Thursday, February 28, 2008

Essentials of happiness

"The grand essentials of happiness are: something to do, something to love, and something to hope for."

~~ Allan K. Chalmers

Tiki Island

I've been looking for signs of spring. I think one is when Tiki Island Golf and Games turns on their waterfall!

[I love miniature golf!]

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hilton Pensacola Beach

I had heard it was a great view, but yesterday afternoon I had an opportunity to see the core area of Pensacola Beach and beyond from the seventeenth floor of the Hilton Pensacola Beach Gulf Front. Wow!

Though the day was a bit hazy, the view was fantastic. For those unfamiliar with the island, this photograph shows the Bob Sikes bridge -- our entry to the island -- and Quietwater Beach. The buildings below (from the lower right) are Wings, the Santa Rosa Island Authority Building, and the very back of Island Style.

Pulling back for a longer view, again you see the bridge, Santa Rosa Sound (part of the Intracoastal Waterway), Little Sabine Bay, South Harbour condominiums, and Verandas, the tall, residents-only condominium. I'd love to see the view at night with all the lights twinkling.

This photo is looking directly east on Pensacola Beach. Santa Rosa Sound is to the left and the Gulf of Mexico on the right. The color of the water is spectacular. In the summer, one of the most beautiful sights you'll ever see is a full moon rising over the Gulf of Mexico.

Looking west toward the longest fishing pier in the Gulf of Mexico, but unfortunately this shot was taken in mid-afternoon and the sun washes out the true beauty of the view through my camera. I've been promised that I can return some evening for a shot of the sunset. You'll be the first to see it when I do.

Whoa....nice pool! I feel a little dizzy!

Ah well, back to ground level for me. Now if only I can save up for a 17th floor room during the Blue Angels weekend! What a view that would be!

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Surfin' Sunday

It was a spectacular day at the pier, surfers had thigh to waist-high surf action. The water was simply beautiful. We may not have the biggest waves at Pensacola Beach, but our surfers are just dedicated to the sport. Borrowing a quote from Pensacola News Journal forum poster, 'whetherguy':

"half a world apart,
same ocean, same art"

I could watch them surf all day. (Easy for me to say.)

Catchin' a wave...

Oh no! Wipe-out for surfer girl, but surfer dude made it up.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Here comes the sun!

After two days of heavy rain and fog, what a beautiful sight! Unfortunately, north winds have swept in and it doesn't feel like we will make the predicted 70 degrees today. Low sixties may be our max. But I'll take it, especially when we can get out and see all the beautiful shades of blue around us!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Rain, rain...

The weather has been perfect...if you're a fish, a duck, or a surfer. Yesterday we had sheets of rain pouring down. Today we've had fairly light rain off and on, heavy fog at times, and a few rumbles of thunder.

Luckily we had very nice weather before this front moved in and I was able to get a lot more work accomplished on my butterfly garden. This rain and reasonably warm weather should start to make things really take off. All the dune sunflowers I pulled up during the winter managed to heavily re-seed themselves and already I see tiny green leaves popping up all over my yard.

Spring fever is on the rise!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Moon over Portofino

A beautiful, quiet night on the beach, standing west of Portofino where I used to live. This photo was taken last night as the moon was rising high over the Gulf of Mexico. I only wish I had the equipment and expertise to photograph tonight's lunar eclipse. It was fascinating.

One of the wonderful things about Pensacola Beach is that we can generally find quiet time to enjoy our little slice of paradise in peace, unlike Panama City Beach or Destin. Sandwiched between two portions of the Gulf Islands National Seashore, we can enjoy solitude by taking a walk or short drive either east or west of the core area.

['s okay to steal away for an hour or so and pretend you're Robinson Crusoe, especially on a night like this. I do it all the time.]

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Step back

Sometimes it seems best to step back from the viewfinder and see the world as it is for a while. And then a sunset like tonight presents itself and my camera cries, "Quick, run for the beach!"

Click on the photo above and you will be able to see the Pensacola Beach Gulf Fishing Pier in the distance. At almost 1500 feet, it is the longest pier in the Gulf of Mexico.

The sun disappears into the horizon. What a beautiful sunset on Pensacola Beach. I'm incredibly lucky to live here -- behind a viewfinder.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sea oats

Take a walk on the beach and notice our straw-colored sea oats are slowly greening up and their web of roots are sending out new shoots. It's going to be a fantastic year for Pensacola Beach! Can't you just feel the energy!

"Nature will bear the closest inspection. She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plain."
~~ Henry David Thoreau

Sea Turtle trivia

Did you know that there are seven species of sea turtles worldwide?

Did you know that six of the seven species are listed as endangered or threatened?

Did you know that 90% of Loggerhead turtles nest in Florida?!

Beautiful day in the neighborhood...

It's going to be a beautiful day on the beach! Get out of that easy chair or put away the mop and broom. This is a day to appreciate! Not a cloud in the sky and we should reach low to mid-seventies today.
Spring fever!

Saturday, February 09, 2008

East of Range Point

What happens after Mardi Gras? I, for one, set about cleaning my house and then heading out to the beach for a bit of solitude and appreciation of the beauty which surrounds us on Pensacola Beach.

I took the photo above this afternoon at one of my favorite spots on the beach where I can pretend I'm Robinson Crusoe.

"Beauty is a harmonious relation between something in our nature and the quality of the object which delights us."

~~ Blaise Pascal

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Red Beans & Rice Monday

If they are serving up red beans and rice under a big tent in Casino Beach parking lot, it must be Monday following the Pensacola Beach Mardi Gras Parade. The Krewe of Wrecks and the Pensacola Beach Womens Club have this event down pat.

First, you simmer up bubbly batches of red beans with peppers and sausage...

Then the ladies serve you a nice bowl of rice...

Top it with a hefty helping of steaming red beans...

How 'bout a little white bread for soppin'...

Then you have your refreshments...
Aiyeee, life is good!

DJ, do you go anywhere without that camera or is it attached to your body?
(Answers: No, and no.)

Here, darlin', here's a coke and your change.

Momma said I just always luv'ed red beans and rice with a slice of white bread.

Whoa! Do you think he's expecting a message from Plutonium?

A couple of 'shade'y ladies!

Wake up, dude! The irony is that his shirt reads, "Go back to sleep - we don't really exist."

It's never to late to have a happy childhood in Pensacola Beach!

Tux may not like red beans and rice, but he loves a party.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Pensacola Beach Mardi Gras Parade I

I finally realized it will take me a while to get through all the photos I took at the Pensacola Beach Mardi Gras Parade on Sunday afternoon. Here's a few of the characters I ran into along the staging route before the start of the parade:

She's an 'Angel in Disguise'--her button says so! It looks like she'll have her work cut out for her today!

Ahhh, isn't this sweet? There are angels everywhere, but one is still a bit devilish from the looks of it.

YIKES! Our angel better get busy with this guy waiting down the road!

It's Carmen Miranda!

An empty jester.

But can he yodel?

How true!

Stacks of beads edge the floats, ready to be tossed to the crowd.

All these years and I never realized the secret to a buff body was 100% cotton.

Holy smokes, Batman! The catwomen are being stalked by Cat in the Hat!

The devil and Mrs. Jones?

Amazingly understated in this crowd!

King Tut!

Miss Piggy!

Pirates and a band of ruffians.

She must be important. She's got the bag of lapel pins.

Peace, dude.

Plutonians have invaded the beach!

Yikes! The warrior queen has arrived.

They look like Wrecks.

A Viking child?

The Wagonmaster waiting patiently.

Maybe we ought to try the Krewe of Bananimals?
Nah...we're more Coma speed.