"When I get to a place
for the first time and know it like home, this is when I know my journey
will be over"
'True religion is real living; living with
all one's soul, with all one's goodness and righteousness'
Cindy's July 2010 Blog
Feel Free to browse past blogs for plenty of travel ideas and many of the places we've been in our first few years on the road - Past Blog's
Solar Tips, Fact's and Trick's we've learned while on the road
Well-behaved women seldom make history
Tuesday July 6th 2010 - Half Way Through the Year Already
Where does the time go these days? It seems I finish with my daily chores and it's the end of the week already which means it's the weekend and we're full with new guests.
Numerous times throughout the week I'll think that 'tonight I'm going to sit down, update my blog and catch up on the endless supply of emails I need to answer', only to sit down in front of the computer, start to go through them and next thing I know it's time to go to bed.
That or the phone rings, the doorbell rings or someone stops by and pulls me off course. It isn't all that hard to pull me off course in the first place, especially when you mix in all these other distractions that seem to pop up non-stop in this crazy life of mine.
When we used to travel in the camper fulltime, I'd wake up early before Pat would and have a few hours to sit in front of the computer, jot down my thoughts and work on my photos. It was sort of my calming time of the day and I used to really look forward to that peace and solitude.
These days I dont even know what a camera feels like anymore and I doubt I could remember how to work on any of the photos without Pat giving me a quick tutorial on Photoshop. I went out shooting with Pat the other morning and had to stare at the back of the camera and it's controls to remember what I was doing.
It had been so long since I had been behind the lens, I forgot what it was like. But it only took a few minutes before it came flooding back to me and that was a good feeling.
We had gotten an early call from a good friend who knew we were trying to get photos of the Roseate Spoonbills that have recently migrated up to the Cedar Keys.
Up to this point, we had only seen a few glimpses of them flying around the islands, but hadn't had the chance to get any photos. Danny called and said there was a big flock of them just up the road from the motel in a shallow marsh, so we threw the camera gear into the truck and went to see what we could find.
The birds wade around in the shallow waters sweeping the bottom with their big bills and snapping up any fish or food that gets stirred up in the process.
When standing still, or sitting with their wings folded, they have a very slight pink hue to them. But if you can get a shot of them with their wings open, the pink color intensifies and you see how bright their feathers really are.
That was my only real chance to get out and shoot in the last few months, and it was great to be back behind the camera. I'm going to have to try and do it more often.
We go out often with Danny, a local fisherman who I've fallen in love with. He's amazing to go out on the water with and listen to his endless stories. He always shows us the coolest things, gets us into the neatest places and has made us feel so comfortable here in Cedar Key. He's one of those people who is real and genuine and I'm so grateful Luz introduced us.
We got to go Shark Fishing with Danny one morning, another time he took us out on an extremely low-tide and showed us some sea life I never knew existed. He's taken us out in the middle of the night on his airboat and allowed Pat and I to capture some amazing photos of what life is like for a fisherman along the Gulf Coast. If you haven't seen it yet, make sure you check out the Gulf Coast Life Gallery we've been putting together.
It seems in the last few months, there just aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done I want to accomplish.
The Low-Key Hideaway is going great and is always a work in progress. We've got the yard looking good, but still have so much more planned for it. The rooms are coming along, and we've stalled on completing the last two rooms so we can save up to make them Handicapped Accessible.
For me, the joy in working so hard is reading the reviews our guests leave on Trip Advisor. Within our first 7months of having the motel, we've become the #1 rated motel in Cedar Key. We've yet to have a bad review and we've been blessed with so many people saying they like it, they love the cleanliness of the rooms and they want to come back.
That right there makes it all worth while for me. I get satisfaction in knowing that I made someone's visit or their vacation enjoyable.
As always, we're learning as we go and figuring out what we think people want to have when they come to Cedar Key. I think its funny how much stuff we had planned before we actually got here and knew what we were in for.
It's easy to dream up scenarios in your head thinking this is the way it will be. But when it comes to reality, those scenarios dont always play out the way you thought they would. Many of the things we had planned up were thrown into the trash bin and lots of new ideas have been added to the drawing board.
We've had so many people come and visit who have followed along with our travels and its wonderful that we can make a connection with so many like minded travelers.
I've taken comfort in enjoying the stories of their travels while sharing some of our past experiences with them around the afternoon sunsets at the Tiki-Bar. Pat still gets to see new campers, big toy-haulers and get his fix of the toys he enjoys so much with all the guests pulling in with their various models.
I'm actually looking forward to our vacation we have coming up in August because it's going to be something so new for Pat and I. Rather than just go back out on the road, it'll be something completely different than the way we traveled for the last few years.
I'll be sure to keep up on the blogs while we're on that leg of the adventure because then I'll have so much to talk about. I dont think my day to day life around the motel is anything that warrants a daily blog...LOL
In the midst of all this fun and non-stop work, we had a total surprise thrown in when my daughter decided to move in with us.
It had been awhile since her and I had a chance to spend quality time together and it's great having Donielle around. She's a woman now and I have to keep reminding myself this when that motherly instinct creeps up and I want to tell her what to do or speak my mind like when she was a child and I felt the need to give her guidance.
So far everything has been going great and she seems to really enjoy it around here. She's always been a bit of a Tom-Boy, so catching crabs off the dock and getting stuck in the muck isn't something that bothers her too much, but it was fun for us to watch her try and get out....LOL
Some women might go crazy and think they'd be stuck in a town this small. There isn't much to do for those who like to shop at designer stores or be entertained with shows and nightlife.
But Donielle has always been like Pat and I and enjoyed the beauty of nature, the quietness of a calm night with no sounds other than the birds and the wind blowing through her hair, and being able to have her own little oasis of a hideout is something I'm hoping she'll enjoy as much as we do.
She's a big help when it comes to keeping up with the place, and I'm hoping this will be a good thing for all of us. I know I sure do enjoy the time I get to spend with her.
I know I always say that I'll try and keep up on this, but I cant guarantee anything. I had some free time this morning and thought I'd jot down some of my thoughts.
If there is one thing I could ask, it's that you say some prayers for the Gulf Region and all it's fisherman and those who live along it's waters. This BP Disaster has me so worried and in fear we all might lose something that is beyond describable beauty.
Till next time, I hope everyone is having a great summer. Oh, and if you want to drop me a line, I've found that I can sit down and make a few comments on Facebook during the week. So I've been spending alot more time on there than on the blogs. There is a link at the top of this page that will bring you to my Facebook Page. Thanks and take care.