Friday, January 18, 2013

A Day In The Life

Betty Steflik Memorial Preserve Boardwalk - Flagler Beach, Florida
January 4, 2013

Thought you might enjoy seeing what a special place Flagler Beach really is.   According to Trip Advisor, this is the #1 rated restaurant.............................
The Java Joint - Rated #1 by Trip Advisor

followed closely by this fine dining establishment......................

The Waffle Cone - Rated #2 by Trip Advisor

If neither of those float your boat, there's always........................

Burrito Works - Highly Rated by Trip Advisor

And my own personal favorite..............................

 Photo of Turtle Shack Cafe in Flagler Beach
The Turtle Shack - Rated #4 by Trip Advisor
(not my picture - I lifted it off the internet)

I mean seriously, people.....why would anyone want to go to New York City, Paris or London with choices like these right here in northern Florida?  The others have been around for awhile, but the Waffle Cone was new to us.  I'll have to say that I've never seen a flavor board quite as extensive and to my delight, it included at least 10 choices of frozen yogurt.  Leave your credits cards in the beach house - cash only at this fine dining establishment!  If you want fancy table cloths and fine china, you'll have to head north to St. Augustine or south to Ormond or Daytona Beach cause you'll not find them in Flagler.  And that's just the way I hope it stays!!

Moving right along...........the days since Bill left have FLOWN by.   I can't believe he'll be back late this evening for the long MLK weekend.  I hesitate to even say this given the unreal amount of rain that have fallen at home, but my weather has been the most perfect of any year that I recall.  There has been not one single drop of rain, very little wind and sunny, cloudless days with temps in the mid to upper 70's!  These are ideal weather conditions for someone who suffers from rheumatoid disease and I could not be more grateful for this period of time when I feel so good.  It has been a long time and can change in an instant, so I take nothing for granted.  

Someone asked what I do all day and do I ever get bored?  My life here is very simple, but then my life at home is very simple and I've worked quite hard to get it that way.  I am NEVER bored!  There is always something to read, something to plan, someone to call or email, something to research and then the extremely important activity of staring at the ocean and contemplating life!  

I walk A LOT!  My goal is two 50-60 minute walks each day and most days, that happens.  You all know that I LOVE where I live and would not want my permanent home to be anywhere else, but Knoxville is so behind the times in its efforts to become a pedestrian friendly community.  I am reminded of that each time we are here.  In Flagler County, sidewalks are just assumed.  If a road is built, it is built with a wide sidewalk.  The area is still growing by leaps and bounds with miles and miles of roads that have been built and are now awaiting development.  Guess what?  Every single one has a wide sidewalk! 

There is a 12-foot wide sidewalk/bike path which runs along highway A1A through Flagler County from end to end.  Since that is the road my house is on, most of my evening walks are spent walking either north or south along this pathway.  It is such a pleasure because I always end up chatting with some of the nicest folks who are walking or biking.  Earlier this week, I met the coolest couple from Switzerland who were biking from Jacksonville to Key West on A1A.  

My morning walks vary from one of three places depending on what else I need to do that day and my overall mood! 

The Betty Steflik Memorial Preserve............................

Looking to the right, you can see the bridge which crosses the Intercoastal Waterway and heads west about three miles to Interstate 95.

I enjoy sitting on the benches and watching the boats go by.  This is the intercoastal waterway, so it stays quite busy.

The path shares a parking lot with the Flagler Public Library and the town park where there are tennis courts, basketball goals, a playground and picnic area.  I have walked this boardwalk at all times of the day and it never fails to surprise me with something different.  

Between my house and the town, there is a large planned community that sits on the intercoastal waterway.  It has only one way in, a guest parking lot at the entrance and grid of streets that intersect on the large circle which runs the perimeter of the property.  For a couple of reasons, it is one of my favorite places to walk.  It's safe, secure and with a mostly elderly population, you better believe these folks know when a "stranger" is walking their street.  But once they know you, you are welcomed and I've seen some sweet examples of "community" i.e. people loving, caring for and watching out for each other as I've walked these streets.  Like I said earlier, I never feel bored when I'm here in Flagler Beach, but on days when I'm really missing Bill, this is where I will go because there is ALWAYS someone to talk to.  They have "rangers" who volunteer to drive their golf carts through the streets a certain number of times each day specifically to check if anything is amiss or to knock on a door if they haven't seen someone in a couple of days.  The place just "feels" good and I always enjoy walking there.

It's a toss-up for sure, but St. Joe Walkway/Palm Coast Linear Trail may be my favorite place in the area to walk.  It's a little further from my house in the neighboring community of Palm Coast.  This is the area where commercialization has gone rampant, but the two trails are totally within the residential area.  The St. Joe Walkway runs parallel to the intercoastal waterway it's entire length and connects with the Palm Coast Linear Trail making it the longest of the paths I walk without repeating.  This is usually my option when I need to go to Walmart, the library or grocery store.

These are not my only options, but they are my favorites.  There is a new 3.1 mile greenway in Palm Coast that I'd like to check out before I leave and and the Lehigh RailTrail which Bill and I have ridden on our bicycles, but is too secluded and out of the way for me to be comfortable walking there alone.

Yesterday, I drove to Jacksonville to spend some time with a friend whom we've known since college days.  We enjoyed lunch and getting caught up. Late this evening, I'll pick Bill up at the airport and we are looking forward to the long MLK weekend for some catching up.   I am thankful to note that rain has been taken out of our forecast completely so even though cooler temps are expected, the weather should be nice.  I will be most happy to see him!

Thanks for Reading!


  1. There is a VERY obvious link between states that are built for pedestrians (as in several of the cities we saw out in Colorado) and those that are not, with the obesity percentage of that state. It is definitely something I do not understand here. I get the terrain is challenging, but if you are building up a road anyway, put in the extra funding and build a sidewalk (and a freakin' shoulder...what is wrong with this state?!!)

    Anywho...the next time we move, pedestrian friendly is right at the top of my list with affordability, distance to mountains and state parks/national parks ;) (But no will be many years before we move...or so we hope).

  2. Oh, I want to be there! I am just a little jealous...

  3. "then the extremely important activity of staring at the ocean and contemplating life!" I love that! That looks like a great time! I completely agree with Knoxville not being pedestrian friendly enough. What book are you currently reading?

  4. You should also go down to the park at Ponce Inlet Point - I think that's what it's called. You would love it! There are miles of beachside boardwalk wandering through the nature center. It's all elevated, and there are points where you can see out to the sea. Beautiful. And the pier there is fantastic for photos of waves crashing on the rocks!!!

  5. Ponce Inlet will be just about 30 minutes south of Flagler Beach. My timeshare is in Ormond Beach, and it takes about 20 minutes to get down from there.

  6. How nice to see your daily life. I love all the walking paths, of course. Have a good weekend!

  7. I thought about you this morning when I read that an alligator can only run about 10-11 mph. Just so your mind is easier on some of the more remote paths. :)

    Enjoy your reunion weekend!

  8. Looks like a fabulous place ---and a perfect place to spend a relaxing vacation... THAT is a true vacation.. So many times, we are moving from place to place to place taking in all that we can in a short period of time.. When we go to Mt. Nebo (Arkansas) ---we can relax in our little cabin and just enjoy the area (wildlife, sunsets/sunrises, hiking, etc.) That's our REAL vacation --plus our May trip to the beach.

    That planned community sounds great... Looks like a great place to retire and stay safe.


  9. sigh...that sounds just glorious...

  10. It was very obvious to us when we were visiting North Carolina the lack of sidewalks, not to mention no shoulder on the roadside AT ALL. What if your car breaks down? Glad you're someplace where there is lots of opportunities to walk. Jealous!

  11. Looks like some great places to walk. As a transportation engineer, I love sidewalks. I am working on two sidewalk infill projects right now in Portland, OR. Enjoy the weekend with your hubby! :)

  12. I so enjoyed your post. I've never been to Flordia yet, so the photos were a real treat. It's beautiful in your area.
    I don't think one would have trouble finding a place to eat, for sure.
    I'm glad I met you as I need to lose a few pounds, maybe I can get some real tips from you!

  13. No wonder you aren't bored - there are so many interesting places to walk! We have only traveled to Florida one time to visit Tom's sister and her husband in Fort Meyers Beach. We had a lovely time but is was rather humid for us as we are use to a dryer climate. We were never board - so many beaches and fun things to see and do.

    Enjoy your hubby time!

  14. Thank you as always, for posting such beautiful pictures and taking me along on your journeys, Sharon. I am so thankful that you're feeling better these days and that the weather has been cooperating! Fantastic :)

  15. Looks like a great spot for some R &R. Love the boardwalk bough the wetlands.

  16. Oh, wow, what a wonderful place to be right now! It makes me feel good just to read about it. I so wish that they did more here in North Carolina to encourage people to walk and bike. I can't even safely pick up trash in front of my house because there is NO shoulder (on a very busy road). I've had to jump in the ditch to avoid being hit almost every time I've tried to pick up litter.

    I'm like you, Sharon...I never, ever get bored. I even hate to hear people say they're bored. When my children were young, they learned to NEVER say they were bored, because I'd always find SOMETHING for them to do, heh heh. Like vacuuming or sweeping or dusting... :-)