My First Visit to…the Palm Ball

My First Visit To

My First Visit To the Palm Ball

This year’s Palm Ball theme was Mangroves in the Moonlight. It was way more than that!

Seeing as this was my first time attending this event, I had properly prepared to get my hair, makeup and nails done. I love to keep things simple so if it’s done for me and all I have to do is slip into my gown, it makes the evening all the sweeter.

The Conservation Foundation of the Gulf Coast hosts guests at what I think is the most elegant gala of the season, the Palm Ball. My guest and I valeted our vehicle and proceeded into the swelling crowd for a libation. As we settled in, we strolled the grounds, took a walk out onto the dock and to the top of the grandfathered-in boat dock for some amazing sunset views. As the sun set, the main tent opened. As we walked into the entrance of the event, I stopped in absolute awe of the pure beauty of this event.  A plethora of unimaginably gorgeous chandeliers hung from above and the lighting was this really pretty purple. I might have lost my breath and said a special thank you before taking my seat next to my guest.

We sipped on cocktails, strolled under the moonlight and danced the night away after a scrumptious dinner of pan-seared jumbo diver scallops and craw-fish, green peas & butternut squash risotto, crispy artichoke, foie gras, nage & crispy salsify root as our first course. Our entree was thyme & garlic roasted chateau of beef, anise-scented sweet potato puree, heirloom baby carrots, toasted cauliflower, grilled trumpet king mushroom, cabernet & black truffle demi reduction. We didn’t even see the dessert because my guest took me by my hand for some dancing as the band Pocket Change played. It was one of those evenings you didn’t know you would hate to see come to an end.

The Ballpark at Fenway

The Ballpark

The Ballpark

Surprisingly, this Rochester, NY girl who fell in love with baseball as a spectator at the Rochester Red Wings while watching Cal Ripken, Jr. play, talk, walk, interact, smile, (well you get it!), and later at Camden Yards at the series where Cal Ripken tied and then beat Lou Gehrig’s record for most consecutive games played, I’ve actually fallen in love with the Boston Red Sox, Fenway Park and Boston overall. Fenway is full of charm and some of the worlds most loyal fans. Fenway is also the location of the film Fever Pitch with Drew Barrymore and Jimmy Fallon, and it’s the oldest and the fourth-smallest in the MLB.

One of Fenway’s most popular features is the Green Monster wall. A definite bucket list for many. The 37’2″ wall was built as part of the original ballpark. The wall includes a scoreboard that is updated manually. Though it wasn’t painted green until 1947, the wall turns many would-be line-drive homers into doubles it also allows some high fly balls to clear of play for a home run.

I’m in Boston for a marketing conference and had the opportunity to attend Monday night’s game against the Toronto Blue Jays. We had great seats and one of the guests near me had a picture sent to her of us being on TV (see below)! It was a fun ballgame at Fenway Park!

Cheers to this year’s hopeful world-series playoffs as a contender!

If Flowers Could Talk

If Flowers Could Talk

If Flowers Could Talk

Hey…you guys! Wake up! They’re here! Where? I don’t see them? Can you move your head so I can see them? Move over. I want to see them too! Oh, now I see them! They’re coming to say hi to all of us. How exciting! Just in time before we release our seeds and gently collapse into our great Earth for a long winter’s sleep. Oh, but wait! What is that? All of you, please come closer and fast! We’ll protect you from that huge mosquito! Come on guys, wrap your petals around them. We can do this!

Movie Title: Out of Africa

    Movie Title -- Out of AfricaMovie Title — Out of Africa

Out of Africa is Isak Dinesen’s memoir of her years in Africa, from 1914 to 1931, on a four-thousand-acre coffee plantation in the hills near Nairobi. She had come to Kenya from Denmark with her husband whom she didn’t love. After enduring his womanizing behavior, she eventually kicks him out and falls deeply in love with a British adventurer,  the big-game hunter Denys Finch-Hatton.

Enjoy some of the best lines from this brilliantly written movie. {Did not include who spoke which line so you’ll just have to watch this Oscar award winning film!}

Are you quite famous? They stopped the train for you. Well it’s rude not to here.

You’ve caught me snooping. Well it’s not my room. It’s Denys and he won’t mind. That’s the thing about Denys. He doesn’t mind.

That’s a fine kiss goodbye. I’m better at hello.

I wouldn’t run. If you do, she’ll think you’re something good to eat. Do you have a gun? She won’t like the smell of you. Shoot it. She’s had breakfast. Please shoot her. Let’s give her a moment. Oh my God shoot her! How much further did you expect to let her come? A bit. She wanted to see if you’d run. That’s when they decide. A lot like people that way. She almost had me for lunch. Wasn’t her fault, she’s a lion. Well it wasn’t mine. Doesn’t that outfit come with a rifle? It’s on my saddle. Better to keep with you. Your horse isn’t much of a shot!

I like my things. And when you traveled before in your mind, did you carry so much luggage? A man can travel and doesn’t have the need to eat or sleep or entertain. You’re right. And anyway, aren’t you pleased I brought my crystal and my china? And your stories, yes.

What the devil are you doing here? I’m on my way to Delamere. Ridiculous. We don’t send women to war. Well, I’m going. Karen, we really haven’t time for this. You don’t even know where you are. I do now. And you’ll just get lost again. I’m going on Berkeley. Talk to her will you. No. She could be hurt or worse. I imagine she knows that. Right, I tried. Here. Find a spot on the horizon each morning and steer by it. South, southwest. About three days. I see. And don’t worry about us. We’ll be alright. 

I had a compass from Denys to steer by he said. But later it came to me that we navigated differently. Perhaps he knew as I did not that the Earth was made round so that we would not see too far down the road.

I still have your compass. Why don’t you keep it. You’ve earned it. Besides, I don’t always want to know where I am going anyway. Well, please don’t let me keep you. Are you alright? Yes, take good care Denys. We’re behind a story or two. Yes, when I get back. Back? From where? When you get back I meant.

Hello Denys. Can you join us for a drink? It’s time to find a pillow. Another night then. Have a good Christmas. Christmas. So it is.

You do like to change things don’t you? For the better I hope. I want my coo coo to learn to read. My coo coo. My lemouge. My farm. It’s an awful lot to own isn’t it? I’ve paid a price for everything I own. And what is it exactly that’s yours? We’re not owners here Karen. We’re just passing through. Is life really so damn simple for you Finch Hough? Perhaps I ask less of it than you. I don’t believe that at all.

Did you think you would spend the night? Can’t thanks. I’ve taken up safari work and I’ve got to find a camp. There’s country there you ought to see. It won’t last long now. No, I would be wasting your time. Why don’t you get your things? If you like me at all, you wouldn’t ask me to do this.

What’s your word? Shoo? Is that it? Shoo? Shoo! Shoo! That’s a fine word you’ve got there Baroness.

I don’t know the scientific basis for it but I know you can see further in the African night than any other place and the stars are brighter. 

He was half musscae. That’s what you remember about him. They’re not like anybody else. We think we will tame them but we won’t. If you put them in prison they die. Why? Because they live now. They don’t think about the future. They can’t grasp the idea that they’ll be let out one day. So they die. They’re the only ones out here that don’t care about us. And that is what will finish them. What did the two of you ever find anything to talk about? Nothing.

So, you knew I would come. It’s an early day tomorrow. Why don’t you get some sleep. What happens tomorrow? I have no idea. Good night Karen. 

You would think they would run off. You didn’t. 

Think of that. Never a manmade sound and then Mozart!

Plane flys over. It’s made of cloth. Where will he land? Trick is not to. It must feel amazing.

I can fix that I think. Laugh long and all the while his eyes went to and fro. The devil knows how to roll. Farewell, farewell. Ah you’re skipping verses. Only the dull ones. Farewell, farewell, this I tell to thee wedding guests. This Prayeth well and loveth well both man and bird and beast. Ahhhh. That’s better.

Will it be so different? Hunting for hire? Not for the animals. Well maybe for the animals. Do you really prefer them to people? Sometimes. They don’t do anything halfheartedly. Everything’s for the first time. Hunting, working, mating. It’s only man that does it badly. It’s only man that tires of going through it. He says see here, now I know how you feel about me and you know how I feel about you and we understand each other so let’s lie down and get on with it. 

Why am I here? Because I wanted you to see all this. I wanted to show it to you. I thought you’d understand it. Do you think much about death? I think about getting old. It would be like living with a cranky, demanding old bastard. Well you are a cranky, demanding old bastard.

I need to know how to think about this. Why?

Be careful. When the old map makers got to the edge of the world, they used to write beyond this place, they’ll be dragons. Is that where I am?

When you go away on safari, are you ever with someone else? I’d be with you if I wanted to be with anyone. Do you ever get lonely? Sometimes. Do you ever wonder if I am lonely? No, I don’t. Do you think about me at all? Often. But not enough to come back. I do come back. All the time. What is it? Nothing. Broll has asked me for a divorce. He found someone he wants to marry. I thought we just might do that someday. Divorce? How would a wedding change things? I would have someone of my own. No, you wouldn’t. What’s wrong with marriage anyway? Have you ever seen one you admire? Yes, I have. Many. There are some animals that mate for life. Geese. You know you use the damn animals for your own argument but you won’t let me use them for mine. I’d mate for life. One day at a time. When you go away, you don’t always go on safari do you? No. Just want to be away. It’s not meant to hurt you. It does. Karen, I’m with you because I choose to be with you. I don’t want to live someone else’s idea of how to live. Don’t ask me to do that. I don’t want to find out one day that I’m at the end of someone else’s life. I’m willing to pay for mine. To be lonely sometimes, to die alone if I have to. I think that’s fair. Not quite. You want me to pay for it as well. No, you have a choice and you’re not willing to do the same for me. I won’t be closer to you. I won’t love you more because of a piece of paper.

What you want is impossible Bariness. Yes, it always is.

You’ve ruined it for me ya know. Ruined what? Being alone. Have I?



Repeating Patterns

Repeating Patterns

Repeating Patterns

Recently broke a trip up by stopping off at St. Mary’s on the Florida/Georgia line. One must take the ferry ride over to Cumberland Island to witness some wild horses running free! You can only experience the island on foot or bike. We chose foot and stopped at one of the campsites to check it out. Loved the repeating patterns in this campsite bathroom of all places! I know, you really wanted to see the running horses, didn’t you?




The Good Old Days

If you enjoy the country, a slower pace and way of life, getting a little dirty and wearing a big smile on your face, you’d enjoy Clewiston.

Close to Lake Okeechobee, Clewiston is known as Florida’s “sweetest town” due to the plethora of sugarcane fields! Clewiston is a city in Hendry County, Florida with a mere population of approximately 7,175 give or take a few.

If you do visit, you truly go back in time especially when you stay at the historic Clewiston Inn. It was built in 1938 by the United States Sugar Company to host company executives and visiting dignitaries. Pretty cool eh? The inn is registered as a National Historic Site which I didn’t realize when I stayed there for one quick evening. Sweet Clewiston takes me so far back to my childhood days spent with my grandparents on their 88 acres of land in Filmore, NY. The sights, the sounds, the smells. Absolutely everything, including the music playing on the radio with the windows down as you cruise through the country roads without a care in the world and the wind in your hair. Even when I’m just passing through, I get sucked in and stop along the country ways to photograph God’s great Earth and fondly think of my grandparents. I thank you Mr. Clewiston.


The Good Old Days


Another Photographer!

My post on June 6th explains the rare opportunity I was presented with to do research with Mote Marine Laboratories staff and interns. One of the teenage interns had a camera in an underwater casing and jumped in the water numerous times to capture some of the rays we studied or saw that day. It’s always fun to see another photographer so passionate about getting the best possible photographs no matter the obstacles, weather or difficulty of the shot!

Another Photographer!



Other Photographers

Other Photographers

Other Photographers

I’m closing in on my first year of being a member of the Lakewood Ranch Digital Photo Club (LWRDPC). We recently took a field trip to various graveyards for our clubs monthly theme of “scary” photos.

L.B., our club president and a few others pre-planned a special photo shoot in addition to our scary theme for this field trip. L.B. even shopped the day prior for some vintage clothing to help depict a widow in mourning over her lost husband to war. We needed some models to assist in the shoot so I stepped up to the “gravesite” to model. I asked one of our members to grab my camera as I looked up from our second pose as I saw approximately 11 photographers with their cameras starring at me ready to shoot! I’ve never been in that situation before and I had to smile even though I was “in mourning”.

Wife in Mourning - Photographed by Bill Mill

Wife in Mourning – Photographed by Bill Mills

Photographer taking photo of photographer taking photo of photographer

Photographer taking photo of photographer taking photo of photographer – Photo by Bill Mills