Most Mondays, weather permitting, Becky and I go biking on the Withlacoochee Trail. Although the trail is over 40 miles long, we favor a section stretching from Inverness to Floral City. It's nearly 14 miles round trip and the Shamrock Inn in Floral City offers a $.99 breakfast if you get there before 11 AM. For this low, low price, you get an egg, any style, hash browns and toast. Coffee is extra. The inn is right on the trail and many bicyclists take advantage of the bargain meal. So, on Mondays, we load the bikes on the car, drive to Inverness where there is convenient parking at Wallace Brooks Park. It's a nearly seven mile ride to Floral City. We eat our breakfast and ride back to Inverness.
Today was beautiful weatherwise. Sunny with temps in the mid 70's, perfect for biking.
The last time I posted here, back in November of 2011, I mentioned my ambivalence about being a snow bird. I was looking forward to the warm, sunny weather that Florida offers, but I was not eager to leave all the things in NJ that I really enjoy.
We've been in Florida for six weeks now. The weather has been quite mild, much warmer than the previous two winters. We've had some chilly mornings, but by midday, it's sunny and pleasant. It seems, though, that it's been pretty mild in NJ too. There haven't been any major snow storms to date and temps appear to be moderate for this time of year.
In the past, I've enjoyed the Florida weather to do outdoor activities. I do try to bicycle with a friend on the Withlacoochee Trail every Monday. Most other days I go to the gym, a gym that is no where near as nice as NBD, the gym I belong to at home. Going to the gym every day negates the allure of mild temperatures and outdoor activities. I find myself pining for the NJ gym and my trainer, Toni.
The things I miss the most though are people; my yarny friends and my NJ grands. As I follow their activity reports on ravelry, facebook, twitter and my daughter-in-law's blog, I struggle over and over with all the things I am missing. Christmas, a wedding, a yarn store opening, just to name a few. There are activities here including two knitting groups, the UU congregation, socializing at the club house, but they just don't seem to measure up this year. And, there is so little access to culture here. We see reviews of films that are not playing nearby. We miss concerts, plays. Hell, I even miss Starbucks!!
Early in December we looked into spending next winter in a more cosmopolitan area like Sarasota. It looks very appealing but prices are simply out of reach. We're toying with the idea of spending next winter at home and using NYC as our playground. Since the heat in our apartment is always on high (with no way to control it but opening the window), we won't be cold and we don't have to go out if the weather is bad.
In the meantime, there are some nice things to look forward to. I've got a frequent flyer ticket and will be heading to Portland in early February. Shortly after I return, the NJ grands and their parents will be visiting us. And, in early March DH and I are taking a knitting cruise with Barry Klein. Of course, in mid-April we'll be attending the Sarasota Film Festival again.
I'm knitting, of course. I've got three baby sweaters and an adult sweater "in process." One baby sweater is a store sample for All About Ewe, the about to open yarn store mentioned above. The adult sweater, for me, is Sandrilene, designed by Jesh, a NJ yarn friend. And, I was recently approached by the owner of a children's store in Philadelphia about providing some baby sweaters for sale in her shop. Negotiations are ongoing and it may not come to fruition, but we'll see.