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Instant replay…

The stage was set. Adirondack chairs in place. The tantalizing aromas of all the various restaurants made it hard to choose just one. Which is why my plan was to get a little something from a few of them, in the interests of providing a fair and balanced report on the festivities. Our first stop was the Brew Pub, where my friend quickly spotted a beer he liked and hadn’t had for a while. You can wander with your drinks, so we headed over to Blush, the wine bar that offered frozen sangria. After I’d seen a photo of that online I knew I had to have one. It didn’t disappoint.

You might think that I had noticed the dark clouds in the background as I took this picture, but I was way too focused on enjoying my drink for that to happen.
Honey feta dip…
After nibbling on honey feta dip and chicken parm meatballs we settled into our camping chairs to enjoy the game.
There were umbrella covered picnic tables to the right and left of the screen, and playground equipment to keep the kids busy. But shortly after we settled in we got a severe thunderstorm warning on our phones. The first time I was here all I paid attention to was the sky, but until that moment I hadn’t noticed the sky at all this time.
A few fat drops of rain fell, and we decided not to leave quite yet. But when we saw lightning we decided that maybe we should head home and enjoy a front row seat to the game from there.

You will see this post on Saturday morning, and on Saturday evening we will have an opportunity to have an instant replay of this particular adventure. Hopefully the Lightning will win this time, and the storms will not materialize to keep us from sampling more of the tempting treats available. Rest assured, I see another frozen sangria in my future…

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Have I mentioned?

I know I mentioned that I wasn’t particularly gracious when I found myself driving the endless hairpin turns as we traveled the last 20 miles to the cabin. But I don’t think I mentioned that the entire rest of my trip was chauffeur driven, including the first part of the drive home. That’s the part with the hairpin turns and the frustrating traffic approaching Atlanta. Whew! So I spent one of the days we were there, the day that it stayed overcast most of the day so the light was soft and the colors were nice, shooting iPhone pictures out the windshield of the car. I have, on occasion, tried to shoot pictures out the windshield while also driving, a practice that I don’t recommend since it rarely leads to a good picture, not to mention the danger involved. But with a chauffeur it was hard to resist trying for shots as the scenery was gorgeous but there was nowhere to stop and take pictures. The feature photo is one of my more successful of those shots.

We were at a higher elevation, as well as the softer light, so the colors really seemed more vivid.
Ordinarily I’d have cropped out the people at the bottom of the picture. But as you can see they are aiming their phones across the parking area. I wonder if they ever turned around and looked behind themselves?
I don’t know that I stand and savor these views since I’m usually in such a hurry to take a picture, as if someone is about to snatch the view away.
Rocks and water again.
The water is so clear.
The sound of the water was nice too, and all the while you were under a canopy of gold and orange leaves.

The drive to get to the Smokies may have been long and frustrating at times, and the lack of wifi for the entire stay, as well as not even having TV for the first two days, may have been enough to spoil the trip for some people. But our focus was to get out and take ever more pictures, so that’s what we did. Plus I had downloaded books from Audible before we left, just to use my points before I quit the app, so we listened to a Vince Flynn book for the two TV-less nights. Now we need to listen to the end to see if everyone lives happily ever after. Which is what we seem to be doing…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, boats, cats, friends, fun, making memories, perseverance, photography, second chances, sunset

Hooters…

I’ve been meaning to go back to Hooters. For wings yes, but really for the sunset. Another photographer’s photo had clued me in to the view from the deck at the Hooters in my neighborhood, and on my last trip there my shenanigans with the camera didn’t seem to bother anybody. I must have mentioned it to my friend because last night he suggested we go there, so off we went. I was a little disappointed to see that the string of lights that had hung at the dock weren’t there this time. They went a long way to making me like the shots I had gotten there before. And as I stepped out onto the dock I remembered that last time there was a kitty out there and I thought it was a shame that she wasn’t there this time. I had taken a lot of pictures of her, which had amused me no end. I opened my mouth to mention the kitty to my friend and there she was…

She was strolling among the customers.
She decided to investigate my phone, and when I scratched her ears I think I made a friend for life.
I saw the lights coming on as the evening grew darker, and I hoped for a colorful sunset.
There was some color, but I hoped for more from the sunset. This was as good as it got.
When we drove in I was pleased to see that this little bait shop was still in operation, and I said that on the way home I wanted to stop for a photo when it was dark and the lights were on.

The feature photo is a panorama taken with my iPhone. Even if it wasn’t the prettiest sunset ever, it was a pretty enough night to make me happy. And there is always next time to look forward to…

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Things have changed…

I wrote my tag line, “Life on my own, on the Nature Coast of Florida”, on the fly in a class I took on How to Start a Blog. We walked out of that two hour class with the bones of a blog in our laptops, all we had to do was write, so I did. And I have enjoyed it a lot. But lately I have been feeling like a bit of a fraud. Actually I have been feeling that way for a while now. After all, once I moved two years ago I assumed that my new county wasn’t considered part of the Nature Coast. But I checked with Siri just now and she says I’m good. Not a fraud, at least not over that part of my tag line.

But the ‘on my own’ thing isn’t as true as it used to be either. I am still on my own, but against all odds there is now someone sharing my life, and also sharing my photo ops. Another photographer, so the whole being out for photos, and also processing them later on, is lots more fun these days. And we are on the cusp of our first adventure together, heading off to visit relatives and take pictures along the way. I probably would have bet money against this ever happening, but it certainly has been a welcome addition to my life in general. So that ‘never say never’ thing? Well, I guess that’s good advice…

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Spending time…

We weren’t lost exactly. We were killing time waiting to meet with the camera club and found ourselves at the mercy of streets that were closed off, and we got turned around a bit. So I wanted to take a picture, and the idea that there was a dolphin playing in the water was just a coincidence. Trust me, he’s there, almost dead center in the photo.

The next day we decided to go to Mazzaro’s, which I’d been raving about for quite a while, and I know I’ve posted about it in the past. I had raved so much that I wondered if it would live up to my build-up. And what had the pandemic done to the business? But I needn’t have worried. If anything the outdoor murals were brighter, the selections in the gift shop next store were even more irresistible, and the food was still as good as I remembered. The crowds were as big as ever also, which is why there aren’t photos from inside the shop. Trust me, and go there if you ever get the chance.

It’s fun to take someone to a favorite spot and have them be as enthused with it as you have been. Several nice days in a row and now I’m listening to rain on the roof as I write…

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The sunset of life…

I’m definitely older these days, and I think I’m also wiser, in my old age. All my life I was guilty of the mindset that said, “If only I had _______, then life would be perfect.” Sometimes it was something as silly as the perfect piece of furniture for that empty corner, and other times it was a big wish like a ‘dream house’ or, later I scaled back to a ‘dream kitchen’, and patted myself on the back for being less greedy. In the last few years I’ve been yearning to live in a location that would give me a perfect view of the sunset or sunrise right from my own back yard, surely that that would make life itself perfect. But this morning it occurs to me that life is perfect just as it is. And, truthfully, it always was, because of the people I love and who love me back, and the joy of old friends who ‘knew you when’ and love you anyhow. Life is good…