The Captain has Turned Off the seatbelt sign…

March At a Glance

March roared in like a lion, bringing high winds and roller-coaster temperatures ranging from lows in the 40’s to highs in the 80’s. Despite the winds, we have enjoyed being outside, tending the yard, washing windows, biking, and playing our new favorite sport with the strange name. We have also managed to complete a few indoor projects, including another closet decluttering (I just did this about 6 months ago) and a complete pantry overhaul.

We met with friends for lunch a few times, hosted family game night twice and even ventured out to dinner, where we chose an inside table. (How daring!)

Malcolm resumed his weekly coffee dates and I continued my scheduled Mahjong game. I played a golf tournament with a friend during week three. It was a themed outing, (Roaring Twenties). We donned 1920’s accessories and played a round of ‘not so serious’ golf. It was fun to be silly for a while and it all seemed rather usual.

Good weather, being active, seeing friends, and accomplishing a few things around the house contributed to a very balanced and satisfying month. But, the single most positive thing to happen lately is the receipt of a Covid vaccine.

Malcolm and I got our first Moderna shot on February 10 and our second on March 10. The phrase, ‘it is now safe to move about the cabin’ immediately entered my mind. While we know we will need to proceed with caution, we do feel a sense of freedom and relief.

Borders between states are opening, and we are hopeful the world will follow. We have no immediate plans to travel internationally, but we are considering options for a couple of stateside trips that will include boarding flights. More to come about that.


I just finished ‘Escape to Curlew Cottage‘, written by one of my favorite Aussie Bloggers, Joanne Tracey. This one has a bit of a sinister plot, and will keep you guessing about the ‘bad guy.’ But, as always, expect romance, amazing food and a happy ending to Jo’s latest book. Congratulations to Jo for another page turner.

I also downloaded ‘It’s Not About the Wine‘, by Brian Metters and have been inspired to pursue ‘wine appreciation,’ as apposed to wine consumption as a new hobby. I wrote about that in my last post. I’ll keep you informed about how that goes.

Something to Look Forward To

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is bourbontasting2.jpg
Setup from Bourbon tasting at home 2017

We recently booked Beaches, Bourbon, Barbeque, and Beer, a culinary event we had planned to attend last June.

It is a weekend affair at the Gasparilla Inn on Boca Grande that we are looking forward to with much anticipation. We attended their January Food and Wine events in 2014, 2016,17 & 18. You can read the 2018 post here.

We are also in the midst of planning a road trip to Block Island, ME and Watkins Glenn, NY for May. Accommodations for both locations have been booked, so now, we just need to sketch in a few details to fill the gap between Florida and Maine.

I have lots of ideas swirling around already.


If we were having a conversation over a glass of Bourbon, or wine, (maybe we’ll just stick to coffee), these are the things I’d tell you about that made me smile during the month of March.

Of course, I can’t leave without showing you my favorite springtime photos and one from a recent trip to the beach.

If you have read my blog at all, you already know that Springtime is my favorite time of year. I’d rather be at home in South Florida more than anywhere else in the world for this season. The weather is nearly perfect, my energy level is high, and the future looks bright. Spring, is the promise of fresh starts and renewal – a coming out of darkness and into light.

Sharing with Natalie’s Weekend Coffee Share and Trent’s Weekly Smile.

48 thoughts on “The Captain has Turned Off the seatbelt sign…

  1. Suzanne, your photo of the waves crashing on the rocks is stunning! You’ve had a fun March. I agree – getting the second shot has given us a sense of freedom and we did cross the border into Florida. For the first time in a year we went to a get together at a neighbor’s homes. It was wonderful to see everyone. We are hoping to go to Virginia to see our daughter’s family in May. Enjoy your road trip to Maine and New York!


    1. Beth, getting the shot and having weeks of incredible weather have been a double blessing. Our kids will be eligible very soon, then all will be right with our little world. Have a great week. Virginia in May sounds nice and I know what you mean about getting together with people for the first time. Feels strange, but wonderful. It’s the little stuff, right?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You’re ahead of us in terms of opening up. We are taking baby steps starting tomorrow when we’ll be allowed to meet in groups of up to six for outdoor socialising. So I hope on Friday to see my sister and her family for the first time since October, even though she only lives an hour away! In April we should be able to eat out outside and non-essential shops will open. And in May domestic travel opens up and we plan to visit my husband’s hometown, Newcastle. We usually go several times a year but at the moment even that feels like a bit of an adventure!


    1. Sarah, baby steps are a good thing. At least you can see a clear path. Some friends of ours got Covid just a few days before their scheduled vaccine. They had a false sense of security and ended up in the wrong place at the wrong time – all it takes is one sick person. Stay safe.


  3. Hi Suzanne – I love how positive you sound and how life seems to be returning to normal (much like it did here in Australia). Glad you’re feeling safer and getting out and about more in the Spring weather. We’re hitting Autumn but most of the time it still feels quite summery. I loved that pic of the bloom with the bee – just beautiful (I pinned it).


  4. Hi, Suzanne – Your springtime photos are wonderful! Congratulations on receiving your vaccine. In my age group (62), in BC, I am tentatively scheduled to receive my vaccine in May. When my number is called, I’ll be ready and waiting!


  5. Suzanne,
    You’ve had a great month and I felt better myself after reading it. We get the second shot this week and leave two weeks later for a four-month RV trip. Hopefully, a lot more places will be open this year compared to last. Your pictures are great! Enjoy the Barbeque…and the Bourbon! Joe


      1. Suzanne,
        We’re going back to the northwest. WY, MT, then spending a lot of time going down the coast from WA to CA. We fell in love with Oregon and looking forward to seeing it again.


  6. Beautiful flower and beach photos, Suzanne. I love the vibrant pink and the ocean water colour. Congratulations on receiving your vaccines! My turn is at the end of the summer depending on vaccine supply. Thank you for linking with #WeekendCoffeeShare.


  7. What a wonderful, hopeful March you’ve had! It almost sounds like normal life…which still seems surreal. But grand! We’re enjoying lovely weather here in the Florida Panhandle, too, although our temps are a bit cooler than yours. We’re still waiting for our vaccines, but are hoping we’ll have them in a couple of weeks.

    I love hearing about your travel plans. We spent almost a month in the Finger Lakes in the summer of 2019 and loved it. Watkins Glen is gorgeous—if you have time, check out the fabulous Corning Museum of Glass.


    1. Hi Laurel, we visited Watkins Glen many years ago, but now that I have better camera skills, I can’t wait to return. We also visited the Corning Museum and will likely go again – we loved it that much. Thanks for suggesting it. I’d say you still have a few weeks of good temps in the Panhandle, then, well….

      March has definitely been different from the past eleven months! Celebrating ‘normal’ does seem ‘surreal, but grand!’


  8. Glad you have had your first and second shot and able to start planning some things. We got our first Moderna vaccine on Thursday. And our second will be the day we leave for an in state vacation. We have had to cancel the same reservations twice, thanks to COVID, hoping the third time really is a charm. We are also going away the last week in May to a few hours south. When you are in Watkins Glen, I think you would only be about an hour north of us. We are just about 25 minutes or less to the New York border, and 45 minutes to Corning. Hope you have a great time. It’s fun to plan, here is hoping. Best and blessings, Michele


  9. A great opening sentence, Suzanne. You remind me again about pickle ball. I hear people playing across the street from me. We are still on the list for the vaccine. I also enjoyed “Escape to Curlew Cottage.” Your vibrant pink photo is exceptionally beautiful. I saw a ‘teaser’ on Instagram and fell in love. I wholeheartedly agree with you, ‘fresh starts and renewal.’ A beautiful post!


    1. Erica, you are going to surprise yourself one day and walk over to that court and learn to play! I just know it. Just be careful. Malcolm pulled a calf muscle on Friday and is at the Ortho dr. today getting an assessment. He is probably out of commission for at least four weeks, so I’ve lost my partner in crime for a while. We have laughed that he sustained his first-ever ‘sports injury’ at age 65!

      There are only a couple of trees in the entire county which have those beautiful pink blossoms. They open in spring for about two weeks, then poof – dormant until next year. I was lucky to be driving by at the right time. The other tree was already spent. Have a wonderful week.


  10. Aren’t we lucky to live in Florida where our nice weather meant that we could sit outside, social distancing and enjoy a meal with friends. I know what you mean about feeling a sense of freedom and relief after receiving both of our covid vaccinations. Hopefully the rest of the world will be getting theirs in the near future. It sounds like you have some wonderful adventures to look forward to and I’ll be looking forward to you sharing them with us. Love your wonderful photos in this post.


  11. I love spring too! We’ve had some glorious weather which has encouraged us to get out and about. We have our two shots but we are still being cautious. We only meet (in small groups) with those who have their double doses and who we know are careful too. I’ve heard too many rumblings about variants and crazy anti-vaxxers to completely let my guard down. Much better to ease into things than to go too fast and regret it. The CDC is already warning of increasing infection rates. Fortunately in California and Florida, we have the opportunity to get together outdoors safely. Enjoy your spring! That Beaches, Bourbon, Barbeque, and Beer event sounds like great fun!


    1. Janis, it sounds like you guys are on a similar track as us – moving about with an abundance of caution, but happy to be moving about! Florida’s recent Spring Break escapades is reminder enough to take it slow. Some folks just haven’t gotten the memo. Take care and enjoy spring.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I love those last two photos…..and a few years ago I played a very “relaxed” game of Majong with my aunt, and loved it. I say relaxed because we aren’t sure we played it exactly correctly….We didn’t keep score and we just used her book, each picked a “phase” or whatever it’s called and tried to finish first. lol. Now I want a game but not sure who would play with me


  13. Enjoyed your post “the captain has turned off the seatbelt light” We got our second vaccine two weeks ago and I felt the same way. It feels like we are finally on the other side of this pandemic though not sure what that will look like and will still take precautions.


    1. Welcome to Picture Retirement. I’d love to know more about you. Do you have a website that I may visit? I searched your Gravatar and it doesn’t link back to a site. Anyway, I’m glad you’ve had both your shots and feel relieved, as we do. It makes all the difference. Please drop in any time.


  14. Hi Suzanne, I love the surf over the rocks image and I can feel the energy of the ocean and waves. Good that you have had your COVID shot. We are a little behind in Australia although my husband is eligible now to have his and I am eligible mid year. It is a little bit like ‘you can now move around the cabin’ isn’t it? Lovely to be getting back into life again. Enjoy your week. xx


  15. Pingback: The Weekly Smile Recap for March 29 – April 4, 2021 #weeklysmile | Trent's World (the Blog)

  16. Molly Totoro

    Just checked out “It’s Not About the Wine” … not sure how that has slipped my book recommendation lists in the past, but I rectified the oversight. I look forward to reading it with a nice glass of chardonnay 🙂


  17. Suzanne, it is so wonderful to read about your life starting to return to normal, and how good “normal” feels. We are still not able to plan events, get together with others, or travel outside our immediate region, and the new case numbers here are the highest they’ve ever been during the pandemic. However, Rob received his first shot this week, and I’m on the list to book mine, probably in three weeks or so. In the meantime, we have made the best of it, skiing right up until the last day, and spending time working in the garden.



    1. Jude, I cannot stress enough how relieved we felt when we reached the two-week mark after our first shot. Just yesterday we sat in a restaurant in Miami, among young people, with no fear! Who knew that such a simple action would mean so much. At least you are skiing and gardening. That’s positive! Good luck with your shots.


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