Sunday, December 14, 2014

Birthdays at the beach

I knew there was a reason I retired in Florida. Love the beach in December! We went to Blowing Rocks Nature Reserve in Hobe Sound to watch the wild surf pound against the coquina, then to Sandsprit Park in Port Salerno to look for dolphins. Found them playing just outside Manatee Pocket! On the way home we stopped by our secret manatee-watching spot to see if there were any about. We saw around a dozen feeding just below the surface of the water. That's a manatee nose you see poking out of the water in the last photo!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Breaking bad

One of my guilty pleasures of retirement is being able to watch television series—in their entirety—on Netflix. We’re not big on watching TV series as they air, only because we forget to turn on the television until we go to bed at night. No problem, if you have Netflix online streaming. We don’t even have to wait for a DVD to arrive in the mail. We can catch up on a season in one week—if we can handle the shift in our circadian rhythms. Many is the time we’ve been up until the wee hours of the morning because we have to see “just one more episode.” And retirement allows us to sleep in the following day.

Series we’ve watched on Netflix include Downton Abbey, Call the Midwife, Bramwell, Doc Martin, Monarch of the Glen, All Creatures Great and Small, Last Tango in Halifax, Sherlock, West Wing, and most recently, Breaking Bad. You notice a proclivity to British series? I am mad about good British television.

The problem with immersing yourself in an entire series? When the series ends, you feel as if your family has abandoned you. When I see the cast of Downton Abbey now, after a nine-month hiatus between seasons, I want to sob with joy at having them back in my life again. I want to drop in on Chummy and Peter to see how Baby Fred is getting along (Call the Midwife). I've got a few, choice words for Celia, when I next see her (Last Tango in Halifax). And I find myself wanting to call Josh Lyman (West Wing) and ask him what he’s been up to. (We saw the actor, Bradley Whitford, in Saving Mr. Banks, and couldn’t believe that Josh had taken a job with Disney. What a step down from Chief of Staff at the White House!)

I’m not a complete television addict. There is hope for me. In fact, if you know of a good series I should watch, please don’t tell me. I need to catch up on my sleep!

Winter is on its way!

We had our first day of winter yesterday - 67 degrees and 64% humidity! That's quite a switch from 88 degrees and 95%. And it was the first day without rain for over three weeks. Had to get out in it. Here's a pic of Shepard Park, near our house. River is really high from all the rain.

Woo-hoo! Winter's on its way! Time to set up the outdoor furniture!

Friday, July 4, 2014

Monday, June 16, 2014

It wasn't doing the backstroke!

This morning, bleary-eyed, I was filling the electric kettle to make coffee in the French press. Just about to snap the lid shut when I noticed something floating on the surface. A twig? No, it was a dead, emaciated lizard!

I feel so bad. He got in the house a week ago, just before we left to spend a week in Austin, Texas. We tried to rescue him, but we couldn't get him out from under the bookcase. I worried the whole week we were gone. Florida exterminating being what it is nowadays, there wouldn't be any bug life for him to eat in the house. And how was he going to get water?

Must have been one last-ditch effort that sent him into that kettle. Poor thing!

I had to boil three pots of water before I could use the kettle for my coffee.

Friday, May 30, 2014

My book is coming out in a couple of weeks!

If you enjoyed my Scotland travel blogs on my website (, you will love my ebook which will be released in June 2014 on and through iBooks. I've added 34 new blogs to the 22 originally posted, complete with stunning photographs my husband took, such as the one on the book cover of the Old Man of Storr on the Isle of Skye. The countryside was absolutely gorgeous and inspired many of my blogs, as did the adventures we had as we learned to slow our pace and make ourselves at home on the road.

Watch this page, or my website or Facebook page (Cynthia Fletcher Rothstein), for updates on the release!

Monday, May 19, 2014

New gastropub in town

The beer wasn't so great, but the food was delicious!

chicken poppers wrapped in bacon

In my yard...

Get a load of this baby pineapple growing next to our house! That plant has been there since before we moved here four years ago, and I've never seen it produce fruit. I didn't even realize it is a pineapple plant!

Siesta Key

cool solar ring
We love the east coast of Florida--the ocean breezes, tempestuous surf, worm reefs, and snorkeling and diving--but the west coast of Florida is amazing for wildlife, at least it was in April when we spent a week on Siesta Key off of Sarasota.

We didn't take nearly enough photos. I wish I had a video of the crazy sea hares that were everywhere in the bay. Dozens! I was trying to steer the boat around them. I was so afraid I'd hit one.

One day sea urchins started washing up on the beach. Why? I probably shouldn't have messed with Mother Nature, but I started throwing them all back into deep water. They'll die without water.

a fever of manta rays off of Anna Maria Island


Food like art

churrasco at Cabana el Rey in Delray Beach, Florida

The Everglades 2014

River of Grass
baby anhingas
no-good, lazy gators!

endangered wood storks, roseate spoonbills

baby blue herons waiting for breakfast to be delivered
my first good look at a manatee

beware the gator!

I can see all the way down to the tail!


Here's Marcus with his new toy--a smoker! He's had fun playing with it and figuring out how best to smoke meat, fish, and turkey. Delicious results!

I'm still here!

Even though I haven't been posting frequently, I'm still here and enjoying life in Florida immensely--especially this past gorgeous winter. The weather was beautiful, which you may think is always the case in Florida in winter, but we do get cold weather now and then. There were a few days I could wear sweaters and boots, and--believe me--I took full advantage! But overall it was sunny and a delightful 70-something degrees during the day. We slept with windows open a good deal of the time, and sat outside in the evenings. We only used the fire pit once, and the outdoor sun deck in the evenings twice. Otherwise it was too warm for either.

I've been writing my book, Scotland at the Speed of Life: making ourselves at home on the road, since we got back from the UK in November. I finished it, for the most part, the first week of February. Then I spent the next two months editing with the help of my fabulous editor, Katie. It's now in production, and should be released as an ebook in the next few weeks. Keep an eye on my website, for updates about the release.

In between bouts of writing, I managed to escape to the Everglades for what I hope will be an annual trip. And we spent a week on Siesta Key, off the west coast of Florida near Sarasota. I'll post some photos soon.

We also had some very welcome visitors from up north, out west, and even central Florida this winter. Lots of fun!

Right now we're enjoying some extraordinary, low-humidity weather. We have the windows open in mid-May!!!