a second look, adventure, Camping, connections, food, friends, fun, leap of faith, life goes on, memories, moments, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

Hitting the jackpot…

The Jackpot being all the photos ops that could possibly be crammed into one 24 hour period.  Or maybe it’s the jackpot of having your lifelong friend be the one person who would be willing to pull the car off to the side of the road to capture, or try to capture, the scene that has caught your eye.  What a treasure it is to have someone in your life who has been your best friend since childhood.  Somehow our interests, and also our worries, have always been compatible.  We haven’t lived in the same state since we graduated from college together, but that hasn’t mattered a bit.  And we are now finding our way alone in life, but together.  Yes, I certainly hit that jackpot.

But this particular jackpot took place at the Quechee Balloon Festival on Sunday morning.  We actually went on Saturday, almost all of the photos we took were on Saturday, and it was a perfect day from the cardinal we saw as we started our day (a husband or two stopping by to cheer us on?), the glorious lunch we got at Simon Pearce (gazpacho soup and a fabulous quiche, two grown up ladies such as we may have pictured ourselves years ago when we were little girls together), and the lovely day with blue skies sandwiched between days of rain in the weather forecast.  Yes, all was going well, and then the clouds got heavier and the winds came up, and we started fearing the balloons wouldn’t go off at 6PM.  Which is about when I realized I didn’t have my phone.  I lose things often, but not usually my phone, which currently is my lifeline for  this adventure I’m on.  We gave up on looking, left info to reach us, and went back to the campground with a damper now weighing down the entire day.  Only they did call!  They had my phone!  We decided to wait until sunrise to go back to Quechee and got my phone, and also saw the balloons launch!  Every good story needs some drama, and this was no exception.  We made it back to the campground in time for the wonderful Father’s Day breakfast the owners put on for everyone.

Quechee has a covered bridge, we’ve taken pictures of it before, but it was the kids under the bridge that I hadn’t ever seen before.  Jumping off the cliffs (sort of) and into the water.  Do they really know that there are no rocks hidden under the water?  It was nerve wracking to watch, but of course we took pictures.  These aren’t as clear as I wish they have been but they do show the scene.06_15_19bridge06_15_19the whole scene06_15_19upriverview06_15_19quecheejumper106_15_19quecheejumper206_15_19quecheejumper3

But it was the balloons we came for, the third time I had come to a balloon launch and the sixth time for my friend, but we saw the balloons for the first time together.

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Quite an eventful 24 hour visit.  Can’t wait for the next one…

'scene' along the way, a second look, food, friends, fun, nature, on closer examination, perseverance, photography, road trip, travel

A walk in the park…

Something about our inability to take a nice picture of the state house in Concord the other day had us back there yesterday.  Early, not sunrise early, but early enough that the golden dome was in the sunlight rather than shadow.  And on a holiday when there wouldn’t be parked cars and lots of people annoying you by just going about their business.  Of course festivities were planned for the day so we moved on to a couple of local parks to walk and see what we could see.  I think it all was just an excuse to go out for a huge breakfast at the Newel Post.  It was great, but it put me in a stupor for the rest of the day.  Note to self; more walking, less eating…05-27-19Statehouse05-27-19bicentennial05-27-19red-wing205-27-19whiteflowers05-27-19starflower05-27-19spider05-27-19whitepark

'scene' along the way, adventure, food, friends, fun, moments, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky, sunset, technology

Recognition where it’s due…

Let’s face it, I was never going to have worked at Publix long enough to be invited to one of their awards ceremonies.  Not when I took a part-time job as a second career, and not really understanding what a great company it was going to be to work for.  But the friends I made there have outlasted my years at Publix, and my friend Dee asked me to come with her as she was honored for her 25 years with the company.  The fireman’s daughter in me doesn’t mind admitting that I have never been to a resort as lovely as this one.  The view from the balcony of our room was spectacular right from go.  Hence the panoramic photo above,  I didn’t bring my camera so it was the trusty iPhone 7+ to the rescue.  I took a few pictures right away, and I could also see that the sunset was going to happen right out there, I’d have a front row seat.  Except the banquet might not end in time for me to see it.  Except it did, barely, and I snapped one picture as I raced to find my way back to the room for more photos.  I made it in time for a few photos, and I even made it back to the banquet in time for dessert.  Perfect!  Well, the only thing that would have made it more perfect was if we had thought to bring bathing suits so we could ride the lazy river rafting pool that was drifting along out there.  Now that would have been the icing on the cake!  Sorry, bakery worker pun there…04-06-19Omnifirst04-06-19Omnifirst04-06-19Omnifirst204-06-19Omni104-06-19Omnisunset04-06-19Omnisunset2

donuts, Florida landmarks, food, fun, go with the flow, pastries, photography, silliness

The Florida Strawberry Festival…

That I”m a rookie at this photography stuff came home to me again when I realized that I had taken a lot of pictures at the strawberry festival yesterday, but never took one of the actual strawberry shortcake.  I had wondered if I would come away with nothing but pictures of mounds of whipped cream and strawberries, and came away with none.  I wonder if Sunday afternoon might be the biggest crowd of the entire week, but I found myself sucked into a vortex and just snapped photos as the crowd swept me along.  If it’s shortcake you are looking for then you’ll have to get down there yourself, it runs through the 11th…

 

 

I found the charm I was looking for in the exhibition hall where they displayed their winning cakes, horticulture, quilts, and lots more.  A large display case held images of all the strawberry queens over the years, but I was a little disappointed that 1948, my birth year, wasn’t represented.  But then I saw that she was in a featured showcase of her own.

 

 

Maybe it’s the fact that I pack donuts for a living, but the donut burger caught my eye.  You always hear about crazy fair food, and I was excited to take this picture because it was early on and I expected to take lots of photos of food, but this and the elephant ears were my only food photos.  And I was obnoxious and told the woman that that’s not what we call elephant ears at Publix.  She said that hers were ‘authentic’.donutburgerelephantearI purposely wanted to go to this event alone, as I do most of the time when I’m wanting to take pictures, because I think I’ll drive another person nuts with my photo taking.  But I think that with another person’s perspective my visit might have been even more fun.  So grab a friend and go, but try not to miss the strawberry shortcake!

Florida landmarks, food, friends, fun, Jenkin's Creek, moments, nature, photography

Swampfest 2018

This weekend is the 25th anniversary of Swampfest, and my first Swampfest ever.  It is held at Linda Pedersen Park, which is right across the street from Jenkin’s Creek, so not far at all from home.  It began as a fundraiser for our local businesses and community organizations, but it has grown into an event that draws a big crowd from the surrounding area.  The funds raised go back into the community, a worthy cause.

I enjoyed the vendors’s colorful booths…

There was lots of food to choose from (but I was good, except for the strawberry shortcake for breakfast)…

Had nice nice chat with a photographer working on her degree…3-3photographerThis gentleman asked me what I was going to take a picture of, and I said, “You!”  And I did.3-3you

The entertainment was provided by Actual Bank Robbers and they were very good.  I don’t know what it says about them that they played songs I knew and liked, but everyone seemed to be enjoying their music.  Google them to find out where they are appearing, I think you’ll like them.3-3bandDid I mention the Swamp Monster Contest?  The gals looked great, but that little guy stole the show, and came away with third prize of $25, causing him to dance around yelling that he had dollars.  The gal in blue won first place.3-3monsters3-3littlemonster

But on any given day a visit to this park is worthwhile.  Nature at it’s finest.  The observation tower is newly reopened after a fire, so of course I went up.  Aside from the power lines it gives you a very nice view of Jenkin’s Creek and the fishing pier.  I was excited to go there for the sunset one night when I first heard about it, but no one had mentioned the power lines in the way.  No eagles flying today.

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food, perseverance, photography, technology, the easy way out, unintended consequences

Food for thought…

Grapes, I can’t get enough of them lately. I don’t know it the same thing applies everywhere, but the grapes I’m buying here in Florida lately are really good. I mean really, really good. So I crave them, and I’m sitting here realizing that this craving is exactly like craving candy or ice cream, or any other ‘sweet’ that I shouldn’t eat. But grapes? It’s fruit for gosh sake, how bad can it be? And considering that this obsession has been going on for a while, what is the equivalent amount of wine that my grape consumption represents? Wine ‘on the hoof’, so to speak. So far I haven’t had to resort to anything illegal to fund my grape habit, but with my reduced hours of work per week who knows how long that will last. I did eat $10 worth in one day, which I only know because I bought them and finished them all in one day. If the 24 hour period spans two days it really doesn’t seem that extreme.

Aside from grapes I do ponder what to eat, but not because I’m craving carbs or anything like that. I just don’t know what to eat, mostly because my diet instruction came second hand from an acquaintance who said that his PA daughter said, “Don’t drink your calories.” Okay, that’s easy, I thought, even though I don’t think that coffee was an approved drink, but no one gets between me and my coffee. Then I asked okay, what do you eat, he shrugged and said “a lot of salad”. I realize now that the reason this all worked for me is because I said to myself, ‘Self, you like salad. And water, easy peasy”! And it was. Had I said to myself that I wasn’t going to ever eat a piece of bread again it would have been harder. A lot harder! By the time that thought crossed my mind I had seen results, and I have no real desire to change anything. So I’ll pull up my big girl pants, which are now held in place by a belt so there is no worry about what unintended consequence putting my phone in my back pocket might cause. You gotta do what you gotta do!1-13groceries.jpgI went grocery shopping today.  This is the mainstay of my diet lately.  I could have added a jar of peanut butter which I spread on the celery, and a can or two of Progresso soup.  I don’t eat much processed food, but this chilly weather has made a nice bowl of soup a must here and there.1-11truthinadvertisingDid I say that I don’t do processed food much at all?  When I do make an exception it usually turns out like this.  I have a little glass pyrex bowl, but even if I had transferred this meal into that bowl it wouldn’t have looked like the illustration.  It tasted okay, and was on sale, and dinner in 8 minutes was too much to resist…