Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

Don't forget the fireworks display which is taking place at Casino Beach tonight at midnight! I'll be there shivering!

And talk about shivering, maybe I'll see (or photograph) you at the traditional Polar Bear Plunge which takes place tomorrow afternoon at 2:00 p.m. behind Paradise Bar and Grill. At least it will be a bit warmer for tomorrow's event than it was last year!

In case you can't wait for all the excitement, you can check out photos of last year's Polar Beach Plunge on Pensacola Beach by clicking HERE.

I have one last quote I would like to share with you in 2008. You'll laugh when you see the source. It is not Muir or Lindbergh or Thoreau or any of my favorite authors/poets. It is, however, something important to remember when you are following your dreams:

"All your life you are told the things you cannot do. All your life they will say you're not good enough or strong enough or talented enough; they will say you're the wrong height or the wrong weight or the wrong type to play this or be this or achieve this. THEY WILL TELL YOU NO, a thousand times no, until all the no's become meaningless. All your life they will tell you no, quite firmly and very quickly. AND YOU WILL TELL THEM YES."

~~ Nike ad

More Pie!

I admited to being a poor videographer, but my cell phone video is the worst and uber-pixelated when enlarged. Nevertheless, after I finally figured out how to transfer this clip taken during Thanksgiving dinner to my computer, I had to share it with you.

Poor little Ben only wants "more pie" which you will quickly see. Watch as his dad, Will Mitchell, continues to talk and at one point casually picks up a fork full of pie only to stall out while Ben keeps pleading "more pie".

Monday, December 29, 2008

December in paradise

What a beautiful day on Pensacola Beach. We seem to have quite a few visitors on the beach this week, which is great for local businesses.

The skies were finally clear, the temperature was pleasant, and waves were dark blue with knee-high surf. Ahhh...December in paradise!

My Christmas present

Ah ha! Now you've know what mother got me...oops, I mean us...for Christmas: a camcorder.

The first thing I've discovered is that I'm not a good videographer. Hopefully I'll improve as I practice and you'll be able to see more of the beauty of Pensacola Beach!

On the outer fringe

"There is a great solitude about such a shore... the sea is a mighty soul, forever moaning of some great, unshareable sorrow, which shuts it up into itself for all eternity. We can never pierce its infinite mystery- we may only wander, awed and spell-bound, on the outer fringe of it. The woods call to us with a hundred voices, but the sea has one only- a mighty voice that drowns our souls in its majestic music. The woods are human, but the sea is of the company of the archangels."

Lucy Maud Montgomery

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Low clouds

The weather man said we have 70% chance of rain today and it looks as though we're on track. That reminds me, it's time to pick up a copy of the 2009 Farmers' Almanac! Obviously a few habits die hard when you move from the rolling hills of Middle Tennessee to the coast.

You can check out Farmers' Almanac regional outlooks for January by clicking HERE.

Saturday, December 27, 2008


Home again, home again, jiggedy-jig! We returned home last night from Christmas in Tennessee. When we first arrived in Tennessee this past Monday evening, the low temp was 14 degrees. That sounded very cold until my stepdaughter in West Virginia reported that their high for the day was nine degrees!

What a treat to get up and take a walk on the beach this morning in comfortable, sunny, 67-degree weather!

We're not always so lucky in the Panhandle, of course. We woke up to 30 degrees ourselves last Monday. I took this photo before we headed out for Tennessee. Guess who forgot to turn off the irrigation system the night before. My poor herbs.

Some of shrubs around my patio looked like we had experienced an ice storm.

Ahhh...but today we were back to normal in paradise.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The life I imagined

"I learned this, at least, by my experiment; that if one advances confidently in the direction of his dreams, and endeavors to live the life which he has imagined, he will meet with a success unexpected in common hours...

"If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them."

~~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden

Polar bear party

Looks like the polar bear party is happenin' at the Hilton! Pensacola Beach is the best place for polar bears to party since they blend right in with our snow white sand! ;-)

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Perhaps a proposal

If you recall, there was only a few hours last week when the weather cleared enough for me to get out and take a few photos. This was the most interesting discovery that day.

At the tip of Range Point I saw a table for two, elegantly set with a linen cloth, china, cutlery, napkins, and stemware.

No one was around as far as I could see. Hmm...this looked much too romantic for a simple picnic. Wait! As I walked past, I spied an ice bucket. For a bottle of champagne perhaps? This was looking more and more like the site of a proposal.

Oh, to be a ghost crab at the Point that afternoon! Maybe someday I'll learn more and be able to share with you.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Shiver me timbers!

It's cold! When I got up this morning, my thermometer read 30 degrees. Thirty degrees on the island? Yikes!

The wind howled all night, gusting close to 35 mph. Unfortunately I didn't have the heat turned on and I discovered it was 59 degrees downstairs and 62 upstairs. Shiver me timbers!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Island Style Santa

What a sweet and beautiful sight I captured at Island Style this afternoon:

"Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy...

"No Santa Claus! Thank God, he lives and lives forever! A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood."

~~ Francis P. Church, "Yes, Virginia, There is a Santa Claus" 1897

Santa Look-alike Contest

A Santa Claus Look-alike Contest was held at Bamboo Willie's last night and some of the entrants are shown above.

Don't you wish you had candy-cane stripe tights?

Ms. Sexy Claus showed up for the event this year.

And a stuffed Santa, too!

Hmmmm..."Well-dressed Santa"? I'm not feeling the festivity.

"Bad Santa" got booed like a Jerry Springer show... or the WWF.

Oooooohhhh...very scary Grinch. You stole Christmas, dude!

"Hunting Santa" - doing recon' for who's naughty and nice.

And the winner is....Beach Santa!

'Deer Sandi - love your antlers.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Gray days

Although you can't really see beyond this house across the street in my photo, there isn't much to be seen anyway due to the heavy fog.

I can't see the Gulf of Mexico, I can't see Santa Rosa Sound. Heck, I can't even see the little lake south of Sugar Bowl.

Sun...I need sun!

In a fog

We've had fog every day for a week now. Sometimes it's not so bad...

and things just look a bit misty.

But then it starts rolling in again and condo towers along the beach start disappearing. I'd take a photo of the house across the street to show you, but it's mostly hidden too! I'm ready for some sun!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Range Point in December

For those of you who do not live in the area, we have been experiencing heavy fog every day this week and it pretty much lasts the whole day. Yesterday our high was around 72 with an identical percent humidity.

But yesterday was different, however, in that we had a couple of spectacular hours where the sky cleared and it was a beautiful day for a walk to Range Point after being house-bound for a few days.

The incredible white sand of Pensacola Beach could be mistaken for snow (as you can see above) and the saturated blues of sky and water have no need to be manipulated by Photoshop enthusiasts. In fact, the only filter I have on my camera is a UV filter to protect my lens from sand and salt. What you are seeing is the true, untweaked beauty of our island.

What more could a person ask for Christmas than to live in a paradise like this.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

A Christmas Cactus

For many years I have wanted a Christmas cactus. My mother has had several varieties and colors throughout the years. When I worked in the corporate world, co-workers would bring them into the office each year around this time when they started blooming. But I never owned one myself.

It was the day after Christmas last year in Tennessee when I went with my mother to Lowe's. While she was shopping for those after-Christmas specials, I wandered around the garden center.

On the lowest shelf of a 70% off section, I spied a few small pots of struggling Christmas cactus. You couldn't really tell what color the blooms would be. But I kept coming back and looking at sad little pots, figuring they were a lost cause and wasted money.

I finally decided to claim one for my own and brought it all the way back home to Pensacola Beach, where it sat on my patio through winter, spring, summer and fall. Slowly it made itself at home and began filling out. In late summer leaf tips began setting tiny buds. A couple of weeks ago I noticed the buds were almost ready to burst open, so with great anticipation I moved the plant into the house.

At last, this week, I've been rewarded with these spectacular blooms, which I share with you, and a reminder that with enough love, nothing is a lost cause!
Merry Christmas cactus from Pensacola Beach!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Eulogy for Kirsten

I would like to provide a link to the full text of the lovely eulogy which was provided by Kirsten's brother Sean at her funeral. All her friends will appreciate Sean's touching and eloquent words. You may click HERE.

Little Drummer Boy

I dropped by Paradise for a quick appetizer before the Surfing Santa Beach Parade started Sunday afternoon, and what did I spy: the Little Drummer Boy!

Actually this serious little drummer is Jeffrey Wheelock, son of Jeff Wheelock, the tiki carver. You can check out Jeff's tiki gallery by clicking HERE.

From what I saw, I doubt that Jeffrey will be following in his dad's steps as a master tiki carver. Looks as though he's already been bitten by the music bug! Wonder what mom and dad -I mean, Santa - is getting him for Christmas.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Tiki Island's Gingerbread House Make & Take

Tiki Island Golf & Games hosted a Gingerbread House Make and Take again this Christmas, but this year they've added a cute little entrance for all the little munchkins!

When I dropped by to see how things were going before the Surfing Santa Beach Parade yesterday, they had a full house.

The kids were having a great time and being very creative in their Gingerbread house creations. Then they were free to take them home.

"Okay, I need a Milk Ball for me and some peppermint rounds for the roof."

Terri from Tiki Island said the event has been so successful this year, and the kids are having so much fun, that they will continue the 'Make and Take' every day the kids are out of school up until Christmas. All you have to do is come in with a bag of hard candy to contribute for the decorating supply, and they will set up for you!

Tiki Island rules!

Merry Christmas from Pensacola Beach!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Pensacola Beach Surfing Santa Beach Parade!

What a great treat for Pensacola Beach to have Olympic medalist and champion professional boxer Roy Jones Jr. as the Grand Marshall of our Surfing Santa Beach Parade this afternoon.

Roy was outgoing and loved the crowd as much as they loved him.

You can see how approachable this native son of Pensacola was today.

Thanks, Roy!

The Marine Corps color guard is impeccable.

McGuire's Bagpipe Band wears the tartan of McDonald, Lord of the Isle...

and their dedicated pipers and drummers are loved and renowned throughout the southeast!

Marchin' on.

It's Richard Johnson, reigning King of Coma!

Krewe of Wrecks float.

Elf Lila hands out beads and special prizes to little ones.

Ah ha, get ready for a treat! Here comes the Dancingly Yours dancers!

These dancers are always a treat!

I think this young float rider is having a great time!
Elf Bettie Lee at Santa's back!

Is that a French Bulldog I see!

Whenever I spy animals, I completely lose focus. Isn't this little peek-a-boo fellow adorable?

And this little Daschund didn't like the noise at all!

Is this a 'firebird'? Just kiddin'.

Santa's helpers.

Tired tot.

Ahhh...look at this little munchkin. Isn't she adorable? I wonder if she caught her teddy bear from one of the floats. They were throwing lots of toys to the tots today!

Yehaw! More beads!

We LOVE parades on Pensacola Beach!

It's the joy of Jim! Is there anyone as full of fun as Jim Cox! What an entertainer!

Hey, Carleen! Merry Christmas!

Oh look! It's Sandi Claus!

Is it time to go home yet?