My name is Lisa and I'm a crafty girl with wanderlust working as an engineer by day. My blog chronicles projects in my home as well as pictures and stories from my travels.




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Entries in Florida (16)


Not At Work Today

I'm not at work today. I'm also not going to work tomorrow or the day after that. In fact, I'm not going back to work until January 3. 

My company doesn't allow people to carry their vacation over from year to year. I had two weeks of vacation left followed by my company's holiday shutdown which leaves me with a nice three and a half week break from work. After putting in a lot of very long hours in the past few months this break sounds like heaven to me.

I've got some wonderful relaxing plans for my time off that I am looking forward to. This past weekend started off my break with a trip to Amelia Island, Florida for the wedding of one of Frank's college friends, Cindy. The picture at the top of this post was the amazing view from our room. It was a truly beautiful event and I will have to share some of the details later.

This week I am at home and plan to work on finishing up making my Christmas presents. Making presents is one of my favorite things to do and I am happy that I will have a solid week to have fun with it. After that I am hoping to have a little time left over to get some more cleaning and organizing done in my craft room and maybe even tackle building the bench in my mudroom. It still looks no different than when I finished building the shelf back in August.

Next week, Frank and I are off to Cartegena, Colombia for a week of relaxing and good food before coming back home to celebrate Christmas. After that we are heading back to Florida (to Tampa this time) to watch Michigan play South Carolina in the Outback Bowl on New Year's Day. That wraps up my vacation plans and then it is back to work.

What plans do you have for the holidays? Are you traveling or staying home? Are you done with your holiday shopping or have plans to make some fun things for your loved ones?

P.S. I am still in my jammies and it is almost lunchtime. I love this! 


Picture of the Day: Cypress Trees Along the Dora Canal





















Tavares, Florida


Picture of the Day: Spanish Moss Along the Dora Canal




















Tavares, Florida


Weekend in Florida

This past Friday as soon as my afternoon meetings wrapped up I rushed to the airport and caught a flight to Orlando. My maternal grandparents live in a trailer park about an hour from Orlando and my mom, my sister, our close family friend, Georgene, and I had all collaborated to visit over Mother's Day weekend. Grandma and Grandpa knew that Mom and Georgene were coming but Missy and I visiting was a complete surprise.

My flight was the last to arrive (by a few hours) so the other three ladies had picked up the rental car, done a bit of shopping and had dinner before they swung back to the airport to pick me up. Missy had the great idea to make the surprise of us visiting even better. She had Mom and Georgene drop us off at the mailboxes at the trailer park which is about a five minute walk to my grandparents' trailer. Mom and Georgene then drove to the trailer and a few minutes later Missy and I arrived and rang their doorbell. When Grandma answered the door she and Grandpa couldn't believe that we were there, too. It was fun to surprise them and they were excited that our whole family was going to be together for Mother's Day weekend.

After breakfast on Saturday morning we all went out on Grandma and Grandpa's friend's pontoon boat for a few hours. Right near the canal where the boat was docked is an amazingly huge Southern live oak tree draped with Spanish Moss. Whenever I visit my grandparents I always love to walk by this tree so I couldn't help but grab a few pictures as we walked to the boat.

We met Grandma and Grandpa's friends (who happened to be originally from Michigan) and set off along the Dora Canal. The water level was several feet down which exposed a lot of the tree roots that we might not have otherwise seen.

We continued on and upon reaching Lake Dora we did a quick circle and then headed back up the Dora Canal.

We backtracked along the Dora Canal and then continued on past our starting point. The canal is beautifully flanked on either side with cypress trees and Southern live oaks that form a canopy extending across the water. 

From the Dora Canal we entered Lake Eustis and were greeted by a lovely anhinga drying its wings on a nearby dock. Anhingas cannot waterproof their feathers with oil like some other sea birds so their wings can become water logged. When that happens they spread their wings out to dry in the sun until they are able to fly again. 

We crossed Lake Eustis and entered Dead River. The river was quite wide with a number of fisherman out trying reel in some fish. In one of the side canals off the river a man was clearing the waterway of lily pads with a crane. I had never really thought of how the plant life could clog up the canals before and it was interesting to see him at work.

Dead River opened up onto Lake Harris and Missy had a chance to take the wheel for a bit of speeding around the lake which she enjoyed.

We were all getting a bit hungry for lunch so we decided it was time to head home and retrace our route back up Dead River. This time we went along the opposite bank which I found was more forested and more interesting. We saw a large number of cypress knees poking up high out of the low water as well as several birds.

We zipped back across Lake Eustis on our way back to the Dora Canal.

Returning to the Dora Canal we veered off into a little side cove to look for alligators. We had previously tried on our way out with no luck but this time we spotted a small alligator sunning itself on a log. We had seen many birds during our time on the water but the last stretch down the Dora Canal was teeming with birds. We saw anhingas, great blue herons, green herons and white ibis among others. Just as we were returning to dock we saw a log with three baby alligators perched on it. One skittered off soon after we saw them but I managed to capture a picture of the remaining two. 

The boat ride was wonderful but we were starving for lunch when we returned. We went out for a big lunch of barbecue at a place Grandma had her heart set on and then came back to the trailer park. While everyone else decided to relax and take an afternoon nap Missy and I headed out for a bike ride.

My grandparents have single speed bikes that they use for riding around the trailer park to visit neighbors or ride up to the park clubhouse. As far back as I can remember my grandparents have always owned single speed bikes and one of the things Missy and I would always do as kids was borrow their bikes and go for rides. 

We looped around the curving roads of the trailer park along the canal and then set off on one of the town roads. We headed up a hill to an orange grove, circled through a cemetery and then back to the trailer park. We decided to make a stop at the clubhouse to sit on the dock behind it for a bit. As we were walking by the shuffleboard courts we saw Grandma's name on a plaque listing her as the shuffleboard champion of the trailer park in 2011. Way to go Grandma!

By the time Missy and I got back to the trailer the sun was setting and it was getting late. Grandma brought out some old photo albums and we spent the rest of the evening looking a pictures and reminiscing.

My flight home was in the early afternoon on Sunday so we went to the early service at Grandma and Grandpa's church and then Missy drove me to the airport afterwards. It was a short trip but with my grandparents in their eighties I am not sure how many more visits like this I will have with them so I treasure what time we can spend together.

How was your Mother's Day weekend? Did you get to spend time with family?


Picture of the Day: Pier at Vizcaya


















Miami, Florida
United Sates


Picture of the Day: Seagulls on Miami Beach




















Miami Beach, Florida

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