Friday, August 6, 2010

Fun with Rhonda and Jane

Recently my dear friend Sharon called to say that she and her hubby were heading to Toronto to visit friends and family. She knew I was coming down to celebrate my birthday that weekend  and wanted to know if I wanted to come a few days early and stay in their home, so that I could have spend some time at the beach. How long do you think it took me to say YES!? They live in Dunedin, Florida, one of my absolutely favorite towns on the West Coast.

I headed out for my trip last Thursday and I have to tell you, Sharon is the best hostess ever! Not only did she offer her home as a vacation getaway, she left Jamaican Curry Chicken marinating in the refrigerator for me, along with rice and apple pie. Oh my gosh, it was out of this world good! She also left  a gift card for a free frozen custard at Ritter's, a discount coupon for the local wine store, two local neighborhood newspapers full of all kinds of goings on and I got to see all the wonderful paintings and sculptures she has completed since I moved. I am so blessed with fabulous friends.

Speaking of friends, I also finally got to meet one of my favorite bloggers — Jane of Artfully Graced



Rhonda emails Jane. Jane says, come Rhonda, come, let's have fun. Come and play. Fun, fun, fun. Yes, Jane, yes, I will come.  See the sun. Sun, sun, sun. Run on the beach. Run, run, run. Meet Jane for lunch. Talk, talk, talk. Eat, eat, eat. Oh, Jane, I had such fun. 

Fun, fun, fun.


Jane and I have been reading each other's blogs for close to a year now and we tried to get together while I still lived there, but our schedules kept this from happening. So, instead of a 30-minute drive, I drove four and a half hours. After meeting Jane, I can tell you honestly that I would drive across the country to hang out with her again! I had such a GREAT time and it was far to short a visit.

Jane treated me to lunch at the Ozona Blue Grilling Company, located in the Home Port Marina in Palm Harbor, Florida. 



125 Orange Street North
Palm Harbor, Florida
727-789-4540









Just look at this view…



We sat out on the deck overlooking the swimming pool. Yes, this restaurant has a pool and anyone can use it during the week. How cool is that? On the weekends they close it down and serve dinner on the patio.



This is a favorite spot for Jane's family and I can understand why. The view was gorgeous, the service was perfect and the food was so yummy!


Fish Tacos for me


Grouper Sandwich for Jane

I love fish tacos and if you haven't had them, you don't know what your missing. They are very popular in California and in recent years I find them more on more on Florida menus. But I make them myself, so if you can't find them — MAKE THEM. They are perfect for hot summer days.

Anyway, Jane and I talked nonstop for TWO hours. Her hubby had asked what we would talk about since we had never met. No problem! That's is what is great when you get together with fellow bloggers. We already know we have a lot in common (that's why we read each others blogs isn't it?), so it's like getting together with an old friend. If you haven't met any of your blogging friends yet, take my word for it, don't put it off any longer.

Jane is a doll and I swear it was like having lunch with someone I've known all my life. Now, of course, I love Jane's art and believe me she is SO talented and her art is such fun. If you remember she painted a tiki hut for me when I moved to Georgia, well, last week she showed up with this gift…



Isn't she adorable? As soon as I unwrapped it and felt it in my hands I knew that
it was painted on something every sheller loves — a sand dollar.



This is an Arrowhead Sand Dollar from the Philippines and the shape is absolutely perfect for painting fish. Yes, that is the natural shape.

I knew she had to go somewhere very special. I don't think I've shown you this mirror before. Can you see all the wood cutwork? Seashells, of course.



This cute little fish picked up the colors in the photos I framed and just balanced out this area. Did you notice that when I hung those frames I glued little starfish to the nails? They used to have bows, but I think the starfish fit my style much better.



To Jane, I thank you so much for showing me such a great time. I could have talked the day away with you. I love hearing you talk about your family. There is such love and pride in your words and to me, family is everything. I loved hearing the passion in your voice as we talked about art. You are such an inspiration and even more so now, a dear, dear friend. I can't wait to see you again! I'm hoping to make it out for your home art show and you know I'll be there if you do the show in Savannah.

I adore blogging and all the friendships I've made in the last year have brought such joy to my life. We are a loving community and I treasure all of you everyday.

23 Thoughtful Comments:

Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Hi Shellbelle Sweetie...
Oh my goodness what a wonderful time you had. I love your little book cover that you created. That is just stinkin darn cute. LOVE it.

That view, TDF. So serene and peaceful. I would think there would be a line to get in there to eat. The food looks so fabulous.

Now I have got to tell you, you are going to have to share the recipe for the fish tacos. I have never had one, but think I would like to try one, or two, or even three maybe.

That sand dollar fish is just phenomenal. I have never seen anything like it. I love it.

Well sweetie, thanks for your beautiful share today. I have so enjoyed myself.

Many hugs and much love, Sherry

Loui♥ said...

Oh Shelle..
you have been on my mind so much of late..
I pictured you on the beach at first light shelling..
but now I see you were having so much more fun!!
and Jane is so talented!!
what wonderful friends to have provided for such a delightful stay at heir place..
yep..
blogging buddies are the best..
I know!!
warm sandy hugs..
Loui♥

Ms. Bake-it said...

You are too cute Rhonda! Love the Rhonda and Jane book! You lucky ladies - Sounds and looks like you both had a fabulous time! Love the fish Jane painted. Sounds like your friend Sharon is also a wonderful person. But you know what they say... friends of a feather flock together.

Have a fabulous weekend!

~ Tracy

Jane said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jane said...

Dear Rhonda,
Yes, indeed! We had a wonderful time together!!! It was such a pleasure to meet you in person. I don't remember when you took that photo of me running...the one on the book cover. LOL Would you believe, that's what I looked like when we read those books in school. :-P

I'm looking forward to your next visit here...hopefully before Oct. And we need to get Tracy to join us. (I love my blogging friends...especially when I get to meet them in person!)

Hugs to you...
Jane

ps That little fish looks good on your shelf. Glad she has a good home.

becky at abbeystyle said...

Too much fun, hanging out with blogger buddies! And, you're so right about Jane...she's a darling (I've never met her in person but know it already by her blogging. So count me in on the Plant City gathering in November!

Cindy (Applestone Cottage) said...

What a nice post Rhonda!
I am so happy for you to meet another blogger! I can't wait until you can meet one who will let you take pics together!
Lol.
And your hostesses sound amazing, what great friends to have!
And your right, when we meet fellow bloggers it's like we've known them forever!
Hugs, Cindy

Bunny, THE PARIS HOUSE said...

Hello again Shellbelle,
wanted to stop back and see more about your lovely weekend. Wow, you sure did have a great getaway!! I love the sand dollar and the fish tacos look so good. I am so happy you had such a nice time and I so agree with you, the blogging community has enriched my life and filled my days with such joy and happiness. I have met so many lovely new friends, like you who I can't wait to meet in person one day.
Have a great weekend
xoxo
Bunny

Love of the Sea said...

I love your blog...So happy I found it. I love your mermaid icon. Very cute!!!

Love of the Sea said...

I love your blog...So happy I found it. I love your mermaid icon. Very cute!!!

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

Rhonda,
WOW...sounds like you had one awesome time back in FL! I so want to try fish tacos and I am...real soon! Happy that you got to meet your blogging friend...that's so neat.

Blessings,
Linda

Julie@beingRUBY said...

Dear Rhonda
Well looks like you had a marvelous time.. a blogging adventure!!! How fab to meet up with Jane...

All these gorgeous summery pics are making me very jealous.... well spring is not too far off for me now..

Just love your 'Fun with Rhonda and Jane' .. too cute!! Have a great weekend.. xxx Julie

Drawn to The Sea said...

Fish tacos, yummy, esp blackened grilled fishies. Your little book cover made me smile :-))

Pam said...

What fun you & Jane had together, Rhonda! I love the book cover and the adorable fish and also love the wall arrangement you did with artwork and that smashing shelf unit. You can take the girl out of Florida but you can't take Florida out of the girl...

Sue (Someone's Mom) said...

You certainly stay busy! How fun to be offered a little getaway place and to meet another blogger. It sounds as if you had a great time and of course, more wonderful food! Love the fish and really love the entire display...so pretty!

simpledaisy said...

Lucky you to meet up with Jane!! Such a talented lady:)
I love the lunching spot....looks like my kind of place and her sand dollar fish is adorable!!!!

Blooming Rose Musings said...

I just found your blog and absolutely enjoy it! Your pictures are fabulous and you have a great sense of humor. I also adore your passion about the environment. I look forward to reading more.

J Bar said...

Looks like a beautiful place.

Turquoise Diaries said...

Its always so much fun to meet with blogger friends. So far when I meet them I always find them so close to me.. Hope to meet you someday..Who knows??

Sailing Simply said...

I am so behind on catching up with everyone. I am so glad I finally caught up to you! What a wonderful post. You do have the best friends! How wonderful of you old friend to not only offer her home but to stock it for you as well! Wow! Your new treasure from Jane is wonderful and looks great there next to your beautiful mirror. I always love hearing about your adventures! Such fun! Fun,fun,fun in the sun! LOL!

merrilymarylee said...

You are so clever! Love the book!

Belated happy birthday!

CrazyCris said...

beautiful! sounds like a great visit... but seeing those boats piled one on top of the other is scary!!! :p

and I'm amazed at the size of that sand dollar!!!

The Quintessential Magpie said...

What a great time you had! Loved seeing this, and love what Jane gave you.

XO,

Sheila :-)

I love the beach and everything that goes with it! I love the waves lapping at my feet. I love the feel of the sand between my toes. I love the roar of the Pacific and the gentle waves of the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. Let's talk about beaches around the world, bonfires, building sandcastles, swaying palm trees, flamingos, clambakes, sunrises and sunsets. If it's tropical, it fits this blog!

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