Another wonderful year just flew by.

“May all your troubles last as long as your New Year’s resolutions.” ~ Joey Adams
Just popping in to wish you all a really happy and healthy 2014. Where did this year go to? I’ve been too busy to notice. My time has been spent in Florida, Belize, South Africa, England and Costa Rica, with a spectacular Rhine cruise thrown in during August. Yesterday, we returned from visiting family in New Jersey, and are now enjoying our ‘home alone’ peacefulness on this last day of the year. Tonight we’ll drink a toast to the New Year, and tomorrow I guess that life will continue as per usual, with no fanfare or undue excitement. At the end of February, we’ll be off to England for a week to visit my 100-year-old mom-in-law, who has seen in a whole century of new years, and doesn’t appear to intend changing that any time soon. March will see us back in our home on the south-east coast of South Africa, and of course I’m so looking forward to seeing my mom, sister, daughter and two grandchildren again.

I don’t make new year resolutions, but if I did make just one, it would be to smile even more than I do. Mother Teresa once said, “Every time you smile at someone, it’s an action of love, a gift to that person, a beautiful thing.” So I wish you lots and lots of smiles in the coming year; great big ‘Dolly the dolphin’ smiles.

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“Let this coming year be better than all the others. Vow to do some of the things you’ve always wanted to do but couldn’t find the time for. Call up a forgotten friend. Drop an old grudge, and replace it with some pleasant memories. Vow not to make a promise you don’t think you can keep. Walk tall, and smile more. You’ll look ten years younger. Don’t be afraid to say, ‘I love you’. Say it again. They are the sweetest words in the world.” ~ Ann Landers

Weekly Photo Challenge: Joy

We are now in the car on our way back to Florida, after spending a wonderful Christmas with our son and family in New Jersey. I just saw the WPC for this week, and decided to share a pic of the joyous family members we’ve been with for the past week. We’re definitely going to miss seeing them every day, but we have wonderful memories of our times together.

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To see more entries for the challenge, just click on the badge below.

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Thursday’s Christmas Windows in NYC

I know I’m a day late for Dawn’s “Lingering Windows #60” challenge, but I’m sure you won’t mind seeing some of what I saw in New York City last night. We took the two granddaughters into the city to see the Christmas lights, and what an exciting evening it was.

The Empire State was looking so beautiful, all lit up in red and green.

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The streets were really crowded, but we battled our way through.

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Macy’s had a lovely collection of Christmas window decorations with the theme, ‘Believe’.

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Passing by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, we popped in so that Taylor and Sienna could have their photo taken with the poster featuring their little brother Max, who was at home with his mom and other grandma.

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We start on our three day drive back to Florida tomorrow morning. It’s been a lovely, but hectic few days here with the family. Most of the time there have been nine adults, seven kids and a dog, so not much chance to sit down with my computer. Sorry I’ve been so scarce, but things will return to normal when I get home again. Hope you’ve also had a wonderful family time over the Christmas holidays. Peace and love to you all.

You can click here to see more ‘Lingering Windows’.

Ed’s Sunday Stills: Christmas Decorations

We’re almost at the end of our journey, and have just stopped for lunch in Delaware. In a couple of hours or less, we’ll be arriving in New Jersey, where we will no doubt be enthusiastically greeted by our three little grandchildren. There are three goodie bags in the car, because the “What have you brought us?” syndrome is always alive and well when the grandparents arrive.

I’m not too sure just how much time I’ll have to keep up with your blogs over the coming week, so I’m wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays with your family and friends. It’s been so great getting to know you through your blogs this past year, and I’m looking forward to more of the same in 2014.

Here is my entry to Ed’s Sunday Stills challenge “Holiday lights and decorations.”

This pic was taken in Zarcero, Costa Rica, at the ‘Parque Francisco Alvardo’. I will show you more of this whimsical garden of magic and wonder in a future post, but for now, here is the gorgeous Nativity scene, which since the 1960’s, has been set up every year, complete with offerings of traditional Costa Rican food and drink to the Christ Child.

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To see more entries for Ed’s challenge, just click here.

Thursday’s Lingering Windows: Savannah GA

Last night we stayed in a lovely 19th century hotel near the wharf in Savannah, Georgia. I’m sure the windows on the ferry look lovely at night, with the twinkling lights all around them.

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The restaurant at our hotel, was in the basement and was decked out for Christmas. We had a window seat, but the view out of it was only of a few ferns and the grating in the sidewalk above.

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This morning before setting off on our travels again, we took a walk along the waterfront and found a few more windows. This was my favourite,

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I loved the old wooden shutters on this one.

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The windows on this old trolley bus were rolled down, because of the cold weather, and although you can’t see them, I saw that it was full of people dressed up as Santas and Elves.

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We did go inside the candy store, but the delicious sweet smell was quite enough to add the inches, so we resisted the temptation to buy.

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I hope you’ve enjoyed my windows. To see more, you can visit Dawn’s blog right here.

We now have about four hours travelling to reach the town of King George, where we will spend the night. Once again, my internet access along the road is very patchy, and I’m finding it so frustrating, as I could have caught with all of you whilst I’ve been sitting for hours and hours in the car. I just did this post sitting in Starbucks, sipping my Chai Latte and eating a delicious toasted Panini. I’ll catch up with some of you this evening.

 

 

 

 

 

Wordless Wednesday: Shave at a cut-throat price?

I think this customer looks a trifle nervous. Let’s hope this isn’t Costa Rica’s very own Sweeney Todd. 🙂

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We are on the road. Still have 300 miles to Savannah, where we’re spending the night. My internet is patchy and very slow in the car, but I’m persevering. We just stopped at Starbucks, Daytona beach, for my favourite Chai Latte and toasted Panini fix. Hope you’re all having a great day.

Happy Anniversary to us.

Today my darling hubby and I celebrate our 47th wedding anniversary. I wonder how many of you are old enough to remember these songs that we danced to: ”Strangers in the night” by Frank Sinatra, “These boots were made for walking” by Nancy Sinatra,  ”Reach out, I’ll be there”, by The Four Tops  and “God only knows” and “Good Vibrations” by the Beach Boys?

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This may sound like a huge number of years to be with the same person, but the time has just flown by. When we two love-struck youngsters said, “I do,” we could never have envisaged what a wonderful and long relationship lay before us. Hubby was newly graduated, and we had very little in the way of material things, but what we did have, was our love for one another, and  a dream of a “happily ever after” future together. Now, two wonderful children and five precious grandchildren later, we are still  celebrating. At times it’s been an exciting roller coaster ride, but then there have been the calm, smooth sailing periods when we’ve just coasted along without too much effort at all. Through all these years, I’ve been so fortunate to have someone who loves me unconditionally and without reserve; someone I can totally depend on to always be there for me through thick and thin. I just couldn’t imagine life without my wonderful man. We’re true soul mates, and although we’re so different in many ways, we get along so well. We’ve laughed together, cried together, and most importantly of all, we’ve stayed together.

“A kiss is just a kiss till you find the one you love.

 A hug is just a hug, till you find the one you’re always thinking of.

 A dream is just a dream till it magically comes true 

 Love was just a word till I heard it from you.”   ~ Anon.

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Jake’s Christmas Tree Challenge

“The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.”

It was so great to see Jake’s new challenge sitting in my inbox today, and I really love his wonderful Christmas animations. It seems that everywhere we go at this time of year, there are Christmas trees, lights and decorations. Here are a few that I saw as I did some frantic last minute shopping before our drive up to New Jersey to spend Christmas with our son and family.

We will be driving up, staying overnight in Savanna and Washington. I know I’d better pack some warm clothes. Last year it was pretty cold up there, but the snow made his house look really pretty. You can see the glow from the Christmas tree through the right hand side window.

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Inside it was lovely and warm and the star on the 15 ft tree, just touched the ceiling.

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I’m so looking forward to going into the city to see the ginormous tree at the Rockefeller Centre. It’s always quite spectacular even in the daytime. I’d love to see it at night though. The tree, usually a Norway Spruce and about 100 ft tall, is a wonderful New York tradition, and has been put up every year since 1933.

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I may not manage to get to all your blogs tomorrow, as I have lots of presents to wrap and packing to do. I will however, try to catch up with you during the 1200 mile journey, as I won’t be doing the driving. 🙂

To see more entries for Jake’s Sunday Post Challenge, just click on the badge below.

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