Recap of 2018 and What’s Next

This month Picture Retirement will enter its third year of publication. We thank each of you who have been faithful readers and look forward to continuing our retirement journey with you through this website.

We hope that the content we share will encourage you to view this stage of life with the same optimism and positive energy in which we live it. We won’t offer advice, beyond how to pack a suitcase for a thirty-day vacation, or how to make a dirty martini, and we will never claim to be retirement experts. We have no ‘end game’ for our blog, and genuinely wish to share, in pictures and words what joy and contentment look like from our point of view. If you  take away a thing or two that can be applied to your life, or at the very least, something that makes you smile, then we are happy with our effort.

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There are many components that contribute to our contented retirement lifestyle, but our main focus here is travel, photography, and food. We strongly believe in balance and moderation in all things, but mostly, we believe in having fun and creating memorable experiences.

The menu items on the header above are for keeping posts organized and for guiding you to specific subjects. Most are obvious, and we suggest you start with Florida to learn more about where we live. Travel has a drop-down bar which contains post about our travels abroad, and Captured Moments and Thursday Doors are for displaying our photographs.  Norm 2.0 is the host of Thursday Doors, and while I do not participate on a regular basis, I do contribute when I find interesting doors that are worth sharing. The doors below made the cut for 2018.


There are a lot of over-lapping posts under Photographs, Captured Moments and On my Mind, but when you visit there, you will get the idea. Our blog is photo intensive, (our own photographs unless otherwise noted) and our philosophy is that words are not always necessary to convey the feeling of a moment. I am sure you will agree that these captured moments speak for themselves.


As does this one from last Christmas which brings joy to my heart and a smile to my face.


Recap of 2018 and Plans for the New Year

We have a general idea of where we will travel this year and have begun to secure some of our plans. However, just like last year, life is unpredictable and sometimes plans change. We wrote about our 2018 travel plans here, and with the exception of the West Coast road/train trip, we completed them all. When it came time to get serious about booking lodging for the WC trip, we realized we really weren’t that into it and scratched the plan. Trying to build an entire trip around what should have been


(and ultimately was), a few fun days at a friend’s wedding in California seemed forced and laborious.  We opted for a more leisurely transatlantic cruise followed by a couple of weeks in Europe and were happy with that choice. You can read about the merits of a re-positioning cruise here.


We will begin the new year in Miami, for a two night stay-cation at our daughter’s condo. She will be away for a few days, so why not take advantage of free lodging in a beautiful city that is just a two hour drive from home.



Jekyll Island, GA is one of my favorite places to take pictures, and we have visited there many times throughout the years. This year we have leased a studio apartment for a  week, which encompasses Valentine’s Day. This destination is about five hours from home and we will be driving, which means we will bring the bikes.


Circumnavigating the island on a bicycle is the best way to fully experience the magic of this special place.


Last year we shared a post about the Texas road trip that we took in March. It was loads of fun and the beauty of the hill country is spellbinding.


Unfortunately, we were too early for the main attraction, which is Texas Blue Bonnets. This year we are taking a similar trip, but almost three weeks later than the one we took last year. Hopefully we will be knee high in blue bonnets this time around!

Instead of flying to Austin and renting a car, as we did last year, we will drive the entire trip from our home in Florida.  We have several stops planned along the way, and will revisit a few favorite locations along the Forgotten Coast.



The Gasparilla Inn at Boca Grande has been a favorite destination for years. Last year we attended the Food and Wine Festival during the month of January.


We will skip that event this year (not in the travel budget) and attend their ‘Beach, Bourbon and Barbecue’ event in June. The format is similar, with a cocktail party on Friday night followed by workshops and demonstrations (and of course, bourbon tasting) on Saturday, followed by the signature event on Saturday night. It is a much anticipated treat at the beginning of what promises to be another hot/humid summer in Florida.

July – August

These two months are high season for hurricanes in Florida, and we typically stay close to home, but, we have not ruled out the possibility of traveling to a cooler climate for at least a couple of weeks. Stay tuned.

Thank You

Participating in a blogging community is a rewarding experience and I appreciate your  generosity of spirit and words of encouragement. Genuine connections happen in the most unlikely places; a by-product of kindness that we need a little more of in this crazy world. Thank you all for welcoming us to this forum. We like getting to know you and appreciate your comments.

I read several blogs weekly, and some of my favorites are listed on the side-bar. They are specific to my interest, but you never know where you might find new inspiration.  In addition to Norm, who hosts Thursday Doors each week, and Terri at Second Wind Leisure Perspectives who hosts Sunday Stills, I would  like to include a big ‘Thank You’ to Sue at Sizzling Towards 60 and Beyond and Leanne at Cresting the Hill for inviting me to guest post on their blogs this past year. These ladies have wonderful content that is intended to guide and support women through, what should be and can be, the most wonderful stage of our lives.

Whatever you do and where ever you go during the next year, just remember…

Life quote

Best wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year.


If you are new to Picture Retirement and want to start from the beginning, click here. To see more of our photographs, follow us on Instagram at Picture_Retirement




14 thoughts on “Recap of 2018 and What’s Next

  1. Suzanne, I have enjoyed following you along on your travels this year. All of your upcoming trips sound wonderful. I really hope you see bluebonnets in Texas this year! We enjoyed stopping in Louisiana and Mississippi on our way to the hill country a few years ago. Wishing you a very happy 2019 filled with safe travels.


    1. Hi Beth, we will be stopping in Biloxi for sure,and Louisiana is certainly an option. We’re thinking maybe Lake Charles. I have my heart set on seeing Bellingrath Gardens in Alabama again (last visit was 10 years ago) and am hopeful that the Azaleas will be popping. Keep your fingers crossed that the bluebonnets will cooperate this year. We are anxious to return. Happy New Year and safe travels to you. Sorry your Dawgs got overlooked in the playoffs. Not sure the system puts the best teams in the final group. Oh well, there’s always next year. Be well and safe travels.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Suzanne! It’s so hard to time a trip to see flowers blooming. Hopefully you will get to see beautiful Azaleas and bluebonnets! Thanks for your thoughts about the Dawgs. Not sure they have come up with a good solution to the college playoffs yet.


  2. Hi Suzanne, Your plans for the year look fun and fantastic….I look forward to reading about the adventures as they unfold. Your remark about being flexible and changing plans and the unpredictable nature of life resonated with me – how very true and one I can personally relate to in my own new retirement adventure. And Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote about happiness being a by-product of a life well-lived struck a chord with me as well as I continue my own blog research into happiness. Best wishes in the new year!


    1. Hi Nancy, thanks for stopping by as we close out 2018. I love that quote too. Sometimes we get so busy chasing happiness that we forget to notice we already are. Wishing you the very best in 2019.


  3. Your new year travel plans sound wonderful, Suzanne! Thanks for the shout out and I’m glad you’ve been enjoying Sunday Stills. I’m off in Northern Arizona capturing new images and new perspectives! We’re spending New Year’s in Sedona…predicting snow that day!


  4. I enjoyed traveling vicariously with you in 2018, and I will likely continue to do so in the new year. You’ve been to some places I’ve seen, some I’d like to see and some that I am content to see through the eyes (lens) of others. Happy New Year!


  5. What a great year you have ahead of your Suzanne and I always enjoy (and am a little envious) of your beautiful photography. We have just booked an Alaskan cruise and a tour of the Canadian Rockies for September this year (yes I’m already into 2019 in Australia!). Happy New Year to you and I look forward to reading more of your travels. Enjoy!


  6. Congratulations on your 3 years of blogging…how time flies. I thoroughly enjoy your blog and look forward to your posts. You writing is fun, interesting, informative and your pictures a feast for the eyes. I will look forward to continue following along in 2019, it is going to be a great year😄


  7. The time really does fly by doesn’t it? Congrats on 3 years of blogging! It was great seeing parts of Florida and the U.S that we missed while living there and look forward to the new year plans. I enjoy it, along with the great photography. Happy New Year to you both!


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