Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Girl Trip (part 2) - (and I explain where I have been!)

You know you have been away from your blog too long when some of your followers email you and say - "were you kidnapped by aliens? Where are you? We want the rest of the story!!" I know, I know - I feel like I have been gone forever!! I swear I can explain~~~ shortly after the last post - the Gardener and I took off on our own little trip to Florida (those photos are at the end of this post), and then when I got home - I thought I had a few days off to catch up on things (like my blog!) - but NO - I had totally messed up my work schedule (!!!) and I had to go to work the day after we returned home (can you even begin to feel my pain here?) And then it snowed you know - and it snowed some more - and I live about 40 miles from the hospital - (and I hate driving on slick roads) - so I stayed and stayed and was (sort of kidnapped - but not by aliens - more like by "little people" for 4 days - and I just got home tonight (finally!) and so that is my excuse. Right now I am sitting here wearing my favorite flannel pj's (the ones with the purple snowmen) and I may never, ever take them off! Am I forgiven? (please?) Here is the rest of the story for those of you who have waited so LONG!!

When you go on a girl trip - you can have a beachy tea party~~

just the two of you~~~

and only eat cookies if you want!
These awesome starfish sugar cookies came from here. (I see that the shop is currently on vacation but you can check back later or contact the shop for info.)


You can also enjoy these fabulous chocolate covered Oreo cookies with sea life designs. Out of this world - yumm! You can find these yummy treasures here.

I love turtles ( the condo is decorated with turtles everywhere!) - and these little napkin rings are just precious. They belong to my friend Mary- she loaned them to me for the beachy tea party. Aren't they adorable? She also let me borrow the sand dollar place mats - perfect for this little party!

Bought the little plates and cups on the clearance table at (of all places ) the Cracker Barrel! Got the whole set for $10!! Don't you just love a great bargain!


When you are on a girl trip, you can sit by the pool and knit - all day if you want!

I am teaching Marsha to make this leaf and vine scarf/wrap. It is a bit challenging but she is doing a great job! That's her beautiful olive green yarn (on her Vera Bradley beach towel!)

You can take beach walks and act prissy!

I love to find these shells - the ones that are all "fossil glued" together. I always wonder - how long did it take them to get stuck together like this! These are among my favorites to pick up from the beach.

You can try to strike a pretty pose in the ocean ~~~ and almost get knocked down by a "killer" wave! This is obviously the before picture!

This is why I love going to the beach in late October - there is No One there!

You can go shopping everyday if you want - and we did! The stores were already decorated for Christmas. It's fun just walking around and taking photos.




We drove to the Canaveral National Seashore. That's the Space Center launch pad in the background. The drive into the seashore area is always filled with wildlife - we have seen birds, alligators, wild boars, turtles, and lots and lots of butterflies. The lake here was covered with birds.

These little guys make me laugh. I like their funny "hair-do's!" They are facing into the wind and their "hairs" are standing straight up! I think they look like Bozo the clown!

One of the boardwalk entrances to the seashore~~

Seeing the beauty of the beach in it's natural vegetative state is so interesting. Most people don't think of a beach being filled with trees and shrubs. I love every minute we spend at this beach!

This beach is a photo album just waiting to be made! Even the sea oats blowing in the wind made a beautiful photo.

I told Marsha that she looked like a movie star in this photo! What do you think?

When you are on a girl trip - you can order dessert whenever you want and NOT feel the least bit guilty! Marsha and I split this beautiful pink chambord cake and the waiter decorated both of our plates with these fabulous icing designs. This is the Japanese peacock~~

and the most perfect fish! These were almost too beautiful to eat - (but we did!)

Even on a girl trip - you do eventually have to pack up and come back home. However - we sort of had a little problem. We had to fit all of this into my Subaru Forester. We sort of, might have, well - maybe - shopped a little too much! That big suitcase in the back - is mine! I bought that this week (the airline killed my last one so I DID need it) - but I made really good use of it for the trip home - I stuffed it full of all the YARN that I bought on this trip! (and a few other purchases!) I am not exaggerating when I say that there was not ONE inch of empty space in that car on the drive home. We left a little hole so that we could see out the back window and that is all!

On the way out the door - I did a bit of last minute Christmas decorating at the condo! Do you like my little Christmas palm tree? I sat it on the table and prounced it "perfect!"

Before we leave the beach I need to finish this part of the story! Those blue lights? Well - I had a head light out (but I swear it wasn't out when we left to go to the restaurant!) I don't see well to drive at night - so Marsha was driving when we got pulled over. So first off - we had to explain why she was driving my car. And then it took forever to get my license and registration - because I just sort of stuff all that into the glove box (ugh - I meant to organize that mess!). The officer was actually very nice - he gave us a warning ticket and said that was to keep some other officer from actually giving us a ticket. We only had to drive about 2 more miles to get back to the condo. The next morning a friend replaced the light for me and showed me how to do it. So now I know how to do 2 things on my car - pump gas and change a light bulb! I did call the Gardener when we got back that night and tell him the story. But if it had been a speeding ticket - (I might not have told him that one!)
On the way home - we stopped at the South Carolina Artesian Center. (but we did not buy anything!) I told Marsha - "we cannot even buy a pack of chewing gum because we do not have the room to put it in this car!!"

This is really a beautiful shop and they had a wonderful display of seagrass baskets. Do any of you own a seagrass basket? I think they are magnificent - but they are sort of out of my price range! Sometimes when we go to Charleston, South Carolina, I will tell myself that I am going to buy one of these baskets, and then - I always change my mind because they are so expensive!

Oh well - someday!

The first week of December, the Gardener and I went to the condo. It was our last chance to go until at least May, as the condo is rented completely all winter and spring. The weather was absolutely gorgeous but it was COLD!! There were a few war afternoons - and we walked the beach every chance we got~~

These little surfer dudes don't seem to mind the cold. Are these guys crazy or what! I am telling you - that water is freezing!

There is something so special about the beach in the winter. To me - it has a totally different feel. The air is crisp and clean - the breeze is cool - even the birds act differently. Our beach is almost always covered with shells in the winter months. On this trip - the beach was absolutely full of shells! Sometimes I just like to sit down and and sort through them - looking for treasures!

That Gardener - he is such a great guy! He always carries the beach bag for me - even after I fill it up with shells! That's his favorite beach bag - he won't part with it at all - (it's a burlap rice bag for goodness sake!)

We made some new friends! I think he was standing so still because he was froze! Seriously - it was cold last week in Florida. We're talkin sweaters, and scarves, and gloves!

These little birdies have their feathers all ruffled trying to stay warm!

The Gardener was feeding some stale bread to the seagulls. This little guy was coming in for his share of the goods!

Millions and millions of shells! I filled the Gardener's bag totally full every time we walked the beach. He said "what are you going to do with all these shells"? I pretended like I didn't hear him~~~ (can I say - I just want em?!!)




The afternoon sun felt good on our little cold toes - the perfect place for some serious foot snuggles!

The Gardener's bag of treasures. Let me rephrase that~~~ the Gardener's beach bag - MY treasures!

Is this corny or what? Happy Holidays to you all from the Gardener and me!

So - I have this HUGE stuffed snowman - and I told the Gardener that next SUMMER - we are going to take "Frosty" to the beach and take these silly hats and make our Christmas photos. The Gardener sort of rolled his eyes - and then he said, "you're serious aren't you?!" I said - "Yep!" (he knows he's done for!)
My Holiday wish for you all is that you treasure this special time with those that you love. As you prepare to open your gifts - please take the time to also open your hearts, remembering that there are those who are not so fortunate. If you can - please make this Christmas a little brighter for someone who is in need of a special Christmas blessing.
ps- Don't forget the Vera Bradley purse giveaway! You can access it from my sidebar.


Anonymous said...

Love, Love, Love it!!! I miss you AND Miss Marsha so! Oh, and "welcome back" .. haha!!

Lisa said...

What an amazing & fun trip you had. All those cool desserts are making me hungry (but they're too pretty to eat).
I know about CB, they actually have some cute stuff in there. We always take the kids when we're on road trips.
You girls looked like you had a blast, you work hard & play hard too!
I love winter at the beach as well, winter & night. It's so peaceful & quiet. I've never seen so many shells! I would have been like a kid running around gathering them up.
Have a wonderful holiday friend. Lisa

The French Bear said...

Vicki, looks like you made quite the haul....but it is so wonderful to see so many photos of you and Marsha all happy and enjoying the sun. I love the knitting on the beach towel...only you can suntan and knit!!!! Love the Christmas shots of you and the Gardner in your Santa hats! You should take Frosty next time!!!!
What a great time you had and how relaxing to enjoy great weather and company before the bustle of the next few weeks!!!
Can't wait to see all the yarn you bought!
Margaret B

Anonymous said...

First of all, welcome home. You must be so relieved to finally sleep in your own bed.
I had been wondering about those blue lights. My first thought was that you were speeding in a big rush to get back to your gardener. Glad to hear it was nothing more serious than a light needing replacing.
Your photos are beautiful. I feel like I just had a "staycation" after scrolling through them.
All the best to you and yours this Christmas and happy knitting in the New Year to come.

Sherri said...

Oh Vicki, Merry Christmas to you too sweetie! Looks like you girls had a wonderful time in FL! I'm so glad you only got a warning from that nice officer! Have a wonderful holiday season!!

Julie Marie said...

What an absolutely breathtaking post!... I want to go back and look at the whole thing again! I love everything, the food, the dishes, the shopping, the ocean, the birds... well, you get the picture! It all looks like sooo much fun! And your seashells are fabulous! Merry Christmas to you!... Julie Marie and all "the nests"! xoxo

knitalatte said...

Glad you are back in blog land. Missed ya. It looks like you had a fantastic girl trip. I love the eat whatever whenever part of being with the girls. I also think that both of you ladies look very glamorous in your beach shots! Looking forward too seeing all the loot packed away in those suitcases. I wish you and your family the best of holidays and do try to stay warm, I hear it is way cold there.

Deb said...

Dear, dear Vicki!! Well, this post was worth waiting for! I wondered where you were and what the end of the story was--not as bad as I had envisioned, thank goodness! I'm so glad that all is well. I loved, loved, loved your post about the beach in winter! Those shells were unbelievable--wow!! And those dishes from Cracker Barrel...what a bargain! They were beautiful! Cute Santa hats and what a delightful Christmas message. Merry Christmas to you and yours from the Virginia girls, too! Love, Deb

Deb said...

p.s. Who knew Vera had towels, too??? Marsha definitely is a star!

PoetessWug said...

Thanks for finishing the story! I was worried about those blue lights!! LOL Thanks for sharing those beautiful tea party and beach photos too! Have a nice rest of the day!!

Elizabeth and Gary said...

Hi Vicki,
Wow! the beach is so beautiful and all those shells, I love your beach!!!
Vicki your photo's are so pretty and clear..the flying seagull is amazing and the beach photo's, the color is so crisp I could just imagine myself there.
So you stuffed all your yarn in the big suit case...I would have too!LOL
What a great trip! and I love your Christmas picture with the Gardener.
Your beach tea table is wonderful! the dishes, what a find! I love the seahorses and the cookies look divine.
Have a very Merry Christmas and blessing's to you and your family in the New Year.
Hugs, Elizabeth

Gabriela said...

Thanks for sharing your beautiful trips! I also love going to the beach off season....I would have come back with many bags of shells!!!

DebbyMc said...

Beautiful, beautiful post. I loved every bit of it! Merry Christmas from the "other" coast!

Mosaic Magpie said...

I am delighted to hear it was not an accident with the blue lights in the background. Lovely photos of the beach and all the shells.
A great hubbie to carry the treasure bag for you! I have one of those sea grass baskets (very old) and I treasure it!

Bumpkin Hill said...

So glad you got to have a break, it looks glorious. We've had heaps of snow too, with more threatened tomorrow. Merry Christmas to you all, Catherine x

Unknown said...

what fun! I could almost feel the warmth of that seaside sunshine on me while reading this post. would LOVE to dig my toes in that sand right now too! I hope you have a merry, merry Xmas vickie!

Rustique Gal said...

Vicki, You must have had a ball! All that shopping and eating and visiting-then the beach. I love Cape Cod off season, so I know I'd love your Florida beach with all its shells! Have a wonderful Christmas!

Shell said...

What a Great couple of Visits GF! I got warmer just looking at the photos!

I need you to do me a Favor, please! I simply cannot find your Addy,,,and I thought I had it safely stored! Ackkk! Please Email it to me, if you would!

Glad to have you safely back home! I loved the images,,,,,especially all the Shells!

Hugs and Love to you and the Gardener!

mary said...

Love the new holiday playlist! And...the girl trip was an absolute delight for all of us who could not go with you. What fun! I'm still sitting here with my mouth open thinking about those dishes for $10!!! Only you...

Dorthe said...

Dear Vicki,

what a trip, you two fortunate girls had, must be fantastic there- like Lisa, I would run around like crayci collecting shells--No shells here at all---------funny ah?
Vicki, are you off from work at christmas ? that you can enjoy and have a happy time with your family-or is it the little dears that will be warmed in your compagny?
I love the end of your post,-it is so true what you sayes there, dear friend.
I wich you a merry and wonderfullly happy christmas, and hollyday, dearest.
Love and hugs,Dorthe

Anonymous said...

You amazing wonderful woman. Your Christmas message and the treasured pictures of you and Dan are priceless.
LU and so blessed to call you my friend. J

Drawn to The Sea said...

I love how you include so many photos when you "talk". It's like taking a mini vacation with you.

Low Tide High Style said...

Looks like you had an amazing few weeks...aside from getting snowed in at work!

I do own 2 seagrass baskets, one I bought in Charleston and the other I inherited from my mother, she also bought hers in Charleston. I love them, but they are very expensive!

I hope you and the Gardener have a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!

Kat :)

Esme said...

What a fun girl trip. Did you leave anything for anyone else to purchase? The condo is such a peaceful and relaxing place to be.

Campbell or @FELTit or Designs by Anna said...

Looks like a wonderful time! Thanks for sharing the photos. My hubby and I drove from landlocked Kansas to Savannah for my 50th birthday in April, and our day at Tybee Island was far too short, as was our brief visit to Hilton Head on our way to Charlotte on our way home. (If you need someone to "hold" some of those shells for you, let me know-lol!)

Anna W.

myriamkreativ said...

Hi my dear Vicki,
good to hear you! Fine that you are back again. Seems you`ve had a grogeous time with your freind. Girls trips save our lives sometimes *giggle*. Apart from our hospital-odysee with Little Lizzie we are all well again and are awaiting the holiday season. The kids are hibbly bibbly searching for presents that Satas elves may have hidden and I am not yet finished. We are drowing in snow at the moment and so there are a few little things to be done later... we will see.
We will spent the holidays only in our little family and with friends this year. My parents are in Tenerife, because my mom cant stand the winter weather in Germany. And Jochens parents are skiing this year for the first time all on their own. But as we had a very busy year it is totally fine like that. We will have tons of time to enjoy and play and eat and do whatever we want - it will be great. In case we will not hear each other on our blogs till x-mas I wish you and your whole big lovely family a wonderful time, health, joy and hours of love and pleasure. Love and kisses Myri

Seawashed said...

I miss Cracker Barrel!!! We don't have them here on the west coast but when we lived in Missouri and Kansas for 18 mos we loved going there. I still have flags from Cracker Barrel that I use on our house...you know the kind that have sunflowers and wildflowers. What an amazing time at the beach. I agree with you there is just something about going to the coast during the Autumn and winter months. It is more peaceful. I can't believe all those shells on your beach!!!! I've never seen anything like it. We don't get lots of shells on our beaches. Actually it is a real treasure if you find ONE. We used to find lots of sanddollars but even these days they seem to be scarce. So I treasure everything that I find on the beach...even driftwood. So glad you had such a wonderful time. I haven't been over to visit your blog in so long that I forgot how beautiful your world is. Happy Holidays..ox`kerrie

~*~ saskia ~*~ said...

These starfish cookies look adorable, Vicki. I want to be in that amazing place you've visited right now. It looks like heaven on earth!
We are covered by zillions of snowflakes, it will stay that way all weekend long. the children are on cloud 9. I have my hot chocolate and marshmallows, so I am all ready for the weekend ^_~

Anonymous said...

Vicki, I loved the picture of you posing in the ocean before the waves took you captive ... you are so very pretty, but that particular image is stunning!~
Your girl trip looked like sooooooooo much fun! Save for the pulling over part ... I have only been stopped once, years and years ago for the same thing, but that incident had my heart pumping so fast!~
Would love to have my toes in the sand right now ... it has been so cold here. I would also love to spend the hours combing the beach for treasures! All those shells, glorious!~
I wish you and yours a blessed and blissful holiday season. May you hearts overfloweth in peace ...

Lili said...

Wow two trips to Florida, you are so lucky. You can tell you are definitely in your element at the beach. You absolutely glow. Love the gardener's beach bag and I'm glad you showed us an up close picture of your treasures, I would want them too, the shells are gorgeous! Oh and that cake with the beautiful icing artistry, WOW! Glad the blue light incident was minor. So glad to see you back posting! xoxo ~Lili

Finding Joy said...

What an amazing trip - it looked like so much fun, I am sure there was so much laughing going on.

*I just love those blue plates, how clever to find them for such a cheap price.

* the food as so good....I particularly liked those star biscuits.

* sea shells - always love to collect them. I have a bowl on my dinning table.

* photos were great!!!! felt like I was on the trip with you and yes, your friend looked like a film star.

* not sure about knitting by the pool - did you get funny looks?

* wow what a lot of things to pack into a car - but I am with you - shouldn't miss an opportunity for picking up a bargain.

Good to have you back!

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

The beach off season is the best! Love all your shots..., and the decorated Oreo cookies, gosh how awesome are those!!

Carole said...

Saying it's a great trip doesn't even begin to describe it. Those desserts and all those shells. Yicks! think of the wreaths I could make with all those! Maybe they would pay for my trip down there...haha!
Yes you are so right remembering others that have little is truly what Christmas is all about. Also a donation to the ASPCA for our furry friends is a good idea too!

Love and Hugs Sweets!

Sharon Lovejoy said...

AH HA! So THAT'S where you were hiding out!

Oh those zillions of shells. I feel like such a kid when I walk on those southern beaches. They totally change my perception of colors. They are so rich and exciting. Different from Maine, but of course, I love Maine beachcombing too. More mermaid's tears, butter shells, not the diversity.

The cookies...WOW! They tickled me.

Your Gardener? PRICELESS!

Glad you didn't get hauled off to jail.


Sharon Lovejoy Writes from Sunflower House and a Little Green Island

Don't forget to enter my Tasha Tudor autographed book (and one of mine too) giveaway.

Jody Hammer said...

Sooo much fun! I love seeing your trips! All that shopping, all those shells, all that fun! I love seeing the pictures of the birds and shells. Have you ever been to see the manatees that congregate near power plants???? We went last Saturday. It was amazing! By the way, you are forgiven for being gone so long! Those neo-nates need the care that only YOU can give them! You do a great thing everytime you walk through the doors of the NICU! Merry Christmas!

Esme said...

Vicki, Merry Christmas.