Tuesday, January 12, 2010


Our family's theme song for our annual Florida vacation is Shambala by Three Dog Night. Every year, as we get close to St. Petersburg, we flip in the cd and start unwinding to the words:

Wash away my troubles, wash away my pain...everyone is lucky, everyone is so kind, on the road to Shambala.

Our "pain" is usually the cold we are leaving behind in Pennsylvania. And we always feel so lucky to be down here again. This year, Old Man Winter thought he could play with our Shambala by giving us record cold in Florida. Our early morning temperatures have been hovering in the upper 20's! There was a time in my life when this would have been very depressing, but I must have finally matured somewhere along the way because I can honestly say that we are having a blast anyway. Here are some photos of what we are finding to do:

The photo above and below is of our favorite beach, Pass-a-Grille. We spent an afternoon in the sun and sand. We usually swim in the water, but it was too chilly this year! Still, we were able to get comfortable in the sun. Here is Maizie building a sand castle.

Next, a wonderful surprise and blogging dream - I actually met one of my favorite blogging friends, - Michelle from From the Horse's Back! Michelle is from Pennsylvania originally and now lives in Florida. She was in Tampa for the Gold Coast Quarter Horse Show , and popped over to our condo to meet and visit with us. Below is a picture of Maizie and Michelle.

And here I am, below, with Michelle and Noodlebug. Michelle is as sweet and kind as her blog leads you to believe! She is just wonderful and we didn't want her to leave. Sometimes, in Pennsylvania, when I am cleaning stalls and my mind is wandering, I think about how I could organize a riding vacation with all my blogging friends. I never imagined I would meet one such friend so soon!!! We talked about horses all evening! I think I almost have her convinced to move back to Pennsylvania and ride with me! And, we brainstormed a screenplay idea about her adorable puppy, Grady. If you don't know Grady, you have to go to her blog straightaway and see him. He is IT!!! Click here for the all-time cutest picture I have ever seen on any blog - something about it just cracks me up - it is like the bunny is evil and Grady is oblivious because he is so full of kindness.

In addition to Michelle's visit, we had another special guest appearance by...Lake!! Maizie's sister and brother, Sage and Lake, haven't been able to come to Florida with us for a few years because of their college schedules. Sage graduated last year and now has work commitments, but Lake had time off between semesters and was able to fly down to spend some time with us. Here Maizie and Lake are by the (heated) pool!

When it got too cold for swimming, Maizie and Lake got bit by the geocache bug and spent their days biking to caches around the area. Below, Maizie is heading out on her bike.

Maizie, holding her first cache, below.

Here is the loot in one cache.

At another location, Lake found some 80's sunglasses in the cache. He took the photo op to model them! What a character! Lake goes to the college where I am a professor and his classes start before mine, so he had to head back today. We are missing him already.
There has been no riding here this year, but there has been some adorable comparisons of "catpaw" seashells with that of Noodlebug's real cat paws.

That is all for now. I have some exciting art/horse news that I will post about soon. I hope your January days are filled with horses and warmer temperatures!


  1. I had so much fun meeting you all too! It was such a fun day, I'm glad you enjoyed it too. I'm all for a blogger girl riding meet up - sign me up! =) As long as it's not too cold. ;) Oh, btw, this weather may have reminded me why I left PA....might have to rethink that moving back to ride thing!

  2. I know what you mean about the weather. Every year we daydream about moving down here permanently. This year it is cold in both places so we are in no-man's-land! Cold or not, we did love meeting you. Maybe this summer when you are too hot here, you can pop up and stay with us. We have plenty of room and you will have to bring Grady so we can all enjoy his slobbers first hand!

  3. hey! I was just musing that I almost never see a straight shot of your face in your blog and there you are! So fun to see more of FL and also to "meet" Lake!
    I love that other blog too!
    Noodlebug's feet are soooo sweet! Little velvety feet!
    PS I would LOVE so much to trailer my horse to Honeysuckle faire and have a ride with all blogging pals! that would be so joyful! Maybe it's not so much a pipedream! Just thinking about it can plant a very big seed!

  4. baystatebrumby - This "blogger friends ride" dream is really taking shape! We have the stalls, pastures, houses - now I just have to work out the details! I'll keep dreaming about it when I clean stalls at home...maybe it will just happen this summer like all my other horsey dreams have worked out!

  5. Chilly temps aside, Shambala looks warm and relaxing. Glad you are having fun!

  6. Geocaching is so awesome! I had SO much fun with Lake geocaching. I miss him so much!

  7. Once Upon - We are having fun and the weather is nice now - just as we are getting ready to go home. Someday maybe we can live in a vacation spot like you - your photos of home look fabulous!

    Maiziejane - It was fun! I miss Lake too. I just wish Sage could have come down with him. I was certain they were playing a trick on us and Sage was going to me at the airport too!

  8. Ok..am I clueless..what is Geocaching? Never heard but seems cool!
    Also, can't wait to hear about the art/horse news coming up! Your FL trip looks great and lots of beautiful family smiles! :)

  9. Kristen - Geocaching is a big deal in the world right now. There are caches hidden EVERYWHERE (probably right outside your front door and you don't know it - I am serious!). The person who hids it posts the coordinates and the finder uses a gps to locate the cache. They can be tiny but they still have a log inside and you sign your name when you find it! It is really fun and something that you can do with Laz when he starts walking. You can lead him around with you to find the caches in the area of your barn. You have to take a pen. We are finding caches without a gps right now, but they are more difficult. We like the challenge!


Thanks for taking the time to visit Honeysuckle Faire!