Tallulah Gorge: Part 2

The 30 Minutes in the Life blog was just that 30 minutes, but it was also too many images so I decided to split the blog. If you did not see the first part you can click here to read the initial part of the blog post.

A quick summary of the previous post is that we were in Georgia for a short get away with the family and decided to head to Tallulah Gorge for some hiking and visiting the local area. You are picking up at look out point 2.

As I mentioned in the previous post, there are 750 steps from the top to the suspension bridge. There is an addition hike down to the water level. That is another 450 steps. There is a limit as to how many people can access that area and it is under certain conditions.

At this point we decided to move on to lookout point 3. Our ultimate destination was lookout point 5 seen above. This is when the fun started. While it was accessible it was a little more difficult going with the wheelchair and at some points Kathryn had to get out and Cameron had to move it for her over the roots or what ever obstructions there was.

I really enjoyed seeing all the fall leaves on the ground. The smell of dampness, soil, fresh air. All those things are an aroma to my senses. Added to that the weather was gorgeous for walking.

We made it to look out 4, but at this point it had been tough going for Kathryn, and when we spoke to some ladies about lookout 5 they said the wheelchair would not be able to get there, and there were steps on the way. So that was the end of the journey for Cameron and Kathryn. I decided to go on my own to look out 5 to see what the view was like.

The view was very similar, so I journeyed on towards the end of the property where there was an access up to the road

Tallulah Falls,
Tallulah Falls,

From the road you had a great view of the river heading away from the dam wall. And I got to capture Cameron, Kathryn, and Cody at lookout point 4. Having finished up my shots, I turned around to head back to meet up with them when who should come behind me but the stair climbers, looking somewhat fatigued.

If you are visiting Georgia, and you are within driving distance of Tallulah Gorge, then add it to your bucket list. You will not regret it. If you have any form of disability, there is still areas that you can get to and enjoy.

Thanks for joining me for the second part of the blog on Tallulah Gorge.

30 Minutes in the Life: December 2020: Tallulah Gorge Part 1

Yes I know that it looks weird, we are already in January. What with our live falling 2 days after Christmas we opted to postpone it a week to today. My 30 minutes are going to have to be done in two parts, one today and one tomorrow. There are just to many images.

Firstly, let me wish you a very Happy New Year. I know things may look the same as last year and they probably are going to be for a while. What I blogged on yesterday was my thoughts on 2020. As I reflected I acknowledged that there were challenges but I also realized that there were so many things to be grateful for. The trip we made to Georgia was one of the happenings in 2020 that I was grateful for. This year that is what I am going to try and focus on. Looking for the good, things that I can be grateful for.

So today I am going to share 30 minutes of our trip to Tallulah Gorge in Georgia. We were staying in a cabin in the mountains in Cleaveland, really pretty isolated and remote. The property was a single track up the mountain with some cottages coming off it, but aside from asking directions on the first day, we did not see another soul. Actually that was a relief because the single track meant if a car came down someone had to give way and there was not a lot of space to pull off. Amy took her car up, and then never drove down again until the day we left. Daniel and Amy travelled with us, Cameron, Kathryn and Cody traveled in their car. Kathryn has a wheelchair and Cody has special safety requirements

Everyone was in agreement that Tallalah Gorge was a must do on our agenda. I did a lot of homework. I quickly realized that there were going to be some challenges for Kathryn, and probably for me with my feet issues.

One of my goals going to Georgia at this time of the year was to see color, and color we did see, that is for sure. Arriving there I was a little concerned that there were too many people, but honestly it was okay. The park is big and we barely crossed paths with folk and when we did we kept our distance.

Setting out along the pathway the path was pretty level and while rough, so it was pretty easy for the wheelchair to handle. There was a lot of wildflowers along the pathway in vibrant colors. We were heading to the first look out point.

The actual walk down to the fence was uneven and while Kathryn can walk, uneven surfaces are hard for her. With her disease, she struggles to walk for long, but she also struggles to sit for long as well, so she alternates when necessary.

Below we had a great view of the suspension bridge. What I did not tell you is that it is 750 plus steps down to the bridge. Well, that eliminated Kathryn, Cameron & Cody immediately. My logic told me that I would get down the stairs but getting back up the other side may be challenging. This was day 1 and I did not want to find I could not walk for the rest of the week. (Remind me to remind you that unless you absolutely have to have foot surgery, don’t do it. The answer is not necessarily what you expect).

For Daniel, this was a first going away with us as a family, and the first time going on vacation outside of Florida. He was pretty excited and ready to do what ever we wanted.

We made our way to the second look out point. At this point we would separate. Richard, Amy and Daniel were going to go down the 300 steps to the suspension bridge, Cameron, Kathryn and I were going to head along the pathway to the other look out points.

There were enough warnings about health, steps etc to make you think twice if you were planning to do the climb down.

From the top of look out point 2 we had beautiful views of the river below. We did not get as close as Amy, Daniel and Richard but we had a reasonable perspective.

Tallulah Falls, is beautiful and well worth the visit. I reached my 30 minute point and there is still a lot of images to share so I am splitting the visit into two blogs. If you want to follow the rest of the day, check out this link and see what else we got to see.

 Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life. I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Crystal of Crystal Bella Photography. You will definitely love what she shares. I am always inspired with what she has to offer.

Share Six: December 2020: Story Telling

Oops, this is not my comfort zone. I don’t have littles, I am not quite sure how to adequately embrace the theme {Story Telling}, chosen by Ceri Herd Photography, this month. My story telling will be words as well as images and will be more than 6 images just a heads up. I don’t want to break up this days trip.

In August, when we realized that we would not be doing our European trip, we decided to rent a cabin in the mountains of Georgia. If you have read my blogs before you will remember that I am a bit of a planner. So I did my home work and discovered there were some wine farms near the cabin. I looked a most of them with the idea of going and doing some wine tasting and eating some lunch. Of course, as a photographer, I look at all the images and I eventually landed on a wine farm a lot further away from the cabin than the local farms.

The day we planned to go to the vineyard we had done a hike to Anna Ruby Falls, and then headed to Brasstown Bald. By the time we we ready to travel to the vineyard it really was too late for lunch. Richard wanted to hike the next day, but most of us were all hiked out. I had booked a trout fishing morning for them thinking that it would be something fun. The ladies stayed in bed and the men & I headed out early on the Wednesday morning, with the idea that we would spend a couple of hours fishing and then drive the hour to the wine farm. The men were fishing and I was along to document this momentous moment. More about the fishing in another blog. The fishing was interesting but the scenery and colors of fall were more enjoyable for me.

Finally we were back home, the smell of fish washed away and we are all ready to head out. One of the criteria of the trip for me, was to try and catch some fall colors and to rest after a few days of hiking.

Interestingly we ended up traveling the same route as the previous day for at least half the trip. We headed towards the Lakes area of Macedonia, Hiawassee, and Young Harris.

After turning a number of corners we finally arrived at our destination vineyard – Crane Creek Vineyard. I can certainly say, if you are in the area, make this place a stop on your drive. The vineyard is picturesque, the fall colors were beautiful. I fell in love. Welcome to this beautiful destination.

Aside from the beauty of this vineyard, I wanted a place where we could sit down outside and eat. Our daughter in law is immune compromised and has a number of food allergies. Once I discovered the vineyard and read more about it, I discovered that they had a beautiful restaurant on site. Being South African, I was drawn to the fact that the chef was from Mauritius. Added to that my husbands grandparents emigrated to South Africa from Mauritius.

Kathryn contacted the owners of the restaurant Paris & Company and asked about the menu and whether they would be able to accommodate her requirements. Nina was so encouraging and just asked us to give her a days notice so that she could plan for Kathryn’s needs. We booked a time for lunch and were excited to get there and enjoy the beautiful menu.

We were seated out on the patio, in the corner away from other quests. Nina personally came out and spoke with Kathryn to see what she could eat. We all ordered something different, along with a bottle of white wine named Enotah. The wine is “100% Chardonel (a Chardonnay and Seyval Blanc hybrid). Aged in oak barrels for 10-12 months. Aromas and flavors of tropical fruit, apples and toasty butter.” I got that directly from their website. Credit to Crane Creek Vineyards. The wine was amazing and paired well with our lunch.

I snapped two cellphone pics of the food as I did not want to pull out the big old camera and annoy the rest of the family. The food, in case you were wondering, was excellent. I chose a lobster and crab salad, as seen above, tossed in a tangy sauce, served on a croissant, along with a potato salad side. Daniel, who was seated next to me, chose the Ultimate Philly Cheesesteak with caramelized onions, green peppers and swiss cheese, with a side of fries. There were six of us and I did not take photos of each persons food but it will definitely give you an idea of the options. I definitely recommend having lunch there.

Leaving the restaurant we meandered across the grass admiring the view. Beautiful homes set in the rows of vines. So picturesque in its beauty.

Bursts of color can be found in this scenic view, leaves coat the grass and the smell of fall is a sweet aroma to my senses.

Due to Covid the wine tasting has been shifted outdoors . Beyond the tree below is a patio are where you can sit and taste your wine or you can walk back to the grass area and find a few chairs and relax and enjoy the view. We did do some wine tasting outside overlooking the lake and the vines.

Tranquility is a word I would use to describe the beauty of this scene. Quiet reigns and you can just sit back and enjoy, sipping on your wine.

I had asked prior to traveling if we were able to walk around the wine farm and the answer was yes. So we walked down the sand road towards the lake. Lining the edge of the wines and the road are beautiful rose bushes. Walking down the road we arrived at the lake on our left and looked over a beautiful wedding perfect scene.

In every direction there is a vibrancy fulfilling my desire to see the colors of fall. Contrasting colors, bright colors, muted colors. I decided I love fall colors.

This vineyard was a balm to my soul, color to my imagination, quiet to the noise of life. Time to stop and gather my senses again. And I will add, to rest my feet after days of hiking.

Today I felt like I made a connection with the beauty of nature. I am grateful for the hard work the owners of this beautiful vineyard have put in to making this a place to visit. I would encourage you, if you haven’t been there and you are in the area, add a visit to your bucket list.

Thank you for joining me for this month’s Share Six blog post.  This is a circle blog.  The sneak peaks that are shared are stunning. I can say that because they all come to me prior to the posts going live. The challenges always stretch us just a little bit further. I blog with an incredibly talented group of ladies.  Please take time to visit my friend and very creative artist Lynne from Lynne Grant Photography who always amazes me with her images to see what she has for you this month. To view her  Facebook page click here and her Instagram page here.

Keep following the circle to see what the other photographers have shared this month. Don’t forget to leave a little love on their page as well.

Come and share your images  Facebook and Instagram tagging #sharesix_storytelling

tell me a story: August 2020

This does not happen very often but there is the occasional times in the year when both 30 Minutes in the Life and Tell me a Story go live on the same day and at the same time. In the 30 Minutes in the Life I shared Day 1 in Key West. In this blog I will share day 2.

As I said in the other blog we decided to head to Key West for the weekend. At some point you get tired of not seeing anyone, not doing anything other than working at home and not going anywhere. For Rich and I traveling is something we are trying to do more of and so to be stuck at home has been challenging especially for Rich.

We booked into a local hotel overlooking the harbor area and it turned out to have the perfect view. It also had a great swimming pool that we were able t cool down at, given that the summer heat in South Florida is so oppressive. I spent about 2 hours in the pool chatting with the 4 other guests escaping the heat. I love Key West with it’s authentic buildings and quirky well know stories. Key West has so much character and here are a few of them buildings that share it.

Day 2 saw I head into the town area. I was on a mission to find Mango Body Wash. The hotel had it in it’s showers and oh my it was so good. Rich wanted some T-shirts and I was also hoping to find some bath bombs that I had found in the hotel as well. I found the mango bath wash, he got is shirts but I bombed out on the bath bombs.

Roosters, hens and chickens are a common sight wandering around Key West. Six toed cats is another interesting view in Key West. It was sad to see the iconic Sloppy Joe’s closed. However, it did seem that it was temporary.

After doing the necessary shopping, we decided to head to the local Key West First Legal Rum Distillery for a free tour. If you are in Key West check it out. The tour is about 15 minutes and it is just a small warm area that you walk through. It’s awesome that they have ceiling fans to cool you down.

Step 1 tells us that they use Florida sugar cane in crystal form from the juice to create a unique flavor that allows us to drink a clean, clear and flavorful Legal Rum.

Step to the Tanks 1, 2, 3, 4 are where the cooking beings. This is their recipe buried beneath the floor with all the old bottles. The bubbles are the yeast breathing as it eats sugar and turns it into alcohol. The more vibration the more production, so they play music at night to keep the yeast moving.

Step 3 tells us that the brown wash that comes from the fermentation tanks, has the alcohol “stripped ” out of it. It’s like a magic trick, first it’s brown, now it is clear. All alcohol comes out of a still clear

Step 4 tells us that now that they have the stripped alcohol, they will distill it again 6 times. Why? They want the Legal Rum to come out in a lower proof so that it has flavors butterscotch, banana, and hints of vanilla. It says they also don’t want to give us a hangover, so all impurities are taken out.

Step 5 tells us that High Proof Legal Rum goes into the Chefs pot, travels through the copper which is filled with carbon activated charcoal. Rum should be warm in your chest, not burn your tongue.

We had the opportunity to taste raw rum and to do some rum tasting. I tried Coconut Rum and Key Lime Rum and Raw Rum. My favorite even though I typically like Coconut Rum, was the Raw Rum, and we left with a bottle of Raw Rum and some sampler Rums.

If you want something interesting to do on a hot day in Key West definitely check out the Key West First Legal Rum Distillery.

Beyond that we meandered along the wharf taking in the ships and views along with the opportunity to check out a healthy school of tarpon. We stopped for a cooling beer and watch the tiki boats heading out again.

Lastly Key West is always my favorite place for sunsets. Like I said in the other blog that I was disappointed not to be heading out on a boat but at the same time I did not want to be among the crowds. The sunset did not disappoint.

Key West Harbor from the Marker Hotel

Being Key West refreshed me for the next few months. We have at least one more travel trip this year unless Covid puts a stop to that. I have found a cabin in the woods in Georgia. We are hoping that we will get to see the changing colors in the mountains.

Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives. This is a quiet month for blogs however, this is a circle blog.  Take some time to view what the other artist has for you this month. My friend Lupji Photography is up next and I can’t wait to read what he has to share.

30 Minutes in the Life: July 2020

And so life goes on…. Florida is spiking like crazy and I am staying at home as much as possible. The virus came closer to home with my sister in law, who lives oversees, being diagnosed Covid Positive. Then one of my husband’s employees was diagnosed Covid positive. We are now quarantining for the next 2 weeks dependent on his test this last week. It is a bit of a wake up call that it really can affect you no matter how much care you take. The good news is that I am okay with staying home 🙂

Work happens 4 days a week, and all is good. Our vacation was cancelled and that was a real bummer. Hopefully August 2021 will be a better year. Now to figure out what to do with 24 days of vacation.

Oh, I so want to travel. What better to do than to go back in the archives and see what has not been edited. Maine 2018, and we had just traveled through Bar Harbor. What to do the next day? I suggested we go to the “less busy” island adjacent to Bar Harbor. Less busy was a good description. What we had more of was mist. That said mist gave me the opportunity to go back and play with black and white images. This month I am sharing 30 minutes of a day in the mist.

Mist or fog creates this eerie kind feeling as you walk along the banks of the water. However, I did like the mist slipping around us. One day we will be able to get on the road again, and I have to be honest I look forward to it. I am sure you do to.

Please stay safe, wherever you are in the world. Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life. I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend April of April White Photography  and see what she has for you this month.  Check out her Facebook page as well.

You can also find me on Facebook, and Instagram.

30 Minutes in the Life: April 2020

In the 2020….. (How does the song go “In the year 2525, if man is still alive
If woman can survive ~ Zager, Evens”).  Earlier today I saw someone added an “in the year 2020…” a Facebook post with the idea that this would come up in their memories.

So what does Corona Virus Stay at home look like for you?  For me, it is still work as normal, in fact a little more than normal, but it has to be done so I am going to do it.

Richard has his office downstairs, I have my office upstairs.  Hoodini (the quaker parakeet I rescued) is moved out of my office into the spare room every morning, Ms Moo sits at the closed door whining to get in and Sims just ignores everyone and everything.  That is us, day in and day out, work and Zoom meetings make up my days.  Sunday evening we have managed to set up a Zoom games evening with the kids who are not close by.  It adds a little variety.  When necessary I will go to the shop, but so far I have managed to keep that to once a week.  I have been out of the house a total of 6 times in the last 5 weeks.

So for this month, my 30 minutes is really my editing time.  I thought I would get us on the road again.  We traveled a fair bit the last two years, and I found I was not able to keep up with the editing on all the trips.  Today I am going to go back to Maine, and a charming town that I got to visit with a friend.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0810

My friend Karen had married and moved to New Hampshire a few years ago.  When we decided to go up that way I connected with her to see if we could meet.  I also knew she spent a lot of time hiking in New Hampshire and I thought I would pick her brains on where to go.  She went one step further.  She decided to drive through to Maine and we went on a road trip.  First to the Ogunquit Musuem, then stopped by a lighthouse, then drove through to Portsmouth.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0811

This is a quaint little seaside town.  All of them are quaint to me.  Not sure how little they are though.  But for me the immediate town was so interesting.  I love the old brownstone buildings and the cobblestone pavers or brick sidewalks.  Today was an overcast day but luckily when we arrived in Portsmouth it stopped raining.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:9768

The first stop was at a small street side bar called Portsmouth Gas Light Co, for lunch.  Of course, when in the north we had to have lobster rolls (and this was a first for me, both being in the north and the lobster rolls).  Karen and I shared and I can promise you that was more than enough food.  When I compare it to the ridiculous lobster roll we got in New York, this is amazing.  It tasted it good, and it was super filling.  Added to that we were able to indulge in the local brew.  I am a Heineken kind of person, and they were able to come up with a brew that matched my taste.  If you are in town, I highly recommend stopping by.   

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0826

Another favorite of mine is street art, and we managed to find a few interesting murals to capture our attention.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0827

Walking the city was fun, and we soon headed down to the Piscataqua River that separates Portsmouth, New Hampshire from Kittery, Maine.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0834

We found a beautiful garden square that was a riot of color, carefully planned out and very appealing to the eye.

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Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0837

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0840

We continued on crossing one of the local traffic bridges and walk along the waters edge enjoying the beautiful sites in front of us.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0844

The image below caught my attention because of the beautiful reflections in the water.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0845

We landed up along a quay of yachts and fishing boats which may or may not have been situated on North Mill Pond.  It’s been over a year, what can I say.  The bridge in the image is called the Memorial Bridge and it is a vertical lift bridge.  This bridge allows commercial boats to pass through.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0847

This bridge replaced an earlier built bridge that spanned this river from 1923 to 2012.  On the original bridge there was a plaque that read “Memorial to the Sailors and Soldiers of New Hampshire who gave their lives in the World War 1917–1919.”  This plaque was moved to the newly built bridge.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0849

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0858

We headed down to the Strawberry Banke Museum, side stepping into a historical grave site area.  I am a big fan of wandering through, reading the different tombstones.  I love history and these tombstones were very interesting in design.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

The tombstone about was that of Capt Tobias Lear who died November 6th, 1781.  According to the notes found on an onsite notice board, “Lear was a mariner of Portsmouth whose home, now a historic site, is a few blocks from Point of Graves on Hunkering Street.  His son Tobias Jr, Served as President George Washington’s private secretary.  The elder Lear’s gravestone was carved by John Homer and displays the realistic skull and cross bones for which he is known“.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0866

Another one that had clear writings on was the tombstone of Mary Blagdon. The tombstone says “Here lies the body of Mrs Mary Blagdon wife to Doc. Samuel Blagdon Aged 75 years.  Died Dec y 11th 1735.  I found the images on the tombstone interesting and wondered who chose the design on this woman’s tombstone.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

We passed the South Meetinghouse on Macy Street.  The building of this beautiful building was completed in 1866, and in those days cost $9,600-00 to complete.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0879

We walked down some side streets and this stairway caught my attention with all it’s number plates on it.  It certainly was creative, as was the front door of another house we passed.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0880

We found two new friends (for a short period of time) sunning themselves outside now that the rain had gone.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

We walked passed some alley ways where I captured this beautiful spiral staircase.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0890

And then we were back at the water’s edge, having walked along a boardwalk of restaurants.  I loved looking at the tug boards and fire rescue boats.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0896

In the distance we could see the Memorial Bridge we had walked past earlier.  We were on the other side of the bridge looking down towards it.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 9776

In the opposite direction is the stunning Piscataqua River Bridge which spans the Piscataqua River.  The bridge connects Portsmouth. New Hampshire with Kittery, Maine.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

The bridge has 6 lanes and arches high above the river, eliminating the need for a lift bridge for boats.  The structure is this incredible mass of metal work that is absolutely stunning.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 9445

Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life, and for traveling with me through this this small but oh so interesting seaside town. I hope you enjoyed getting out and about with me.  I look forward to the day we can pack up the suitcase and head out again.  I am still holding out hope for my Eastern European trip in August. 

Just a reminder that this is a circle blog.  I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Janet of Janet Crouch Photography and see what she has for you this month.  Check out her Facebook  and Instagram pages as well. 
30 minutes contributor

30 Minutes in the Life: March 2020

It is 30 Minutes in the Life, and if you are wondering, my 30 Minutes was not at the beach.  Since March 13, I feel like I have been on a 25 hour call.  Why? My real job is working with Policies & Procedures, Written Plans, Quality Control, training, and such other things that may be assigned, for Medical Clinics.  And yes, we are most definitely impacted by the changes the world is seeing.

I am tired, but so are many others. This 30 Minutes I wanted to look at the contrast in life – what does that look like, and where do we go from here.

For so long life has been kind of rosy.  The last Flu pandemic, according to the CDC, was in 1918.  Almost 100 years ago.  I feel like we have become complacent and unprepared.  I understand, we do not want thousands of ventilators sitting around for 100 years.  However, it feels like society has been slow to respond to what is going on around us.

On any given day, our lives are sunny and rosy and off to the beach we go.  All these image are taken at Orchard Beach in Maine.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0533

But we don’t know what lurks around the corner.  China was slow to get the news out that things had turned dark, and that they were struggling with something that was rapidly becoming beyond their control. Limited information came out until the situation be came so dire that they were overwhelmed with what they are dealing with.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0536

The rest of the world carried on as normal, enjoying life, living what essentially is part of the social norm.  We head out to restaurants, we go to the beach, we cluster as folks are often want to do.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

It was only when Italy started to show signs of panic that the rest of the world opened up their eyes and started to take notice.  And when Italy’s days became bleak, finally the rest of the world sat up and said perhaps we should do something about it.  The information I kept reading seemed unbelievable and disturbing.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0538

But the world was slow in responding, we carried on as normal.  Around mid March, our offices, began to look at the what if, and a meeting was called to plan for the what if.  What if we have to shut down, do we have a pandemic plan in place, do we have policies and procedures in place?  Do we have a pandemic plan?  Can you draft up one?  Beyond that what does it look like to have staff working from home?  What does it look like to run medical clinics on limited staff? Can we go virtual?  I am grateful that our office was forward thinking and we began to seriously plan for the potential future.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0541

As the devastating news came out of Italy and the numbers began to increase, and the horror of  living with a pandemic really looks like when you are not prepared for the impact of it, begins to seep in.  What hospitals look like when they are overcrowded.  When people are sleeping on the floor because there is no beds for them. What medical staff have to endure when they are working 24 hours on call and they are watching, not only 1 or 2, but thousands of people dying.  When morgues and crematoriums cannot keep up with the death rate.  When churches start to store the coffins and the bodies lie waiting for when their loved ones can bury them.  When medical personnel are required to choose who can live or die.  My heart breaks.  It breaks for each and every person fighting for the life of someone who may die, or more than likely will die.  My heart aches for the medical staff’s family, who do not know if they will see their loved one again.  Children who cannot see their parents.

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And yet here in the USA it is business as usual. While leaders indicate that there is a problem, it does not appear that they are ready to make some hard choices.  Spring breakers still hit the beaches in Florida because it is their right to do so, forcing the state to close parks and beaches.  Restaurants are shut down except for take out.  I worry about the possibility of workers being contagious.  People head out on the Intracoastal on their boats, with little regard for the potential that they may be carriers.  It is their right, and besides it does not appear that their age group is not dying, although stats coming in show that the virus is moving across age groups.  They may not be dying, they are right, but they may be killing their grandparents, or parents.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:

The USA is slow on the uptake.  It seemed that it was viewed more as a hoax and then as something we would be over soon.  March 20, the numbers were around 8500 people who were tested positive for the virus.  While I understand that there was limited testing in the early days, and a scrambling for the necessary equipment and testing kits, over the past 10 days the numbers have escalated to 105, 470 (as I am writing this).  The death toll is 1590.  This is no longer a joke or something that will die down in a few days.  We no longer have control of the virus. The situation is bleak.  Working from home is not what folks may think it is.  Working from home, for me, this past 12 days has felt like a 25 hour day – 7 days a week right now.  It is learning new technology so that we can still meet the client where they are at, that we can still be of service.  Virtual is the new normal!

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachuttes:  September 2018: 0536

The days ahead seem surreal.  Cities are slow to shut down.  Government is worried about economy.  I understand, but I have to wonder what the economy will look like 24 months from now if a stand is not taken now.  I am praying for a nation wide shut down.  Life to freeze in all aspects, so that this situation can be controlled.  We don’t want to be China.  We don’t want to be Italy, where the death toll went from 9134 to 10 779  men, women and children in less than 24 hours.  We don’t want to be Spain where they are having to make decision on who lives and who dies.  Where they are using scuba diving equipment just to help people breathe. Where they are storing bodies in an ice rink just to protect the bodies from decaying and smelling.

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Life has become a roller coaster.  We are on a fast ride, and we don’t know when it is going to stop.  We need to face reality that unless something significant is done by all States at the same time, nothing is going to change.  Right now I live in a State and in an area where “snowbirds” are a huge part of our lives.  In winter they are in our county and in summer they head up north.  A lot of them to New York.  I cannot blame them for wanting to flee New York.  That would be my first instinct as well.  But I live here and I have to wonder what that will bring to South Florida.  A community made up of a lot of elderly folk.  Already Miami is under curfew, Broward county is under stay at home, Boca Raton, is under stay at home, and Palm Beach County has implemented some mandates as well.  We have to start making some really hard decisions at a much higher level than me.  All I can do, is do my part.

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0521

We can be part of the pack, or if we are able, we can stay at home, isolate from the crowd. We can protect our families and friends, and we can ease the burden that our medical system is going to have to deal with.  Friends remember to take these items into account:

  1. Have you or a family member, or co-worker traveled internationally (or been in close contact with someone who has traveled internationally) within the last 14 days?
  2. Have you have traveled from a “hot spot” to another area?
  3. Have you been in close contact with someone who has or is suspected to have a pandemic virus?
  4. Are you experiencing any respiratory symptoms such as cough, runny nose, or difficulty breathing?
  5. Are you experiencing a fever or flu like symptoms?

If you have please, please you need to consider quarantining yourself

Wash your hands, well, use hand sanitizer if you have it.  If you go to the shop, take your sanitizer with you and clean the cart.  Be aware of what you are touching, the people you are interacting with, people who may be coughing and sneezing around you.  Protect yourself, protect your family.

Stay well, stay safe, and stay sane, don’t be like me, having major conversations with the TV, and watching my blood pressure rise.

Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life, during this challenging time in life.
Just a reminder that this is a circle blog.  We have a number of new ladies join the 30 minutes group, and I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Crystal from Crystal Bella Photography and see what she has for you this month.  

Tell me a Story: February 2020: Maine

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0248

The Coastline of Maine is beautiful, and we got to explore the area.  Heading up to Bar Harbor, Maine, Richard had a goal.  Visit Arcadia National Park.  If you know anything about me or if you have learned over the past few years, I have had 3 foot surgeries.  The words National Park, and foot surgeries do not go well together in my opinion.  I know what to expect when I hear National Park.  While my feet are okay they certainly are not pain free and after 3-4 hours of walking I need to stop and rest for a while.

One thing that I really enjoyed about Arcadia National Park was the coastline.  And yes, it did involve the word “Hiking”.  Ever since my 20’s the word “hiking” makes me want to run and hide.  I do however, get through it and typically find I have enjoyed it by the end.  Hiking in Arcadia National Park is really not the same as hiking in South Africa.  In the USA it is more drive to the next parking lot, spend 20 minutes trying to find the furthest parking from where you are actually going and then walking on a pathway/steps etc to get to where you are going.

Arcadia was not far from that although we did get to do some rough climbing over rocks etc.  The coastline is rugged and impressive and is well worth the visit. On some of these images I  stood at the top of the rocks looking down watching the water come in and go out and kept getting the feeling that I was being sucked into the flow.

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Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0210

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Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018:0 0218

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Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0242

Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts:  September 2018: 0238

If you are visiting Maine, do your best to plan a stop over in Bar Harbor and Arcadia National Park.  Visit the Mount Desert dramatic rocky coastline and also look out for Jordan’s Pond in Arcadia, or also know as Long Pond.  It is definitely a highlight in the area.  Look out for our early morning sunrise at Bar Harbor blog coming out on the 6th.

Thank you for joining me this month as we spend time sharing another day in our lives.  This is a circle blog.  Take some time to view what the other artists have for you this month. My friend Mindy of  is up next and I can’t wait to read what she has to share.

 

Love:  October 18, 2015 2172

30 Minutes in the Life: February 3 2020: San Antonio Riverwalk

We traveled so much last year that I did not have time to edit all the images that I took.  So I decided to go back and do some editing today and share the photos I had not shared when we visited last year.

San Antonio Riverwalk was definitely something I had read about, and something I wanted to see.  This is definitely more than thirty minutes but I wanted to keep all the riverwalk images together in my blog. I have shared a few images on the Riverwalk last year, however, there are more photo’s that I did not share.

The hotel that we stayed at opened directly out onto the Riverwalk and so we walked out of the building and onto the buzzing walkway of restaurants and people.  Lots of people. Clearly the easy was to see the Riverwalk would be to do a ferry right, but we don’t do easy.  We walked.  To be honest it was not a lot of walking.  We ventured out for breakfast and then we were out again for dinner. Most of the restaurants were to the right of our hotel.  Some of these are the restaurant walkway and some are of the road less traveled 🙂

Meander with me as we head along the Riverwalk…..

San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3832

The restaurant area is busy.  Lots of people, lots of restaurants, a hive of activity.  There are so many places to eat at.  We had bangers and mash at Mad Dogs, Seafood at Joe’s Crab Shack, Breakfast at the Original Mexican Restaurant and we stopped for beers at Durty Nellies Irish Pub.  Oh and add a few sausage rolls to that order.

San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3835

San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3837

On of the things that I really loved about the San Antonio Riverwalk was the mix of old and new.  These arched bridges give the sense of a timeless period long ago.  Similar stone was just at the Alamo and at the Missions.

San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3840

 

 

 

Always a favorite of mine is natural wildlife and the riverbanks and the river itself had these beautiful ducks out and about.

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3871

San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3880

This walkway headed up to another shopping center and restaurants, and was also the pathway to the Alamo.  Starbucks was around the corner and we stopped there on the way to the Alamo We also stopped by Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville for dinner one evening,

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3921

The stairway took us up to the restaurants and a busy area givent

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3927

Walking back from the shopping area we meandered down this pathway, past the waterfall and back to the busy canal.  I love the colorful umbrella’s and the pathways of green.

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 3913

 

San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 4079

All this walking definitely creates a thirst and this was a great spot to hang out and drink a local beer.  The ducks were swimming up to the edge looking for handouts.

San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 4089

San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 4090

Heading left from our hotel, the area is quieter, more peaceful and relaxing.  The walk was more meditative.  There were no general restaurants in this area and the few that we did see were the dining areas for a specific hotel.

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 4102

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Outside the Briscoe Western Art Museum was this incredible set of statues of a cowboy herding cattle.  The stairway below leads to the art village La Villita Art Village.  We meandered through there one of the afternoons.  The last image is of Rosita’s Bridge leading over to the River Art Group.

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San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019:

San Antonio:  April 9-13, 2019: 4143

You have the best of both worlds on the Riverwalk.  You have the hustle and bustle of patrons heading in and out of hotels, looking for places to eat, listening to music, and then on the other side you have this quiet, relaxing, peaceful walk.

This was definitely worth the visit and I was glad I could cross it off my bucket list.

Thank you for joining me for 30 Minutes in the Life, and for traveling with me through this incredible journey in time.  I so enjoyed the mix of the old and new world.
Just a reminder that this is a circle blog.  We have a number of new ladies join the 30 minutes group, and I would encourage you to take some time to visit my very talented friend Crystal from Crystal Bella Photography and see what she has for you this month.  Check out her Facebook page  as well.   I am pretty  excited to learn more about these wonderful ladies from all over the world.  I would certainly encourage you to visit their pages.