Sunday, November 30, 2008

Home again!

Here I am, back in Pensacola Beach after a trip to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area for Thanksgiving, thankful to have survived a 13-hour drive home in heavy rain and a slew of Louisiana drivers trained at the Mario-Andretti Ragin' Cajun Driving School!

Thank you for some of your very kind comments on my blog while I was away. I think I have the best blog followers in blogdom and I really appreciate your feedback.

Tomorrow is a big day! Our Season Your Holidays with Island Spirit event kicks off, so be sure to swing by the Visitors Information Center to pick up your 'passport'. I'll tell you more about that and some of the other upcoming events later.

{{{Pssst - here's a little secret. I just found out that the Grand Marshall of our Surfing Santa Beach Parade on December 14th will be Roy Jones, Jr.! How cool is that!}}}

Thursday, November 27, 2008


"Sunrise offered a very beautiful spectacle; the water was quite unruffled, but the motion communicated by the tides was so great that, although there was not a breath of air stirring, the sea heaved slowly with a grand and majestic motion."

~~ George Grey

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Great news!

Great news about Ft. Pickens in this morning's Pensacola News Journal. You may read the article by clicking HERE. At last, we won't have to hike 14 or 15 miles round-trip to see the fort!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Turkey day!

Turkey in disguise as a peacock hides out until after Thanksgiving Day!

Okay, so the only photo I had which even came close to a domestic turkey was this white peacock from The Zoo Northwest Florida!

Happy Thanksgiving!

A beautiful life

"The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes."

~~ Frank Lloyd Wright


"A man sees in the world what he carries in his heart."

~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749 - 1832)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

East of my Eden

I always enjoy visits to Portofino because I am able to look miles down the island in either direction. About 3 1/2 miles to the west you can see the core area of Pensacola Beach with its high-rise condos and hotels.

Looking directly north is Gulf Breeze, located on a peninsula which separates Santa Rosa Sound (shown above) from Pensacola Bay. You may look at a map HERE

This is one of my favorite places to explore and photograph: Range Point.

If you click on the photo to enlarge it, you can get a hint of the damage Range Point suffered during Hurricanes Ivan (2004) and Dennis (2005). Many of the trees and shrubs were unable to withstand hurricane winds and salt damage. Now the area is slowly recovering and the small ecosystem continues its natural cycling process. Damaged trees are splintering and falling to the ground. Saplings are sprouting up in other areas. Grasses are beginning to come back.

East of Range Point is an area I'm venturing toward and plan to explore more next year. Past the long sharp tip of land which juts into Santa Rosa Sound at the upper right of the photo is an area known as Big Sabine Bay. I have heard there are marshes of wild hibiscus that bloom there and I am anxious to search them out in the spring.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Farewell to our friend

It is sad to see our friend, Kirsten Dahlen, the 'Traveling Turtle Girl' leave the island. Her contract expired today and she will be leaving for Delaware to spend the holidays with her family.

I keep hoping something will happen to bring Kirsten back to Pensacola Beach. She has been generous with her extensive knowledge of sea turtles and shore birds, and worked tirelessly to educate us about marine life and conservation issues.

We'll miss you, Kirsten! Thank you for everything you've taught us!

Those who would like to send a farewell note to Kirsten may contact her through her blog by clicking HERE

Christmas ornaments

Tsk, you thought I've been so lazy in posting lately because it has been so chilly. Actually I've been caught up in a couple of things: wrapping palm trees in Christmas lights and helping out the Pensacola Beach Chamber of Commerce by making ornaments for our Christmas tree this year.

I started with starfish which are available at Island Style, located next to Flounders Chowder House.

The first step is to place them outside on several layers of newspaper...

And spray them with a metallic silver spray paint which is available at Ace Hardware or Hobby Lobby. After the starfish have dried, turn them over and paint the back of the starfish.

Once the starfish have dried, add a topcoat of spray Shimmering Silver glitter.

Decorative cord or ribbon, cut into 8" sections, can be formed into a loop and the ends hot-glued behind a tip of the starfish.

I decided to put a small turquoise rhinestone in the middle of each ornament because the color reminded me of our beautiful Gulf water.

One hundred glittering silver starfish are finally ready to be assembled.

And here is the final result. Unfortunately, try as I might, the photos didn't pick up the sparkling topcoat on the ornaments. But I think they will look lovely on our Christmas tree when sunlight reflects off of them. during the day.

Be sure to stop by the Visitor's Information Center for the tree-lighting ceremony next Saturday, November 29, at 6:00 p.m. to help us kick off our event-filled Christmas season on Pensacola Beach.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I know snowbirds think we're complete weenies for thinking it's freezing cold when morning temps are in the low 40's. But when you factor in north winds gusting 35-40 mph. It feels freezing! I had to dig out a pair of real shoes!

The photo above was taken of Pensacola Bay this morning and a north wind was whipping up the white caps.

By comparison, the wind had the opposite effect on the Gulf of Mexico and completely flattened the surf. But look at the color of the water. It is spectacular today!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church

We had the privilege to tour the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church during the Greek Festival. I was delighted to hear we could take photographs of the interior.

Rows of votive candles.

Looking up at the incredible chandelier within the church...

Stepping a few inches to the left, I am able to focus on the Byzantine-style fresco directly above the chandelier.

St. Sophia, accompanied by her daughters: Faith, Hope and Love.

Afternoon sun streams through the vibrant colors of the windows.

Detail from one of the windows.

To see the windows in more detail, click on the photographs.

The afternoon sunlight streams through the window, casting patterns of color across the room.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Pensacola Greek Festival

One of the annual events I look forward to each fall is the Pensacola Greek Festival which is sponsored by the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church on West Garden Street. It features live music, dance performances by youth groups in traditional costumes, and delicious Greek dishes such as Spanakopita and Moussaka. You may check out their menu by clicking HERE

Everyone loves to dance to the live bouzouki music.

Including the children who are allowed free reign of the dance floor before performances begin.

Two young men of the Hara group await their turn to perform. Hara means Joy in Greek.

The Hara group in colorful Greek costumes.

Fr. Panagioti of the Annunciation Greek Orthodox church takes time to enjoy the music also.

A member of the Glenzethes dancers twirls his handkerchief during a folk dance.

As a lovely young dancer works her way around the floor you can see more detail of her costume.

The beautiful blue velvet jacket and skirt of this costume from the Cyclades Islands is trimmed in gold, with a wide sash and headscarf.

The young men of the Glenzethes dance the Mihanikos. You may read more of the fascinating stories behind Greek folk dances by clicking HERE.

Look with your understanding

"Don't believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding, find out what you already know, and you'll see the way to fly."

~~ Richard Bach

Saturday, November 15, 2008


"...the best thing about walking, the journey itself. It doesn't matter much whether you get where you're going or not. You'll get there anyway. Every good hike brings you eventually back home."

~~Edward Abbey

Friday, November 14, 2008

It's beginning to look a lot like...


Actually, the beach always looks a bit like Christmas due to our snow-white sand. All you have to do is squint your eyes a little. And, as you surely know, the island's first name is 'Santa'.

This afternoon I began wrapping my palm trees with lights. I figured - with 17 palm trees - they might be finished in time for Christmas if I started now. See what a good job I'm doing!

Let's light up the beach this Christmas -now that turtle season is over, of course! Get out your Christmas decorations and get in the spirit. It's going to be beautiful this year.

And don't forget that the Pensacola Beach Christmas tree-lighting ceremony is scheduled for 6:00 p.m., November 29th on the Boardwalk, complete with caroling to get you in the Christmas spirit.

For more information about Christmas festivities on Pensacola Beach, please click HERE.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

The real secret

"This is the real secret of life - to be completely engaged with what you are doing in the here and now."

~~ Alan Watts

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Just monkey'n around

"Hey, babe. Take it from me, life's too short to stress out and be unhappy. Kick back...relax...enjoy yourself more."

"I don't get it. Why spend all your time worrying or hanging out with negative people?"

"It's the simple things in life that a box of Wheat Thins all to yourself."

"I can't watch you mope around."

"Come on...take it from me, baby. Life is good! Live it!"

Note: And if you can't stop stressing out, take a day off and spend it at The Zoo Northwest Florida. Zack, shown above, is one of the incredible chimps that lives at The Zoo Northwest Florida and he can show you how to de-stress.
He'll blow you a few kisses and a few raspberries, too. He'll applaud you sometimes and wave when you leave. And at some point when you're about half-way home you'll realize that you just spend an hour or so amusing him instead of the other way around.

Please, visit The Zoo Northwest Florida at 5701 Gulf Breeze Parkway, Gulf Breeze, Florida. It's only a 20-25 minute drive from the beach.