Life on the Open Road

Life on the Open Road
Showing posts with label Florida 2017. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Florida 2017. Show all posts

Saturday, September 30, 2017

I'll Paint You a Rainbow

by Grace E. Easley 

I’ll paint you a rainbow to hang on the wall, 
to brighten your heart when the gray shadows fall.

On a canvas of joy outlasting the years,
with a soft brush of sweetness to dry all your tears.

I’ll paint you a rainbow with colors of smiles
that glow with sincerity over the miles. 

On a palette of words I will tenderly blend
Tones into treasures of sunlight and wind. 

I’ll paint you a rainbow that reaches so wide, 
Your sights and your sorrows will vanish inside,
And deep in the center of each different hue,
A memory fashioned especially for you. 

So lift up your eyes, for suspended above,
A rainbow designed by the fingers of love. 

Last night, as I was walking the beach, I looked up at this beautiful sight of the moon, the clouds, and the pink lighting over the glorious ocean waves and soft sand. The number of times I’ve walked the beach and looked around, no other person nearby(sometimes even in sight), where I smile and appreciate the beauty of it, the magnificent colors and textures and sounds and feelings- it’s such a common and wonderful experience and I so enjoy it. When my Great Aunt transitioned from the physical, this poem was on the cards at the funeral. It was so lovely and fitting and, as I looked up last night, I recalled the words, “I’ll paint you a rainbow.” It wasn’t a rainbow I was looking at. It was natural beauty and I watched the coloring as I walked and the sun set, changing from the pink to grey and then darker and darker night. It was all beautiful and the ocean was calm. I wanted to share this here. 

I’m doing extremely well. Life is incredibly good and I am excited and eager for more while also finding so many moments like these, where I am so content and happy right where I am. I update Instagram more often, though I will be back here with more soon enough. Inspired posts are far more favorable than anything else to me and so I update when and as it feels best to. Regardless, I continue to notice and appreciate a great many moments and experiences in my days as I trek on. The journey is the living and I am savoring every step! 

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Awesome Expectations

I had a really cool realization this evening after an experience on the beach. I have fun, interesting, new rendezvous every time I go out. The same way I have the expectation of meeting friendly people everywhere, I have the expectation of these exciting experiences. I adore the variety, diversity and range of them. I love the brief conversations or moments with animals or whatever it may be. This week alone, I’ve had several and it has me wanting to venture out even more often because it is so fun and satisfying. I love time and physical space to myself and I love connecting with others. I love being awake and I love being asleep. The ebb and flow and ease of it all is enjoyable. 

That said, here are some of the examples of these rendezvous of late. 

I was driving an EZ Go (that doesn’t have a windshield) and a butterfly came right at me. I ducked so it wouldn’t hit my face and had a good laugh. I love seeing so many butterflies happily fluttering around. 

A different location and butterfly that same day. Kudos if you can spot it there, somewhat central and left. 
Remember that post about my evening beach walk where I said it was an eagle I’d spotted, then corrected it as a hawk? It WAS an eagle. I saw one at the beach again today and got some pictures as it stood eating something it had caught. That was cool because I knew it was an eagle and not a hawk and now know I can be sure there are eagles here, at the beach. 

Eagle, right? It was big! I zoomed in quite a bit so as to keep my distance and leave it be. 
I have had some very nice short conversations with people who have had lovely things to say and have complimented me on some things I’ve been doing. Without getting into the specifics of that, I take a lot of pride in what I do and to have multiple people notice that and comment was incredibly fulfilling. 

I love excellent customer service and people who are kind and professional and that is always nice to meet with. I got some propane the other day when the weather was grey and storms had been passing through and this particular place is one I like returning to because, despite it being a fill station I need to go the “wrong” way into for them to reach my LP fill, they are always friendly and professional plus I can pay via credit card right there and the price is fair. Yeah, some places may be cheaper, I haven’t looked. I like paying for good service and the ease of it being nearby and I’m happy to return to this place. I was told they will not fill if there is lightning as that is considered dangerous for them. Thankfully the rain stopped for the bit of time it took and she got exactly the amount I asked for in! 

And then there is this evening when I was walking the beach, closer to the end of the walk. I saw some folks fishing and recognized a shark fin. The reeling it in was also noticeable as I’ve seen other-than -fish caught enough times at this point and I know what this looks like. It was a nice sized shark. I watched from afar, wondering what they’d do. Long story short, they tagged it, measured it, and released it. I took one picture since my camera is full and that was all I could get. I passed them but then went back and one saw I was going to ask a question. I asked if they’d tagged the shark and he said yes, they are volunteers with NOAA. He then explained that they get postcards from NOAA and, when they catch and tag the shark, they send the stats to them for tracking. This isn’t the GPS kind of tracking. I thought that was interesting and I was glad to have this experience as it was totally new to me. I also learned it was a lemon shark! I said I thought it was a great white and he laughed and said no. I know what great whites look like and hadn’t really looked at lemon sharks before. I can clearly see now that they are rather different and now I know how to tell them apart. 

Lemon shark. 
So… I have more to share about sharks at some point. For now, I will simply say that during a beach walk the other day I saw a fin very nearby me, close to where I stood with just my feet in the water. It was a shark moving swiftly and deliberately. I had thought it was a great white that was young but larger than the babies I’d been seeing. I now think it was a lemon shark. 

I love the beach! 

I love having these experiences. I love having awesome expectations for fun and satisfaction to be a part of my days in moments like these. I love learning new things and making connections. I love walking the beach and I have the expectation of enjoying it every single time. Each night especially, when I walk it, I look around so thrilled to be in such a beautiful place. It's one of the easiest places I know to be. I love it. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Revisiting Familiar Locations: Lake Eola, Downtown, and Free Museums in Orlando, Florida

Lake Eola is one of my favorite parks. It is beautiful, in the heart of downtown Orlando, and diverse. I love walking there. It was a Sunday morning when I arrived and got a parking space right along the park outside for free (they don’t meter in a bunch of street parking areas on Sundays.) There was a farmers market and all sorts of people out and about. 

I also decided to walk a few blocks around the park to see more of the area. The houses and this park were nice. I could see Orlando being a fun place to live for a brief while.

Last year I had taken advantage of the Museums on Us offer from Bank of America, using my credit card for free admission to some of the many participating museums in Orlando. There are several and I got to a couple and enjoyed them. I figured I might revisit them, then I learned of one that was also right in downtown Orlando, maybe a half mile from where I was parked! It's the Orlando History Center in the old historic courthouse. I missed the talk they had that afternoon, however, once I was there, I was so enjoying the visit that I decided to stay and go through the whole museum, skipping a return to the ones I had already been to.

There was a sports event of some sort going on nearby outside of the museum. The second picture here is artwork that was in the museum and the bottom is of Lake Eola. 

Click to enlarge. Courting with candy pulling! Hadn't heard of that before. :)

What is a Florida history museum without mentioning citrus? It was brought over by the Spanish, BTW. 

The museum has a lot of Florida history and I really liked the exhibit on tourism where I learned about tin can tourists and what seemed to be the start and progression of RV and tent campgrounds in the state. The part on Disney was cool, too as he had big ideas, many of which came to manifest, and reading some quotes about how he kept them somewhat private until he was ready to reveal them was awesome. I think it is a great way to do it and one that many "successful" people use- keep your excited ideas to yourself and in focus while you form and create them so you can better maintain your confidence and clarity without external input until you are ready for it. And by "ready for it" I mean what others think or say won't matter because you're solid in your knowing. I’ve been doing that a lot and feel the many benefits of it.

I saw these polar bears that had been famous at a storefront in the 1950s and 1960s.

They had an exhibit on plastics and I felt they did a really good job of showing the many uses and developments with them with little judgment. I’m sure my perception is part of that as is always the case. I really liked it though. The wall sized Lite Brite with dye in water bottles was neat. The toys through times were, too.

In addition to all of this and a children's area and a courtroom and local history with earlier history of the people and land I didn't take pictures of plus more, they have local artists' work in an exhibit. This was a really great free day at a museum! And an excellent and quieter time to visit with a small number of people walking through when I was.

I  really liked this museum and my return visit to Orlando. I am certain I will be back. 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Revisiting Familiar Locations: Disney Springs, Altamonte Springs, and Sanford, Florida

One day I awoke ready to roll so I hopped into the driver seat and off we went… to Disney Springs! It was a perfect time and day to be there as a fairly quiet and off peak weekday. I enjoyed walking around.

This helium balloon goes up and down for roughly 10 minute rides all day from opening until late at night. 
In the evening, after having returned to the RV some for the afternoon, I headed back out in my PJs for a late night walk nearing midnight. It was just as pleasant to walk around then, too. 

I learned that Cirque du Soleil has a free rehearsal viewing a couple of days a week. If it had been that day, I’d have liked to see it. Maybe another time. What they can do with their bodies is awesome to see. I’ve seen a show live and a few of their films as well. 

I made a return to Altamonte Springs where I visited the San Sebastion Trailhead. This is a really nice path for walking or biking and the parking lot I went to was peacefully in nature off a busy main roadway. There are picnic tables and such and, if you cross the bridge and walk some, you’ll find a park with fields and whatnot. I walked a stretch of the trail back and forth a few times. It was pretty. 

I also visited Sanford where there is a nice downtown and riverwalk. I found a park with a dump station to use as well.

This is by a marina on Lake Monroe in Sanford. 

This is at the park. There is a campground here, too. 
While I don’t recall having known of Sanford previously, it seems like a neat area. Disney Springs and Altamonte Springs were locations I was revisiting and I enjoyed some new and familiar experiences at. 

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Revisiting Familiar Locations: Lake Griffin State Park and Leesburg, Florida

Lake Griffin State Park in Fruitland Park, Florida was my favorite state park at this point and it is still one I like and would happily return to. The rangers are friendly, the campground is a great size, it’s well laid out, the showers are hot, the water is good, and there is a beautiful live oak. Maybe one day I’ll kayak or do the tour on the water. I wanted to hook up and do some tidying of the RV and this was perfect. My cat was outside in her tent for hours as I seriously deep cleaned from vacuuming to sweeping to shaking out rugs, wiping down counters and doors, organizing, moving things to the back, flushing my tanks- it looks so good with a clean up like this. I met some nice people, had a hot shower, walked the trail, and charged everything up. They only had one night open since it was just before the weekend and that was perfect and all I needed.  I was really focused on what I was doing, stopping now and then for some after a holiday chocolates I had picked up following my tradition. I have written about this park before, if you want to see some pictures. 

Still wanting more nature and a new park, I took to TripAdvisor yet again and discovered there was a beautiful park in Leesburg called Venetian Gardens Park. It’s on the water and is a lovely place to walk around. I am so glad I went here and was satisfied by the visit. I also began to notice a trend. A lot of younger people live in Fruitland Park and Leesburg! I was pretty happy to be encountering and chatting with more people who are closer to my age and even seeing families with kids. I love diversity and this place has a lot of it, especially for the area. 

Here are a bunch of photos from the day there: 

There were bird nests up in the different lights here and I watched this bird a while.  I don't recall seeing multiple nests so close to each other before.