The greater Chicagoland area, much of the midwest for that matter, is experiencing some unusually cold weather this far into spring. There is a very easy solution, we all just have to head to where the warm is.
I think I can see Easter eggs hidden here.
This is for the Nancy Merrill weekly challenge.
My family has discovered and embraced lake life. From hanging out on the beach in summer to ice fishing in winter it is a very large part of their lives. Getting home from work often means driving past the lake and seeing what it looks like today, checking the radar to see can we get some time in on the boat. From early spring to late fall it is all about the boat.
The lake they live near is a nice size private lake that is over 200 acres large. At the deepest part it is about 40 feet deep. There are a couple of large beaches for residents and quite a few small beaches for private use only. The lake supports about a dozen different types of fish as well as a fair amount of migratory water fowl.
All summer long there are events on the waterfront for boaters and non boaters. Summer camp for children is at the beach and lessons are offered in sailing and boating. All sorts of water craft take advantage of the mostly calm waters from kayaks to paddle boards to canoes and jet ski’s.
I think we are quite lucky that the lake has become an important part of so many lives. It gives family a ready event to get out on the lake and watch 4th of July fireworks or a quiet concert on a weeknight. Not to mention the winter of boat repair and prep that has become the new normal.
On Amelia Island we found a distillery that makes a variety of alcohol, not at all like moonshine, but a small operation that has only been around for a couple of years. So on a bright sunny morning we decided to go in for a tasting. What a great way to start a day of touristy activity.
Never having been in a distillery before, I was pleasantly surprised. Marlin & Barrel make some very unique products that are not widely distributed, yet. Very much like a craft beer they use local Florida product as much as possible. Each bottle I saw had the above saying about finding your Spirit.
The grapefruit cello is made from Florida grown fruit as is the orange cello, at this time no lemon cello, but who knows. This has a wonderful mild taste and the grapefruit cello mixed with a sparkling white wine is perfectly delicious.
With various flavored vodka on shelves everywhere, this is quite interesting. First not a potato vodka but molasses flavored with smoked pepper. In a Bloody Mary this adds a certain amount of heat from the pepper. Lovely.
Other products are their rums and some souvenirs. Very much a hand operation with filling bottles and putting on labels with the batch number on the label! They have plans for more product and only a few places to purchase their product. This is not a place to miss. I consume about 4 drinks a year and I purchased what should be a 3 year supply and can’t wait to go back for more.
I was lucky enough to have a friend staying on this island for a while, and following my theory to say “Yes” whenever possible I wound up here. More posts will follow about the wonderful things here, but this was one of the most delightful experiences there. A few of us felt the need to explore and happened on this museum. It is located on 2nd Street in Fernandina Beach, FL.
This is a non-profit, and is owned and operated by U.S. veterans. There is a small fee ($5.00, at this time) to tour the facility and it is a work in progress. They have been open for only a short period of time and it would seem only good things will come of this. Make sure to add this to your list of places to visit.
The displays are well done and cover a great deal of time. Some of the early items are things recovered from the ocean floor. Among the coins, silver, anchors, tools and dishes, one of my favorites was a 40+ carat rough cut emerald. That alone could lead to many stories of how it came to be there.
This goes from the early days of merchant ships to more current maritime activity. On display are the uniforms of brothers and a father and son who are all from the island and served in the military.
We were very lucky to have another visitor come and join our tour. There is a special display that is still being set up and this gentleman gave a portion of the display for exhibit here. It is an actual large piece of metal from the Arizona that sunk in Pearl Harbor. He was in Hawaii about 20 years ago and was in the right place at the right time to have been able to have a piece he took off the ship in his personal collection.
I can hardly wait until I have an opportunity to be in this part of Florida again in the near future. This will be one of my first stops when I arrive.
This is for Nancy Merrill’s weekly challenge.
This great photo could easily grace cards for many years.
We all love the ones with the children who are crying and screaming, but this one is just delightful.
The entire world is the palette for this challenge, which makes it very difficult. So I looked through photos to see where the most vibrant color jumped out at me. In my collection it was the photos taken in my favorite quilt store in Anchorage, Alaska.
Here is a small sample of the fabrics in the store and a quilt that is one way to show off those vibrant colors. Many of the fabrics they carry are exclusive to Alaska and can only be purchased at stores in that state. I hope you enjoy.
That name does not automatically sound like a fun-filled adventurous day. This museum goes back to 1893 and the World Columbian Exposition held in Chicago. The museum is named after Marshall Field (yes, as in the store named for him as well) who, as an early supporter donated 1 million dollars to this venture. While these are a few facts about the place, it is indeed an exciting and often magical place to visit.
The museum is near the lakefront and downtown on what is now called the Museum Campus. This whole area has become quite a lively place to visit almost any day as locals and tourists go from spot to spot. The Field is very large and the items on display are only a very small fraction of what they have stored, as is the case with many museums.
Over the years there have been a number of traveling exhibits that are as monumental as the building itself. The first that comes to mind was the King Tut exhibit where people stood in line for hours just waiting to get in the building! And yes, it was worth the wait, but will probably never go on tour again.
Currently there are a couple of special exhibits. One is on dinosaurs and is appropriate for most ages to view, but a little scary for some. One of the ones we went to is on Tattoo’s and is for adults. With the societal changes, it is now the norm to see a young man or woman with a full sleeve tattoo. This exhibit goes back to early days of tattoo and the reasons why people did them.
It is a very full day just trying to see some of the special items on display. This comes highly recommended as a great place to take the entire family.
I love mountains. Big snow-capped majestic ones and soft curving old ones like the Smokey’s. When I lived in Alaska last year I saw them daily and loved every bit of it This photo is of a pass through the mountains last summer.
This is a lovely quilt pattern called Moon Over the Mountains.
This is for the Nancy Merrill challenge, A Photo A Week.
Funny how that birthday thing happens about the same time each year, only the numbers change. This year I am 71 , so I can say I am in my 70’s and not feel silly for using that phrase. Hey, I am old enough I can use any phrase and not feel silly for saying it until maybe a month later when I hear it repeated back to me.
My past year had so many glorious moments I can’t even list them all. I had several bucket list items crossed off the list and a few added. I made some new friends and reconnected with old friends. As is the usual in our lives, I also had some devastating events. I lost some good friends that should not have left this earth yet.
I am still learning about myself and this world, so that is a good thing. I am mostly making forward progress and that is a positive thing. I am consciously working at improving my health and taking positive steps in that direction.
It’s a good day.
We managed to sneak in a quick side trip to Washington DC for a few hours between cities. We knew it would be a short trip and only planned on one museum, but we got 2 in. DC, if you are on the east coast is a great quick trip for travelers of all ages and much of it is free.
The 2 we visited today were American History and Natural History, and as usual both were very busy. It is wonderful to see school children from the area and around the country at these museums. Our tax dollars keep them running and started them in the beginning, so what a good use of dollars.
Since we had a short time available, we could only have a quick trip to see some of the iconic items on display. The good part is, my teenage travel companions both loved them. We now have made plans to come and visit again!
The above are Natural History next is American History and they liked both for different reasons.
Looks like we found a quilt, but it is individual canvases. Very interesting.