Christmas Dinner in January?! Day 15 of #21daysofgrateful

What’s so weird about Christmas in January? Not a thing. Each year, we celebrate Christmas dinner with our Furever Friends here at The Cape! It’s the full monty, people! Turkey (a 17lb turkey here in the Panhandle is just over $12.00 U.S.!!), stuffing, sweet potato, parsnips, carrots, brussels sprouts (Jann says, “YUK”), roast potato, Yorkshires (Jann says “YUM”), gravy, not to forget the yummy appetizers and Pecan pie for desert!…..And I wonder why my shorts are getting snug!

Even a cool new table cloth for our special dinner!
Turkey was done to perfection! (photo by Shand Photography)
Nancy’s appy!
The Turkey Chef!
The (almost) whole gang!
(Shand Photography)
OKAY, gang is now complete!
And what would Christmas Dinner be without our NINE pups? How perfect are they!?
Baby Tonka..not so little anymore!
And, who could forget the Christmas Lights?

Three things I’m grateful for today:-

  • I’m grateful that I have friends here that are as “off beat” as I am – e.g., Christmas In January!
  • I’m grateful that Catherine captured the Blood Moon tonight!
  • I’m grateful that my sweet husband, Mikey and our bestie, Trevor, are shopping at Walmart to gather needed items for the people with homes destroyed and left with virtually nothing (Hello FEMA WHERE ARE YOU?) Our amazing Furever Friends all contributed to this special cause. Mike and Trev will drop off the goods in Mexico Beach today.

I’ll leave you with this…..

Life Is Good…….

A little chilly, but who’s complaining? Day 11 of #21daysofgrateful

Okay ladies…check out this link!  Yes Robin, there really is a Santa Claus..

Whaaat! Yes! Finally some good news for a change…Eating Chocolate and Drinking Wine will keep us looking young!

Brrrr….it’s a bit chilly today, but the sun was shining during our walk (which later went in and hid).  We had a wonderful walk with the entire gang!


Jann & Magic heading to the beach!

beachwalk 01-14-19-4

Last one in’s a dirty, rotten egg!

beachwalk 01-14-19-6

Hey, Ma…I won!


Set those puppies FREEEEEE!  



Here’s Journey that doesn’t like to go in too deep…each day, she goes just a little bit further!


It’s not just the pups that love this beach!





The whole gang, well with the exception of the photographer!


There’s nothing like a good stick between friends


Besties with Magical



Treat?  Did I hear Treat?


Tammi on a mission


Ok..I finally got the what do I do with is?


One proud of herself pup!




Love this girl.  Our newest addition, 14 month old Tonka…no fear!


A leisurely Stroll




Beautiful boy


Our Brody is lovin life and feeling much better!


A race to the finish!


Like I said…No Fear!


This pup enjoys every minute of her life!


Nothing like a good shake!


Guys…Wait for MEEEE!


This pup is on top of the world!


Pete and his girl!


Mikey and his boy!


We ended the day at our favorite restaurant Indian Pass Uptown Raw Bar

My 3 grateful things today:-

  1. Grateful that I could put my two feet on the ground and look forward to the wonderful day ahead
  2. Grateful that I can walk the beach with my camera and shoot to my hearts delight!
  3. Grateful for my youngest daughter, Melissa, who is turning 37 years young today. So grateful.  Love you baby girl.

I’ll leave you with this….


Life Is Good…..

A Rose’s Rarest Essence Lives in the Thorn….Rumi Day 9 of #21daysofgrateful

So, yesterday.  I’m still sick and don’t feel one bit better; maybe worse!  Mikey goes off to town to find me some lasagna noodles (yeah, I know…I went to Costco and didn’t get enough noodles???); I was one box short.  In my defence, the packaging is a different size here in the good ol’ U. S. of A.  I head into the bath, as it’s the one place that ALWAYS makes me feel better and it didn’t disappoint.  While I’m in there soaking my bones, Mikey returns and announces he’s home.  I tell him it’s ok for him to come into the bathroom while I’m taking a bath…we’re married now.  And what to my wondrous eyes should appear; but a single long stem rose in the hand of my love.  I know, right? Melt your heart – that’s what he does to me.  Then he tells me this story:-

Nice Store Clerk Lady – “A Rose.  How Nice”.

Mikey – “It’s for my wife.  She’s not feeling well”

Nice store Clerk Lady – “What a lovely thing to do”

Mikey – “Yes, I gave it to her – the germ”

Nice Store Clerk Lady – “Good call”

Although anxiously awaiting our Furever Friends Phil & Christine and their pup, Olive, to arrive and greet them at our (pretty much nightly event) “Wine O’clock”, I thought better of spreading my germs, so sent Mikey to the meet and greet.

Fast forward to today and I’m feeling better and can’t wait to see my buddies again! We all met at our very most favourite spot…The Beach!!

To the Beach, To The Beach, To The Beach, Beach, Beach!!
And she’s down…Rolling in something disgusting and her buds want to get in on the action!
Hey Phil!!! I love these new shades…I’m going to be taking a lot of pic in them!
Our Body is the very LOOOOONGEST Pee’r in the world. Sometimes he doesn’t lift his leg, as he knows he’ll be there for a while!
See. I told ya! And you say there are no pictures of me….pffft

Hey Christine and Nancy. This looks like a pensive conversation…

Brody and Tam Tam frolicking in the ocean once again. Welcome Olive!
Journey with her tunew friend, Tuna
Brody checking on his second dad

Pretty Lady, Nancy
And her pretty dog, Journey
Brody’s bestie, Tam Tam (don’t tell Olive)
I can’t forget my birdies

Well, it’s almost time for our Furever Friends Reunion Dinner! We’re expecting our last arrivals, Pete & Catherine, along with their furbabies, River, Echo and Tonka!

I’m outta here folks…It’s wine o’clock!

I’ll leave you with this…

Life Is Good…..

Full Circle – We’re Baaaack, Cape San Blas(t)!

After one amazing New Years Eve “pub” party at Don & Lea’s and closing said pub at 3:30am, we set out for our Florida adventure, after a delicious Rowan breakfast @ 11:am, and headed to our first stop, Windsor.

And. It. Was. Cold!  -22C and that’s not with the windchill.  You know it’s cold outside when your feet can’t get warm in the car!  The drive was fine, the hotel..well that’s another story.  PM me if you want to know what hotel in Windsor NOT to book.  I’ll leave it at that.

Off we go in the morning around 7am, temperature is now -16C.  Still very cold?  Oh no…as we travelled SOUTH, the weather got colder.  Yes, right back down to -22C until we arrived at our next stop, Knoxville Tennessee.  We stopped at La Quinta Knoxville Papermill and I recommend this hotel.  It’s right off the I95, clean and the beds are very comfortable.  They’re dog friendly and the breakfast is yummy.  Now on to our final destination!IMG_4627

The temperature was still around -8C, cold, but nothing like the -22C temps that were consistent until Tennessee.

We watched as the temps creeped up to 8C as he headed into Florida.  When stopping at the Florida welcome centre to have our traditional cup of orange juice, the nice lady there asked where we were headed in Florida, as all roads were closed from Tallahassee to Jacksonville..due to a freak snow storm.  Accidents all over the roads!  Luckily we were headed to The Cape and the roads were dry, but sky overcast.  Just as we caught sight of Port St. Joe (the closest town to The Cape), the skies cleared and the sun shone brightly on the ocean.  I’ll take this as a sign…


As we turned onto The Cape, Brody (who is a very quiet guy and doesn’t make much fuss) started crying and looking out the window, trying to alert his hooomans, that finally after being couped up in the car in this silly seat belt, he’s headed to his favorite place…Cape San Blas(t).  Where dogs can play on the beach and life is good.

We arrived at approximately 5pm and were greeted by our friends and most importantly in Brody’s world – his girl Tam Tam.  He was so happy to be here, I think he wore our his pal:-

After a fabulous dinner, totally cooked and presented by Trevor, joined by Nancy and Jannie, we headed to our Condo to a much needed rest.

Ahhhh….lovely nights sleep, awakened to thoughts of all the great memories we will make here with our friends, both furry and human.

The Cape awaits….

I’ll leave you with this…


Life is good.


Friend, Amigo, Pengyou, Vriend, Sadiq, Ami, Freund, Vinur, Cara, Amico, Filos…

…over my 61 years, I have been blessed with many Friends.

And many of these friends are asking me where the heck my blog has gone.  Hmmm…See, I was thinking (always dangerous) that maybe I was inundating people with them, so decided to cut back.  However, what I’m hearing is that many of my dear friends like to read em!  So, I’ve got some catching up to do!

Here at Cape San Blas(t) our pack keeps growing!

from left to right (Mikey, Ken, Ruth, Susan, (Trevor is missing) Kim (Claudio is missing), Jann, Nancy, Christine, Phil, Michele, (Leslie is missing), Catharine (Pete is missing) and Megang1

Most of our new friends are snowbirds, however, some are also owners here – but ALL of them are dog people.   Many of our closest friendships have been through our dogs.  Most of you know that is how Mikey and I met…and he didn’t have a dog!

Here is Jan and her lovely family…. Jan is a fellow photographer and an owner here.  Jan blesses us with her wildlife photography, beautiful sunrises and sunsets.


Here’s Carol and Andy…another very talented photographer and owner!

16129197_10158238754525454_910684649_o… we also have Catharine who wears many hats as a photographer and Professional Dog Trainer.


and her hubby, Peter – who is a vet and with this pack, very handy!  feb-2-28ok, now your getting why I don’t need to take my camera out every day?

Suz & Trev…our dear friends…Love you both LOOONG time


And then there’s Ken (who introduced Mikey and I) and Ruth..again dear long time friends


Christine & Phil whom we met here last year!  Love you both LARGE


Nancy Jean, we met last year and have visited back and forth from Michigan and Pickering this past year.. beautiful inside and out.16252024_10158255327495454_5423493161732891761_o

Jannie, our little leprechaun “shenanagator” we met last year and again visited back and forth to Michigan.. so thoughtful and giving16463191_10158319184150454_2523451866368014731_o

Kim and Claudio..we met them  here last year, but really got to know them this year.. Love you both


Our fun Wisconsin friends that brought us some of their amazing CHEESE!


Leslie..where did you go!?  I didn’t get to say good-bye to you.  So wonderful to have met you and I hope we can keep in touch!


and here is a random friend that we met just today…


So…you get the picture (no pun intended) right?  We got a lotta friends.. and they keep growing. If I’ve missed anyone, it’s cuz I haven’t got a good picture of c’mon over and we’ll fix that.

Now to the point of this blog.  Like family, there are many types of friendships..acquaintences, old, new, casual, besties…When it comes to socializing here at the Cape, due to the size of our pack, many times we can’t do it all together.  But that doesn’t mean that we don’t try!

Merriam Webster defines friends as:


So blessed to call you all my friends.

I’ll leave you with this:-


Life IS Good……

We Made It…..

…despite the weather.

We slept in a bit on the 2nd days drive, and it’s a good thing we did.  As usual, before leaving the hotel we double, triple check the room to ensure that we haven’t left anything; had a great continental breakast and headed out for LaGrange Georgia, our second of three travel days to Cape San Blas(t).

All was great driving through Kentucky and then into Tennessee when I asked Mikey to hand me my sunglasses, as I was driving.  OK, my family and friends know what’s coming next, as I lose my sunglasses everytime I travel.  I have an expensive taste in glasses, so during every day life, I always make a point of knowing where they are at all times.  Dominican, lost my Gucci’s.  Next Dominican trip, I lost my Maui Jim’s.  Last year at The Cape, I lost my Tiffinie’s (which were prescription glasses and our new found friends, Pat & Rick Smith found them!).  Michigan, I lost my prized polarized Ray Ban’s.  And now, I’ve lost my newest designer glasses who’s name I can’t remember..(some guy that charges a lot of money for his name). But there’s good news!  I call the hotel, Country Inn and Suites, Georgetown Kentucky, and they found them!  I can get them on the way back…in TWO MONTHS!  The other good news is that when I stopped at Costco, they had these amazing polarized sunglasses, which I love…and they were only $25.00!  Maybe that’s the way to go.  Like everything at Costco, if you like ’em..pick up a couple!

The drive through the rest of Kentucky and into Tennessee was beautiful and sunny…Then on to Atlanta, Georgia.  All I can say is..Atlanta, we are no longer friends.  We’re breaking up and I never want to see you again.  Highway closures, accidents, detours and even more accidents.  Nope, no more second chances for you.  We’re done.  I’m going to take up with Nashville and i65 from now on.


Next morning, we both awake early and decide to forego a Cracker Barrel breakfast (really?) to get on the road to our destination..Cape San Blas(t)!

The morning sunrise is beautiful…mist and all.



Better still, the temperature is warming up!

img_0124-2(that’s 22 celsius for the Canadian folk)

And we are (almost) there!  We arrive at the Piggly Wiggly…..


….and bump into Trevor & Suz and friends we met here last year who are from Ottawa, Claudio and Kim.  So it goes like this…I run into pick up a few things and Mikey stays outside with Brody.  He’s sitting on the bench in front of the store when Trevor sits down beside him…they have a good yuk  and then  run into Kim & Claudio, friends we met at the Cape last year who are from Ottawa.   I come out of Piggly’s and see the gang….Trev tells me Suz still in Piggly’s.  So I go back in and spot her at the fish counter.  I sneak up behind her and give her a hug…she sees it’s me and immediately starts to cry and hug me and tell me how much she has missed me…we’re hugging and Suz crying when I say..”’s only been a week since I’ve seen you”…as the nice lady behind the fish counter looks on in disbelief..Canadian’s eh?

WE ARRIVE to our home away from home.  It’s like we’ve never left!  We dump out stuff, change into our shorts and head for the beach with the Lewin’s……and so it begins…..


Suz doing her happy dance!


Brody is beyond excited to be back on the beach!first-beach-walk-and-dinner-2



Lovin life!first-beach-walk-and-dinner-13

It’s contagiousfirst-beach-walk-and-dinner-14

The three Amigo’sfirst-beach-walk-and-dinner-16

Two newbies! Their first year at The Cape…betcha it won’t be their last!


Then two pups become three as Kim, Claudio and Mecca join us on the beachfirst-beach-walk-and-dinner-19

Mecca strollinfirst-beach-walk-and-dinner-24





At last!….Ruth and Ken arrive and meet for dinner at our place with the Lewin’s…Suz yummy, yummy Chili and some shrimp boil..


First of many, many wonderful meals together…just missing two more of our buddies, Janny & Nancy…They’ll be here soon!


What an amazing beginning to creating some wonderful memories!


I’ll leave you with this…


Life Is Good…..

Good-Bye Cape San Blas(t) – See you next year!

As I type this last Barrier Dunes – Cape Escape Blog, we are driving into Port St. Joe’s for the last time this year.  What a ride we have had!  We take with us these very special moments….

Amazing new forever friends (Jann, Nancy, Christine & Phil, Carol, Jan, Lissa, Pat & Rick, Julie & Mitch, Margaret & Steve, Jana Wendy Jackson, Kim & Claudio)  .  Amazing old forever friends (Trevor & Sooz, Ken & Ruth, Steve & Diane).  Lots and lots of fury friends (Clover & Magical, Journey, Olive, Andi & Hope, Maggie, Charlie, Jackson, Tammi, Pearl & Boji, Scout & Cabo, Mecca, Rory & Seamus and all the others that names escape me, but not their beautiful faces.  Oh the beautiful beach.  White sand.  Long walks. Dogs playing   Sea shells. The sea.  Sunsets (thank you Jan, Carol, Christine).  Fantastic sea food (St. Joe Shrimp, The Owl in Apalachicola, The Sand Bucket!, The Indian Pass, The Dockside). Horse Back Riding on the Beach!  Dog Mardi Gras in Apalachicola!  Golf @ St. Joseph’s Bay (didn’t see the three legged alligator, but did see one with 4 legs and BIG TEETH).  Singing on the beach.  Cigars on the beach watching the sunset. Turtles.  Fishing. SUNSHINE!  Dolphins!


Friday – Trev and Sooz offered for Mikey, Brody and I to extend our get away for another two day by sharing their condo!  We gladly accepted their gracious offer, as we just weren’t ready to say good-bye to The Cape and all our friends just yet.  The four of us invited our precious Golden forever friends for a luncheon at our place.  Well, it was more a leftover and get rid of everything in the fridge and freezer lunch.  It was wonderful….

Jann with Magical…she made herself right at home!

last one-2

Sooz and Trev

last one-3

Nancy and Mikey

last one-4

Journey looking for a hug!

last day !-43

last one-5

Brody and Journey playing tug of war with Journey’s new stuffy

last one-6

last one-7

Brody, as the only male on four legs, need to survey the street

last one-8

last one-10

Trevor, the stiff upper lip Brit is really just a teddy bear when it comes to 4 legged fur babies

last one-11

Nancy, Jann, Sooz and Trev

last one-12

….and Mikey!

last one-13

To Jann’s surprise, Nancy brought brownies and candles for her Birthday on March 5th!

last one-14

last one-15last one-16

The girls left and then it was time to get it together and clean the condo, pack, and get ready to move over to Sooz and Trev’s for a couple of days…

Saturday: – It’s moving day!  After the morning walk (without the camera), we moved over to the Lewin’s condo for the weekend.  The pups were over joyed!


The men decided they wanted to golf and I politely declined as I was more than tired and didn’t sleep well at all.  As a matter of fact, my mind was so busy – I slept only 3 hours that night.  Sooz and I decided to take the pups over to the Hammock Trail at St. Joseph’s Penninsula National Park, which was very relaxing.


Only thing missing on this beautiful but dead tree is an Eagle!




















Check out the turtles and their “friend” lurking…he was huge!  This is right outside of The Lewin’s condo!



And some feathered friends….




saturday-2Trev made us a curried chicken and rice for dinner…it was delicious!

Off to bed to bag some zzzz’s in anticipation of our last full day at The Cape.

Sunday – Lovely walk in the morning.  Found THE SHELL!  The beautiful clam shell that looks like a heart…Problem.  The clam was still alive in there.  Snif, snif…Mikey suggested that I should put him back in the ocean to set him free.  He was right of course.  I would have felt soooo guilty had I have kept him.  Met our Golden Girls – love walking with them and their fur babies.  Sooz and I were then off to Port St. Joe for some shopping and lunch.   What we didn’t know is that downtown Port St. Joe rolls up it’s sidewalks on Sunday.  So we went off for lunch at The Dockside.  We ran into Margaret and Steve.  It was quite busy, so they suggested we share a table with them.  So glad we did.  Lovely couple that have been coming to Barrier Dunes for the past 5 years.  They gave us some fun things to do next year when we return.  Steve suggested we try the Oyster shot…Raw oyster in a shot glass filled with a Bloody Mary.. Oh yum!  Off to St. Joe Shrimp to pick up some grouper fillets and oysters for our last fish fry while in The Cape.  The boys cooked up the most fabulous Grouper fingers and fried oysters.  So fitting for our last vacation dinner together.  Headed down to the beach (actually RAN) to catch the sunset.  Mikey caught some great shots on his iphone and Trev with his camera.  Cigars, wine, sunset, pups and FRIENDS…..  I LOVE MY LIFE!!!!

last day !-2

Catching some rays while Sooz and I head to shop in St. Joe’s

last day !-3

When we returned home from shopping, we found this guy in the backyard…

last day !-5

Amazing sunset!

last one-2

last one-3

last one

Tried to watch the Oscars, but fell asleep..awakening at 4am. Ugh….

Monday – Couldn’t get back to sleep as too much to do!  Early morning walk was scheduled for 7:30am and not the normal 9:30 in order to get a head start home.  Met with our Golden’s on the beach and didn’t they buy us all a “Life is Good” t-shirt and beautiful cards!!.  Of course they didn’t forget Brody and Tammi either by including a couple of oyster bones!  We spent the walk telling each other how much our vacation was enhanced by each others company.  So blessed to have met these two fabulous women.  THEN….Sooz found “the clam shell”…intact, but with no clam inside….We were both jumping up and down like school girls.  She proudly gave it to me telling me that “I told you we would find it today”….Gladly, she was right!

Journey wanted to get in on the hug!

last day !-11

Beautiful Clover

last day !-12


last day !-18

“Look what I found Robz”!!

last day !-22


last day !-23last day !-26

last day !-27

One last swim!

last day !-29

The Pups didn’t cross the line!

last day !-32

My special friend…

last day !-38

last day !-36

See you soon Jann!

last day !-39

See you soon Nancy!

last day !-40

I will leave you with this….

“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”

Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey


last day !-33

Until we meet again…..



Cape San Blas(t)#100happydays

Rise N’ Shine!  We get why Florida is called the Sunshine State!  However…….this morning it had one angry sea and wind!  So windy we lasted only 10 minutes on the beach.  Once you got out of the wind, it was lovely..

Florida Feb. 10-3.jpg

Florida Feb. 10-2.jpg

This little guy even tried to escape the sea!

Florida Feb. 10.jpg

Alas…say what you want about Northern Florida being ccccooold….this is beautiful white SAND, instead of the nasty stuff you have to shovel at home!

The boys headed off to golf.  Apparently Trevor had FIVE, yes FIVE layers on, not including a toque and hat on top.  Too bad they didn’t get a photo…they must have been concentrating on their game, or better still, trying to keep warm and swing with all those clothes on.!

Sues and I on the other hand decided to have a day with the pups in Apalachicola.  Our mission was to get Sues “Turtle” home.  This is a concrete turtle that must weigh 60 pounds.  She’s been determined since she saw this beast, that she is going to bring her prize home to Canada.  We also wanted to get the pups fitted for a new easy walk harness. Both of us have trouble hanging onto our dogs when they get it in their head to dislocate our shoulders by leaping in a different direction.  So off we go…..

Our first stop was to get a shot of the famous Indian Pass…Too bad the garbage bins were in front…next time I’ll take Sues up on her offer to go move them!

Florida Feb. 10-4.jpg

After spending over an hour shopping, and in the case of Brody and Tammi, sniffing around in The Oyster Bones, and being fitted for brand new harnesses, we headed off to have lunch at the Owl.  This is our second visit, as the first was very impressive.  The unique thing about this lovely restaurant, is it’s pet friendly.  So, we dined with Tammi and Brody in the sunshine.  It was beautiful and sunny and WARM.  The pups enjoyed their bones and we enjoyed fresh shrimp stuffed soft tacos….The picture below doesn’t do it justice…very affordable and delicious!





Our hostess, Christine was attentive and brought out a large bowl of water for the pups.  She knew how to get on our good side!



Thanks Christine!  You made our visit that much better!



Now…off to get the turtle…..  I wait in the truck with the pups and Sues goes in to buy the turtle.  We were there earlier and negotiated the price and advised we would be back to pick it up..Problem is, neither of us can pick him up!  So, the owner goes a couple of shops down and finds a willing young man that will carry this tortoise to our truck.  A lovely young gentleman finally emerges trying to look as though this turtle isn’t 70 pounds of concrete, gently puts Sues treasure into the back of the truck…..Only to realize, it’s lost it’s toe!  Back he goes (and I bet right about not he’s thinking why he agreed to do a good deed for two retired ladies) along with Sues to find another….It all worked out ok and I’m sorry we didn’t get the young lads name.  He was so nice to have helped us out.



This beauty will accentuate Sues garden nicely…that’s if Trev can lift the sucker!

We ended the evening inviting the Lewin’s over for a Chili dinner, topping it off with cigars and wine on the deck……Truly amazing day…AGAIN!

I’ll end with this…..I totally get it!


Life is good…….