Monday, March 25, 2013

Wildflowers in Texas

While visiting family in Texas this spring, my husband and I took a side trip to look for wildflowers.  We used the website to locate roads to begin our search.  The website was very helpful and accurate.  It included pictures of recent sightings and the directions to get there.  The roadside along Highways 290 and 105 near Brenham were covered in Bluebonnets.  FM 390 had less wildflowers but was worth the drive for the beautiful scenery of Texas ranch country.  Wildflower season is just getting started and it will only get better.

Indian Paintbrush


Sunday, March 17, 2013

Callaway Gardens GA

While visiting family in Georgia, my husband and I made some stops along the way. We particularly enjoyed our visit to Callaway Gardens.  We were a couple of weeks early for the peak of flower blooming but it was still beautiful. 

While driving through the woodland motor trail we came upon the glass-enclosed Butterfly Conservatory.   This rainforest garden was a great home to the butterflies that flew around freely and felt great to us on this cool day. 

Alongside the lake was the Discovery Center that had many interesting nature exhibits along with a gallery of the beautiful photographic art of David Foster.  We enjoyed watching the ducks outside while eating lunch at a lakeside cafĂ©. The Birds of Prey show was truly amazing as the falcon, hawk, vulture, and owl swooped through the seated audience. 

We also came across a beautiful chapel and a Horticultural Center.  There were miles of biking and hiking trails throughout the gardens.  There was a golf course and a marina and a sandy beach.  If Callaway Gardens was closer to our home we would have to get an annual pass because we would be frequent visitors.


Saturday, March 16, 2013

Pensacola Beach, FL March 2013

As our children were growing up, our family spent many vacations in the Pensacola Beach/Navarre Beach area.  We usually stayed in a condo or beach house.  But lately my husband and I have only had time for a couple of days at the beach and most condos and beach houses require a week’s stay.  We have tried out the Hampton Inn and the Hilton on Pensacola Beach and were really pleased.  We greatly appreciated the wonderful gulf view from our balcony, the super clean beach complete with beach chairs, the outdoor patio to enjoy our complimentary breakfast, and being able to walk to restaurants, stores, and entertainment.  We could easily do everything we wanted in our short visit.

Our favorite restaurant over the years has been Flounders .  It has very attractive indoor and outdoor seating complete with live music most nights. It has a beach play area for the kids. This is also just a short walk from our hotel.  About a half a mile down the beach another fun place to eat is Peg Leg Pete’s.

This year Pensacola Beach has added a super tall observation wheel that lifted us up 200 feet for a wonderful view of the island, gulf, and bay waters. It is lit with 1 million LED lights at night. This is just across the road from the Hampton Inn and Hilton property.

Staying at the Hampton Inn or the Hilton on Pensacola Beach made a quick getaway easy and lots of fun.  

2014 Update

The Observation Wheel is gone!  They moved it to Atlanta, GA.  I am glad I got to see the wonderful view before they move it!  In its place is a new T-shirt shop and the new restaurant Red Fish Blue Fish.  The Red Fish Blue Fish had a long list of interesting choices of food and it sits right on the water of the soundside of the island.  The indoor and outdoor seating was great with fire pits and beach games and the perfect place to watch the sunset.