Miles of Smiles

Even though yesterday was officially the first day of Fall, it is still hot, humid and tropical in South Florida. The storms lined up in the Atlantic Basin have created some very interesting situations at the beach these past two weeks. Coupled with a King tide which happens about twice per year, we have seen an enormous swell and crushing waves along our coast – not good for beach erosion, but spectacular for photography.

I have spent a lot of time here lately, just taking in the sights and enjoying nature. The impact on the future is not lost on me, but for now, this is still my happy place.

If you follow me on Instagram, you already know that I have had a lot to smile about recently; a road trip to Sarasota with a drive through Myakka River State park, a gorgeous sunrise gift from Malcolm, walking through a botanical garden with a dear friend and date night at a food and wine paring event. Emerging from the Covid bubble has been slow, but steady and I feel optimistic about things to come.

The Green Turtle Market and Grapeviee Cafe hosted a five course dinner, and featured five delicious wines from Daou Winery is Paso Robles, CA. This was by far the best meal we have had in five months. The restaurant did an excellent job of spacing customers, ensuring safety precautions and creating a great date night atmosphere. Paso Robles and Daou are now firmly on our travel list. Thank you Tanna for an informative evening.

We tested our tolerance for road tripping during a pandemic with a three night stay in Sarasota. Admittedly, it was a bit disconcerting at first, but overall not a bad experience. If hotels remain diligent with their requirements and people continue to behave, we see no reason to continue to deny ourselves our favorite hobby.

Malcolm has been a man on a mission lately and has booked three trips; the first of which will happen in November. We will return to Miramar Beach (an 8 hour car drive) for a two week stay at the same VRBO we leased last February. I wrote about that holiday here. In February we will spend five nights on Jekyll Island (Valentine’s Treat) and then in May, we have plans to fly to Barbados. Everything can be cancelled without penalties should conditions deteriorate, but for now, we feel good about planning for future travel.

We have cautiously begun to socialize with friends but still avoid large gatherings. For the most part, we are becoming accustomed to a new way of doing things. Wearing a mask has become second nature and being obsessive about washing our hands and not touching our faces is just a good habit in general. I am actually beginning to think we can do this, with or without a vaccine.

So, there you have it. What makes me smile is spending time with friends, great food and wine, taking photographs of nature, gifts from Malcolm and having travel plans to look forward to. What made you smile lately?

Malcolm took this on an early morning walk and left it in my inbox for me to wake up to. Gotta love a guy who knows exactly what makes you smile!

Shared with Trent’s World Weekly Smiles.

39 Comments on “Miles of Smiles

  1. Spectacular images of the big waves!
    So happy you had a nice getaway and are getting out a little more. And your planned trips sound wonderful. I have several friends who have been traveling a lot. We are doing the same as you – gradually doing more but still avoiding crowds. Watching painted buntings, hummingbirds and butterflies in my garden made me smile this week.


  2. Hi Suzanne – I’m so glad you’re seeing some light at the end of your covid tunnel. Things where we live are pretty normal – we don’t even wear masks – just social distancing, hand washing and that’s about it. We’ve booked our annual early December getaway to a little island off the coast (our borders are still closed to travel, but Rottnest is part of Western Australia so all’s good). We just hope they don’t cancel our booking to make the accommodation available to returning travellers for quarantine (that happened earlier in the year for some people). I’m really ready for a change of scenery and I can imagine you are champing at the bit to be get back to your travels.


    • Leanne, you are so lucky to live in a place that has been minimally affected. Hopefully your December plans will come off without a hitch! I am so ready to travel freely and without worry, but I fear that won’t happen for quite some time.


  3. Beautiful photography. I especially like the sunset at the bottom and the opening of that lotus blossom, the photo on the right of the set of three..


    • Frank, thank you. That one is also a favorite of mine. I just sent it out to be printed on note cards. It looks soothing and I thought it might brighten someone’s day to receive it. Thanks for stopping by. Hope all is well.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Suzanne, having travel plans are a sure way to get me cheered up. Well done Malcolm for booking some very exciting traveling. Beautiful photos as always😄


  5. Suzanne, Stunning photography as usual! I’m glad you’ve been out and about more to enjoy life. Your upcoming trips are exciting. So sweet of Malcolm to send you his sunrise photo. Have a wonderful week!


  6. Oh, Barbados! I’ve been going there every February for the past 5 years but I just don’t think it’s going to happen for me this year (thanks, Pandemic!🤬). I hope you have a wonderful time. I miss travel – been doing day trips and that’s been about it.



  7. Beautiful pictures! We have been starting to open up more out here on the west coast. Our problems have been the fires and the smoke. I am on Instagram (not real active) – I’ll try to find you!


  8. I’ve been loving your images of those massive seas. I think your climate must be a tad similar to ours – humid summers, late summer king tides and storms & ild winters. Glad that you’re getting out & about. We’ve been in a bit of a bubble on our part of the coast – just a handful of active cases – but our borders to the south are still closed & gathering numbers limited to an extent. We haven’t had to do masks up here, but it really is a new normal, isn’t it?


    • There are lots of places we still can’t travel to, even within the US, but things feel better overall. The data supports a downturn and folks are easing back into life. It still feels surreal to be wearing a mask everywhere, but I don’t mind if it means I can move about freely. I do think our climates are very similar. The King tide has been massive this year. Anyone who denies Global Warming has not been paying attention to the rise of our oceans. That little strip of land that I love between the ocean and the river is likely not to exist within the next twenty years, if not sooner. I’ll enjoy it while I can. Thanks for stopping by. Love your Insta pics!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. You sound happy. 🙂 How wonderful to be resuming some normalcy in life. Like you, we’ve been doing a bit more socializing the past week—on the screened porch, beneath the ceiling fans, with people we know who are as careful as we are. We’re still debating about traveling, but that’s because we’re not anxious to be back in the RV after spending the past two months in there during the house remodel, LOL. Our temps here in Apalachicola have suddenly dropped into the 70s, and I feel SO much better! Summer was pure hell, as you know. Your photos are beautiful!


    • Laurel, I am happy. I don’t think I fully realized the impact of Covid isolation on my emotions until recently. Having something to look forward to feels fantastic. We dropped a few degrees also, but won’t see 70’s for at least another month. I’ll take what I can get!


  10. How nice that you are making travel plans! I remember driving around Jekyll Island years ago on an East Coast trip. I really loved it and wanted to come back (maybe one of these days). I’ve been to Paso Robles many times; it’s a favorite place to stop on our way to the Bay Area. If you go, I’ll give you the name of a wonderful Italian restaurant. I’m not sure we are ready to get out of town just yet, but I look forward to traveling again! Your pictures are lovely!


  11. Suzanne,
    I got a huge smile out of your King Tide pictures, and that you will travel to Jekyll Island. Any chance you would be there Februrary 7 – 12? We drove through Paso Robles on our trip down the coast. The vineyards are amazing. If we didn’t pass by Daou, we had to be close. My favorite craft beer discovery came from the Firestone Walker brewery in Paso Robles. One last comment about travel during the plague…I honestly felt safer in our RV and the campgrounds than I do at home. We get so busy here and come in contact with others much more, the chance for exposure is probably greater. Have a great week. Joe


    • Joe, unfortunately, we are arriving to Jekyll on the 14th. Are you going to be camping there?

      We heard that Daou is constructing cottages on one of their properties in Paso Robles, which sounds like an idyllic vacation to me. Maybe one day we will get there and Malcolm will be sure to check out that brewery.

      I can understand your concerns about engaging with friends more now than while traveling. We’ve been tempted to broaden the bubble, (many of our neighbors already have) but we continue to expand very slowly.


      • Suzanne,
        Well, darn! Would loved to have had the opportunity to meet up. We will be camping in the State Park. We have camped there before but only for a couple of days. Love Jekyll Island!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. Gorgeous photos; living your life. La vie est belle, to be sure. Keep up the imbibing of fresh air/oxygen, vitamin D from the sun, movement, and optimistic attitude. Nature is the best healer, and so are fun and laughs – miles of smiles.


  13. Pingback: The Weekly Smile Recap for 9/21 – 9/27/200 | Trent's World (the Blog)

  14. Wow, these are stunning! I haven’t been to FLorida for a couple years, and never when there was wave action like this. Must have been something to see.


  15. Yes, spectacular for photography, Suzanne. I have a new appreciation for King tide after reading your posts. We have been unplugged and camping for a couple of weeks so I am out of the loop. Road trip, date night. What fun! I believe hotels are extra diligent since they do not want to get bad press and be associated with cases. I am happy to hear you and Malcolm have fun adventures planned. I smile for the same reasons you do. Especially being able to read a beautiful post like yours, Suzanne. 🙂


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