During the years leading up to retirement, travel was what we looked forward to doing most with our leisure time. I am a curious wanderer, (will go anywhere at any time, with no particular agenda) and Malcolm is intent and purposeful. He likes to research and understand as much as possible before committing to a destination. Both approaches net the same result – life is infinitely richer because we travel.
Resources, general curiosity and fitness/health dictate our destinations to a large extent. We vacillate between luxury and budget but never sacrifice basic comforts; not intentionally anyway! Some trips are physically taxing and adventurous, while others are simply relaxing. We have had our share of good and bad experiences and continue to refine what gives a trip value and makes it special, to us. And so begins the new year.
“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it’s lethal…” unknown
We are not wasting any time getting started and will continue our “Discover Florida’s Coasts” series by traveling to the Lee Island coast this month. You can read more about our Florida adventures by clicking on Florida from the header menu.
Boca Grande is an island on the Lee Island coast and is the first stop of the new year. The Gasparilla Inn will host its 12th annual Food and Wine Festival and this will be our fifth time attending the event. A weekend filled with great food, wine and cooking demonstrations may not be exactly what we need after a month of holiday indulgences, but, travel has very little to do with need and everything to do with experiences. This event is chock full of experiences. Wines from all over the world, paired with delicious food prepared by renowned Chefs, while relaxing in the genteel luxury of the Gasparilla Inn is just my cup of
tea wine for January.
February is the month of love and we will head to our favorite romantic get-a-way, Jekyll Island, GA for a three night stay. Jekyll is a photographers dream, so expect a photo intensive post for that trip. Jekyll Island is a designated Georgia State Park, and has development restrictions which make it a nature lover’s paradise. With miles of bike trails, quiet beaches, historic cottages, quaint shops and plenty of places for an impromptu picnic, you can be as busy or as still as you would like to be.
Hold onto your boot straps in March! We are headed to Texas Hill Country for a “Barbecue and Bluebells” road trip. This will be our first visit to this area of the country and we could not be more excited for an adventure as big as Texas! Expect lots of landscape photos, big plates of Texas barbecue and a bit of history to be included in this post.
April – May
April and May look quiet for now and we will probably use that time to take care of business and put the finishing touches on the big adventure that we are planning for June and July.
June – July
The Pacific Northwest has beckoned us for the past several years, so this is the year of the great return. We will begin our journey in California as we attend the wedding of a dear friend. Then, off to points Northwest! Oregon wine country, Canon Beach and the Oregon Coast along with the city of Portland will be a primary focus, while the Islands of Washington State will keep us Ferry hopping for days. We will venture across the boarder to Banff and Lake Louise before flying back home from Calgary.
Plans for the remainder of summer are to be in Florida for hurricane season, and the hottest months of the year; groan…But, the upside is that it is quiet around town and nice for us “locals” to catch a break from all the tourist traffic.
For the first time ever, we are actually considering a destination Christmas, so stay tuned. Maybe Europe and all those beautiful holiday Markets, Whistler Mountain, or a cottage in snowy New England. Who knows….
anticipate the best, plan for the worst and adjust to what is…
In addition to our travels, I will continue to participate in Norm 2.0’s Thursday Doors, (when I have a worthy door to share), and I will post a “Captured Moment” every Sunday. Captured Moments is a post that displays a photo that either Malcolm or I have taken, and the story behind the photo. Recording memories is important to us, and we don’t leave home without a camera. It’s the feeling of a moment captured in time that compels me to continue to improve my skills. This year the plan is to take our photographs to another level. I am looking forward to the challenge. For recent photos, please consider following our Instagram page at Picture_Retirement.
We will attempt to share bits and pieces of the stuff that adds clutter to our minds, but don’t expect it to be with any regard to consistency. We will do our best to adhere to a casual schedule and hope some of you will stick with us and invite friends to read our adventures as well.
If you are new to our Blog and want to know more about us, please begin here. Thanks for following our journey through this stage of life. May 2018 be an amazing year for all of us.
17 thoughts on “What’s Up With Us”
I love your plans for the year! I am curious about the Texas Hill country as we never made it there. I also love Florida so l enjoy your stories from home. I used to do a flashback photo on the blog till l ran out (we could only bring so many with us) but l might steal your idea and restart it. I certainly can’t call them flashback anymore so will have to think of a new name :-). Happy travels in the new year and l’ll be reading!!!
Kemkem, I am actually pretty excited about Texas; especially in the Spring.I love showing our photos,so Captured Moments is a logical choice for doing that. And, it disciplines me to post each week. Still getting used to maintaining some kind of schedule that won’t lead to burn out. Thanks for visiting with me this morning. I’ll drop over to your place soon. Maybe we can have coffee 🙂
I’m impressed that you have made real travel plans… ours are more like concepts at this point 🙂 . I visited Jekyll Island many years ago and remember that it was quite beautiful. Unfortunately, it was just for a drive around so I’m looking forward to your pictures! Love Texas Hill Country and March should be fairly mosquito proof – they almost carried me off the last time I was in Austin.
Enjoy your travels, take lots of photos, blog when you can, and if your travels to California include San Diego, let me know!
Did not even think about mosquitoes. Hopefully it will be cool enough to keep them away. I will certainly have 100’s of photos from Jekyll (I promise not to share them all). We are going to be in Santa Barbara for three days at a wedding, but we are not going to hang around after that.Headed directly to Oregon. Next time we land in San Diego I will definitely let you know. Same goes for you in Florida.
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Golly Moses – you certainly are organized… I’m in the undecided phase…
If we don’t get things on the calendar, they tend to not happen. I like having some structure, but spontaneity is fun too.
Sounds like a fun year if travel and adventure ahead!! I am impressed how you have the year mapped out. We are last minute planners and our plans change frequently. Just the way our lives are. Enjoy enjoy it all!
Peta, it is pretty unusual for us to have this much on the calendar so early in the year.We are especially motivated because our 30th wedding anniversary is in May. I expect some things will get rearranged and not happen exactly as planned. Especially the Pacific Northwest trip. The only leg of the trip that is a “given” at this point is a flight to LA and a three night stay in Santa Ynez. We booked the flight back from Calgary a month later, but are still sorting out what happens in the middle.
If Mother Nature cooperates, I will be posting a beautiful sunset from Boca Grande tonight. Look for it on Instagram. P.S. We love last minute too, sometimes over planning can suck the joy right out of things!
“…travel has very little to do with need and everything to do with experiences.”
I love this sentiment, it speaks to who we are as travelers, always seeking out the local experiences and the life long learning.
Banff and Lake Louise are beautiful, but take a jacket with you. We visited years (and years) ago in July and it was super cold and Lake Louise was fogged in. Ha! You never know what mother nature has up her sleeve!
Ashland, Oregon is a fantastic little city to visit, just 15 miles north of the CA/OR border. We lived there for 3 years before moving east. It is a burgeoning wine destination, the Rogue River has fantastic river experiences (I can refer you to the best river crew on the Rogue) and there is the world renowned Ashland Shakespeare Festival. Food for thought. 🙂
Great info Patti, thank you. The Rogue River is on our list of activities. Would love your reference as there seem to be quite a few to choose from. Am not familiar with the Shakespeare Festival but will check it out on-line. Here’s hoping it all comes together without a hitch!
Please email me and I’ll put you in touch with the river crew and with the owner of a lovely B&B in Ashland.
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Oh, and I responded to your comment about embracing the gray. 🙂 It’s kind of funny how it came about.
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We traveled to Texas a few years ago in search of brisket and bluebonnets. I hope you have as much fun as we did!
We are so looking forward to this trip! Brisket and Bluebonnets says it all.
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I posted about some of our favorite Texas BBQ places and bluebonnet locations on this post https://wanderingdawgs.com/2017/08/08/wandering-around-america-one-state-at-a-time-texas/ We found the best BBQ by asking the locals!
Thank you for the link. I will check it out. And thanks for reminding me that the flowers are actually Bluebonnets, not Bluebells and I insist on calling them.
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