The Traveling Steve's

Fall is in the Air!

It’s now November 13th, and I’m sitting in the Brightline Train Station in Orlando as I write this. More on Brightline and our upcoming trip in the next post, but for now just a quick “catch-up” post.

Brightline Premium Lounge in Orlando Airport, adjacent to the new Terminal C.

Since living in Florida for the last 25 years, Fall is now one of my favorite seasons (as opposed to the Summer months when growing up and off from school for 3 months!) The extreme heat and humidity of summer has passed, and it’s quite a nice time of year here in Florida, and elsewhere.

I miss being in my hometown of Roanoke, VA during Fall, as I love seeing all the Fall foliage. The drive along the Blue Ridge Parkway and Shenandoah Valley offers spectacular viewing of the Fall colors, which is something we don’t get back in Florida. Here are some photos from October 2020 when we were in Roanoke, with a side trip to the Shenandoah National Park.

The Blue Ridge Parkway near my hometown of Roanoke, VA.

Us at one of the many overlooks along the Parkway.

Me (UNO) at one of the overlooks in the Shenandoah National Park.

Yikes! Don’t let this huge boulder hit you DOS!

Wide angle photo of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley.

The Peaks of Otter, near Bedford, VA, and not far from my hometown of Roanoke, VA.
Love the stone arch bridges along the Blue Ridge Parkway in Virginia.

I also love how the pumpkin season is outdoors in full display from church pumpkin patches to house doorsteps, to restaurants and craft shops, the orange color of pumpkins seems to bring the Fall colors to life with the transitional realization that summer is over, but winter is not here yet.

Pumpkins for sale in the Church parking lot at College Park, FL, October 2023.

Fall pumpkin decorations at the Peaks of Otter Lodge in October 2020.

My Brother Andy and partner Art’s house in Virginia with their Fall pumpkins on the porch.

Anyway, Steve (DOS) and I have been getting ready for our big overseas trip for the last week or so. In addition to last minute doctor appointments for me, and dental cleaning for DOS, we’ve been to a couple local church social events, in between the dreaded packing we had to do for the 7 week long trip, leaving on Monday.

On Thursday we went to the Young At Heart (YAH) monthly luncheon at Dominiks. As always, it’s a nice social activity for us seniors (50 and older), and offers a nice lunch and is themed for the month or holiday, this month celebrating Thanksgiving. They always have nice hand-crafted decorations (made by one of the ladies in the church) adorning the tables which are treats for the attendees to take home.

There is also a devotion, and a guest speaker. This month it was Dom, the owner of Breakthrough Fitness here locally. By coincidence, (or fate) I met Dom on Halloween when he was trick-or-treating with his kids. It turns out Dom is our neighbor, living just down the street from us. I have been wanting to join a gym for quite some time, but have been ultra-cautious exercising due to my heart surgery just over a year ago. (I’m still having a juggling act with my meds, dosages, lab tests etc, but I’m doing well.). Dom’s fitness center is unique in that it is designed for adults 50 and older, with semi-private training, which is just what I (and DOS) need. We actually went by to see the Breakthrough Fitness center the next day, where Dom gave us a tour, and we made an appointment for January 2024, as we will be gone until the end of the year on our upcoming trip. Thanks Dom for speaking, and we look forward to using your fitness center in January!

Coach Dom speaks at our Young at Heart Luncheon at Dominik’s. Good advice: Keep Moving!

Here’s a couple more pics below from the YAH luncheon. I love this first pic of DOS especially!

Thursday night we had our men’s Bible study at Oviedo Brewing Company. He-Brews is the name of our small group, and yes we meet over a brewski and large pretzel, while discussing the lesson for the week.

We are just finishing up discussing the book “Making Sense of the Bible“, by Adam Hamilton, which is truly a fascinating and thought-intriguing book in understanding what the Bible is and what it isn’t. There are so many apparent inconsistencies and misunderstandings of the Bible, not to mention the historical context of various Biblical passages, and many of these are addressed and/or explained in the book. The book explains approximately when the Bible was written (over thousands of years, with the New Testament written from approximately 60 – 90 A.D., and how many of the controversial items of the past are discussed in the context of today; i.e. old testament laws, letters written by Paul to the early churches, even things such as tattoos, and homosexuality, which some religious people today seem quite judgmental about. The book is written in a non-judgmental, but thought provoking way, and is really a fascinating read, regardless of your (or non-belief) religion.

On Friday night we went to the annual church auction event at Palmer’s Garden, sponsored by College Park United Methodist Church. It was quite a nice event with food and drinks in an outdoor setting with Mitch providing guitar and vocal entertainment. While we didn’t bid on anything this year, the admission tickets were a nice donation to the church, as well as a social event for us.

On Saturday, we met our friends Ben and Tom for lunch, and spent the rest of the weekend doing final touches for our trip on Monday. DOS put out the Christmas bush lights; I know a bit early, but some of our other neighbors have their Christmas lights up already. The house lights along the frame of the house are up year-round, although we only light them for various holidays.

I even bought a few red poinsettias which are solar LED lit and “planted” them out along the front walkway of the house, which will light up at night.

Anyway, signing off for now. The next blog will have us journeying to Miami on the Brightline Train, and embarking on a new adventure!

Happy Fall!

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