Friday, January 13, 2012

A Little Florida Sunshine


     We are in the midst of our first winter deep freeze. The wind chill has finally gotten  up to 2 degrees this morning. I thought I'd share just a few warm photos from Christmas week in Florida to remind us all that winter doesn't last all that long!


     When we took my dad to the airport a few days before Christmas, we decided to head over for a day at Daytona Beach. My daughter had the day off, we were up early and it was in the high 70's. We spent a few hours sitting (napping) on the beach. It was a bit cloudy and the water was way too cold to get into, but there is nothing quite like the sound of the surf to make you relax.


     The drive to Daytona from Orlando is only about an hour. I spent every summer of my childhood at Daytona Beach. Truthfully, I think it has gone downhill over the years, but the beach is still very clean and I love that you can drive on it and park your car right on the beach.


     We had a bit of a shock as we were leaving the beach. We drove very close to a completely naked man stretched out on his stomach right near the driving lane on the beach. He obviously wanted to be seen. Let's just say, it wasn't pretty. Now, if it had been one of the lifeguards...I might have taken pictures...but, it was a 40-something, slightly overweight, pale guy...icky, icky, icky. Daytona Beach isn't a nude beach, so my guess is the guy has issues.


We had lunch at a cute little waterfront restaurant.
It wasn't anything special, but the view was lovely.


     The next day we went to Winter Park. It is a beautiful little town with wonderful shops and restaurants. We have often talked about the possibility we would move there when my husband retires. We found that an inner courtyard in the business district had been redone and it was beautiful. I am a bit surprised that people don't accidentally walk into the fish pond...but, I did love the look.



     My daughter has been telling us that she thinks we would prefer Winter Garden as our Florida home. We decided to make the short drive from Orlando to check it out. I wish I had taken more pictures.


     We loved Winter Garden. It is much more relaxed than Winter Park. People were shopping in shorts and flip flops instead of high heels. I think my daughter is right, we truly felt as if this might be a possible home for us in the not too distant future. The Historic Downtown has cute shops and small restaurants. The people were so friendly and when we asked about living there, they were very welcoming.


We loved the Farmer's Market, there were
some very interesting local products.


     While the downtown area is very quaint and old-fashioned looking, there is also a new area just as we drove into town that has every store you would find in a very nice mall, several restaurants, spas and gyms. What I loved was that both downtown and the new area had regular parking! I hate driving and I certainly don't want to have to go into a parking garage or parallel park just to run into a store. These things become very important when you are looking for a "retirement" hometown. We still have plenty of time to explore the Orlando area. We just know we want to be close enough to have our daughter come for dinner or baby-sit if she needs us to and yet be outside of the horrible traffic and tourists in the Orlando/Disney area. We are certainly having fun looking!

17 comments:

Bonnie@Creative Decorating said...

I am so ready for spring and summer! I just fought a 2 hour snow drive to work yesterday morning with vehicles sliding down hills toward me! I could really enjoy laying on the beach about now! Have a great weekend!

JRFrugalMom said...

Beautiful photos Sue! I think it was Daytona that we visited the chocolate factory in this summer...could that right?

Even in South Florida we are waiting for the spring:) We have a cold front coming in this weekend, so the temperatures will go down once again.

Linda said...

Great photos of the warm sunshine! I think I would prefer a place where people wear shorts and flip flops too...here in California we are very casual...flip flops are a very large part of our attire...winter and summer!

Glenda/MidSouth said...

Enjoyed the pictures. I also am one that does not like dealing with parking garages and such. In the 20's here last night. I just checked - it is 36 right now with a wc of 30.:( At least the sun is shining today.
Enjoy your weekend.

Blondie's Journal said...

These pictures were wonderful to look at during our freeze! We spent one Christmas in Florida and I loved it. I can live without the naked man, though!!

I have heard of Winter Park...it seems lovely. I would be the one to step into the pond! lol! It does sound like a nice place to retire, or Winter Garden rather, it's exciting to make those plans, as tentative as they may be. We are in the same boat as hubby is inching toward 60.

Stay warm, my friend!

XO,
Jane

Barbara F. said...

Hi Sue, Winter Garden sounds like a lovely place. I would want to visit some day. I want to be a snow bird very badly, but..............(sigh). xo

bj said...

Ummm, lovely photos, Suz.....

Traci said...

2??? I can't imagine how grumpy I'd be if it was 2 here. UGH!! The trip looks so nice. Well, except for the naked guy! Ha!

Ricki Jill Treleaven said...

Nice! Florida would be a great place to spend Christmas. I know y'all had so much fun. I giggled about the dude on the beach. Maybe he was European....

dee dee said...

I can't remember when I've had such a great laugh! I kept thinking.... no picture, it must have been REALLY bad!
Ahhh the beach, I love the beach, your photo took me on a mini vacation! It's exciting to think about new places to live... it will be fun to see where you and Hubby end up!
thanks for the tip about comments, I switched mine to pop up and I think my problems are gone!

dee dee

Angie said...

It's almost impossible to imagine winter when it hasn't been long...and to think we're just getting started! ;) Thanks for posting the photos - I may need to come back and look at them next week when we hit below zero temps here!

koralee said...

Lovely images...it is suppose to snow here and get chilly too. Stay cozy. xoxo

Patrice said...

It's been a really mild winter, so I will not complain...LOL!

Maria said...

Hi Sue! Your photos are sooooo wonderful... tonight it is freezing here in upstate NY !
Your questions at the end of your post ARE indeed very important ones. I know I would be thinking along the same lines...
I hope you are having a wonderful weekend*
Maria

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

The first thing I thought about the little fish pond was "that's a little kid magnet"..... but soooooo pretty and peaceful looking. We're on the opposite corner of the US and don't have anything like that here..... thanks for sharing.

Blessings,
Spencer

{Bellamere Cottage} said...

The first thing I thought about the little fish pond was "that's a little kid magnet"..... but soooooo pretty and peaceful looking. We're on the opposite corner of the US and don't have anything like that here..... thanks for sharing.

Blessings,
Spencer

Heather said...

Hello! Just stumbled upon your blog via pinterest. Saw your old post about visiting Winter Park, Fl and had to jump in on the convo. My parents live in WP and somebody DID fall into the koi pond awhile back. So, you'll be happy to know that there is a fence around part of it. I always thought the same as you.