First thing that comes to mind

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Nature coast of Florida

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My holidays travels had me out and about and I found my way into central Florida.  The weather was just perfect at 72º, so I had the urge to jump into the Rainbow Spring. There were others that had the same idea and it’s pretty cool…both the idea and temperature.  You also have to be a little brave because you may have a close encounter with some of the natural habitants of the river.  The state park area has a designated swim spot and it is patrolled to keep an eye out for alligators or dangerous snakes.  We spent 2 days in Dunnelon, and found plenty to do.

The city and surrounding area has an interesting history of being a mining town for phosphate.   That was news to me but explains why this little city has some old homes and buildings.  Today, you will find a nice variety of shops, motels, restaurants and a lot of water sports…It’s easy enough to rent equipment or take a river cruise on an airboat.

 

To get a feel for the community and and the welcoming atmosphere get off the I75 and find your way to US 41 and see a part of the not so tropical Florida

Happy travels off the interstate…..it’s much more fun to experience the scenery first hand

Christmas gift splurge……

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Trying to shop for the perfect gift at Christmas for my husband is more difficult for me than  the “Secret Santa” game.   This year since we are now “empty nesters” I decided to get really extravagant.  Since he does not care for caviar, Brazilian coffee or gourmet cheese from southern Italy it took some thought.  Easy enough,  I shopped at local homemade soap boutique and splurged on a  $60.00 per pound  bar of Lemongrass scented soap that weighed in at 1/4 pound ($15.00)   I carried on and filled the gift bag with cotton candy bath bombs, eucalyptus foot cream, spearmint lip balm, and still had change left over from my $100 budget..

I tried my best and failed at extravagance, but I bet I have the best smelling husband at the New Years Eve celebration….Happy New Year y’all from Savannah, Georgia USA🎉

 

 

 

Travel Florida for the Holidays-Ocala

Two things come to mind for most people considering  a Florida vacation, first is DisneyWorld/Orlando and the second is two coastlines with miles of beautiful beaches.

This week I decided mix things a bit, if you have been reading my posts you probably figured out by now that I jump off those interstates as often as possible.  Without a doubt this week is one of the busiest times you can ever be on the I95, and I75  through Florida, Georgia, the Carolina’s and if the weather isn’t to bad all the way up into the Northeastern States.

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I traveled I95 into Jacksonville Florida from Georgia,  then cut over to US 301South. There are many small towns but the speed limit stays at about 55MPH for a good bit of the trip.  My final destination was the Rainbow River near Dunnelon, with of an urge to swim in the chilly 70º springs.  But today we’re stopping in Ocala.

Having only a short two hour drive to Orlando the sight of sprawled out homesites, split rail fencing, fresh water streams, and hills makes this look and feel so much different than the tropical scenery of most of Florida. Ocala is a small city with a preserved downtown area offering an good choice of restaurants, entertainment and local owned business.  We had an early dinner at the landmark restaurant named “Harry’s seafood bar and grill” , and yes I recommend it. http://hookedonharrys.com/menu-ocala/   

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The center of activity  was around Courthouse Square that was festive for the Christmas season.

And if you feel like “horsing around” , there’s enough of that too!

Happy travels…Get off the Interstates and visit the side streets…they are full of good old American charm..

Merry Christmas 2017

 

 

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Holiday Gingerbread house..Grand Floridian Disney World USA

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Disneyworld is my “no doubt about it” favorite vacation destination.  Living within 5 hours of Orlando makes it easy to visit at least twice a year.

This is one of my holiday tips for those that have not seen the Grand Floridian decorated for Christmas and the huge Gingerbread house, so make sure to jot this down.  Its just another beyond imagination creation of the talented Disney staff.

If you stay at any of the Disney resorts and take their transportation you can figure out a way to get on the bus that stops at this resort.  It’s close to the Magic Kingdom and you can also take the monorail from the park to this resort.  Fun for all ages and a great lunch stop.

Happy travels 🙂    For more info: https://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2017/11/fantastical-gingerbread-displays-decorate-the-walt-disney-world-resort/

 

Snow thankful ⛄️

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I have a snow story  to share with all of you.  I moved away from my home in Buffalo, New York  many years ago.  My Mom and Dad would visit me in Savannah Georgia in the winter and I would visit them in New York  during the summer, all of us chasing after the perfect 70 degree weather.

I changed the routine up a bit one  February when my  Dad called and asked to speak with my youngest son.  This was not out of the ordinary  for him to call during football season since they always talked about their favorite team “The Buffalo Bills”, but the season was over.

My curiosity over this Sunday night called came to an end when my youngest
son looked over to me and said ” Grandpa wants us to come up this week because they have a lot of snow”.  I jumped into the conversation and my Dad said ” the kids have to get to know snow”.

Two days later along with my two sons I was on a windy cold flight to Buffalo.  The landing was so turbulent the passengers applauded the flight crew when we parked at the gate of the terminal.

My Dad was in his usual waiting area with hands full of coats, scarves, gloves and boots that my sisters gathered up for all of us to wear.
Dad and the boys had a great week sledding, ice fishing, skating and fun things kids do in the snow. I stayed inside with my feet on the floor registers trying to stay warm.
My Dad passed away soon after this visit but I’ve never really felt like he left us because there are so many memories like this one.
When I see  snow photos I can’t help to think that even when the snow melts the “snow prints” will leave big impressions.

Happy Thanksgiving friends……eat more than one piece of pie

Lancaster Pennsylvania-Bring your appetite

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No speeding
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Baked fresh
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Home cooking and great prices

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I never pass up the opportunity to get off the Pennsylvania turnpike and take any of the rolling highways through Lancaster, Berks and York county on the east side of the state.

I have stopped my vehicle at the look out points to take  a moment of silence to reflect on  the beauty I was surrounded by.

We often identify the state of Pennsylvania by the large cities of Pittsburg and Philadelphia that also have some of the best baked breads and “cheesesteak” sandwiches in the world but in between there is a mountain of beauty.

The  life of the Amish community is amazing to watch, and encouraged me to pass on  my own family traditions to my children and grandchildren.  We certainly can use some simplicity in our complicated fast paced world.

The locally owned restaurants feature home cooking with fresh ingredients and the farmers markets are more than a treat and they sell lots of treats!!!

Try the “shoofly pie”  yep….it’s yummy

For more information visit: http://www.discoverlancaster.com/index.asp