moving in the rain and wind.  Not being able to move today while it’s lovely is a real problem with being forced to have reservations. 

Still I’m glad we’re going since even colder weather is predicted for here next week.  Still it won’t be 5 degrees which is the predicted low in Maryland where our sweethearts are.  We’re thankful for our lifestyle.



Goodbye to 2017 and Happy 2018 to you all!!

Our Real Holiday Joy

December 21-24, 2017                                                                           Most Recent Posts:
Thursday – Sunday                                                                                 The Season of Celebrating
Severn, Maryland                                                                                    David’s Trip to West Texas

Warning:  The following post is very granddaughter centric. 

The only thing that could get us to leave our paradise by the sea and get out our winter clothes is a visit to see Carrie and her family.  So off we go high in the skies on December 21st.  It’s our Solstice Celebration.

Carrie and Celia pick us up in Baltimore.  When we arrive back at the house Celia isn’t really interested in coming inside even with Nana.  She wants Nana to stay outside with her and go for a walk.  We’ve brought some ‘warm for them’ weather with us and she’s an outside girl.   YEA!!


We do take those walks.  She and I walk, the 3 of us walk.  Every day we walk.  She doesn’t seem to care how cold it is.  And after our first day each one is colder than the last.


We do a lot of playing.  Some of it is in Celia’s bedroom where she takes every animal off of her shelf and brings them all to me.

Then of course, I give them all back to her.  This could go on all day.

Some playing goes on downstairs with her mama in the princess tent.  Carrie’s friend Jess gave it to Celia and it’s darling plus a good place to put all the toys if you want to clean up the room.

One time we played on the kitchen counter.  Looks like she feels pretty smug with her Mama’s sunglasses on her head.  She’s a great imitator.   You do it, she does it or tries to.  So you have to be careful what you are modeling.


Even cleaning.  First she helps Nana and then she thinks she’ll do it herself.  Wouldn’t it be nice if she was interested in doing this in about 10 years.


We play peek-a-boo with the pillow.

Celia is usually very generous.  She really likes to give things to you.  Like all the animals on her shelf, or all her books.   Here, first it’s her turn with the shapes box.


Then she wants to give Nana a turn.

There is one thing she really doesn’t like to share and that’s her little couch.  I caught this quick picture of her sitting down just before she forced Sydney off.  Sydney likes the couch, Celia does not like her on it.  When I tried to sit on it, she didn’t like that either.  It’s hilarious!!

Reading is a big favorite of Celias.  Apparently yoga poses are perfect while reading.  Wish I could do that one.

Clomping around in Nana’s shoes is also a lot of fun.


Grandpa snaps this picture of Nana with her little girl.

The next morning we have to go to the bakery of course. It’s a family holiday tradition.  Carrie has found a great one nearby, the Bakery Express.

Boy do they have the goodies.  How to choose?

Celia has a wonderful time wandering from case to case and pointing.  Good thing she doesn’t know she’s not getting any of these pastries.  In fact, she has such a good time she doesn’t want to leave and we have to force her out the door.

In putting this post together I realize that I didn’t take any pictures of the delicious danish, chocolate croissants, donuts and cannolis that we brought home or any pictures of us eating them and saying YUM yum.

Later, back home, the pie baking team gets to work.  This is the audience.


This is the team mixing the dough and the filling.


The team gets to pick the type of pie and they choose apple made from Granny Smith apples.


Crimping the crust.  Almost ready for the oven


And of course our little girl loves raw pie dough so her Papa always makes sure there is a little left over for her to pop in her mouth.


Going outside is Celia’s favorite thing to do but very close to that is reading.  She loves books.

So Nana reads.


Mama reads. 

Unfortunately for Grandpa he doesn’t get to read since Celia has a cold and he hasn’t gotten over the one he already has so we can’t take any chances of his getting a different Maryland germ.   Daddy reads too but he’s at work today.

Nana and Grandpa told Santa that they would be at Celia’s house early and he should come on the 23rd for a quick stop before Christmas.  Do you think that’s what we hear? 

If that was Santa we’d better get to bed.  A little more reading before bedtime where there will be even more reading.


Next morning, the stockings are hung on the bookcases with care and the fire blazes on the TV.   It’s a 21st Century Christmas!

Looks like Santa has stuffed the stockings and Grandpa is ready to see what’s there.

Seems like I to pose my pictures to be sure to get a good one.  Candids often don’t turn out so well for me.  But not true of Celia Claire.  Any time you point the camera on her even zoomed from across the room, she’s got a great face.  Who would ever have thought eating a piece of taost could be so much fun?  


A little snuggle before the unwrapping begins.


Celia helps Daddy unwrap.

It’s one of two pictures for their stairway.  Everybody takes a look

I think they like it.  Celia is cleaning up already.

Grandpa gets an Ancestry DNA kit.  That should be fun. 

Carrie looks great in her new fleece hat, scarf and gloves.

Everybody gets books for Christmas.  Decorated Daddy gets one.  Looks like it’s making him crack a smile.

Grandpa gets one


Nana gets two.

Mama gets two.  Well, three really but only a picture of these two.

And Mama gets a calendar which she says is THE must have Christmas gift every year.


Of course Celia gets books on her books.  At least a dozen.  She likes to read them aloud.  If only we knew what she was saying as she babbles turning each page.

Or knew what she was thinking.

Celia and Daddy share a spot on the couch with Lila their other kitty.  She doesn’t try to sit on Celia’s couch like Sydney does.

Grandpa loves his shirt.  He definitely is one awesome grandpa.  Nana got a shirt too but it appears no one took its picture.

You’ll never guess what’s in this box that Celia loves so much.

New SHOES!   Daddy helps put them on.  Shoes mean you get to go outside.

Nana and Grandpa give Celia a pair of snow boats and she’s out tramping around in them in no time.

Santa put bubbles in Celia’s stocking.  Mama blows them for her.  You have to look really hard to see the bubbles in the picture.

Santa also put lots of new socks in Celia’s stocking.  She and I count them over and over and over.  I say one, she says twoooo.

But all too soon we have to leave this sweet family to head back to  Florida.

On our last morning Celia and I repeat another favorite of hers.  I think she calls it “I crawl up the steps and you have to come and help me get down”.   Mostly that means she takes hold of the rail on one side and someone’s hand on the other.


Nana’s teaching her to sit down and come down the stairs safely alone.  She doesn’t master the idea in the short practice time we have but we both applaude when she gets it right.


I’m sure going to miss those hugs.

and those snuggles.

and that sweet little face looking out wanting someone to take her for a walk.  Can’t wait until she can come and visit and go hiking with us.   We’ll take her for walks as long as she likes.


We miss you when we go.