Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fumbling back into the blogosphere

State Parks visited: 76 (not to worry, I'll catch you up!)

So, where have I been and what have I been up to?  I wish I could tell you something exciting like, I collected my lottery winnings and have been vacationing lavishly around the world.  Or, I've given up on society and now spend my days doing selfless charity work in a Third World country that the internet hasn't found yet.
Those things would not be true. 
The real story is, I have been having a disagreement with modern technology. It's so silly, but I have issues with the time it takes to post this blog from my desktop computer.  I managed to convince myself that, if I had a laptop, I could spend time in the living room with my family and be a real presence, instead of closing myself in the guest room for a couple of hours. So, welcome to our world, new laptop! 
I've had a couple other issues as well.  Like, the memory card of my camera that took a giant leap of faith off a bridge in a state forest last year. I had gotten an error message to check the memory card. I opened the compartment, and I guess the little guy was completely unhappy inside the camera. He popped out of his little space, flew through the air, and fell into the swamp grass next to me.  Yep, I actually got down in the grass and searched for a good long while, but that memory card was gone.  I was do I post when I've lost half the pictures?
I was even more devastated last summer after we spent some time in the Florida Keys.  We came home and went to load the photos from...yep...a memory card, into the computer, when another error message came. Card failure.  All of our regular camera pictures...gone.  Devastation. 
That's not to say we haven't take any pictures at all.  Rob and I both have iPhones and are constantly using them as our primary cameras.  But, that's another issue I have.  To me, there's a greater complication to sync the iPhones to the desktop and download the pictures and...blah blah blah, I know, shut up about the issues and just get back to blogging already!
So, what have we been up to?  Lots of stuff, actually.  We still participate in the Trailwalker program from Florida State Forests.  We were all pretty close to achieving our first 10 trails, and I managed to find an area where we could each make our goals in one weekend.  A weekend of hiking in the Withlacoochee State Forest...and losing a memory card...occurred last fall, and we have each managed to move into the Trailblazer category!  A couple of highlights (from a different memory card!):
The infamous bridge!

Swallow Tailed Kites

Once school got out for the summer ( know, the hottest time in Florida), we decided to go camping in the Florida Keys.  We booked a site at Curry Hammock State Park, our 67th park, and filled the days with lots of sunscreen and air conditioned activities.  I must say, having stayed at Long Key before, I wasn't really crazy about Curry Hammock.  It's a bit more modern, but the composting toilets in the bath house were off-putting to me. Not sure what a composting toilet is?  Go ahead, look it up.  I'll wait.
Great for the environment, but I've *never* in my life seen roaches that size. They don't necessarily bother me.  But, the smell...  'Nuff said.
We took a day trip into Key West, spent some quality time at Fort Zachary Taylor (where we were disappointed a couple years ago), toured the Hemingway House, and watched the sunset while we ate dinner.  It was lovely.  Really and truly.
On the way home we made a stop at park #68, Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park.  Um, holy mosquito swarm, Batman!  I'm sorry to say our visit was pretty short, but we did wander the trail and enjoy ourselves for a little bit. 
Here are some pictures of the adventure.  I do have the ones from our phones, at least!

Royal Poinciana trees

In true tourist form!

One of the famous Hemingway 6-toed cats.
Our lunch venue, Fort Zachary Taylor.




Okay, I think that's enough for now!  I'm getting used to the new laptop, and I'm motivated even more now to share our travels with you.  Please check back soon for more updates, and don't forget to leave me a comment!
Paula :)


  1. Hey Paula!
    It's great to see you back in the blogosphere! I can completely sympathize with technological issues. I had to replace both my laptop and my phone this year. And yes, it's a serious pain transferring photos from a phone to a computer! I'm so sorry to hear you lost all those photos. That IS devastating! I know how much I rely on my photos as keepsakes of my travels so I would be wrecked if I lost some of them, too. I have to say though, the photos you do have and posted are truly amazing!
    I love reading about your travels (joining you at some point is definitely on my must-do list!) and I'm so impressed with everywhere you go and everything you do! I'm very much looking forward to reading your posts as you catch up!
    Speaking of catching up, I've got about three months of that to do on my blog. :)
    Hope you guys have a great weekend!

    1. Hey Holly!
      Thank you for the warm welcome! And also for not laughing at my 'issues.' So many little things add up and really make me want to avoid the computer altogether. I'm glad we were able to get any pictures at all.....and now the challenge becomes sifting through two or three different folders, finding which photos I want to piece together to help tell the story. It's a good problem to have, though, and one that won't be a discouragement!

      And yes, you *must* come join us!

      Paula :)

  2. It is great to see you back. I'm sorry I took so long to get here. Seems like the universe might have been conspiring in your vacation from blogging. Usually good to take the hint but I hope laptop and memory cards are now being more agreeable. The picture of you and Olivia is just priceless. Nice job Mr. Photographer.

    1. Thank you very much! And actually, that was a self portrait!

  3. Oh and thanks for the Trail Walker Program in the state forests. I had no idea. Guess I'd better google that before we return to the Sunshine state

    1. We *love* the Trailwalker Program! It has added so much to our state park trips, looking for nearby, participating state forests to visit. The only down side is really that all trails in all state forests aren't part of the program. I guess that adds to the challenge of it!