Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Florida

Flying North

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Today, we fly back to winter, just in time for a blast of snow and Arctic cold air to put an exclamation point on the end of our 9-day visit to Florida. We ate like royalty, played cards, laughed, shopped, explored, watched movies and never wore mittens once.

Yesterday, maybe as a primer for our return, the temperature hovered on the cool side of comfortable, compressing our outdoor activity to a couple matches of bocce ball and a walk back to the house before the next rain shower.

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Barb was the difference maker in both close competitions, despite the missing sunshine that would have allowed for much more relaxed muscles during tosses.

We expect to arrive to the Minneapolis airport in the late afternoon today, and hope to drive the hour toward home without suffering any delays that may result from snow-covered roads.

Whether I will be able to execute my usual commute across the Twin Cities in my return to the day-job tomorrow morning remains a mystery, at this point.

The forecast (as of late last night) is rather ominous:

The predicted high temperature on Wednesday could remain in the double-digits (F) below zero. That will be the warmest part of the day.

One tiny shred of consolation about coming home to this brutal weather, is the fact that the polar vortex pushing down into the middle of the country will have an impact all the way to Florida. Cyndie’s parents had us put the insulating cover on their pool last night, in preparation for the cool week ahead.

Good thing we are going home, so we don’t have to suffer in any of the cold Florida weather they will be dealing with down here.

It’s all relative, isn’t it?

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Written by johnwhays

January 27, 2019 at 7:00 am

Several Adventures

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The Gulf of Mexico

We walked the beach

and trails of Lovers Key State Park, where we also paused for a picnic lunch

While walking, we came upon an osprey dining on a fresh catch

Barb & Mike got a crash course on piloting a Segway (no crashing involved)

We toured the multi-million dollar neighborhoods of Naples

and I barely eked out a vague capture of the sunset for Steve R.

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Party Expands

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Our final weekend in Florida has expanded with the addition of our friends, Barb & Mike, joining us for a few days. Luckily, they brought some sunshine with them from the frigid north, because the morning started here with thunder and rain yesterday.

Just as they were landing, we started to see spots of blue sky. The air warmed up quickly and soon we were all changing into swim wear for a dip in the pool after lunch.

With the added energy and distractions of another couple, I didn’t end up taking any photos the rest of the day, while we gabbed and read, napped, and played cards.

I snapped one shot of the moisture from the rain on the screen in the background behind Cyndie, doing her nails before we drove to the airport to pick up our guests.

The day went by way too fast for my liking. Given the forecasts I’ve seen for next week’s weather back home, I want to absorb every second in the warmth here to the fullest possible limit.

I asked if there was some way we could pack some of the warm air in our suitcases to bring home with us on Sunday, but nobody offered any hope. Eating dinner in shorts, with bare feet, beside the pool under the lanai, is especially luxurious given the conditions in the Twin Cities this time of year.

Today should provide plenty of opportunity for more photos down here. Cyndie, Barb, Mike and I plan to visit a beach somewhere south of Estero, and then continue down to Naples for a Segway tour.

None of our activities involve anything related to temperatures below zero. That’s something we definitely aren’t taking for granted.

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Written by johnwhays

January 25, 2019 at 7:00 am

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John Photos

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Written by johnwhays

January 24, 2019 at 7:00 am

Florida Chill

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The morning was cold enough that there were wisps of evaporating moisture rising from the heated pool. I enjoyed a swim to start my day, despite temperatures in the 40s (F).

Yesterday was Fred’s actual birthday, so we updated the chalkboard sign in the kitchen.

Fred was off braving the chill to get in a round of golf, so the rest of us went on an expedition to visit Farmer Mike’s U-Pick flower and produce operation.

On the way home from the farm, we stopped for some nourishment at Dolly’s Produce Patch and Eatery. It was a little early for lunch, thus our choices ranged from Blueberry Scone, to a slice of Key Lime Pie, to my cup of freshly homemade Cream of Broccoli Soup.

The soup was divine.

The bulk of the afternoon was filled with reading and a nap in the sun, and then preparing for the grand finale of the day.

Birthday dinner for Fred would be at Real Seafood restaurant in Naples. It carried on the theme of divine food. I honestly intended to take a picture, but was so immersed in the experience, taking a picture never crossed my mind.

We were extremely well fed in every way.

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Written by johnwhays

January 22, 2019 at 7:00 am

Multitasking Indoors

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It was a mostly cloudy, very windy, and generally cooler day yesterday, so the bulk of activity was indoors. Leisurely reading was the early pursuit, followed by a combination of watching memorials for Walk Off the Earth keyboardist, Mike ‘Beard Guy’ Taylor on YouTube, while the NFL playoffs were on in the background.

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Written by johnwhays

January 21, 2019 at 7:00 am

She Knows

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I walked into the kitchen and said to Cyndie, “She knows.”

Cyndie instantly agreed, “Oh, she totally knows.”

Our departure for a 9-day getaway to visit Cyndie’s parents in Florida was still a day away last night, but both of us picked up a powerful vibe that Delilah was already beginning to mope as a result of our telltale activity.

She laid under the table and watched us with her eyes, without picking up her head. Suitcases had been brought out of storage. Cyndie was kicking into high house-cleaning gear, and both of us were mentally grinding through virtual lists of tasks to be done, items to be packed, “i”s to dot and “t”s to cross.

Delilah has witnessed this scene before.

One of our newer house and animal sitters, Anna, will be taking care of our place while we are away this time. I’m hoping the weather will be uneventful and the predators all stay away while she is on duty. Wouldn’t it be a shame if we lose a hen (or hens) during her stay?

I’ve tried to point out to her that it can happen at any time, hoping she won’t suffer too much if a loss occurs on her watch.

We drive to the airport this afternoon for a flight out around the dinner hour, departing just as a mass of colder air with a chance of some snow is expected to pay a visit. Guess it’s not the worst time to be escaping to Florida.

I’ve been pondering what I might choose to do for blog posts while we are away. One possibility that keeps tugging at me is the challenge of choosing one photo per day to convey what we are experiencing. At the same time, I assume a week of leisure might free me up to do more writing than usual, so maybe I don’t want to restrict myself to a single picture.

Either I’ll write more, or I’ll take a break and write less. We’ll just have to wait and see what captures my fancy, after I settle in to that eastern time zone with the warm, humid air.

One way or another, you can rest assured that, for the next week, I will somehow be sharing the most delectable morsels of our adventures in Florida, visiting Cyndie’s mom and dad.

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Written by johnwhays

January 18, 2019 at 7:00 am

Making Do

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It’s a struggle down here in Florida, coping with all this convenient weather for strolls in the sun and nights out on the town, but we are making do.

Cyndie was behind the wheel with Mike holding on for dear life. It looks like they were coming in hot and she stopped just in time, but she was actually about to back out for an excursion down to the bocce courts.

Cyndie’s mom added a little adventure to that outing by taking a tumble, and somehow, which even she can’t explain, cut her leg severely on a metal rake used to maintain the courts. Expert response by bystanders, including some nurses, offered immediate treatment and Cyndie, Fred, and Marie got to spend the afternoon at the clinic where a doctor stitched the deep gash.

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Walking the grounds we saw some remaining toppled tree stumps from hurricane Irma last summer.

Fred and Marie took us out for a night of music and food, keeping the genre a secret to surprise us with the perfectly suited personifications of Simon & Garfunkel, James Taylor, and CSN&Y.

The fact that there are snowstorms battering the ranch at home while we are gone is making this all the sweeter, and only slightly causing me to fret over how things are going for Mckenna.

I didn’t leave instructions on how to start the Grizzly to plow. It’s not in her job description.

She’ll just have to make do.

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Written by johnwhays

February 24, 2018 at 8:34 am

Brief Getaway

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See ya! We’re outta here!

Who needs a reason? We are leaving this morning for a weekend in Florida, traveling with our precious partners in adventure, Mike and Barb Wilkus to visit Cyndie’s parents.

I expect my posts will be rather brief for the next four days, while I focus the majority of my attention on people, food, sun, surf, games, and whatever else spontaneously grabs our fancy.

Just in case, I have a series of snapshots queued up from the house and grounds in Beldenville to provide you with a daily distraction. Time will tell whether I end up inserting a few tropical surprises, too, from our weekend escapades.

A great big “thank you” shout out to McKenna for taking care of things at home for us while we are away. We couldn’t do it without you!

Bon voyage!

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Written by johnwhays

February 22, 2018 at 7:00 am

Flying Home

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Today is going to be a travel day for us, as we are flying from Florida to Minneapolis on our way home to Wisconsin. I am ready to get back to my normal routine. Despite leaving this warm and sunny climate and returning to the cold and snow, I don’t feel bad about leaving.

It’s been great hanging out with Cyndie’s family and celebrating her dad’s birthday, but even Fred was beginning to express interest in being done with all the special attention. There’s a point after which continued pounding on the “happy birthday” accolades begins to feel excessive.

The surprises are complete, and both Steve and Ben had to leave yesterday, so the momentum of the long weekend has already shifted significantly toward the concluding phases of the operation.

After their departure, Barry, Carlos, & I took a hike around the perimeter of the golf club community where Cyndie’s parents’ house is located. I stepped up to take a picture of one of the giant concrete power poles that support wires running along a portion of one border.

dscn5739eAlmost looks like a pyramid.

After a long, leisurely soak in the pool, the day was slipping away at a rapid pace. We took in some NFL playoff broadcasts and ran a little errand to scout out a nice hotel nearby that has a few extra water slide features complimenting their pools. It could become an option for a future family gathering event down here.

Now my mind is shifting in advance toward thinking about a certain dog, some horses, our meowing cat, and the snow mess I will return to at the end of this day. It’s been above freezing for most of the time we’ve been away. I can’t guess how much snow will still be on the ground when we arrive.

Looking ahead, there appears to be a little more of the white stuff on the way tomorrow and Wednesday, so reality will settle in right away.

For now, our fun in the sun is done.

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Written by johnwhays

January 23, 2017 at 7:00 am