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An A1 Road Trip . . . Up A1A January 29, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness, Travel & Leisure.
34 comments

After craning our necks to see the Art Deco hotels of South Beach and the skyscrapers of Miami Beach, we headed north under Sunny Skies with sunny dispositions.

Memories of cutting school in high school to “cruise the beach” filtered into my thoughts.

We lowered the windows and cranked the tunes as we headed up the coast through storied locales overflowing with moneyed locals.

We drove north from South Beach to Miami Beach to Surfside to Bal Harbour to Sunny Isles to Golden Beach.

In Hallandale Beach, I spotted a decorative mural.

A well-timed stoplight let me get the full picture.

In Hollywood, we parked and headed out to the beach.

Gorgeous, eh?

Satisfied, we put more money in the meter, so that we could check out the 2.2 mile boardwalk.

Watching out for bikes and bikers, we wandered down the smooth surface.

I loved this house located along the boardwalk.

In Dania Beach, we stopped for lunch in a small bayside park.

Populated with more palms than people.

We enjoyed the breeze off the intercoastal.

Though simple, lunch was delicious.  Everything tastes better under sunny skies.

In Fort Lauderdale, we drove through two “tunnels” . . . which doubled as runways for the airport.  Now that’s urban planning!

Skirting the edge of the city, we turned east toward Fort Lauderdale Beach.  Crossing over the intercostal, we could see a number of city-sized cruise ships readying to head out to sea.

Like Hollywood, Fort Lauderdale Beach had a simple uncluttered look to its promenade.

But it did engage in some unique beach marketing.

First, this inviting Adirondack Chair.

And then a sunny snowman wearing sunshades and a Panama Hat on a stand-up paddle board ~ let’s hope he remembered to put on some sunscreen!

Palms shaded the sidewalk.

And the tree-lined streets.

A few miles north, Lauderdale-By-The-Sea got our vote for funnest and funkiest beach town!

What an inviting and colorful place to hang out!

In Pompano Beach, we saw the Hillsboro Inlet Lighthouse standing guard over the busy inlet ~ a helpful navigation aid for sailors even on sunny days.

We continued north through Pompano Beach, Hillsboro Beach (which was surprisingly hilly), and Deerfield Beach.  The coastal views continued to be framed by blue skies and palm trees.


In Boca Raton, we stopped at the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center and enjoyed a stroll through the hardwood hammock on an elevated boardwalk.

Before leaving, we stopped to admire the turtles in the children’s play area.

We also walked around the Butterfly Garden & Trail to the Chickhee Hut at water’s edge.

And admired its interior architecture.

It was an enjoyable last stop.  In Highland Beach, just south of Delray Beach, we set our sights toward home . . . after a couple of quick pit stops to fuel up ~ both the car and our bellies.

Heading home across the sawgrass prairies, we admired countless cows grazing in the fields until it was too dark to see anything but the night lights.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

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WILSON! January 27, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Less IS More, Mindfulness, Travel & Leisure.
19 comments

In Boca Raton, at Red Reef Park . . . I found a coconut!

Holding it up to my ear, I heard Tom Hanks hollering “WILSON!” . . . as his only and constant companion washed out to sea.

Not wanting to grow attached to an inanimate orb, I put the coconut back where I found it for some other Castaway to befriend.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Scenes From South Beach January 25, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Art & Photography, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
23 comments

The next morning, after driving through downtown Miami on Route 1, we crossed the MacArthur Causeway to South Beach, where we hopped on A1A to take in the sights, sounds, and scenes of South Beach.

We loved seeing the Art Deco buildings ~ with over 700 in the Historic District, we caught sight of more than a few, including the Delano and National Hotel.

I spotted my initials on the front porch of the National Hotel.

Art Deco architecture arrived on the scene during the Exposition Internationale des Arts Décoratifs et Industriels Modernes, held in Paris in 1925, where the style was first exhibited.

It’s characterized by symmetry, ziggurat (stepped) rooflines, and decorative sculptural panels.

Set against the backdrop of a blue sky ~> c’est magnifique!  As were the palms.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Give Us This Day Our . . . Daily Bread January 23, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Food & Drink, Travel & Leisure, Vegetarian Recipes.
18 comments

Arriving in Miami proper, we decided to check out The Original Daily Bread Marketplace ~ a Middle Eastern restaurant established in 1975.

Getting to the restaurant (via the terminus of the Tamiami Trail) involved driving 130 B~U~S~Y city blocks ~ a time consuming proposition in the pre-rush hour rush.

The slow going traffic meant that we spied any number of restaurants that would have filled the bill and our bellies, including the Versailles Bakery.

We kept driving.

We’re glad we stuck to the plan.

The Daily Bread is half market and half restaurant with a bakery in the middle.

We ordered a Falafel platter with 3 sides ~ hummus, house salad, and rice pilaf ~ plus pita bread, a side of Spanakopita, and a bowl of Tahini for dipping.

We enjoyed it all, especially the falafel.

After finishing the platter, we took a quick tour of the market and then headed (with purpose!) to the bakery to end our meal on a sweet note.  Torn between the Traditional Baklava and the Greek Baklava, we opted to get both so we could do a side-by-side taste test ~> we liked the traditional the best.

From the Daily Bread, we drove south through Coral Gables and Coconut Grove to Mattheson Hammock Park on Old Cutler Road . . . where we got our first glimpse of the Miami skyline under some serious cloud cover.

The next morning, we woke to SUNNY skies.  Stay tuned.

Aah . . . that’s better!

“We’re All Here . . . “ January 20, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke, Music & Dance, Word Play.
19 comments

While driving up A1A through Fort Lauderdale Beach, a sign caught my eye:

M.E.N.T.A.L.

Hmm . . .

Curious, I looked closer and spied a funny tagline (like the one in this “borrowed” shot):

Image result for we're all here because we're not all there

After doing a quick google, I found bumper stickers, t-shirts, mugs, plaques, and even clocks sporting the same punny tagline.

Image result for we're all here because we're not all there

Even Steven Tyler is familiar with this funny punny.

Image result for we're all here because we're not all there

Which left me wondering ~> where have I been???

If not “all here” or “all there,” I guess I’ve been “out there” somewhere.

Aah . . . that’s better!

Clyde Butcher’s Big Cypress Gallery January 17, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Art & Photography, Humor, Travel & Leisure.
18 comments

As we crossed the state on the Tamiami Trail, we saw birds, gators, and . . . fine art!

Clyde Butcher is an award-winning photographer who is not afraid of wading waist deep in water nor of waiting for hours to catch the right mix of sun, sky, and shadows for his stellar shots.

In short, he has patience to capture the exact configuration he wants.

We enjoyed touring his Big Cypress Gallery.

Both inside and out.

Noting that other artists aren’t constrained to black and white images or imaginings.

We skipped the guided tour ~ Walk On The Wild Side.

Trekking through the mucky muck of the Big Cypress Swamp surrounding the gallery (even with a seasoned professional as our tour guide) held no appeal.

Watching gators from an elevated boardwalk is more our speed.

Aah . . . that’s better!

 

Gator Country January 15, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Animals, Humor, Life Balance, Nature, Travel & Leisure.
30 comments

On a recent road trip to Miami and up Route A1A to Boca Raton, we traversed the state on the Tamiami Trail, passing through portions of the Everglades and Big Cypress National Preserve.

In other words, through the “River of Grass” and through swampy bits of  “Gator Country.”

Did we see Gators?

You betcha!

We wandered boardwalks at several rest stops and stopped to watch the gators resting.

They are pros at relaxing and recharging.

And recharging and relaxing.

Often sleeping with one eye open.

Aah . . . that’s better!

The Bottle of Wine January 13, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Humor, Joke.
31 comments

While driving home from a business trip in Northern Arizona, Sally saw an elderly Navajo woman walking on the side of the road.

She stopped the car and asked the woman if she would like a ride.  With a silent nod of thanks, the woman got into the car.

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Resuming the journey, Sally tried in vain to make a bit of small talk with the Navajo woman.

The old woman sat silently, looking intently at everything, studying every little detail, until she noticed a brown bag on the seat next to Sally.

“What’s in the bag?”

Sally looked down at the brown bag, “It’s a bottle of wine. I got it for my husband.”

The Navajo woman remained silent for another moment.

Then, speaking with quiet wisdom, she nodded and said, “Good trade.”

Aah . . . that’s better!

Source:  e-mail from unknown author

 

Two New-To-Me Heirlooms January 11, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Gratitude, Home & Garden, Humor.
24 comments

I acquired two additional family heirlooms for safe-keeping this year.

The first is this handsome dictionary stand built by my maternal grandfather who had a way with wood . . . and words!  I enjoyed dressing it up for the holidays.

The second is this rustic 2-drawer pine table built by my Great Uncle Lee ~ my paternal grandmother’s brother.  When I open the drawer and inhale, pleasant scents associated with visits to Vermont permeate the air.

I also enjoyed decking it out for the holidays with Santas from around the world, Frosty’s hat (which I have for safe-keeping), and some humorous reptiles created by my niece Sarah.

Aah . . . that’s better!

I Quit! January 9, 2018

Posted by nrhatch in Health & Wellness, Less IS More, Mindfulness.
44 comments

I quit smoking!

And it’s been a breeze . . . due to the chilly winds blowing down from Canada.

Before my last cigarette (on New Year’s Eve), I smoked a few cigarettes a day and always outside.

This cold weather has helped me “curb the urge” to head out and light up.

Now I’m ready for the temps to rebound!

Aah . . . that’s better!

How are your New Year’s Resolutions going?