Sunday, October 25, 2009

Florida or Bust

And let's hope I don't "bust", as I'm debating whether to get my almost-time-for-new-brakes done before I go or while I'm down there, as I surely will need to do it before I make the journey back.  Especially since I plan to drive six hours away to Atlanta to visit my son's family every month I'm there.  I hope I don't kill my car this winter.  She's lasted well, but has over 165,000 miles.

But the rental agreement is signed and I leave on Saturday.  My contract states that I can pay monthly and terminate anytime within the six months I'm originally signed up for.  (Six months was an awfully long period to commit to, so I feel better about it now.)

The past three winters I've spent in Florida have been in the Tampa/Clearwater/St. Pete area, which I really love.  This year I'm experimenting with the Panhandle.  I'm expecting to like the average low-60 degree weather, as long as there's sunshine and not too many days of rain.  One thing I'm eager to see is their "Emerald Coast."  It's known for powder white sand and emerald green waters.  I've seen some exquisite photos Googling "Destin" and "Florida Panhandle" and am hoping reality lives up to the hype!  (Get ready to be blown away when you click on the photo!)

Too Much of a Good Thing...

....never hurt a soul, right?  I swear this is not going to be a blog about nature.  Not that nature isn't a good thing.  I just want to assure you that the topic only happens to be nature lately, well, because it's fall ---and a particularly glorious one at that!

Today we had such warm sunshine and temps in the mid-60's (when they've been 20 degrees below normal for this time of year) that I had to be outside.  And I took my mom along with me this time.  Two hours at Chicago's Botanic Garden passed so quickly. 

Unfortunately, it was the most crowded I'd ever seen it, the mild weather, as well as a Halloween event for the tykes, bringing many people out this afternoon.  But the crowds couldn't detract from the peace we felt walking and sitting in the English Walled Garden, Rose Garden, and Waterfall Garden (the latter being my favorite).  Clicking these photos to enlarge is a must!