Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label USA. Show all posts


Florida - A to Z of Places I have visited

I am going to write about some places I have visited and do them in alphabetical order.
Still wondering what I will do for the more unusual letters like Q and X etc. but maybe I will have a brilliant idea later.

I have been to Florida 3 different times.

In 1983 I flew over to the US from Northern Ireland on my own to join my husband who had been there for a work conference.

In 1995 our family of 5 drove down from our (then) home in Delaware to let our children experience Disney World and Sea World and a few other places before we would be packing up all our belongings and returning to live once again in Northern Ireland.

In 2017 - yes just last year - Fred and I returned to Florida for a week so that he could attend a church conference and I could sit at the pool at the hotel.

So some of the highlights of Florida for me have been the following:

St. Augustine

In 1983 we were driving from Jacksonville to Kissimmee (after my horrible experiences both at JFK Airport and at a motel in Jacksonville which could be a future Travel Blog Post) and stopped in St. Augustine to see the Alligators.  I mentioned this briefly in an earlier blog post The Alligator in the Ditch.

St. Augustine is a lovely old town and we were able to take a bit of time to see around a bit of it befor going to the Alligator Farm.

Photo Credit - Pixabay

Photo Credit - Pixabay

Photo Credit - Pixabay

I have to admit that I do not like alligators but we enjoyed the alligator farm but if I ever had the chance to go back to At. Augustine I would rather explore the town (old and new) rather than the farm again.

Kenedy Space Station

In 1995 one of the places we saw was the Kenedy Space Station and for anyone with a husband with an engineering background like mine this was a place not to be missed, our two boys who were 11 and 13 at the time also had a great time and our daughter and I quite enjoyed it too.

Photo Credit - Pixabay

Disney World

In both 1983 and 1995 there was a visit to Disney World and of course the first stop each time was The Magic Kingdom

Photo Credit - Pixabay

followed by Epcot Centre.

Photo Credit - Pixabay

My best memory of 1983 was Fred and I buying turkey legs to eat for lunch and not realising how big they would be.
They are enormous but also delicious - so if you are heading there try them out (if they still do them after all these years).

Sea World

In 1995 we also went to Sea World and Universal Studios which are also great for all ages.

Photo Credit - Pixabay

Photo Credit - Pixabay


2017 in Florida was so different for us.

No Alligator farm, no Space Station, no Theme Parks.

As well as relaxing by the pool I got to do some relaxing shopping because we found two nice large Craft Shops for me to wander around  -  just didn't get to buy all that I really liked because of having to travel back home but managed to get a few things I couldn't get in the UK.

How could you possible pick scrapbook paper from this multitude?

We also got to meet up with some friends from when we lived in Belgium for a lovely meal and chat one evening.


We got to go to some restaurants we had loved when we lived in the US

Doggy Bag from The Ponderosa!

 so just had to take some selfies to make our kids jealous.

What do alligators and doggy bags have in common?


Loving our Children in 14 inches of Snow!!! - A Dose of Encouragement

On 14th March 1993 our family awoke to 

14 inches of snow at our front door. 


Needless to say this was not in Northern Ireland, nor in Belgium but in the lovely village of Hockessin in the state of 

Delaware, USA.

The kids were young then and Fred and I were full of energy then too so as Fred dug down into the hard packed snow on the driveway and cut it away in blocks the kids and I used them to make an igloo on the front lawn.

Of course we could not form it completely to curve it in so it was an open-top igloo.

Then our neighbours (another couple from Northern Ireland) came out and we all went round to the back of our houses to enjoy sledding down the slope of our gardens which was a good distance because none of the houses had boundary fences or hedges or walls.  In fact our home garden just merged into the woods behind our neighbourhood or estate (as we call it in the UK).

We just got on the sleds and slid until we came to a natural stop, or an unnatural one where we ended up across the side cul-de-sac and up to the front door of another house (but that was mainly Fred).

That is one of the greatest memories we have of winter in Delaware.

Well last Saturday here in Banbridge, NI we had some snow and even though it made us think back to all those years ago, we could not even make a snowball let along an igloo in our front garden here.

Making lasting family memories is good for children.

Memories are great, especially when they make us smile or laugh, and they are something special that we have to share together. 

However we need to have spent time together to form these memories and these days I often look at the kids in church and everywhere else and wonder what memories they are building up with their families for the future while they are so engrossed in all these electronic games and gadgets. 

I am thankful to God for all the places we have been and all the experiences we have had as a family over the years but I'm also grateful for the fact that we became Christians before we got married and had our children so that God was a part of our marriage and family life together because that makes such a difference.

Are there any children in your neighbourhood or church who do not have the privilege of growing up in a Christian family?

Can we not find some ways of making a difference for Jesus in the lives of these children?

You may be interested in some other 
 Doses of Encouragement