Miami Nice

Miami is one of my favorite Florida cities. It is culturally diverse, vibrant and constantly evolving.  With just a short, two hour drive from our home and affordable (as in free lodging), since our daughter lives there, we visit several times per year.

Thirty years ago, when Malcolm and I lived in Miami things were very different.  People lived on Miami Beach, Key Biscayne or in the suburbs and commuted to work downtown. Public transportation was not an option. No one lived downtown and especially not on Brickell Avenue, which was mostly commercial office buildings. My have things changed! Read More

Pictures Tell The Story

It is festival season in our town and the weather has been perfect for getting out to some of those.  We enjoy browsing rows of beautiful artwork while eating something totally indulgent,  like funnel cake.  Festivals also present a lot of opportunities for taking photographs of people.  Street photography is an art form that I know little about, but I do recognize a good opportunity when I see one, so I couldn’t resist asking the young woman below to allow a photo.

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What caught my eye was of course, the bright colors.  I loved that her hair, makeup and clothing match the colors of the umbrella.  Framing the photo in a way that both she and the umbrella compel equal attention combines two focal points that tell a happy story.

Photographs, at least thoughtful ones, should tell a story.   I have to admit that both Malcolm and I are fairly single-minded when it comes to our favorite theme.  We take pictures of what makes us smile.  Likely,  it will create that reaction within a few others as well, which makes the effort to get a good photo even more worthwhile.  We take a lot of bad photos, in an effort to get “the one,” but we share only our best shots on this blog and Instagram account.  The immediate gratification of a good image is addictive and social media promotes an  on-going satisfaction through the clicks, likes and comments that follow a post. Why post a so-so image that doesn’t say anything?

The photographs we share on our Instagram page at picture_retirement tell a story also. Each photo represents a special moment or event, but the collective gallery tells the story of this stage of our lives.  Grouping the photos by theme and color keeps the story short, to the point and easy on the eye.  If I were to classify our retirement story as a genre, I’d have to go with “beach read” at this point in time.  Nice story, predictable plot…Enjoy life.

Travel the World

When we were working, our vacation destinations were highly predictable – anywhere in the US or the Islands that could be reached within two to four hours by plane.  Typically we chose a resort in the Caribbean, a ski village in Colorado or a visit to Mickey’s house in Orlando. We could never be away for more than nine days (constraints of business ownership) so it was important not to use precious time getting there. We also did not have the luxury of time to plan and execute a vacation that included multiple destinations and intricate details. Vacations were expressly for relaxing and having family fun, which meant one destination, one hotel and built-in activities.  Everything changed when we sold our business and retired.

For the first time in our lives, we could go beyond a one week vacation and really travel.  We took our first trip abroad when our daughter was sixteen and on summer vacation.  That was the beginning of a love affair that will never fade.  Malcolm took months to arrange travel plans that included planes, trains, automobiles and several hotel reservations.  We traveled for a month throughout France and Italy and packed our bags for departure every fourth day.  It was an ambitious and aggressive trip.  He made some rookie mistakes, but we had one of the most memorable trips of our lives, and we learned how to travel. Read More

Treasure Hunting


We love to ride our bikes and take them almost everywhere we go.  We notice things more acutely and feel more connected with nature when we are riding .  After a while, we actually start to consciously look for things that are unusual and photo worthy. The ride becomes a treasure hunt.

Last year we were riding on Jupiter Island when we noticed a small trail just off the road.  It was one of those perfect days when the sun is bright, the temperature is in the low 70’s and all is right with the world. Read More

Stack It Up

There is something intriguing about stacked food.  The visual aspect is appealing since most stacks are colorful, but sometimes it is the combination of textures that make it interesting. We have several recipes for stacks that include eggplant, beets, tomatoes, fruit and cheese.  Today we are featuring a nectarine and fried cheese stack that is not only pleasing to the eye, it is also very delicious.

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We purchased a processed mozzarella cheese since it is dense and will hold up well when heated.  Fresh mozzarella is great for a Caprese salad, (sliced beefsteak tomatoes, basil and cheese) but I would not recommend it for this dish, unless you don’t mind it looking a bit messy. Read More

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