Road Tripping to the Keys in our Red Corvette

In yesterday’s post for the Daily Post challenge, I posted a few photos from our last road trip. Last March, my husband and I bought a 2008 Victory Red Corvette, and since then we have been to quite a few beautiful places. The most recent one was a four-day power drive in January –  to Key West and back.

My husband, a big Nascar fan, made the Darlington Speedway in South Carolina the first stop – to get a photo of it with the  Corvette.

The second stop was in Vero Beach, to spend the night with my mom, who recently bought a condo there.

The next morning, we were headed to The Keys. We stopped to gas up in Miami, and to remove the top of the car, to enjoy the 80 degree temperatures.

We thought we looked pretty sporty cruising down the Overseas Highway with the wind in our hair, y’all!

Of course, we just had to stop at another racetrack for a photo-op with the corvette. This is at the Homestead-Miami track.

The Overseas Highway was completed in 1938 and includes 42 bridges over the waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Florida Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. They include the Seven Mile Bridge at Marathon Key which has been referred to as the Eigth Wonder of the World.

While I was getting photos of these amazing sights, my husband used the time wisely – to wipe off a few drops of rain that fell on his precious baby.

Most of the photos I get when we’re traveling are taken right out of the car window.  This one shows the view we had across the street from our hotel in Key West.

The first thing we did after checking into our hotel was to drive down to the southernmost point at the end of the famous Duval Street. The marker, actually built to resemble a buoy, stands at the furthest southern tip of Key West. The monument notes that Cuba is only 80 miles away.

Behind the car in this shot, is the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, at the southern end of Duval Street.

The next morning we drove over to the west coast of Florida, through part of the Everglades to Siesta Key,where we spent an enjoyable evening with my Uncle and Aunt at their unique Florida home.

We love taking road trips in our bright red car, y’all. The trip pictured here was especially memorable, because we were escaping a rare snowstorm on the east coast of North Carolina.

I’m submitting all of these photos  for Ruby Tuesday.

For  Ruby Tuesday , you post one of your own  photos that contains something red. It can be a whole lotta red, or a little bit of red. I like the eclectic collection of pictures of anything red,  so I love to play.

rubyslippers-copy2And I really, really like the cute little red Dorothy shoes in the Ruby Tuesday button (left). Ain’t they just too cute? If you click on them, you can look at lots of other folks’ Ruby Tuesday photos.


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French Toast and Bacon for Macro Monday

OK, this picture is makin’ me hungry, y’all!

This was the breakfast of raisin bread french toast and bacon that I had last month in Key West. The place where we stayed, The Inn at Key West, has a little cafe that serves delicious food in an elegant-but-casual al fresco spot by the lushly tropical swimming pool. They also have a Tiki Bar right by the pool, which just happens to be the largest swimming pool in all of Key West!

If you are looking for a reasonable, but upscale place to stay in Key West, I highly recommend the Inn and the Cafe for breakfast. I found this little jewel by (how else?) doing a search on the internet. I used TripAdvisor to read what other real people like me thought of the place. I able to view real photos that real people have taken. As opposed to, you know, the glossy magazine quality ones that are displayed on every single website for every single hotel, restaurant or anything else you might want to buy for that matter. The Inn at Key West got very good reviews on TripAdvisor and, as usual, I was not disappointed.

Today’s topic on the Daily Post is “Can you live without the internet?”  In a word, no.

There are too many reasons to list. Besides the fact that I use it to make all my travel plans, including hotel reservations, car rentals and decisions on which restaurants to try; I also balance my checkbook, pay my bills, order Christmas and birthday gifts, print and manage photos,  stay in touch with family, spy on my kids, read the news, watch TV shows that I missed, order books for my Kindle and post pictures of my grandchildren until you all want to throw up in your mouths. The internet has become so much a part of my life that I actually go about my day thinking of, and making notes on my “To Do” list, what I want to look up and what I want to post. I’m also constantly look for opportunities to take photos that I know I will use later for various photo memes.

While I was sitting by the pool in Key West enjoying my french toast, I suddenly grabbed my camera out of my bag and started focusing on my food. My husband is accustomed to all of this by now. He sat silently observing me, while the expensive camera lens hovered dangerously close to the sticky syrup.

Finally, with a raised eyebrow, he said, “Macro Monday?”

If you love photography, you have probably already discovered the fun of taking macro photos. I do and I have. I really want to buy a fancy macro lens, but I’ve found that using my regular lens that came with the camera, I can still get some pretty decent shots.

Um, as long as I stay out of the syrup.

I’ve been so lazy about posting (before I started the Daily Post Challenge on January 1st) that I haven’t participated in Macro Monday since November 1st! However, as my husband will attest, I have taken lots of a bazillion  macro photos, so I will be all set for several every Mondays to come.

For Macro Monday, you take a close up picture that you think is blog-worthy, post it, and link back to Macro Monday so everyone can visit everyone! That’s southeren-eese for leave each other comments, if you know what’s good for ya.

The Perfect Day

Day number 25 of this Daily Post  Challenge. It seems like it’s been longer than that, y’all.

Today’s topic suggestion is to write about your idea of a perfect Sunday. A few Sundays ago, my husband and I packed a few clothes,  got up early on Sunday morning and drove all day to Florida. The two of us love going on impromptu trips. The more spontaneous they are, the more we like them.

Last year we bought a bright red corvette. It was my husband’s dream car. He has always wanted one and we found an incredible bargain on Ebay. It has turned driving into an absolute joy for him, and we have added a lot of miles to this car in the ten months that we have owned it.

We have always wanted to drive down to Key West, but after we bought this car, we just had to, y’all. Here is a picture of my husband in front of the car at the Southernmost Point. We parked her there, and I jumped out with the camera for this shot. The whole time there was a cab driver screaming what the fuck, man? at us to move!

My best friend is my husband. He is always there for me – through the good times and the bad. He takes care of me in so many ways. Every night before he comes to bed, he makes sure the doors are locked, the lights are off, the cat is out and the dog is in, the coffee is made and the coffee pot is ready to be plugged in the next morning.

He does all the “man” jobs, from changing the oil in the car and cutting the grass –  to climbing up into the attic to get the Christmas decorations down. But he also does the laundry and carefully hangs up my delicate items. He knows how to make up the grocery list, and if need be, he buys the groceries. He does the dishes, every night. He sweeps and vacuums and dusts. He cooks  almost as well as I can, and for all the times he does the whole dinner, without much help from me – I would never complain.

Every day, and I do mean every day (or night) that we have to work, he prepares our food and packs our lunch box. He makes sure we have cold water and beer in our refrigerator. He rounds up and takes the trash out to the curb weekly. He organizes and hauls off our recyclables. He brings in the newspaper daily, at the crack of dawn.

He takes our dog for walks when it is freezing, or raining or I am just too tired to go. He puts food in her bowl twice a day. He  feeds my cat and lets her live is good to her, even though she has a nasty habit of trying to climb up on top of his car, and she has already left her claw mark on the back of it!

Every day in the winter, if there is ice on the car’s windshield, he is the one who gets out in the freezing temperatures to scrape it off.  He starts the car before I come out of the house – to make sure it is warm for me.

He never complains. He never asks me for help. If you ask him why he does all of these things, he says, “Because Ginger never has a headache.” “So Ginger doesn’t have to!”

He’s funny. His mission in life is to try to make everyone, but mostly me, laugh. His humor is sometimes impossible for me to get a little different from mine, but he never stops trying, and that is enough to make me smile. I posted this photo of him a couple of days ago, and it pretty much sums of what a kook he can be.

He tells me several times, every day, that I am beautiful, sexy, and that he loves me.

He accepts my family, and does whatever he can to help them too. My grandchildren, by my sons from my first marriage, are our grandchildren. He loves them as much, and worries about them as much, as I do.

And more important than all of  that, he listens to me. He shares things with me. He trusts me. We talk about everything and anything. We agreed a long time ago that there would be no secrets between us. We know each other so well that I don’t think it would be possible for either one of us to have one.

So my idea of a perfect Sunday? Going to Key West with my best friend is right up there at the top of my list. But really, spending the day with my wonderful man, doing anything or nothing,  is enough to make it a perfect day.

I’m submitting this photo for Ruby Tuesday.

For  Ruby Tuesday , you post one of your own  photos that contains something red. It can be a whole lotta red, or a little bit of red. I like the eclectic collection of pictures of anything red,  so I love to play.

rubyslippers-copy2And I really, really like the cute little red Dorothy shoes in the Ruby Tuesday button (left). Ain’t they just too cute? If you click on them, you can look at lots of other folks’ Ruby Tuesday photos.

Ahh, Florida

It amazes me that I am writing a blog post while sitting in my car, riding down the road at 80 miles per hour. It confounds me that I am able to post a picture that my husband took just two days ago, and that thousands of people will be able to read this, or look at the photo as soon as I hit “publish.”

Not that I have thousands of folks waiting out there with bated breath, or anything, y’all. Far from it.

I just remember growing up in the sixties, when a Polaroid camera was the latest and greatest and computers were something on a science fiction show that you watched on your black and white TV. The TV that had tin foil covered rabbit ears perched on top of it, that had to be moved around sometimes whenever you wanted to change the channel.

So many things have changed in my lifetime. Also, sigh, I guess I’m really old.

We are on our way home from Florida. This was a spur of the moment trip. We had some time off, the weather where we live was going to be miserable and my mother, who just bought a condo in Vero Beach, said “Come on down!”

So our whirlwind tour included one night in Vero Beach, checking out my mom’s new digs, one night in Key West, because we thought it was going to be such fun to drive down through all the Keys, and one night at my Uncle’s house in Siesta Key, checking out the beautiful white sands of the Gulf of Mexico.

We have put 1468 miles on the car so far, and we still have about 600 more to go before we get home. But my husband loves to drive his car, and I love to ride along and take pictures out of the window, so it’s been a nice three days.

The ride down through the Keys was not as spectacular as I had hoped. There really isn’t much scenery along the way. I have always thought that the series of bridges connecting all the Keys would be unlike anything I’d ever see. But, while it was an interesting drive, it didn’t take my breath away.

This is a shot from one of the bridges that I was able to get through the car window.

Key West was, as always, a hoot. We were able to hang out near the area known as the “Bight” and watch a couple of huge cruise ships leaving the port right during sunset.

We were there on Monday night, which might not have been the best time to try to see the sun set in January. After consulting the cruise ship calendar (something I wish I would have done before the trip) I realized that there are usually two or three ships in port until 6 PM. And those big ships really do obstruct the view.

Everybody in Key West hangs around outside, waiting for the sun set. It’s one big party. I had one of the best mojitos I’ve ever tasted in my life, y’all, at the Sunset Pier Bar.

But the best part of the trip was not was we saw, but what we missed. The huge snow storm that has crippled the Southeast the last few days dumped over 4 inched of snow on our city of Wilmington, NC.

Jeff and I have spent the past three days marveling at our good timing. While our friends and neighbors were shoveling snow and huddling under the covers, we were riding down the Florida Turnpike, with the top off of our car, wearing shorts and sunglasses.

I’ll post more pictures from this trip tomorrow, after we get back home. I took a whole lot of really bad shots, and a few that are absolutely stunning.

Right now?  I feel the need to grab the camera and hang out the window for a few hours. We are driving through the center of the state and I have spied a few colorful fruit stands that are begging to have their photos taken.

Aha! My First Slide Show

Today’s topic on The Daily Post is to post something about an Aha! moment. I was going to ignore that and post a few pictures I’ve been saving  instead. But then I had a genuine Aha! moment.

On New Year’s Day, after working a long string of miserable night shifts, and having had to work right through the Christmas Eve and Christmas Day holidays, we woke up to an unseasonably warm day. The temps had been in the 20’s for what seemed like the whole month of December. But on January 1st, we had a balmy high of  70 F.

I posted one of the pictures we took that afternoon here, but in honor of Sundays In My City, one of my favorite photo memes, I wanted to showcase the haunting beauty of Wrightsville Beach in the wintertime.

As I was posting pictures to this blog post, I noticed a button in my “gallery” that I had never taken time to notice before. Slide show? I tried it and Lawd Have Mercy – now I have my very own cotton pickin’ slide show!

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This will come in real handy later this week, when I get ready to post pictures from our trip. Right now this moment, my hiney is sitting in the warm heated leather seat of the passenger side of our Corvette, cruising down I-95 towards Vero Beach, Florida. We are going to visit my mom tonight. And tomorrow?

KEY WEST, BABY!

That’s our solution to the quandary of what to do on our seven-day break this month. We left the 19 degree F and chance of snow flurries behind, along with our cares and responsibilities, for a few days. Tomorrow night I plan to be enjoying a cocktail in a bar somewhere on Duval Street. Does anyone have any recommendations?

Stay tuned for a report on our trip and another slide show real soon, y’all!

I chose these images for Sunday in My City, a photo forum that has folks posting pictures on Sunday of their cities. To visit other cities, click on the button and link up with photos of your our town.

I Heart Romantic Places

This week’s photo challenge on I heart Faces is My Story in Photos: Places I Love. They are lifting the requirement to see faces this week – they want us to post photos of the most romantic places we’ve been!

I Heart Faces is a photography sharing forum that focuses on the art of capturing faces and their various emotions. Each week, people from across the world enter their favorite face photos.

Click on the picture for a better view and click the button to check out lots of other faces, or to enter a photo of your own!

If you are one of the large group of my enthusiastic fans five people who occasionally read my blog, then you must already know that my husband took me on my first cruise for my 50th birthday. We barely made it onto the ship, and you can read all about that ordeal here. But it was worth every minute of aggravation we went through to get there, as these photos will attest.

We cruised out of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida on Royal Caribbean’s Jewel of the Sea. It was a five day cruise to the Western Caribbean. The first port of call was Key West, a romantic place I had always wanted to visit!

Key West has a laid, back, quirky, off beat appeal. The homes are quaint, colorful, packed with personality and have some of the most gorgeous, tropical flowers and trees around them that I’ve ever seen.

This “market” is unlike anything you will find anywhere else. This photo is quintessentially Key West!

A walk down Duval Street lived up to it’s reputation of oddities, variety and a 24 hour party atmosphere. We met some characters, that’s for sure!

Yes, there really are chickens running all over the place in Key West!

Our next port of call was Cozumel. We played golf at the Cozumel Country Club. It was overrun with all kinds of critters. We saw snakes, iguanas, alligators and this large crab was determined to keep me from hitting my ball!

The next stop was Playa Del Carmen. We took a cab to a eco-water park called Xel Ha. It was all inclusive food and drinks, as much as you wanted, all day. This lagoon was full of tropical fish and they offered snorkeling gear, kayaks and rafts for use.

There were chairs and hammocks set up all over the park, walking trails, several wonderful restaurants and bars and even a place to swim with dolphins (for an extra fee.)

We floated down this authentic lazy river on a double raft. It would have been very romantic, but we were having to paddle the whole time against the waves to keep from crashing into the rocks along the shores.

Part of the park had access to the beach and the ocean. This was my favorite photo from the whole cruise. It was  paradise.

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the color of this water.

Even the rocks were unbelievably beautiful.

As you can see, it was a great place to loll around in a hammock.

At the time, I had no idea this would become my header photo for a blog!

Our last stop on this cruise was Belize. We had to take a tender from the ship into the small port.

We went into the tropical forest in Belize to visit the majestic mayan ruins of Laminai, which means “submerged crocodile” in the Maya language. It’s also the third largest  and possibly most interesting, archeological site in Belize.

Our tender boat, and the Jewel shared the water with these Belizean fishermen.

Since this post is for I Heart Faces, here are our smiling faces, just before going to a romantic dinner onboard our ship.

We loved getting away on this romantic cruise and I can’t wait to take another one!