Sometimes we look at sights in nature but don't really see. While hiking in the woods the other day, it became a realization that we need to open our heart and eyes to see the beauty of the simple things in nature with each season. There is so much order and purpose in His creation. God has given us awesome beauty in this world to see and enjoy... if we would but stop to see and feel it. Join us as this blog is about stopping to see the real beauty around touch and feel it... "Through the Lens".

Our Friends

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Good Times...

We have had a grand time this past month at Rainbow Plantation and all the areas around it.  After sitting for so long it has been a treat to lift those jacks and see some of God's beauty and spend time with good friends.       

Speaking of good friends, Mike and Peggy Evringham decided to head further south last Tuesday.  I think there might have been some strawberry shortcake calling Mike's name!!  But in keeping with the tradition of eating we all decided to share one more meal together for this trip.
Mike and Peggy, Don and Gloria Martin, Mike and myself along with Norm Payne gathered at Vallarta's Mexican Restaurant Monday evening.  Linda Payne was unable to be with us because she was battling the flu, bronchitis, and nearly pneumonia.  We really missed her but certainly understand her need to rest and get better.  Oh by the way, she is much better and joining us for dinner this evening!!  More on that later!!      

We were honored to have a special guest with us that evening....The Wiz!!  If you remember, Mike and Peggy were given the honor of traveling with The Wiz for the next year and bringing him back to the Plantation next Mardi Gras along with a booklet of pictures of all his adventures with....The Maniacs In Motion.  They have some great travel plans for this coming year.  Stop by their blog and see all the places The Wiz takes them!!    

We took advantage of a beautiful sunny day with the temperatures ranging around 78 to 80 degrees to head toward the beach.  Mike and I took our chairs and just sat and enjoyed the sunshine, sound of the beautiful waves and just reflected on God's handiwork!!!            

Mike even got involved in a rescue mission.  Those of us sitting in the area noticed a pelican in trouble.  He couldn't stand up or manage to pull himself out of the water.  Finally, a wave pushed him ashore and we discovered he was tangled in fishing line along with 3 hooks stuck in him and an awful gash in his right wing.            

 A lady nearby had a beach towel and several men, including Mike managed to cover him with the towel and get the hooks out along with the fishing line.  When they removed the towel he just laid there not moving.  Our hearts all sank thinking he might have not made it.  After a little while he began to move his wings some and then stand up.  He was still unable to fly although he flapped his wings and tried several times.  He walked a little and would sit down.  The nearby park service was called and they finally arrived. They looked at him but left him on the beach.  He was still lying around when we finally had to leave.  Just hoping that he made it!!!  I will was nice to see so many people concerned about this pelican and putting forth the effort to save his life.           

We stayed long enough on the beach to relax and just enjoy a nearly perfect day.  We came home with a little but of a sunburn.  Gee, a sunburn in February!!        

The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"    Matthew 8:27

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

This past Friday our son, Stephen decided that he wanted to visit us at the Plantation!!  Now before you go and get all "hey, that's so sweet" on me let me explain.  He came to eat!!!  Yep, that's right...he came to eat.  He lives in Auburn, Alabama and it is only 3 1/2 hours from lots of food choices.  Since we were here and he could stay somewhere "free" he decided to pay his ole parents a visit.          

His main target this trip was to taste the delicious fried shrimp at Big Daddy's Grill.  He first experienced this wonderful cuisine in 2010 when we spent the winter at Rainbow Plantation.  He paid us a visit then as well.  Everybody loves Big Daddy's Grill and so did Stephen.  He also wanted to see if he could catch some "throwed rolls" at Lambert's Cafe....Home of the Throwed Rolls.  I am proud to say my son did a superb job catching those baseball size rolls!!!  

After eating so much food we decided to work it off by playing a round of putt-putt golf at  Pirates Island.  We had a blast!!!  Mike and I were no match for the steady hand of youth!!!  Stephen won...but not by much!! 

 A rematch might just be in the cards!! As we were leaving the putt-putt area we decided to treat Stephen to a stop at Punta Clara Kitchen.  This is the quaint home that was turned into an antique shop, candy kitchen and a beautiful tea room.  We were able to once again sample delicious chocolates made from scratch right in their kitchens.  Mike and I enjoyed a Goober Chocolate and Stephen loved the Heavenly Hash.    It was a great day!!      
Tea Room at Punta Clara Kitchen

We ended the day by driving to Fairhope and walking out to the end of the pier.  It was a beautiful afternoon with just enough sun and breeze to make things just right!!!  We stood and just enjoyed the water and the boats passing by for nearly an hour.  We were also entertained by this adorable pelican!         

Let me tell ya....he/she was really working that pier.  Nearly posing for each picture and staying alert for pieces of fish discarded by fishermen!!  This guy has been here before!!!  What fun!!       

Stephen left Sunday morning and so ended a wonderful weekend of eating, playing and enjoying!!!  

Three things will last forever --faith, hope and love --and the greatest of these is love.

                                                1 Corinthians 13:13

Thursday, February 15, 2018

The Fun Continues

The fun of Mardi Gras continued at Rainbow Plantation but so did the eating!!!

Don and Gloria Martin invited us over to their motorhome to enjoy an evening of fun, food and fellowship!!  Gloria prepared a delicious meal of sloppy joes, fruit and coleslaw followed by a yummy dessert!!  The meal was wonderful and being with good friends....awesome!!!   It is always fun to hear full-timers talk about their travels and escapades!!!  
Tuesday evening marked the end of what is known as Fat Tuesday and the Mardi Gras festivities!  We met at the clubhouse for dinner....yes, more eating!! 

 At the conclusion of supper there were skits conducted by various Escapees but the main event was the bidding adieu to the king and queen which marks the end of Mardi Gras for 2018!! Mike and Peggy Evringham were the lucky draw for having the Wiz to travel with them for the whole year until Mardi Gras 2019. 

The Wiz is hand carved out of Cypress Knees and is to be carried around wherever you travel and pictures taken of where he is.  It has been a lot of fun!!                    

At the conclusion everyone stood and sang "Let There Be Peace On Earth."
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me
Let there be peace on earth
The peace that was meant to be.

With God our Creator
We are family
Let us walk with each other
In perfect harmony

Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now
With every step I take 
Let this be my solemn vow

To take each moment and live each moment
In peace eternally
Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.

Wednesday was Valentine's Day and Mike wanted to take me out for lunch.  So we invited our friends, Mike and Peggy and we all headed for Jesse's in Magnolia Springs.  Being Valentine's Day there was a bit of a wait but it was so worth it once the food was served.  Yes, we are eating again!!  After lunch Mike Evringham decided to take us to a really unique candy kitchen!!

Punta Clara Kitchen is located in Point Clear, Alabama in a lovely old home which not only is the place for wonderful yummy chocolates and candy but also antiques.  Punta Clara Kitchen has been serving this area for over 65 years.  They make gourmet preserves, jams and jellies, fruit cake and traditional pecan candies and fudge!!  You can walk around and sample many of their specialties....that was the best part!!
This amazing place has been visited by non other than Guy Fieri from Food Network.  He dropped by and assisted in making some of the candies.  He even brought his sons, Hunter and Ryder and were featured on Guy's Family Road Trip.   If you are ever in the area it is well worth a stop, sample and purchase!!!

We will remain at Rainbow Plantation for a few more days so the fun is not totally over yet...nor is the eating!!  

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

It's Raining, It's Pouring

We have encountered some very wet weather lately in lower Alabama!!  I believe it has rained HARD for the past three days and according to reports almost 6 inches in those 3 days!!
Rain doesn't stop the fun and festivities of Mardi Gras at Rainbow Plantation or the gulf area!!  
During the ice cream social at the clubhouse on Sunday Mike and I were eagerly persuaded to dress up for the costume parade on Sunday evening.  The theme this year centered around "occupations of the world" and Mike and I were going to be an elephant and an elephant trainer.  Our good friends, Mike and Peggy Evringham, were going to be a bee and a bee keeper.         

So the push was on for a costume for an elephant trainer.  After much thinking, looking and wrestling with what I should wear we unanimously decided to approach this as a safari type look.  Since I normally don't wear safari clothing we went on search for something to fit that look.  I found a shirt and hat at Academy Sports so I felt a little better about the costume part.  Mike had it made in that Norm and Linda Payne just happened to have an adorable elephant costume and offered to loan it to Mike for the event.  Now to just have fun and not make a total fool out of ourselves!!                

Things went well last night (Sunday) with many of the couples dressed up and just plain having tons of fun!!  We were unable to get any pictures since our hands were full (and the elephant had no hands at all) but we did get this cute picture at the end of our time parading around!!

The Judge charging the king and queen with their duties

One of 2 skits
The second skit
Thursday found us reunited with our friends Gene and Judi Curp.  We first met Gene and Judi at Rainbow Plantation during our stay there the winter of 2010.  We have remained friends but unfortunately haven't been able to see them in several years....7 to be exact.  They no longer full-time but still love RVing and are avid backpackers and hikers.  We met them as well as Mike and Peggy Evringham, Norm and Linda Payne and Don and Gloria Martin at Big Daddy's Grill for a delicious lunch and wonderful conversation!! 
Gene and Judi are the last 2 on the right side
 Lots of catching up, reminiscing and laughter!! All too soon it was time for them to head further north so we said our "see ya laters" and off they went.  Mike and I do hope to make a trip up toward the Smokey Mountains and see them very soon.  

We managed to make a drive to Perdido Key Beach later on Thursday.  The weather had a brief break and there were moments of sunshine....not much though.  Perdido Key Beach is east of Gulf Shores.  We had a very nice drive through Orange Beach as we headed toward Florida and Perdido Key Beach.  
We found a nice pull over and walked on the beach and just enjoyed the time watching the waves come in, the birds playing and a group of guys boogie boarding.  A very nice afternoon!!

That same evening we almost made it to the pier at Fairhope in time for the sunset.  We did manage to get a few nice shots of post sunset.  It is always nice to be on the pier and just enjoy the people and water.  I also like looking at the boats docked there as well.  It was a beautiful evening, still no rain, and the temperatures were pleasant.               


Tomorrow is Fat Tuesday and the fun and festivities of Mardi Gras will end for this year!!  It has been lots of fun being at Rainbow Plantation for this fun celebration!!  We will have dinner at the clubhouse and the king and queen will bid their adieus and then the announcement of next years theme will be made.  

Stay tuned for Fat Tuesday!!!