20 Years From Now...

"20 YEARS FROM NOW," Mark Twain said, “you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than the ones you did.”THIS online journal is dedicated to our next 20 years!

Monday, 31 December 2012

Time Flies From There to Here

Friday morning the sky was clear and blue and while we hated to say goodbye to our daughter and Boston, it was time to head back south. By Saturday morning we'd driven through 6 states and gone more than 500 miles. We spent the night in West Virginia and Saturday morning the snow began to fall. I-81 started to look way too much like Canada.

Thankfully, we were heading in the right direction, and by mid-afternoon the snow changed into rain.

In North Carolina the clouds parted, and we could see snippets of the sun.

What surprised us, however, wasn't the changing weather but the volume of travellers. On both Friday and Saturday traffic slowed to a crawl not once, but three separate times. The delays ate up an hour or more each day.

License plates indicated the majority of drivers were from Ontario and Quebec. Obviously, snowbirds (like us) on their way south. 

By the time we hit Georgia and Alabama, the highways were practically deserted. And of course, clear blue skies always make for a better trip!

At 5PM on Sunday we arrived back in PCB. This morning we hit the beach for a walk, and yes, I wore my new winter boots. It feels wonderful to be back "home"! 

Oh, and FYI, there's more than one reason I used the time flying pic above. On Saturday John and I celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. There wasn't any champagne or expensive gifts, but we spent it together and that's what counts. (Besides, who else would put up with me?!)

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Thursday, 27 December 2012

Newburyport, MA Splendor

The Saturday before Christmas we toured Newburyport, MA. The wonderful thing about New England is it's NEW ENGLAND - a blend of all things from across the pond, yet with a definite American flare. The best of both worlds!

Red brick shops charmingly cling to a curved street and remind me of Bodmin, Cornwall. Even the shop names like the playful "Partridge in a BEAR Tree" helped transport me across the Atlantic.

There was so much to see and I did my best to ignore the biting cold wind. But when my fingertips tingled from frostbite I turned the camera over to John. Imagine my surprise when even he said he'd had enough and shoved it in his pocket. (Does that mean we've grown accustomed to the warm Florida temps all ready?!)

Entrances and windows enticed Christmas shoppers at every turn...

Every shop door had its own special holiday wreathe. Which would you choose? Door #1...

Door #2...

Or Door #3?

Tired of walking? Take the horse and wagon... 

I wish we'd jumped on it because I almost froze on the short walk to this antique market near the water.

The trip was worth it, however. Inside it had just about anything and everything you can imagine, but the outside was equally impressive.

A must-see on any visit to a New England town is the church. This one just oozes personality...

There was so much more to see in Newburyport, MA. and we barely scratched the surface. We plan to return for a more in depth look, and I can hardly wait.

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Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Santa, Boots & A Christmas Goose

There were so many incredible sights in St. Marys, Georgia it seems a shame not to share more of what the town offers. I loved the double porch on this quaint pink inn.

 The front is deceiving because the side of the building stretch on and on forever.

This beige building with a cannon in front reminds me of those found in the Caribbean...especially with the covered porch above the sidewalk.

This white home with its green shutters and two chimneys would be equally at home anywhere in Ontario.

This blue-on-blue home has been transformed into a coffee shop. Although it has less square feet than many of its neighbuors, it makes up for it with a western flare.

The grounds were edged with a iron fence draped with burlap garland. 

Sitting on the side entrance steps were these cowboy boots.

To complete the theme, a cowboy Santa greets guests at the door.

Wooden barrels were strategically placed by the outdoor tables, and each contained a Christmas goose.

Meanwhile, the yellow b&b across the main street featured another form of wildlife...

A black bear proudly displays a fish above his head!

On the doorstep of this red, white and blue one-storey gift shop...

...a friend or neighbor had left a bag of fresh Florida grapefruit.

Which reminds me, I hope Santa brought you everything on your Christmas list. You did mail it, didn't you? This mailbox is almost too lovely to use!

 Although it's not an official holiday in the US, we wish you and yours a super Boxing Day. Cheers!

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Saturday, 22 December 2012

Sleigh Bells Ring

We lived in St. Marys, Ontario for 15 years, and still have connections there. So naturally, we had to stop in St. Marys, Georgia on our way north to Boston.

It's a community rich in history, and during the holiday season dressed to the nines. John got right into the southern hospitality and took a load off at the welcome center.

Strings of lights were strung (draped, actually) on the trees in the middle of the street. If you look carefully at this tree in front of the church you'll see the swaying strands hanging like a necklace around the branches. I'd love to see the town at night.

Every home is unique, and probably built with the intention to impress the neighbours.

Even when it includes pirates and cannons!

This home, right across the street, is also a bed and breakfast.

Guests are greeted by two lifesize nutcrackers on the porch. Add the white picket fence, the gazebo in the large treed yard, and this place is about as inviting as a B&B can get.

There was so many gorgeous homes in St. Marys that I'll need two posts to do it, but until next time John and I would like to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas! 

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Wednesday, 19 December 2012

South of the Border

Billboards on the US interstates amuse, entertain and do exactly what they were designed to do...grab your attention and entice you to stop and see what's what.

For a good portion of today as we drove from Brunswick, Georgia to Emporia, Virginia, I read at least a hundred billboards for South of the Border. What was fascinating was no two were alike. The one below not only made me laugh out loud, it cinched the deal. We were definitely stopping to find out what all the hubbub was about.

What amazes me is that after all the times John and I have crisscrossed Canada and the US, he has to ask if I'm really serious about stopping at this or that "tourist trap". I ask him how we could possibly pass up such an opportunity? We get some of our best travel stories as a result, and today it happened again!

But let's be fair. South of the Border lives up to the hype. Check out this jaw dropping view on the approach to the exit. What began as a single store has morphed after 63 years due to its own version of urban sprawl.

In 1949 Mr. Alan Schafer built a 18 X 36 foot beer stand known as South of the Border Beer Depot. As it adjoined the North Carolina counties, which were dry of alcoholic beverages, business boomed. A few years later a 10-seat grill was added and the business was renamed South of the Border Drive-in. 

Today, there's the Sombrero Tower that's over 200 feet high and offers a glass elevator ride to the top for panoramic views of the North Carolina countryside. Pedroland is an amusement park with a ferris wheel, bumper cars, etc. It also offers a mini-golf course, and there is an 18-hole golf course for the older kids. Plus, a campground, motel, restaurants, ice cream parlor, numerous gift shops, etc, etc, etc! 

Across the street Pedro himself. The 97-foot Predro weighs 77 tons and cars drive through his legs. Here's a vintage view...

Here's my pic...I didn't stand out in the road because I didn't want to get run over!

I turned around and spotted the gigantic flamingos. Naturally, I made John pose with them. :) 

He grumbled, but pretty soon was getting into the spirit of things. Next thing I know, he's goofing around with a concrete crocodile.

What happened? Score 1 for John, zero for the croc! Just another tale south of the border...

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Monday, 10 December 2012

Lagoons, Pelicans and Big Boy Toys

So, what have we been up to besides surfing the web? John's been walking, swimming, reading, napping, eating, and then walking, swimming, reading--well, you get the idea. It's been sheer drudgery, but someone has to do it!

Last week he decided to explore the lagoon sandwiched between N. Lagoon Drive and Thomas Drive. So, we headed to a boat launch in the van, he climbed in his kayak, and away he went. He paddled the entire length, from the causeway to the tip at the top left of the map, and back again.

There seems to be a home for every lifestyle and budget.

Although there aren't the highrises that cling to the gulf, and without the constant crash of waves on the beach it's quiet. Serene.

This home with swimming pool and lanai is on the market if you're interested. (Around $300K)

This one's even larger, but if I had my drothers, I'd stay gulf side. (No gator's, and no big boy toys required.) 

Although I do love the pelicans. They fly in groups, using the same "V" formation as Canadian geese.

What I did during those two hours John went kayaking? Hit the mall. Had a ball. 
We're both livin' the dream at Latitude 30!

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