Sunday, February 28, 2010

Happy March First! (a couple of hours early)

Four of the six months I'm spending in the Panhandle have passed now.  Two to go.  And as we enter March, month of my only child's birthday, my mother's 85th, St. Patrick's Day and the coming of Spring (HA!  Not in Chicago....) I have some interesting tidbits to share with you:


There are many superstitions about March. We often hear that "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." This means that the first day of March is often stormy, and the last day is mild and warm. Another saying is, "April borrowed from March three days, and they were ill." This refers to the first three days of April, which are generally rough and blustery like March. A third saying calls the first three days of March "blind days" because they are "unlucky." If rain falls on these days, farmers supposedly will have poor harvests.

Source - World Book Millenium 2000

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Cold Be Damned

I don't care if it is only high 50's; I am determined to walk the beach today.  It's sunny.  I'll survive.  (And I lament how wimpy I've become against the temperatures after having wintered away from Chicago these past years....whereas I used to only feel cold if it dipped below the 30's, now I shake and shiver in the 50's.  I admit it;  I've acclimated.)

Want to come along?

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We'll cross onto the beach by Beachside II and Finz restaurant...

But we won't see anyone in this weather at the concession stands....

And only a few brave souls sheltered from the wind on the beach...

But the sea is as blue/green as ever....

And glistens....
(Ooooo, enlarge this's stunning!)

Just a very narrow sand path to walk, the remainder of the beach being too soft to negotiate any traction...

But we could wave-watch all day....


Let's walk down the other way, because what's that I see....
(I feel like I'm writing a children's book...)

Little kite-flyers.

And a few more brave souls (although I've used one of those beach cabanas and they are toasty!)

And my little momento....the sole shell I saw on the beach amid fowlprints....quite a rarity, as the sand here is known for it's white purity and shell-less softness.

And by the way, I posted this while getting a headache and an ulcer watching Canada versus USA in the Olympic Gold hockey game....overtime and all....and now my headache is even bigger.  After an incredible USA tie, Canada wins in overtime.  :(

I need aspirin.

But I'm a good sport:  Congratulations, Canada! 

Saturday, February 27, 2010


Ok, sometimes ya just have to eat junk.  And Whattaburger (unknown to us in Illinois...or at least to me....does IL have any?) sure can supply the junk.  A heart-attack patty melt on Texas toast........mmmmmmm!  Worth the 20 minute drive!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Election Night 2008 - Part Two

What a "high" to walk home amongst thousands of Chicagoans (and others) after the election!  Such a strange and incredible feeling to take over the city by foot.  You'll see that in some of these photos, scenes resemble some sort of revolution (i.e. crowd by the Art Institute lions).  So here is the journey from Grant Park to home:

(Click especially the last photo to enlarge)

Crowd from the Art Institute steps

Election Night 2008 - Part One

And as long as I'm thinking of home tonight, may I say what an experience it was to witness President Obama becoming President on that November night in 2008! 

Michigan Avenue was closed off to traffic so that the public could walk/bike down to Grant Park to witness the event.  Making our way down to the park, my friend and I ran into two of my former teaching colleagues (younger than I and not yet retired) who had taken the day off to come in.  Wonder who else in the throng we knew, but didn't run into?  Stuff like that always amazes me.  Like the time I was on a cruise and would have never known another colleague was onboard, too, had it not started to sprinkle one night on deck.  Upon moving our deck chairs under cover, I literally bumped into her!  But I digress.....

Back on topic, here are photos of pre-election results and the celebration when President Obama took to the podium in the park after having been declared the winner.

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The crowd taking the field as the gates open

I stayed in the back corner, so that I could sit on the embankment rather than stand in the field.  I also wanted to be one of the first to "escape" at the event's end!

And it begins...

Listening to the coverage on television...

CNN showing us as Barack Obama is named President!

McCain's concession/congratulatory speech

President Obama takes the stage with his wife and daughters

What an exciting night I'll never forget!  And to think that I live just a few miles from the President of the United States' Hyde Park home. 
(Part Two next...)

Thinking of Home

I'm finding myself thinking of my city place tonight and looking forward to warm weather back in Shytown.  (Only problem with Chicago weather is that it is six months of winter, then two weeks of spring, then hot summer...sheese!)  But even in hot summer, mornings are perfect for walking/biking and early evenings are usually comfortable again for strolling by the lake or Buckingham Fountain in Grant Park.  (And I'm usually hot when others feel fine, so don't take my word as Gospel.)

Here is some of Chicago I am dreaming about tonight....the views and neighborhood around my condo:

Close up of one of the sights I see from my condo

(Click on these to enlarge)
Navy Pier from my window
(see the lighthouse way back there?)

Close up

As night falls...

Close up

"My" beach (Ohio Street Beach) and Olive Park

Close up on a summer day

City life behind my condo building

DuSable Harbor and Columbia Yacht Club

Baytowne Wharf II

Sadly, I have not recovered yet the dozens of photos of Christmas decorations on the houses in Sandestin that I spent about two hours one night taking from the car. 

But looking for something to blog about, I did find other photos of the little village on the resort.  It's a mile and a half walk through the property to reach from the condo I'm renting, a nicely landscaped walk past part of the golf course, over a boardwalk and past the marina and little island.  All of those I've already shown you, so here is a bit more of the village.

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Great place for breakfast

Free weekly concerts on the square

Dining under the stars at the Marlin Grill

Cabo's Paradise Grill

Human-sized chessboard

Sushi Rocks

Your guess is as good as mine ;)


No one's riding home on this one

Smokehouse BBQ

One of the condo buildings as seen from Hammerhead's deck

Dock of Hammerhead's

One entrance to Tupelo Court
(Comedy, Jazz, Bakery, Eatery, Martini Bar, Arcade)

And those gray skies?  Yeah, we've sure had a lot of 'em this winter.  I thought Florida was the "sunshine state!"