Happy Trails

bike-trail-sunset sitting-on-trail bike-on-bridge-sunset trail-curve riding-bike-on-trail trail-ride-selfie bike-on-trail

I love adventure, exercise and nature.  So, I’m not quite sure why I was so surprised that I not only liked trail riding, I LOVED it! It combines almost everything I love into one activity. If you throw in a sunset, that just puts it right over the edge. The trails I’ve been riding are on the edge of the Florida Everglades so the sunsets area phenomenal.

As promised in my post about paddleboarding again (view here), I gave trail riding a try and I must say, it is quickly becoming a regular outing for me. As for rock climbing, I tried a local indoor gym and loved it.  However, it will be a bit difficult to do on a regular basis as you need a partner to belay you. The only active person I know that is interested in rock climbing is my 16 year old son.  Between school, football training, track training, track meets and theater/play practice, I doubt we will fit much climbing in (at least for now).  I am going to try an outdoor rock climbing option at my daughters college and do a climb with her. We’ll see how it goes.  More to come.

I must say, I love using nature as my gym.  When I’m exercising outside, I feel invigorated and elated; I feel alive!

Beach Photography

I have been MIA from the blog for sometime; 3 months to be exact!  WOW, how quickly time flies.  Hopefully that will change.  Soon there will be a post about my hair, the debacle and the process to recover.  I know, don’t get too excited.  In the meantime, I wanted to share my most recent little hobby with you.

If you know me at all, then you know I’m a beach lover.  It could be said that I moved my family 1600 miles to be close to the beach.  (well, that’s at least one reason anyway) The beach brings me peace.  It is my happy place.  Ok, after much  babbling, here’s the point.  I got this awesome lens set for my Samsung phone from my brother and sister-in-law for Christmas.  The set came with a wide angle lens and a fish eye lens. My Galaxy s6 Active already takes great photos, but this lens takes it up a notch. Plus, it’s super easy to use.  I can’t stop taking photos.

Here are just a few pics I’ve taken in just the last three weeks.  If you follow me on Instagram, then this will be a repeat.  If you don’t follow me on Instagram, please do.  You can find me at @mamanellie_.

surflines surfboard-pier sunset-view-rays sunburst-dance sand-view-clear-water nell-walking-up nell-walking-up-dress bird-up-close birds-sandbar clouds-reflection cloudy-lighthouse crooked-palm lifeguard-stand miami-beach-sunset bird-flying bird-flying-wings-up

Favorite Things

Nell and Steve Sunshine SmallSunset Half Down Small Steve Walking into Sun Small Steve in Sunset Small Nell Sitting in Road Small Nell Running in Sunset Looking Up Small Nell and Steve Sunshine Looking at each other Small Epic Sunset Small Bunny Small Blurry Bird Flying Small Nell Running in Sunset Looking Down Small

We chased the sunset, discovered uncharted territory, held hands, talked, laughed and saw a bunny. Two of my most favorite things; nature and my husband.  This night was good.

Thoughts on Nature

Orange Lion King Sunset Caution Everglades Sign Bird Diving Orange Lion King Sunset over water Orange Sunset Road Glades on 1 Side Bird Flying over Everglades  Sunset with Palm Boys on a JeepOrange and Blue Sunset

I am a sucker for nature; pretty much any kind.  Being emerged in the beauty of the outdoors brings me peace and tranquility like nothing else.  As I sit there soaking it all in, I lose track of time and all worries of this world.  Nature is one of the places that I easily connect with God.  I see him everywhere; His majesty and wonder surrounds me. Florida sunsets are simply the best! What a great way to end an awesome weekend.

Time

This place.  It seems when we are here, time stands still.  I love going out to the Everglades with Steve to watch the sunset.  It is in these moments when we can put everything aside just be.  We can sit and watch the beauty all around us while we talk about big things, little things, silly things, insignificant things, everything. I love dreaming. I love thinking about what can be.  These are some of my most favorite moments.

Sunset with RaysNell in Everglades Really Close Steve Hands out in SunSteve at Everglades SunsetSteve Looking at Sunset Sunset Hand No Parking any timeNell Walking in Everglades

Tropical Tuesday :: Beach Lunch

Grassy palms Lifeguard Stand View Palm Tree Leaning Palm Tree Shadow Pier View Up the Palm TreeNell Profile

The beach is my happy place. I am completely blessed to work very close to the ocean. I don’t get there every week (especially these days) but try as much as I can to go there to spend my lunch hour. No matter what stress I’ve experienced during my day, I can go to the beach and it seems to literally melt away. I am making it a goal to get to this beautiful spot each and every week.

Labor-Less Weekend

Boys playing in the pool Danica I pooped today Earl and Trey Walking Girls at Guabanas Hawaii Please Nell Camera View Off to the Races Palm Trees Pointing out to dad Prissy Looking Outside Sunglasses View Trey Drilling Trey Spear a PBR Trey the Pool man Trey walking on Water Waiting to Race
We did Labor Day weekend very well; no labor.  Well I should say that the “labor” we did was fun labor. We spent the long weekend at my mom’s about an hour north of our house (near the ocean).

The weekend started with a paddleboard race to benefit Autism research.  The race was tough but such a great cause.  The rest of the weekend consisted of a lot of pool hangs mixed with margarita drinking and good food eating.  My brother showed my son, Trey, how to make a Hawaiian sling (hand fishing spear).  Of course we had to test this out in the pool by spearing a beer cans.  This act was coincidentally coined as “beer fishing”.  Yes, I clearly realize how incredibly redneck this sounds.  But, hey, it was lots of fun!

Hope everyone enjoyed a restful and fun Labor Day weekend as well.  Now, back to reality.  😦

Date Night :: Sunset Views

Everglades Sawgrass View Nell Laughing in Road Steve on the RoadMoon Sliver Steve Walking to Everglades Canal by the EvergladesNell Pointing to the Everglades Steves Silloutte The Long Road Date Night Selfie B&W8 foot alligator Nell Walking in the Everglades

Date night involved a wings and beer dinner, some beautiful sunsets over the expanse of the grassy Florida Everglades, an 8 foot alligator, and some unexpected off-roading in the truck. Trespassing may have been involved just a tad. Oops!

Tropical Tuesday

After Snorkeling After SUP Beach tiki camping at the beach hats at the beach Paddleboarding B&W Palm VIew Pool Jump Snorkeling vw van at the beach

1 :: Snorkeling sesh with my favorite boy
2 :: The end of a great paddle
3 :: Beach tiki (pinterest)
4 :: A little beach camping (pinterest)
5 :: This is where I hang my hat (pinterest)
6 :: A lovely paddleboarding sesh
7 :: Palm view
8 :: Go ahead…JUMP
9 :: A little snorkel in the clear Florida waters
10 :: Nothing like some beach camping

Date Nights are Back!

Backseat of motorcycle view Steve walking down the streetEvening Beach View Sitting on the Rail at the Beach Steve Viewing the OceanKiss B&W
Date nights are officially back!  It’s been almost a year since we’ve done regular date nights and I’ve missed them terribly.  As of last week, they are back on again and I am, oh, so happy.  Hanging out one-on-one with this guy is the best!

P.S. I apologize for the low quality of some of these photos.  They were taken with an iPhone at dusk.  The last pic was had the worst quality, but the moment captured was way too good to pass up on posting.