Sunday, April 20, 2014

Scenes from Cedar Key Definitely on Island Time and Now on Pacemaker Time

I can't believe it's been almost a month ago that we were sitting in the Tiki Bar of the Low Key Hideway laughing and enjoying our last night in Cedar Key before heading to the condo in Cape San Blas.  Little did I know what awaited me.  My life was moving along like a dream-everything falling into place. 

Everyday was a another day to be extremely grateful for- our health, the love and support of our family and friends and our sweet little Hailey.  We both felt so very blessed and thanked God every day for our blessings.  Then came Thursday night, April 10th.

I had just returned from taking Jim to the airport in Panama City-feeling very proud of myself since it was my first driving journey in Ruby all by myself-I felt like a big girl !  Jim was going to drive back our car and the boxes that were being stored at my sisters house.  Me, I was looking around the condo prioritizing my jobs to do while he was gone.  The starfish photo caught my eye, the same way it caught my eye on line-it had a peaceful glow to it and I found the perfect spot for it.  I set up the ladder,climbed it, measured the spot,went back down the ladder,got the hammer and nails and climbed back up , pounded in the nails and in a quick moment for some reason a thought flashed through my mind that I was going to fall ( I was at least 8ft up).  That was all I remembered.

I know I was unconscious for an hour based on a call I made right before the fall and the time of the call to 911 after the fall.  I don't remember what I said to 911- I honestly think my training and 13 years as a dispatcher kicked in the auto response for me to call 911.  The next call to my sister scared the daylights out of her because I was pretty incoherent and very confused and frantic-I didn't know where I was, I didn't know where Jim was and then in an instant the medics showed up.

I don't remember much about my interaction with them other than the neck brace and telling one of the EMTs that this was my very first ambulance ride.  When I woke up on Friday- Thursday night was pretty much a black out.  I lay in my bed thanking God,Jesus,Buddha,the Universe, my deceased  grandmother Eva and my deceased Aunt Mary (those two are the angels always watching over me)- I knew I could have been dead,paralyzed, blind or who knows what.  But there I was with a subdural hematoma,some swelling between the discs in my neck and  a very sore tailbone.

My medical family consisted of a Neurosurgeon, a Trauma Specialist and a soon to be added Cardiologist.  After 3 CAT Scans, multiple xrays, an MRI and Lord knows how many blood tests they decided the hematoma seemed to be taking care of itself and slowly dissipating.  What they were now worried about was the fact that my resting heart rate was only 30.  Now I'm not an athlete, I a little over weight and I walk anywhere from 2-6 miles per day depending on my mood so 30 was not a good sign.  The cardiologist thought I had a heart block that caused me to faint and fall from the ladder-that would explain no sore arms or no sign of bruising from  me trying to break my fall.

Next task, a tilt table test to check out my heart rate-I didn't do so well on that-my heart rate fell to 26-unbelievable and the next thing I know my Doctor was scheduling me for a pacemaker.  This was all too much for my brain to handle-it was still sloshing around from the fall. I cried a little that night in my hospital bed-correction-I cried a lot. I kept thinking how could this be ? What I survived Lyme Disease only to have to tackle this ?  And then it dawned on me how lucky I was-they found I had a problem because the fall put me in the hospital. I started thinking of all the horrible scenarios that could have been had they not found out about my lazy little heart.

So now I'm home, safe and cozy in the condo-loving watching the waves coming in and feeling very blessed again.  I started going through my photo library and came across pictures of our wonderful time in Cedar Key and again I'm so happy to be alive.  I don't know why all this has happened.  I always felt I went through the Lyme Disease battle in order to discover how precious life is. I got it-really I did.  Now I wonder what the universe has in mind for me-make no mistake -there is something I should be doing-I didn't survive all of this by accident.  I'll be trying to live in the present moment but in the back of my rattled little brain will be the thought of what is my purpose-and when I discover it, I will let you know.

In the meantime I will appreciate and value every moment and I will never forget the love and support you all sent my way-it really helped me gain my strength and center myself again. Thank you all so much.  Won't be 
traveling far distances for a few months but I'll keep writing -thank you thank you thank you all so much my friends,my family especially and my dear sweet husband-I love you all.
Happy Trails

Friday, March 21, 2014

Oh So Chillin at the Low Key Hideaway

Life is very good at the Low Key Hideaway in Cedar Key-an adults only RV park and Motel.  And not your typical RV park-only 3 sites !  You have your own little dock or swing to sit on all day long or all night long if you can tear yourself away from the hammock or the Tiki Bar.

I knew when we were making tentative (loosey goosey) plans for this trip that this place had to included.  And because of our timing and when we needed to be in Cape San Blas to start the remodel/refresh effort on the condo, we didn't want to be driving all over Florida from park to park.  We wanted some place where we could really relax; get some adult peace and quiet; have some adult party time; and meet people who just plain want to enjoy life !  This place fits the bill more than I could have imagined.  I said before you feel like it's your own little piece of heaven-and that's because of what Pat & Cindy Bonish have done with this place. Everything is thought out to be a really fun,funky,cool laid back place where you can let your hair down and have a wonderful experience.  Trust me, this place is unlike any you have ever been to and if you are heading to Florida I suggest you start booking now ! We plan on making this our getaway place once we have settled in.  Pinch me, we will be living on Cape San Blas with that gorgeous beach and we would come here to getaway !

Try the signature drink "The Hideaway" but be careful-it's so good you don't realize what you are drinking !
Rum, rum and more Rum 

The party starts at 4pm and runs until 9 and no dwi because you are just  steps away from your bed !

The grounds are all funky and artsy-my kind of place !

Our new evacuation plan for our condo !

So many choices of where to kick back,have a cold drink and relax 

Amazing sunsets right out your back door

Mr. Pelican man flew in just as the sun was setting and promptly took his front row seat

You can check out their travel blog at Every Miles A Memory to see how this lovely couple ended up here. Or visit their gallery pages on SmugMug-here's a taste of what you can experience from the Low Key Hideaway Gallery.  Did I tell you that both of these folks are accomplished photographers ?

Well , it's 5 o'clock somewhere and I'm heading out to the sunshine with a cold drink-Happy Trails

Thursday, March 20, 2014

St Joseph Peninsula State Park Cape San Blas Florida

It was late in the day when we arrived at St Joseph Peninsula State Park.  That's because we stopped at our new home on the way to the park.  Jim had never been here before and I was so anxious for him to see the beach and the condo.  We couldn't go in because some snowbirds are currently renting it until April 1st.  My stomach was in knots hoping and praying that Jim would love it as much as I did when I first saw it-and he did !  He couldn't believe how close we were to the beach-less than 50 steps away.  So we walked along the beach, checked out the condo from all angles and then headed to the park

We were in space 113 in the Shady Tree campground as opposed to the Gulf Breeze campground.  We talked to the ranger about switching to Gulf Breeze the next day and lucky for us there was an opening but we had to be at the station at 8am.  So we got up bright and early and that's when we ran smack into the gorgeous sunrise.  We just couldn't believe the colors and the peacefulness of the area.  We keep pinching ourselves since we can't believe we are so blessed to live in such a beautiful area.

We drove through Gulf Breeze campground and decided the sites were much closer together than Shady Trees so we went happily back to space #113 for the week we stayed here.

We stayed at this park because it gave us access to things we needed to take care of in anticpation of our move to Cape San Blas.  We found a storage facility just 6 miles from our condo; a CPA to help us figure out our tax mess this year; and we got to introduce Hailey to the beach she would come to know as home.  She loved it and it's not even the best time of the year according to the locals.  As far as I'm concerned anytime at the beach is the best time of the year.

We usually don't eat a lot of hot dogs but on this trip I discovered Boar's Head Vidalia Onion mix-oh so good.  But we used it up before we got to this campground and it's very hard to find.  So I looked at the ingredients and mixed up my own batch-Jim thought it was even better than the Boar's head !

I chopped up 2 Vidalia onions and cooked them in a little bit of olive oil until they started to soften and get a little transparent.  I added 2 chopped tomatoes (chopped into very small pieces).  To that I added about 3 tablespoons of garlic powder; about 1 1/2 tablespoons of sugar; and 3 tablespoons of McCormick Smokehouse Maple seasoning; a sprinkling of salt to taste and about 1/4 cup of barbecue sauce. This was very very good on the hotdogs. Experiment with your seasonings-we like it a little spicy so I also added about a tablespoon of red pepper flakes. Then refrigerated everything.

I told Jim I can't believe I didn't take any pictures of the beach for the entire week we were here-he said it's because I felt like I was at home and not just visiting-so I didn't need pictures to remind me . I promise to post pictures of the gorgeous beach-because it is so very pretty with the white sand and turquoise blue waters.  Until then, Happy Trails to all of you.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Mardis Gras New Orleans 2014-Wet, Wild and Wonderful

After spending so much time trying to find remote campsites where we could find peace and quiet to just enjoy nature in, we were both apprehensive about heading to New Orleans for the party of all parties- Mardi Gras 2014.  Everyone warned us it would be crazy, including born and raised folks from Louisiana !   But we were determined.  We figured we had to experience it at least once in our lifetimes !

2 Cuties in their Mardi Gras attire

The Pirate and His Lady

Lundi Gras Celebration the Day before-and the beads were flying !

 Jim wondering why he had to stand in the take out line for 30 minutes--of course for the best beignets in town !

 We wandered through the French Market,stopping to eat and listen to the music

 OMG, Okra Seafood Gumbo

The Kerry Irish Pub off of Decatur Street-great music, great drinks !

The best Irish Coffee ever-Jameson,Baileys, a splash of coffee and lots of whipped cream !

I want what she's having ! 

 These two were crazy, he wouldn't stand still for me !

Onto our 2nd Irish pub for the evening

Because of the weather on Mardi Gras, we actually had more fun at Lundi Gras-didn't have to bundle up in plastic ponchos !  Everyone asked us about naked people,drunks,crime,etc.; honestly we felt perfectly safe.  We stuck to main streets, kept our belongings close (what little we took with us), and we didn't visit Bourbon Street after 10pm which is probably the best advice.  By that time all the 20 something folks are pretty plastered and obnoxious-those are the people who came to get drunk !

We stayed at Pontchartrain Landing RV park and they had 4 shuttles into town (8minute 6$ round trip ride).  It was very convenient, but honestly I wouldn't stay there again-it's not exactly how it appears in the pretty web site !  Rest rooms appeared to be the same portable ones I experienced when I was in New Orleans after Katrina with Habitat for Humanity.  No wifi-or not enough band windth-we could never access it-they did give us a credit on our bill when we complained.  And the bar has music that blasts into the campground-so if you want to go to bed early you can forget it or take your earplugs .  Safe and convenient but in the industrial area so you really don't want to go out and walk at night . Next time I want a balcony at one of the hotels-LOL

Ahh Mardi Gras and the beginning of a fun day in the rain 

Until 2015 Laissez les bons temps rouler

Just a little taste of music from New Orleans Lundi Gras Celebration (the video takes a moment to start ):

Happy Trails Y'all.............

P.S.  You must visit Elizabeth's when you are in New Orleans-we had the best breakfast ever.  Don't be put off by appearances-remember you can't judge a book by it's cover ! Like they say "REAL FOOD,DONE REAL GOOD"