Sunday, November 29, 2015

Family Time!

We have been in Tampa, Florida, having a terrific visit with my sister, Linda and brother-in-law, David.  It's been a great opportunity to catch up and to take a pause in our traveling.  While in Tampa, we visited with my nephew, Steven, and niece, Lauren, and our great niece, Sadie, and great nephew, Mason.  We attended Mason's T-ball game (every kid is a winner!), and their school Thanksgiving pageant!

Now we're in Boynton Beach with my sister, and Michael and I got to see great nieces, Sydney and Sophie!

Thanksgiving was a big family celebration in Spring Hill, with Carli and Andrew!  

Our teardrop travels give us the freedom to be where we want, when.  It is so wonderful to see family along the way!  

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Birds, Birds and More Birds!

Recently, Michael and I visited Merritt Island in Titusville, Florida, near Cape Canaveral.  What a beautiful place!  Known for its many wading birds, we were excited to see white ibis, glossy ibis, roseate spoonbill (a long bill with a "spoon bowl" at the end)' great egret, snowy egret, wood stork, tricolored heron, and little blue and great blue herons.  Upon our arrival, we were rewarded with a large pool filled with all of these birds!

Roseate spoonbill

Wood stork & great egret

Glossy ibis

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Native Rhythms Festival

A week ago today was the start of the flute festivities!  It was one of the best long weekends ever! 

The Native Rhythms Festival began on Friday, the 13th,  but the two day school was on the 11th & 12th.  Clint Goss and Vera Sharnov ran the two sessions and are engaging as teachers!  Everyone was involved in funny warm-up exercises, which took any anxiety and melted it away!

During the classes, we learned techniques for varying your playing,  correct breathing, the anatomy and history of Native American style flutes, and focused on melody and harmony and rhythm.  We played as a group, as well as solo, duets, and trios. And we incorporated rhythm (drums and shakers) into our playing.  I loved stepping out of my comfort zone to play! 

The classes included newbies to experienced players and I greatly appreciated advice offered to me by some of the more experienced players. The camaraderie among all of the students was awesome!  We ran into one another all weekend!

The Festival itself was a Friday to Sunday event.  There were many vendors featuring Native American items,  lots of flute and drum makers, food vendors,  and more! All day and evening,  each day, featured flute musicians on stage.  Seating was on a big grassy area and although hot, a breeze helped make it tolerable.  The performers were super talented and entertaining.   Ed Winddancer told stories of the Native American culture while drummers drummed and dancers performed. So fantastic!

Workshops were offered on Saturday and Sunday and I took five!  Excellent instructors who are, in their own right, very talented. One workshop was on percussion and I borrowed a djembe from Nelson Rios and drummed along with everyone else.  It was exciting to make such rhythmic music!  Loved it!  Jonny Lipford taught us about managing volume and the technique of vibrato.  Painted Raven (a flute & guitar duo) taught us about how to play with accompanying guitar or other instruments.  And more and more great stuff!!  Overall, I learned so much!

Mostly I played my A flute, but pulled my F# out for one class!  And I am beyond excited about an E minor I bought from Sea Symphony during the Festival. It's a deep and soft voice!   A beautiful instrument!

Michael and I both volunteered and that was fun too!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Making Tracks!

Welcome to Florida! We crossed over from Georgia just now and stopped at the Welcome Center.  We picked up info on birding and other nature pursuits to enjoy while we're here.  Birds, butterflies,  flowers...a lot to see!

Stayed at another Wal-Mart last night, this time outside of Savannah, Georgia.  A busy spot with many other RV's there.  Safety in numbers!  Plus it's free!

Heading towards Melbourne and our campsite for the next six nights. A break from Wal-Mart -- yes!!

Flute school for me tomorrow. Yay!

Temps rising from 55 this morning to 68 now, outside of Jacksonville.  We're excited to know that it will be sunny this week, but warm, in the 80's. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

On the Road Again!

AAfter a full month's hiatus in NJ, we're on the road again!  We had a terrific family visit and loved staying with my mother-in-law!  Michael spent a lot of time tuning up our car, and after driving over 360 miles yesterday,  she's running like a dream!

We left NJ and reached Roanoke Rapids,  North Carolina around 6pm last night, free "camping" at Wal-Mart.  We are back on the road this morning,  heading to Savannah,  Georgia for tonight. Hope to drive around a bit to check out Savannah before hitting the road again tomorrow for Melbourne, Florida.

I am attending a Flute school in Melbourne, Wednesday and Thursday,  and then we'll be at the Native Rhythms Festival for the weekend!  Can't wait! Between the festival and volunteering, we will be busy!

Lots of rain as we drive today.  But, we're happy campers!