Saturday, February 23, 2013

"It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times" - Yep, That's February!

Well, I've been back from Florida for over a week now and we still have snow outside which is highly disappointing as I gave explicit instructions for it all to be gone by the time I returned from Orlando! Perhaps I didn't say it loud enough as it's threatening to snow yet again tonight.  Enough already!

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At least I've got some warm memories of my trip south two weeks ago which included a meet-up with the on-her-way-to-svelte Barb in Saint Augustine where the weather was absolutely gorgeous! It was great to see Barb again even though it was a quick visit before she had to make her way back to Georgia and Morgen and I went in search of spiral staircases.

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We found our first batch of stairs - all 219 of them - at the Saint Augustine Lighthouse and Museum which, with a tower that's 165 feet tall, is a pretty good hike but we took our time and made it to the top for some absolutely gorgeous views of the area.

Normally I'm not keen on having my photo taken but I figured that climbing all the way to the top of my very first lighthouse was an auspicious enough occasion to have a photo snapped for posterity.

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After climbing back down those same 219 stairs and touring the rest of the museum and grounds, we made our way south in need of some lunch after working up a good appetite and then followed that up with a nice stroll along the beach.  The photo below is Crescent Beach which is a very, very wide expanse of sand!  It was an absolutely gorgeous day to be there and I wish we'd had more time to spend but there were more spiral staircases calling our name further down the road in Ponce de Leon Inlet.

On our way there we passed this guy who seemed to be having a good time advertising Mulligan's.  Hey, these days a job is a job so good for him for being enthusiastic about his! 

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Arriving at Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse - Florida's tallest at 175 feet - we knew that this one was going to be even more of a challenge than Saint Augustine was as even though there are only 203 steps, they are much steeper and narrower. But Morgen and I were there to climb to the top so climb it we did !

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It's a little hard to really get a good view of the stairs from this angle but this was taken from almost the top looking back down.  The higher we went, the narrower and steeper the stairways got but again, we took our time and managed to make it to the top of the tower without being too out of breath!

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Again I decided to forego that whole wrong-side-of-the-camera-lens thing and have my photo snapped while out on the balcony. It was a lot breezier there than it was in Saint Augustine and, with a narrower balcony deck, it was a lot skeerier, too! But again the views of the surrounding area were more than worth it as well as the chance to say, "I did it, I did it!"

Back on solid ground again once we had navigated the very steep stairs which were trickier going down than they were up, we had just enough time to check out the Fresnel Lens Exhibit before it was closing time.  I have to say that I was in Fresnel Lens Heaven seeing that 16-1/2-foot tall First Order lens in person!  What a magnificent piece of craftsmanship!

After our big day of climbing not one but two very tall lighthouses, Morgen and I took it easy on Wednesday and went to go see "Lincoln" at the local movie theater. I hadn't had a chance to see it yet and was so glad that Morgen didn't mind going to it again as I thought it was very well done.  We finished up our night with appetizers and dessert at The Cheesecake Factory which was quite delicious and a real treat!

On Thursday, even though the forecast was threatening rain, we went to Universal Studios Islands of Adventure where I had a great time getting turned every which way but loose on several rollercoasters, became totally drenched on the Jurassic Park Adventure Ride, and had a chance to glomp onto Iron Man a little bit! Our last ride of the day was a spin on the Caro-Seuss-el because I just can't pass up a carousel - even if there's nary a horse to be found!

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Unfortunately my time in Orlando seemed to fly by and all too soon it was time to come back to Connecticut and the realities of February which has included more snow, temperatures that are way too darned cold, and  all the other the things that make February a rather sad month for me like the one-year anniversary of my good friend Cyndi's passing on the 17th and the ten-year anniversary of my father's death which is coming up tomorrow.  I'm having trouble believing that it's been that long for either of them.

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Cyndi and I at Lake Tahoe in April of 1997
Dad and one of his radio-controlled models that he built
Then, as if February couldn't be sad enough, last Saturday evening one of Morgen and Eyad's beloved fur-kids - Peter Pete - threw a blood clot and passed away the following morning following emergency treatment that could only ease his suffering and not prolong his life. I was happy to have had the chance to meet the little fella before his untimely death but that just made it all the more heartbreaking as Pete had rather reminded me a bit of Tesla and I quite enjoyed watching his interactions with Little Isis.  Morgen and Eyad are both still hurting very badly from this sudden loss so if you've got a moment, please send them a good thought or two.  For my money, I've got no doubt that Peter Pete has found his way to Cyndi as she was quite the cat magnet and he'll be well looked after in heaven but I know the guys would rather have him home with them.

Photo Credit:  Morgen's Facebook Page
Finally, to end this post on an up-note, today I launched my very own photography website where I hope to maybe occasionally sell a print or two - hopefully at least enough to cover the nominal monthly hosting fee! was designed by Eyad and I think that he did a phenomenal job!  It's very user-friendly for any potential customers and it's also easy for me to upload new photos and keep the content fresh.  Until March 3rd, I'm offering a coupon good for 20% off the entire purchase which includes free shipping in the United States - not a bad deal if I say so myself!  Should you find yourself over there and want to help a poor starving artist out (or at least help finance my next batch of wanderings!) use coupon code TAKE20OFF and I'll do just that!

Now if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go back to wishing that this month - and winter - was over already as I try desperately to get my hands warm enough so that I don't have to wear finger-less gloves well working on the computer!  I hope that your February has been good to you! 


  1. OOH, that beach looks like the PERFECT walking beach! Lots of wonderful sand!

    Those are beautiful lighthouses!

    I'm so glad you got to take this trip for many reasons. Hugs from our chilly living room!

  2. Anonymous10:33 PM EST

    I'm sorry about Morgan's cat. Reminds me of my Gatsby. But I'm glad that you had a good visit in FL. Loved all the lighthouse pictures....loving the new site. Checked it out this morning.

  3. I so miss Florida. One of these days, that's where I will spend my retirement years. I hope... It's my plan anyway.

    With a few bittersweet memories, all in all it was a very good month for you! Best of luck with the new photography web site!

    big hugs xoxo

  4. Lovely photos Linda and it sounds like you had a great time in Florida. There are certain months in everyone's life that have bittersweet memories, February is almost over. My your father was a handsome man. x


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