Brett and I drove over to Disney (not to a theme park though) in early June for a one night road trip for our 29th Anniversary. After checking into our hotel we headed over to Disney Springs to walk around a little bit and have an early dinner. I’ve only been here in the winter and it was so hot even at 5pm. After walking around for a half hour we decided to go ahead and eat early and then head back to the hotel.
Our hotel was nearby (not a Disney hotel) and we could see the fireworks from the theme parks in the distance. A nice little storm moved through at the same time and we got a great lightning show from our window.
A quick video of the fireworks (on the left) from the Magic Kingdom and the storm (on the right).
After a quick breakfast at the hotel we headed to the Disney golf course. Brett was going to play a round of golf and I was driving the golf cart (I’m not a golfer, maybe some day though but it’s fun being out and driving the course), This Mickey cart was out front at the clubhouse. It was so cute (the carts everyone uses looks like a regular cart).
There was a little bit of color along the course.
We saw a lot of raccoons along the course and they come right up to the carts. We had caught up with some guys playing ahead of us and they told us that people are feeding them. One guy said he came back to his cart from the hole and a raccoon was up in his cart digging through his snack bag. There are signs warning not to feed the wildlife but no one seems to listen anymore.
It was a beautiful morning out on the course and after a big lunch we headed back home. It was a perfect quick getaway.
Peter Rabbit still hanging around long after Easter.
Some different plants growing at the Bok Tower Gardens in early May. The first one is a balloon cotton bush. I would love to have one of these in a pot in my yard but they are not native to Florida. The 2nd one is a type of pitcher plant. I just recently got a hanging pitcher plant and repotted it so we’ll see how that one does.
This tiny black racer ran across the trail in seconds, before I could even get my camera up to my face to take a shot. I found him in the bushes a few minutes later. He was really skittish.
One of the big koi fish looking for a handout.
I’m not sure what these are. They were in a different pond and there was a feeding station next to. Luckily I had a few quarters so I fed them a handful of fish food while I was snapping these with my phone.
One of the many views at the top of the hill near the carillon.
Palm tree reflections in the big pond in front of the carillon.
I always snap a few shots of the carillon when I visit.
Before heading home I took a little road trip to the cow pastures to look for the wild whooping cranes. I had recently heard that one of them had disappeared and had been missing all winter. The one was still there, far out in the pasture. It was sad to see it all alone. I hope it finds a mate soon.
In early May Brett and I took a road trip to the Fort Lauderdale area to visit his relatives. It’s just a quick 4 hour drive from our house in Oldsmar. We always pass this old historic spot at Yeehaw Junction. The old Desert Inn Bar was built in 1889 and has been standing in this spot since then. In 2019 a tractor trailer truck ran into the side of it and did a lot of damage. Original word was that it was going to be restored but that hasn’t happened yet. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.
The new hotel addition of the Hard Rock Hotel can be see from almost any of the main roads through Fort Lauderdale. We passed it on the way to a restaurant during our stay.
We were in our hotel room before heading out to dinner and Brett was looking out the window and saw this large iguana walking towards the hotel. I jumped up and grabbed my camera and ran down. He was already in this palm tree when I got to him. That doesn’t look like a comfortable spot.
I saw a lot of these lizards everywhere we went. It was the first time I really noticed them around.
A sun halo high up on our way to lunch.
We were checking out of our hotel and Brett went to get the car. I looked over and saw a tiny bird sitting on the sidewalk. I walked right over to this black throated blue warbler and he let me pick him up. He must have hit a window. I put him on top of the bushes and by the time Brett came and we loaded the car he flew off.
Heading home over the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. They were repainting the yellow cables. I can’t image being high up in those little boxes painting while cars are whizzing by. The view is probable amazing though.
It was a little weird standing under Georgia 400 during our trip to Atlanta in early November. We found this small park that runs along the Chattahoochee River as we were heading north to have lunch with a friend. After lunch we stopped by the park and got out and walked around. It was loud standing under the major highway that is at least 4-5 lanes going each direction. I have driven on this highway a million times when I lived here but never thought to stand underneath it.
Most of the trees were in bright colored leaves with just a few still with green leaves. If you follow the trail that leads away from the highway it starts to get quieter. We didn’t go too far since we still had a lot to do that afternoon but it was a nice quick stop.
The next morning I headed out early for a walk around Piedmont Park before going to the Botanical Gardens. I love this spot on the lake in the middle of the park where the buildings reflect off the water. The park was busy and there was a movie being filmed in one corner of the park. I couldn’t get close enough to see what was going on though.
The trees here were just starting to turn colors.
It was time for a road trip. We headed up to Atlanta for a long weekend to visit friends. I was also hoping to see some fall leaves but we may have just missed the peak season.
Along the way we passed miles of cotton fields that were ready to be picked. It almost looked like the ground was covered in snow as we whizzed by.
As we got closer to Atlanta I could see lots of color. There was still a lot of yellow, orange and red in the trees so we didn’t miss the season completely.
Passing by the iconic Olympic torch tower. This replica was built for the 1996 Summer Olympics that was held here. At the time you were able to climb the stairs and see all around Atlanta but it has since been closed. We were living here at the time and my sister and I spent many nights down at the Olympic park during the games.
The parking lot at our hotel was like a fairy tale with all of the bright colors.
An early morning walk before heading out for the day.
We stopped at a friend’s house for lunch and her camellia bushes were still blooming.
She also had some little green critters hiding in her garage.
More to come on those fall leaves.
It’s now the end of August and it’s been a hot summer. Here in central Florida we still have at least 2 more months of heat (although if we are lucky the humidity won’t be so bad in October). I’ve been reliving our trip to Park City in January, dreaming of when it will be cold again, when I found these pictures I took at Shoe Tree Park on our trip. We kept seeing trees full of shoes as we drove around town and while Brett was skiing one day I took a hike over to the park. It’s just one street over from the main drag in Park City so it was easy to find.
There’s no real reason the trees here are full of shoes but it dates back to the 1970’s. Urban legend is that a group of guys were drinking one night and started throwing their shoes in the trees and it became a thing. It’s now part of Park City’s character. The city thins the shoes out of the trees each fall as new shoes are added.
There is an actual park here with a river and picnic tables. It looked like a small winter wonderland the early morning I was there. I was the only one there but I’m sure it’s busy in the warmer months.
Taking a break with a new friend. Man, I never thought I would miss being bundled up but I’m ready for some cold weather.
Check out Friendship Fridays blog hop over at Create With Joy. Thanks for the feature!
In early May it was time for a road trip to south Florida. We hadn’t been down to visit relatives since 2019. Since Brett’s uncle was turning 90, his sister and her husband came with us. Our first night there we had dinner at a little pizza place in Hallendale Beach that had a great water and pool view. We sat outside since there was a nice breeze.
Saturday morning we went for a long walk on the Hollywood Beach broadwalk. There were so many things to see and this is a great spot to “people’ watch as we were walking.
Back at the hotel that afternoon, while everyone else was napping, I drove over to the nearby Hard Rock Hotel to see the finished guitar hotel. When Brett and I were here in 2019 it was halfway built. It’s a huge complex, almost like a theme park. When I was leaving I noticed you could see Fort Lauderdale way off in the distance from the parking lot.
Sitting outside eating dinner, a damselfly landed on my water. Instead of shooing him away I had to pull out my phone and take a picture.
A relaxing lunch by the pool before heading back to Tampa.
I was traveling light so all pictures were taken with my phone.