Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Saturdays in January

We're always excited when the calendar allows us to try new activities and do some exploring. January was a good month for that.

Saturday #1:
Technically this activity started on Friday because it was a mini staycation.




Saturday #2:
Time to watch another sunrise at the beach, followed by our tradition of breakfast at Lazy Loggerhead Cafe, where I realized I had inadvertently started another tradition.


Saturday #3:
After helping someone move, we had time to explore another city park - The Patriot Memorial. It was a surprisingly moving experience, and we highly recommend a visit there.



Saturday #4:
Back to the state park for another hike! (More details here.)


We're so grateful for the opportunities we have to see and do new things, particularly to enjoy this beautiful world. 

Hikes in January

New Year's Day Hike: 
Since New Year's Day was on Sunday, we actually took this hike on Monday. It was the first of several trails at Cypress Creek Natural Area. This one didn't have much of a destination - it just went to the access gate for the neighboring subdivision - but we still had a great time. It was a nice way to start off 2017.

This time we did the yellow dotted trail in the bottom right of the above map.


Martin Luther King Day Hike:
This one was on Arthur R. Marshall National Wildlife Refuge lands, along a canal. I dropped Wayne off at one end and picked him up at the other. On the way around the refuge, I stopped at a couple of spots that will be trailheads for future hikes. It was a wonderful way to spend a beautiful winter day in Florida.
Stormwater Treatment Area 1
Twenty Mile Bend Area

End of the hike at Hillsboro Area.

A Saturday Hike:
On the last Saturday, we were able to return to Jonathan Dickinson State Park. This time I came along on the hike and we did the Kitching Creek Nature Trail. I greatly prefer hiking in January over August! Once again it was a gorgeous day and a gorgeous hike.


Nature Trails have numbered stops!


Made it to Kitching Creek!

After the hike we had a delicious barbecue.

And then took our usual little walk down to the river and boat dock.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Catching Up - Fourth of July Weekend 2016

One of my goals this year is to try to do better at recording our memory-making days here on the blog for posterity's sake. I probably ought to add at least one before January is over! This one was in the draft section, so I might as well start with it, and that will help with my never-ending quest to finish things.
I had a great birthday weekend in 2016, which started with a Saturday walk around Glades Pioneer Park, followed by a picnic. Our timing was perfect, and the afternoon thunder showers didn't start until we were ready to leave.
Son #4 (our Lego fanatic) and his lovely wife came to spend some time with us. They couldn't keep their secret any longer and insisted on having me open my present that night (before my birthday). In case you can't tell, it was an announcement that they were expecting a baby - our 10th grandchild. Exciting news, and we were so happy for them. (The baby has since arrived, which means that someday there will be a post on that - hopefully, sooner rather than later!)
A lot of our celebrations center around food, and birthdays and holidays are no exception. We stopped for ice cream on the way home from our picnic, and my birthday breakfast was patriotic waffles. Wayne shared his Father's Day gift of Omaha Steak burgers for our Independence Day barbecue, and we whipped up our favorite chocolate snack cake for dessert.
All in all, it was a beautiful weekend filled with activities that are now great memories.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Sunrise - Access #46

One of our Saturday excursions in January was to the beach to watch the sunrise. It's hard to tell in advance whether the day we have available will be conducive to a beautiful show, but this one was pretty good.




We love being able to start our mornings at the beach!

Saturday, January 7, 2017

The Great See's Project


Every year my dad sends me a box of See's assorted chocolates for Christmas. Every year I have to remember which piece is which flavor, so this year I decided to check the internet for a good resource to help me remember. I was surprised that there wasn't a code/map/description to be found. I did find the "build a box" portion of the See's website, but it wasn't terribly helpful. However, it provided a starting place for me to make my own list, and I'm posting this so I don't have to do it again next year. If I help someone else in the process, that's a nice bonus.

Starting with the photo on their website, I looked at the individual flavors and tried to decide which was which in my box. I discovered that the chocolates in my box weren't exactly the same (you'll notice that my #3 was oval and #4 round while the sample showed both as rectangles), but they were close. However, it's hard to tell the difference between two round chocolates with different fillings, so my original predictions were only about 33% correct. That's pretty sad. Fortunately, testing my hypothesis wasn't a challenge at all!
Oops, forgot a number! Bottom right corner is #24.

The results:
  1. MILK MOLASSES CHIP: Sugar wafer flavored with molasses and covered in smooth milk chocolate.
  2. MOCHA: Creamy center flavored with coffee and cream covered in smooth milk chocolate and decorated with chocolate rice.
  3. MILK COCOANUT: Creamy soft center with angel flake coconut covered in smooth milk chocolate. (However, in my box, this piece was more oval and turned out to be DIVINITY: Fluffy white chocolate center with English walnuts covered in smooth milk chocolate.)
  4. DARK BUTTERCHEW: Buttery brown sugar caramel with vanilla covered in rich dark chocolate. (My box had a repeat of #8.)
  5. WALNUT SQUARE: English walnuts held together with buttery caramel and dipped half way in rich, dark chocolate to show off the delicious center.
  6. DARK CALIFORNIA BRITTLE: Buttery brittle with California almonds enrobed in rich dark chocolate.
  7. BUTTERSCOTCH SQUARE: A soft center of grained brown sugar and cream with a touch of vanilla covered in milk chocolate.
  8. DARK CHOCOLATE BUTTER: Creamy soft center with chocolate liquor and butter covered in rich dark chocolate.
  9. MAYFAIR: Creamy soft center with walnuts, cherries and vanilla covered in smooth milk chocolate.
  10. NORMANDIE: Creamy vanilla brown sugar soft center with English walnuts and almonds, coated in rich dark chocolate.
  11. MILK CHOCOLATE BUTTER: Creamy soft center with chocolate liquor and butter covered in rich milk chocolate.
  12. RUM NOUGAT: Chewy nougat center with glace cherries, plump California raisins, and English walnuts with a touch of rum flavoring covered in smooth milk chocolate.
  13. DARK ALMOND: Roasted California almonds smothered in rich dark chocolate.
  14. SCOTCHMALLOW: A layer of caramel with a layer of honey marshmallow covered in rich, dark chocolate..
  15. MILK ALMOND: Roasted California almonds smothered in smooth milk chocolate.
  16. VANILLA NUT CREAM: Creamy soft center with vanilla and English walnuts covered in smooth milk chocolate.
  17. DARK NOUGAT: Chewy nougat with honey, roasted California almonds, angel flake coconut and vanilla covered in rich dark chocolate.
  18. MILK ALMOND: Roasted California almonds smothered in smooth milk chocolate. (A repeat in my box.)
  19. NORMANDIE: Creamy vanilla brown sugar soft center with English walnuts and almonds, coated in rich dark chocolate. (Another repeat in my box.)
  20. WALNUT SQUARE: English walnuts held together with buttery caramel and dipped half way in rich, dark chocolate to show off the delicious center.
  21. MARZIPAN: Almond paste with honey and powdered sugar covered in rich dark chocolate.
  22. CARAMEL: Buttery brown sugar caramel with a touch of maple sugar and California almonds enrobed in smooth milk chocolate.
  23. MILK BORDEAUX: Creamy brown sugar soft center covered in milk chocolate and decorated with chocolate rice.
  24. DARK PATTIE: Rich chocolate caramel with a touch of vanilla and covered in rich dark chocolate.
Note that if you go to the website, you can see pictures of the insides of the individual candies.

Silly me! I thought both layers would be identical, but they weren't. So, I guess coming up with this list wasn't as helpful as I'd hoped it would be. Here was the second layer: