Archive by Author

After the Storm

12 Sep

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

Pray for Florida

9 Sep

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

O God, Master of this passing world, hear the humble voice of your children. You are still the Master of land and sea. We live in the shadow of a danger over which we have no control: like a provoked and angry giant, hurricane Irma will leave a path of tears, broken lives and despair. We turn to you, O loving Father. Spare us from past tragedies, whose memories are still so vivid and whose wounds seem to refuse to heal with the passing of time. Lord please spare human lives and suffering. And spare our creatures and diverse beauty. To see this extrodinary state of Florida lay in waste will break my very soul. Thank you Lord.

 

Disney Springs and Resort Hopping

5 Sep

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

As a Florida resident we have some privelidges when it comes to Disney.

 

 

Even with the discounts, the parks are very expensive and many of us have been to most of them. I am continuing to explore Disney in a much different way. .. Cheap…  So here is a fun thing to do for a day or even many days.

Our first stop is Disney Springs.

 

 

It is free including parking. This is a shopping and eatiing adventure that has been transformed recently. . Beautifully designed with unique shops, yummy restaurants and evening entertainment. The springs theme represents the many springs in Florida.

 

 

Two of the restaurants that are fun for families are T-Rex

 

 

and Rainforest cafe.

 

 

both will keep you entertained with it’s animated life sized creatures. You may even go through a thunderstorm.

Another great restauraunt is The Boathouse. Guests can experience the thrill of a Captain’s guided tour aboard a rare Amphicar that drives on land and floats in the water. The $125 price tag includes your own Car Captain and seating for up to three guests.

 

 

My favorite restaurant is the amazing House of Blues. I can’t stop taking pictures of this place. The art and designs are crazy cool. And the food is good too.

 

 

 

 

Disney Springs takes on a whole different look at night. Much more entertainment and fun.

 

 

If you have daughters that love princesses, they can be one too.

 

 

Disney princesses will transform them. It’s such an exciting day  and they will look absolutely magical.

Day two. You may need another day at Disney Springs. There is so much to see and do.

 

 

 

However if you are ready for more exploration here is your second plan. We are going Disney resort hopping.

Go back to Disney Springs and park in the Lime parking garage. Go to the Town Center where you will see the busses that go to most resorts and parks. The parking is free and so are the busses.

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/planning-guides/in-depth-advice/resort-transportation/

So let’s get on a bus that will take us to the Yacht Club.

 

 

The Yacht Club is one of four resorts that are side by side around a lake. From there you can walk or take the boat to The Swan and Dolphin. After that is The Boardwalk, then The Beach Club. In between are shops and restaurants. It feels like you have traveled to other parts of the world.

Swan and Dolphin was quite lovely and unique.

 

 

The Boardwalk. I love the look of this area.

 

 

 

The resorts welcome you to eat and shop. They cost anywhere from $300 to over $500 a night, so of course swimming in the pools or participating in planned activities are not allowed. To be in and explore this wonderful environment is a fun and entertaining thing to do, especially for free.

Day three

Drive to Animal Kingdom Resort. Tell the guard that you would like to look around the resort and have lunch. They will let you in and you can park for free. There are two buildings to this resort and you can travel back and forth free by bus or it’s walking distance.

This is the lobby.

 

 

 

When you look out this window you see a savannah with some animals.

 

 

If you like animals this resort has quite a few savannahs with animals. You can see them from most areas of the resort.

 

 

I plan to visit more resorts in the near future. I will share them with you when I do.

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

White Mountains, New Hampshire~Covered Bridges and Waterfalls

29 Aug

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

It was peak fall colors in Lincon, New Hampshire. We arrived at Rivergreen Resort right on the Pemigewasset river. Our home for 2 weeks. It was breathtaking. We set out on the Kancamagus Highway to see the beauty of the White Mountains.

 

 

 

We set out to photograph the fall colors, covered bridges and water falls. Being from Florida this was breathtaking beauty. It was cold, rainy and overcast. A disappointment to most, but perfect for photography.

 

One of the first places we explored was Sabbaday Falls.

 

 

The falls were spectacular. There was much more to the park. It was all amazing. We spent most of the day there.

The next day we went to North Woodstock to see Clark’s Bridge.

 

 

 

Clark’s Bridge

Location: East of U.S. Route 3 in Clark’s Trading Post on Clark’s Short Steam Railroad

Clark’s Bridge was originally built in Barre, Vermont, in 1904 as a part of the Barre Railroad, to span the Winooski River. In 1960 the railroad line and the covered bridge were abandoned. The bridge was dismantled in East Montpelier and taken to its present site. The bridge was reassembled on dry land next to the Pemigewasset River. It was positioned over the river in 1965 and is still used as a part of Clark’s Short Steam Railroad. It appears to be the only Howe railroad bridge left in the world. Howe Truss; 116 feet long.

Our next covered bridge is the Saco River Bridge

 

Saco River Bridge

East Side Street

Conway, NH, 03818

Location: 0.4 miles north of the junction routes 16 and 153 on east side of road. In Conway Village go north on Washington Street and turn right at the fork; this is East Side Road.

This bridge, built in 1890 by Charles Broughton and his son, Frank, carries East Side Road over the Saco River a short distance north of Conway Center. In 1850s, Jacob Berry and Peter Paddleford built a covered bridge to replace a crudely framed log bridge that had collapsed at this site. The 1850 bridge stood until the Swift River covered bridge crashed into it in 1869 after that bridge was swept from its abutments. The bridge was rebuilt by Allen and Warren of Conway but it was destroyed again by a tannery fire in 1890. The existing structure replaces the one destroyed by the fire. Paddleford truss with added arches; 224 feet long. There is a small parking lot on the northeast side of the bridge.

Next is the Swift River Bridge

 

 

Location: One-half mile north of N.H. Route 16 at Conway Village

The first bridge at this site, crossing the Swift River, was built in 1850. In 1869, it was swept off its abutments by the raging Swift River and it rode downstream into the Saco River, where it crashed into the Saco River bridge. Debris from both bridges was salvaged and used in rebuilding this bridge. In 1974, the bridge was bypassed in favor of a new concrete and steel structure. Paddleford truss with arch; 133 feet long.

We visited a very interesting town called Bath.

 

 

 

The Bath Covered Bridge is a historic covered bridge over the Ammonoosuc River off US 302 and NH 10 in Bath, New Hampshire. The bridge, built in 1833 by the town of Bath, has a span of over 390 feet and a roadbed that is just over 22 feet wide.

The bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976.

The bridge was closed to traffic in October 2012 for safety, structural, and cosmetic reasons. After 21 months and $3 million in repairs, it re-opened in August 2014.

There is a famous place in Bath called The Brick Store, believed to be one of the oldest continually-operated general stores in America. Unfortunately, I believe it may have closed since I visited it several years ago.

 

 

 

Another beautiful place to visit it the Rocky Gorge scenic area. 

 

 

There is a foot bridge over the gorge. The foot path on the other side of the bridge gradually ascends a small rise to Falls Pond. Located eight miles west of Conway on the Kancamagus Highway.

 

 

We are the World’s People. That was the Shakers’ name for everyone not a Shaker.

Canterbury Shaker Village, 288 Shaker Rd., Canterbury

You can visit the village. It’s a unique architectural and historical treasure nestled in the rollling hills of New Hampshire, with plenty of crafts, foods and gifts to buy.

One more place I would like to share is Echo Lake State Park .

 

 

 

 

One of the popular activities here is mountain climbing. There are eight mountain climers in this picture above.

From the scurrying chipmunks to magnificent water falls, the white mountains are a place of Gods beauty.

 

 

 

Please join me next week to parts unknown.

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Beautiful Dreams

22 Aug

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Florida Travel~Next Stop Great Smoky Mountains National Park

15 Aug

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

Smoky Mountains in the fall.

 

                  https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g143031-Activities-  Great_Smoky_Mountains_National_Park_Tennessee.html

I haven’t traveled outside of Florida much, but I will say that The Great Smoky Mountains in the fall is the most beautiful place I have ever been. Being a native Floridian, a flatlander, I was overwhelmed by the mountains and the colors, the rocky creeks and the music of the water flowing over the rock.

 

 

Strangely what I loved the most is looking out and seeing the mesmerizing design from the abstract lines created by the shapes of each mountain and valley. And how each layer is a distinct shade and color. The morning sun outlining it all.  Almost Heaven is the feeling that comes over me. The crisp air awakening my senses. I feel so close to God being in the spectacular beauty of His handiwork. This place the finest candy for my eyes. The images etched in my soul forever.

 

 

We stayed in Gatlinburg, at the heart of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Here you will find lots to do if you have kids. It is similar to I-Drive in Orlando. It is also the gateway to 441 the main road through the mountains.

 

 

 

My favorite place here is Roaring Fork, a driving nature trail. This is a must. You drive through it, stopping all along the beautiful creek that runs along most of the way. There are many places to park and hike to falls. This is like all of the Smokies in one gorgeous road through Heaven.

 

 

Also along Roaring Fork are historic buildings.

 

 

 

You can explore them. It’s amazing to see how the people lived. At the end of the trail is a little store you can by goodies.

There are so many beautiful places, but I will tell you about some of my favorites. If you are going there, be sure to do your homework first, make a plan especially if you plan to visit some falls. There are some right on the road and there are some that are very difficult to get to.

Our first stop every morning is one of the few places you can enjoy a sunrise. Newfound Gap.

 

 

It’s an overlook with restrooms and an entrance to the Appalacian Trail.

 

 

Take a walk on this beautiful trail. It’s just beautiful and so are the people you may meet traveling on it.

 

 

Clingmans dome is a popular stop. This tower is at 6643 feet which is the highest point in the smoky mountains national park. The view is spectacular, but the climb up is very difficult. It is a nice paved walk, but half a mile and very steep.

 

 

 

If you go to Cherokee, be sure to stop at Ocoaluftee visitor center. There is a lot there to see.

 

You can walk the short trail to the river, see historic buildings and you may see some elk in the field by the highway. Also near by is an easy walk to Mingus Mill. It is a working grist mill where you can buy goodies such as freshly ground corn meal.

 

 

There are so many wonderful waterfalls. Many are not easy to get to. So check them out first according to which ones will fit you physically. They are all different and most are challenging to get to.

 

 

 

 

Wildfires in the beginning of this year destroyed a lot, but it is already healing and open to tourism.

Please join me next week. We are going to New Hampshires White Mountains.

 

 

Florida Travel Moves North

8 Aug

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

Savannah, Georgia

Exploring Savannah was so exciting. There is so much to see. So many wonderful restaurants and so much history. And of course it is an artist and photographers paradise.

 

 

On River Street, in the heart of historic Savannah, you’ll find everything from sweets to teddy bears, Harley Davidson apparel, and art galleries housed inside restored Cotton Warehouses. The working harbor—filled with ships of all kinds, horse-drawn carriage rides and street performers add to the enticement of this idyllic waterfront locale.

 

 

Stop in for a bite at any of 21 restaurants or simply enjoy the scenery.

Historic River Street, paved with 200-year-old cobblestones, runs along the length of the Savannah River.

 

 

The Port of Savannah is a major U. S. seaport. Savannah had a record year in fiscal 2007, becoming the fourth-busiest and fastest-growing container terminal in the U.S.

 

 

Once lined with warehouses holding King CottonWalk along the Savannah River;  Picture horse drawn wagons loaded with bails of cotton brought to be bid on, sold and unloaded here.

 

 

Follow the link below to discover the many things there are to do in Savannah.

https://www.trolleytours.com/savannah/attractions

Another place that is interesting is Bonaventure Cemetery.  The entrance to the cemetery is located at 330 Bonaventure Road. The peaceful setting rests on a scenic bluff of the Wilmington River, east of Savannah. This charming site has been a world famous tourist destination for more than 150 years due to the old tree-lined roadways, the many notable persons interred, the unique cemetery sculpture and architecture.

 

 

We are now headed to Tybee Island only 18 miles away. But we are going to make a stop at Fort Pulaski. It’s on the way.

 

in 1862 during the American Civil War, the Union Army successfully tested rifled cannon in combat, the success of which rendered brick fortifications obsolete. The fort was also used as a prisoner-of-war camp.

 

The brick and honey comb interior is stunning.

 

 

 

On our way again to Tybee Island we go over Lazaretto Creek. We can see the marina below.

 

http://www.tybeeislandmarina.com/

 

 

Tybee Island Light

Tybee Island is a barrier island and small city near Savannah, Georgia. It’s known for its wide, sandy beaches, including South Beach, with a pier and pavilion. In the island’s north, Fort Screven has 19th-century concrete gun batteries and the Tybee Island Light Station and Museum.

 

 

Swings found along the Tybee Island beach offer a great spot to relax and take in the views.

 

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g35328-Activities-Tybee_Island_Georgia.html

 

 

Besides the beach there are quaint shops and restaurants. It’s a great destination.

Visit me next week for a visit to the mountains in fall. The Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

 

Smoky Mountains at sunrise.

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Florida Travel~Blowing Rocks Preserve

1 Aug

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

Blowing Rocks Preserve    574 S Beach Rd, Hobe Sound, FL 33455

Blowing Rocks Preserve is an environmental preserve on Jupiter Island in Hobe Sound, Martin County, Florida. It is owned by The Nature Conservancy. It contains the largest Anastasia limestone outcropping on the state’s east coast.

 

 

 

The dark, jagged rocks are a specific type of sedimentary rock called Anastasia limestone.

 

 

Scientists disagree on exactly how far inland the limestone extends, exactly when it was formed (most likely around 120,000 years ago, in the Pleistocene Age) and whether it was formed by a single event or by multiple changes in sea level.

A few things scientists can agree on:

Anastasia limestone extends along Florida’s coast from St. Augustine to Boca Raton, and

Blowing Rocks Preserve harbors the largest outcropping on the U.S. Atlantic Coast.

The exposed rock at the preserve is unusual, not because Anastasia limestone is particularly rare, but because it is commonly found either underground or underwater.

 

 

Also known as coquina, from the Spanish for cockleshell, Anastasia limestone is composed primarily of shell and coral fragments, fossils and sand. Small fossils are clearly visible in the rock faces, most commonly the shells of small clams and oysters or pieces of a large snail called Busycon.

Why is so much of the limestone above ground at Blowing Rocks? No one knows. The land here might have once been part of an exposed sand ridge or the top of a reef, or for some other reason higher than surrounding areas.

At their height in winter, the Blowing Rocks are worth a visit in every season. The wind- and wave-carved limestone forms chimneys and shelves, burrows, blow holes and rocky pools. These offer great opportunities for exploration and imagination, as well as a rare window into Florida’s natural history.

 

 

You may want to check the tide schedule for Jupiter Island.

When the tide is high the water shoots up holes in the rocks. It can be a spectacular sight.

 

 

It is also beautiful to visit at low tide when you can walk the beach and explore the rocks and caves.

 

 

There are some great places in this area to enjoy. One of the places I liked was

Coral Cove Park    19450 County Hwy 707, Tequesta, FL 33469

 

 

This beach also had rocks at low tide, but it also had a nice sandy swimming beach. Coral Cove Park is a waterfront park located in Tequesta, Florida, right outside the city of Jupiter at 19450 State Road 707, Tequesta, FL. Excellent park with beach access. Facility has restrooms and a shower to wash the salt and sand off after a day at the beach. Lots of parking.

​​​​​Carlin Park 400 S. S.R. A1A Jupiter, Florida was another very nice beach park.

Carlin Park is a great place to spend the day. It has many amenities including a beach that has lifeguards. There are pavilions for picnics, a nice small restaurant with good food, a playground for the children. I have been taking my family there for years and it is always well maintained; a very pleasant place to bring the family.

There is a beautiful lighthouse and museum that is a must.

Jupiter Lighthouse and Museum

If you love to beach hop, take a beach tour on your way back home. Start from Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse A1A to S. Beach Rd and follow it north to SE Bridge Rd back to I-95, stopping at all the beautiful beach accesses and explore each beach along the way. Most of them are uncrowded quiet beaches.

 

 

Please visit next week as we leave Florida and go to Savannah and Tybee Island Georgia.

 

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Florida Travel~Florida Keys

25 Jul

A Life to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

I have been going to the Florida Keys for 40 years. It is so tropical and so different from the rest of Florida. If you love the sun, beach life and water, this is paradise.

 

 

Drive the Overseas Highway across a 113-mile chain of coral and limestone islands connected by 42 bridges, one of them seven miles long.

 

Each Key is a little different and offers it’s own uniqueness.

 

 

My favorite Key is Bahia Honda State Park.

 

 

All of the Keys are made up of hard coral and most first time campers are surprised when they try to hammer their tent stakes in the ground. They are useless. One must buy very large nails and drive them in to hold down the tent ties.  This is true also here, but this park is actually one of the few with stunning shallow white sandy beaches and are awarded the worlds best beach.

Henry Flagler’s railroad to Key West turned the remote island of Bahia Honda Key into a tropical destination.

https://www.floridastateparks.org/park/Bahia-Honda

The island’s name, Spanish for “deep bay”.

A walk on the Old Bahia Honda Bridge offers a panoramic view of the Gulf and Atlantic waters.

The National Key Deer Refuge On Big Pine Key was established in 1957 to protect and preserve in the national interest of the Key deer and other wildlife resources in the Florida Keys.

 

 

The Refuge is located in the lower Florida Keys and currently consists of approximately 9,200 acres of land that includes pine rockland forests, tropical hardwood hammocks, freshwater wetlands, salt marsh wetlands, and mangrove forests.

Marathon Key – Snuba dive Sombrero Reef

 

https://www.tildensscubacenter.com/

I have been a scuba diver for many years, but snuba is truly the way to go. Anyone can do it. We dove Sombrero Reef with this company and was very pleased. Check it out if exploring the beautiful underwater world is on your bucket list.

Another delightful thing to do in the Keys is to swim with the dolphin. There are a few places that offer it.

http://www.floridakeysswimwithdolphins.com/

Key West  The Southernmost Point Buoy is an anchored concrete buoy in Key West, Florida marking the southernmost point in the continental United States.

 

 

Key West Lighthouse. 

As you walk the shops and restauraunts of Key West,

you can see the lighthouse in most locations.

 

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Key_West_lighthouse

 

And don’t forget to end your day at Mallory Square to enjoy eats, entertainment and celebrate a gorgeous sunset.

Join me next week to enjoy Blowing Rocks. An unusual beach for Florida.

 

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody

Florida Travel~Sanibel

18 Jul

A Time to Live

Melody Hendrix

 

Oh Sanibel. I love this place. The white sand beaches and beautiful clear water are spectacular.

 

 

We so enjoyed our stay there.

 

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g34481-Activities-Captiva_Island_Florida.html

Sanibel is a city on Sanibel Island in southwest Florida. One of the features on the island is a beach with a fishing pier called Lighthouse Beach.

 

 

The Causeway Beaches are a water-sports hub and have picnic facilities.

J.N. “Ding” Darling National Wildlife Refuge covers about half of the island. Popular for wildlife enthusiast and bird watching.

The Sanibel Island Light or Point Ybel Light was one of the first lighthouses on Florida’s Gulf coast. The towering, 19th-century Sanibel Lighthouse and a boardwalk winds through marshes.

 

 

The light, 98-foot above sea level, on an iron skeleton tower was first lit on August 20, 1884 and has a central spiral staircase beginning about 10 feet above the ground. It is located on the eastern tip of Sanibel Island, and was built to mark the entrance to San Carlos Bay for ships calling at the port of Punta Rassa, across San Carlos Bay from Sanibel Island.

 

 

The lighthouse was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1974.

 

 

The northern part of Sanibel is a little quaint town of Captiva. Different than the lower part. Colorful shops and restaurants. The beaches seem to be even better.

 

 

Below is a list of things to do.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g34481-Activities-Captiva_Island_Florida.html

One of my favorite events was the Sanibel Thriller boat ride. If you love dolphins you will be delighted to see them riding the boats waves and jumping out of the water. It’s a bit of trouble to get there, but so worth it.

 

 

Join me next week for a trip to the Keys.

 

 

 

 

I am retired and enjoying life. My hobbies are my 5 grandchildren, son and daughter, and my loving husband. I am a photographer and extreme nature lover. I love spending time in my garden or in the wilderness connected to God my Creator.
Melody
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