Saturday, December 9, 2017

Seize the Moment

Unbeknownst to us, a winter storm was sweeping across the Deep South, making its way from Texas to Georgia, and into the Atlantic states and north to Boston. We happened to look out the window yesterday morning and were excited to see snow flurries. Seizing the moment, the first mate quickly grabbed the camera and ran out to take some pictures.

Eventhough it's freezing outside and cold inside the boat during the winter, we still like living aboard. We just love the boating lifestyle - the impromptu potlucks with boaters, the freedom to run out any time to take pictures, and the fascinating wildlife on the river. We've seen lunar eclipses and shooting stars in the middle of the night, taken sunrise pictures early in the morning, picked seashells on uninhabited islands, and watched ducks select a safe place to lay their eggs. There is never a dull moment on the river.
Reflection of Mai Thai (2nd from left) and snow flurries (yesterday morning)
Seagulls on the river
Coots, not our favorite bird. They signal winter
The storm blanketed most of the Deep South. Atlanta got nearly a foot of snow. Tennessee missed the brunt of it; we hear a sigh of relief from all who are participating in our favorite Dickens Festival in Franklin this weekend.

Stay warm and be safe out there, y'all!

This post is shared on Weekend Reflections and Through My Lens

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Thursday, November 30, 2017

Fort Lauderdale's Christmas Boat Parade is legendary, but where's your favorite?

Thanksgiving came early this year, giving us more time to celebrate and shop. With online mega retailers like Amazon taking the lion's share of the holiday business, more and more retailers are getting defensive and offering huge discounts. There's nothing like shopping to get you into the holiday spirit.  After Thanksgiving, we even put out some Christmas lights on the boat.

We love this time of year when holiday festivals and celebrations are in full swing, from holiday parties to tree lighting and boat parades. Our most memorable holiday celebration is hands down Fort Lauderdale's Winterfest Boat Parade. We happened upon this fabulous event on our first year of cruising. We had picked up the boat in Fort Lauderdale and cruised north, spending the summer in the Chesapeake Bay. What amazing experiences! By Halloween, it was getting cold. We turned around and headed back south.

Our destination was Fort Lauderdale. We rented a slip at Isle of Venice for the month of December. It was an excellent location, within walking distance to the beach and Las Olas Boulevard shops and restaurants. The boat parade was icing on the cake. The theme was "On a River of Dreams," but because of the horror of Sept 11, "the parade had a special tribute to our nation and its citizens and continued commitment to patriotism."

Since that year, we have discovered many other holiday festivals. Here are some of our favorites:
Nov 24, 2017 - Dec 31, 2018 Holiday Lights in the Garden, Largo, Fl
Dec 9 Fort Lauderdale's Winterfest Boat Parade, Fl
Dec 16 Christmas Boat Parade in Cape Coral, Fl

Nov 10, 2017 - Jan 1, 2018 Gaylord Opryland's A Country Christmas, Nashville, TN
Dec 1 Christmas Tree Lighting, Univ of the South, Sewanee, TN
Dec 9 Dickens Festival in Franklin, TN

Where's your favorite boat parade or holiday festival?

This post is shared on Our World Tuesday and Through My Lens.

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