An adventure of firsts sprung upon us after a few months of planning. Suddenly our excursion to Florida to visit family was really happening! It was our first vacation in years. The first get away since our boys left our nest and ventured on their own journeys and Tom’s first jet plane ride.
We arrived in Tampa,Florida on Saturday and Tom and I were greeted with warm friendly smiles. Right away I knew that we were far from home…warmth was a stark opposite of chilly New Hampshire Weather. Tom’s sister Mary and our brother in law, Joe greeted us enthusiastically with smiles and hugs to begin our stay.
Their adorable home is on an approximately 2.0 acre lot adorned with palm trees in the back. A beautiful lot and yard, it’s a comfortable and welcoming dwelling and we both can understand why they love it. Joe’s done much carpentry work inside and out and made a front and back deck. It’s incredible that he has remodeled all the rooms! This self sufficiency and talent reminds me of Tom, two men cut from the same cloth in many ways.
We toured their beautiful home and then visited Fort Gulf Beach in Crystal River. Just a short ride brought us to a sandy beach, many palm trees and the Gulf Of Mexico. Many families were enjoying the beach and water on such a nice day. We walked past the beach to a boardwalk immersed in tropical greenery and Spanish moss hanging from trees. Besides the glowing sunlight, the palm trees dotted here and there and the gray stringy Spanish moss introduced us to the south.
Standing on the dock, we looked over the never ending ocean, the Gulf of Mexico which is really part of the Atlantic Ocean. People fished from the dock as the four of us enjoyed the view and soaked up the sun. It definitely was a beautiful spot to walk, go fishing, swimming and sunning at the beach.
An afternoon of lounging in the pool ended with a lovely dinner of angel hair and breaded baked chicken. Mary’s daughter, our niece, Joanne and her family came to visit. It had been years since we had seen them…it was so wonderful to see her and her family and visit. Her boys are good kids and growing so much! God bless them as they grow.
We feel so blessed to have such a great, magical stay for a couple of days. Many thanks to Mary and Joe for their hospitality and love!
My next few posts will focus on our Florida stay, from visiting Silver Springs State Park to Circle B Bar Reserve and our stay with his sister, Pam and our brother in law, Jim and his mom, Theo. 💕It was an amazing few days all around and now we all have wonderful memories of it! I hope you’ll enjoy my posts and Tom’s photos!
I live in the mountains up North and love them like close family. My heart also belongs at the beach. If I had to choose between the two, I couldn’t!
I’m loyal to the steadfast mountains for they are my home. Believe it or not I never tire of their monstrous slopes and gray faces. It’s peaceful and quiet, close to nature and God. This time of year snow frosts them and driving by close to Cannon Mountain miniature skiers sway to and from down the trails. The air is as fresh as you get and while hiking you can smell wafts of pine.
Then there’s the sea…
I don’t remember the first time that I saw the ocean or smelled it’s salty, fishy scent. I do know that once I left it, it’s calm and soothing essence stayed in my soul. I can count on one hand how many times I visited the shore as a child and teenager but the frequency increased as I grew into a woman. Every time I walk along the sandy beach and feel the sizzling sun bake my skin and gaze at the horizon of blue and crest of white, I love it even more.
As every year passes, these places remain to be a part of me. How thankful I am to love where I live in the mountains and wake up every morning as if it’s my first day here! My husband truly loves living here too but has grown to enjoy the ocean too.
Most of our vacations are to Ogunquit, Maine, about three and a half hours from here. It’s a wonderful seaside town with outstanding restaurants, quaint little shops, and accommodations dotting here and there. We used to take the boys with nets, sand shovels and pails bouncing around in the back of our vehicle. Windows rolled down and laughter in the air, the mountains would slowly be replaced with a lower elevation and water as far as the eye can see.
I will never choose between the two…but continue to enjoy both places and love them both for different reasons. Isn’t that the best way to really live?