January 4th in Oleta River

It’s hard to believe that its already January 4th of 2015, but what’s harder to believe is we are going swimming. Yes the whole country is under an Arctic chill with temperatures below zero and Floridians are filling parks and beaches.

The beaches were windy so we decided to go to the small beach in the inlet in Oleta River park in North Miami. This is a beautiful park with canoe rentals, bike rentals and off road bike course and lots of picnic areas. Since we have two small kids we went straight to the beach. Most picnic tables were taken and Miamians already were enjoying this partly sunny day with temperatures in the eighties.

We settled on the beach and headed to the water. Most people were sitting in outdoor chairs that they brought with them and they were enjoying the sun. Water was crystal clear with lots of marine life. We quickly found a small conch that kept walking around in the shallows. The tide was low.

Our beach towels were laid and we enjoyed hours of sun, clean air, a warm breeze and clean swimming water. While lots of other visitors had their beach umbrellas and shade tents for protection from sun.

January in Miami. This is pretty much how it usually is.

Leaving Miami for Bahamas in November

We decided to take a weekend cruise to get away from Miami and have a few days for relaxation. November is a good month for cruises because you get the best deals. We are really not cruise people but the 2 day or 3 day cruises work just fine for us. You get a little fresh air, see a new place and come back Monday morning all fresh.

Our cruise left Miami around 5:00 pm. It was gloomy and looked like it might rain any minute. Weather was humid and the temperature was around high seventies. Almost all passengers were on the deck watching the spectacular views of Miami, Downtown, South Beach and the Port. As we sailed out of the port it started raining. This caused the security briefing that needs to take place on the deck to be moved indoors. So we started looking for the hall where we would be briefed. Finally we get to one of the main halls and the briefing started. Our dinner time was at 7 so we had to rush to the cabin and change for dinner.

The first night on the cruise ship always passes quick. We checked out the ship, the casino, dance clubs, bars, decks, dining rooms etc. The next morning we woke up in the Bahamas. We’re in Nassau.

You can easily tell you are in the Bahamas just by looking at the beautiful Turquoise waters. The shades of blue seems infinite. Everybody enjoys the colors while the ship is docking for Nassau. We are all on the deck sitting on balcony chairs and sipping our morning coffees. We will get out of the ship within a few minutes to visit Nassau.

 

 

 

Camping by Mt. Rainier

The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful place, from its mountains to the sea of evergreen trees that populate much of the landscape. It’s truly a blessing to be only an hour drive (sometimes even less) from quiet seclusion and dense trails.

A few weeks ago while the weather was nice, we went out to enjoy some of Washington’s great outdoors.

After a two mile uphill hike with 40 lbs of backpack strapped on, we were glad to have a few moments of rest at our campsite before setting up for the weekend. Tents went up, sleeping bags were unfurled, and a fire pit was constructed. It was at this point we realized no one had thought to bring any outdoor chairs; the effort that went into putting together makeshift benches out of tree trunks was tiresome enough that I don’t think we’ll forget them again.

The Bench Situation

Benches Around Camp

Once camp was set, we were off to explore the area — those I was with had been to the spot before, but it was all new to me, and I think everyone relished the opportunity to show off the sights.

I wasn’t disappointed! Down a hill from the fire pit, we had our very own bank on a lake lined with cliffs that were perfectly situated for crisp echoes. It was tadpole season, and there were thousands swimming across the shallow waters by shore. Though the water was too cold to swim in, we did bring an inflatable boat, but not only did it only have enough room for one person, we had forgotten the oars! We determined that next time we would bring a bigger boat with oars, or perhaps some floats.

On the opposite side of camp was a small stream where we could filter water and wash our dishes, but which served more than a purely functional purpose. At the dropoff point of the stream, at the precipice of a steep hill that could almost have been a cliff, was a huge tree stump from which the best view of the entire camping grounds could be had.

 

Mt. Rainier at Sunset

In the mornings, Mt. Rainier was usually half-diluted by fog and mist, but at dusk she was dressed in pink and deep indigo against the half-lit sky; this was when she was the most breathtaking, in our collective opinion. Of course, we couldn’t stare all weekend, so we spent much of our time either cleaning up the grounds or sitting around the fire, sharing food and stories, and though the logs weren’t the most comfortable places to rest, the time was passed easily until we had to leave.

One good thing about an uphill hike at the beginning is that it means there is a downhill hike waiting for you, for which my legs were very grateful.

- Posted in Outdoor Fun
- CozyDays - August 13, 2013

New Year’s Eve at the Space Needle

Fireworks at Space Needle
New Year’s Eve 2013 Firewoks

We’ve heard how amazing the fireworks at Space Needle over the years in Seattle, WA. We wanted to check it out ourselves. Around 11:30pm on December 31, 2012 we start walking towards the Space Needle from Belltown.

Everybody was in a great mood. People had their beach chairs lined up, having drinks already celebrating despite the cold weather. Next year, we should be more prepared by bringing our outdoor chairs. As we approach the Space Needle, you could feel the energy rising. Families, couples and everybody else were trying to get the best spot to watch the fireworks, setting up their tripods and cameras. Police closed the roads around the Needle, so that more people can watch the show safely. The fireworks show was about 10 minutes, we were very cold at the time; however it was well worth the wait.

And it’s 11:59PM… Happy New Year from Seattle, WA!

Above is the video of the countdown and the fireworks that welcomed 2013.