On a Return Home

Greetings from my home in Cincinnati. We recently returned from a 6-week stay as snowbirds on the Alabama coast, the place where I kept my little corner of the world in full swing. Travel time returning home (Friday and Saturday) is the reason for not having a weekend concert and for my absence – but Aretha is still schedule for this coming weekend … and the opening song is set!

That my walking beach to the west (and 2 miles/3.2 km to the rocks)


The weather during our stay wasn’t the best – but as I always say, no matter how cold it is in Alabama during our stay, it’s warmer than home! January had cold, but that was when Cincinnati (and many of you) were gripped by bitter cold. Plus, the only snow we saw was on news reports. Of the three years in Alabama, this year was probably the worst – and the first year without a good streak of sunshine – but hey – the overall weather was better than home.

Glad I captured the storm cloud


I always say these 6-weeks are for my alter ego – a time with minimal obligations – a time away from normal routines – a time when I can focus on walking the beach as much as possible. How much did I walk during the 43 full days? Here’s the tale of the tape:

  • 911,867 steps covering an estimated 405.3 miles (652.3 km)
  • 21,206 steps averaged per day
  • 17 of 43 days over 10,000 (but less than 20K); 24 of 43 days over 20,000 steps (but less than 30K), and 2 days of 43 over 30,000 steps


I was hoping to lose some weight during the 6-weeks south. Then again, I know we will go out 2-3 times per week. Good news is that we were able to limit the snacks that my wife’s father enjoys. Bottom line is 8 pounds lost and my waist feels smaller.

Walking also means composing more beach walks. I don’t have a final count on the number of drafts, but it may be the most ever. I think over 40.

I love sunrises, but given the weather, I didn’t see many achieving the wow factor.


On the worst weather days, we like to go to a theater. This year we saw Vice, The Upside, and The Wife.

TIP: When at the beach, if you see something interesting, take a picture and then send it to a marine biology department at a local university.

Outside cylinders of tube worms


My wife is a prolific reader – but I read two books this time: both by diplomat Madeleine Albright – The Mighty and the Almighty and Fascism: A Warning. Reviews in the future. I’ll post reviews in the future.

On one of the questionable weather days, we visited the Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola. It’s very well done – and free. Compared to the US Air Force Museum in Ohio, it’s much smaller.

For the record, we only dance a few dances one evening – so it will take some time to regain ballroom form.

Outside our front door looking to the north at the intercoastal waterway


We were pleased with the gas mileage of our Subaru Outback. Over the 2800+ miles (4510+ km) covering 6 weeks, the Outback’s gas mileage was 31.4 miles per gallon.

As after arriving at home Saturday afternoon, Sunday provided a small dose of snow, Monday deliver the first of a two-day punch of frigid, plus I ordered my first hearing aids, AND began prep for Tuesday’s colonoscopy. Such a great way to return home! Hooray – no polyps! Next colonoscopy in seven years!!! – but a busy return has slowed my blogging presence.

We enjoy the Flora-Bama – truly a regional institution with national acclaim. (past post) The bios of some of the musicians are impressive. For instance, the only way we know Neil Dover is that he proceeded our favorite duo – so we typically only heard 15-30 minutes each time. Interestingly, his degree is in opera! He’s written a great song about this quirky musical palace. The lyrics and the video are perfect. Enjoy Neil Dover with FloraBama Time.

88 thoughts on “On a Return Home

    • Cindy,
      Alabama’s short coast (I think about 100 miles) and Florida’s panhandle region serve as home to wonderful regions. Summer is their prime time, so winter visits is a time for lower rates, small crowds, and varying weather. This is where I saw the osprey perched on the bridge. The timing of your post was perfect!


  1. That is some mileage, Frank! Kudos to you. Vacation, no snow, lots of walking and 8 pounds lighter. Not a bad time at all 😉
    Glad the colon is clear 😉 and now you can really hear the music for your concerts.
    Welcome back.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I think you must be the first person I have ever come across who goes on vacation and loses weight. Well done for that! I’m listening to the Neil Dover song as I write this, his voice reminds me of someone – as does the melody but I can’t think who just now. You sure did a lot of walking so I’m thinking we are going to get some interesting beach walk posts. The beach you walk looks a little like the one I walk, it’s lovely when you have a good white sand beach to walk on isn’t it. While parts of the Northern Hemisphere have been having the coldest of winters ever, parts of the southern have been having the hottest of summers – including us. So I’m guessing you were lucky to have the good weather you had? Oh, I just saw Prior mentioned Jimmy Buffett – that’s who your man reminded me of.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Pauline,
      Would you believe that I also have a tendency to lose weight on cruises? Yep – and it’s mainly due to the amount of walking we do on the ships and in the ports – while still eating my fair share of cruise ship cuisine.

      The beach there is wonderful. Is your sand very fine? This one is – small grains can feel like a fine powder. Ahhhh … all a memory. You mentioned listening to the song while commenting, I suggest you play it again – but watch it so you can get a visual of this classic slice of Americana.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Welcome home dear Frank, I am glad too to hear you had a great time. Photographs are so beautiful, especially the storm and sun sky, fascinated me. Beach walk is amazing experience, I love too. Thank you, Love, nia

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Cincy,

    I was thinking about the tornado that hit the state, inland. That isn’t a normal thing for that area, is it?

    That storm cloud capture is ominous.

    Weigh to go (see what I did there?) with the waistline. It’s amazing what stepping up your game can do for you.

    Welcome back!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Frank! It sounds like you had a wonderful vacation, even if the weather wasn’t as good as in previous years. Those tube worm casings are–I’m not sure what. Fascinating? Hahaha. Did you have any idea what they were? I like the storm cloud photo.
    It’s good you were not traveling through Alabama during the tornados!
    Congrats on the good news on the colonoscopy–and not having to go through the prep again for seven years! And I hope the hearing aids work well for you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Merril,
      My biology background made me wondered if they were tube worms – but I wasn’t sure. Then the idea of sending a pic to a marine biology department. Search Tube Worms on Google Images to see them alive. They are round (but not segmented like an earthworm).

      The latest storm in Alabama was devastating and sad … and oh do I hate the colonoscopy prep. The toilet part doesn’t bother me, but the stuff plays hell on my stomach.

      Liked by 2 people

  6. No question both you and your Subaru Outback put on some major milage the last six weeks. Can’t wait to hear what caught your fancy during this year’s beach walks.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Welcome home Frank. I’m sorry the w eather was not that accommodating but it sounds like you had a great getaway . I haven’t been to AL since living in Huntsville a decade ago. Thanks for sharing the awesome photos. Congratulations on all the good news!
    Hopefully Spring will soon find us all ! Stay warm.


  8. Despite the weather dear Frank, sounds like you enjoyed and lost a few pounds too.. Wow to that storm cloud…
    Last week we had Sunny temps up to 21C… Now back to normal 9C.. and wind and rain.. Sending well wishes for the upcoming weekend Frank

    Liked by 1 person

    • Sue,
      Yes – the weather wasn’t the best – but still able to enjoy it – and much better than home!

      Glad you enjoyed the storm cloud. I think we only got some sprinkles from it – but it is still a good pic. Meanwhile, cold here and snow on the docket tomorrow afternoon.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s a very impressive step count, Frank. Well done on the weight loss and the colonoscopy result. You must be thrilled with both results. Thanks for sharing your photos. The sunrise shot is gorgeous. It’s always nice to get away for the usual routine for a few weeks if possible. We are hoping to do that in May/June. I look forward to the Aretha concert. I’m now wondering what song you’ve chosen as the opening act. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Beautiful pictures of a beautiful location. Longer getaways make it easier to really relax and enjoy it. Cool tubes! Always something to discover at the beach – congrats on the weight loss. It takes more energy to walk in sand – and is better on feet and bones, too. (Not sure if that’s enough trade off for hurricane risk.)
    Sorry about the weather. This year we’ve got a weak El Nino weather pattern which means a much wetter winter/spring – and fierce spring storms. (Maybe fewer Gulf hurricanes- if the pattern holds…we sure are tired of the rain and sea fog) – had to grin that you managed to appreciate the milder weather even if stormy/rainy/overcast

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Sounds like a great getaway, even if a bit chiilier than hoped. A cloudy day on the beach is still a day on the beach! Neil Dover’s video is really fun. Thanks. Hurrah for your test results. Stay healthy, happy and warm given this winter.


    • Patti,
      Even with the so-so weather, we still embraced our stay. Thanks for watching the Neil Dover video about the Flora Bama – truly a fun place with a lot of character … and with plenty of characters.


  12. I’m so pleased for you to have had your trip to the Alabama coast, Frank. Six weeks is really a wonderful span of time for truly feeling the effect of a vacation. I’ve never done that, but can imagine! I love the beach in any kind of weather, so no worries there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

      • I would just love it. My biggest drawback is I can’t really be away from my mother that long at this stage in her life. Trade offs, you know. I have the blessing of a mother still with me, and I’m very grateful. I don’t think I could coax her to come with us for a lengthy time either. Life is always interesting. I’m going to bookmark that suggestion, however, and one day, I’m going to do it! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  13. I resemble this post – haha. I didn’t get away for six weeks, but 4, mostly in sunny Kauai (though it did rain as well as a terrific windstorm) and rainy CA. Flew home an hour before a snow storm, and five days later, we received a foot of snow. I’m in a March downer, which I always receive after returning from our February upper. I smiled at your walking statistics. I watched my walking steps every day (from my watch) and walked 6 -9 miles daily. Just. Lovely. Now, off to dance class to try and keep sanity. Sorry about the hearing aides – but good for you! I have a close certain someone who needs them badly but is fighting off reality as much as he can.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jo,
      Definitely successful … and one of the reason we like the Alabama coast in the winter is the fact that crowds are small (primetime is summer). And hey – the weather is better than home.


  14. Sounds like a wonderful time! I envy you your walks. However, mine are returning, as the weather will be above freezing starting Sunday. Walking is a very underrated exercise. Neat song, Frank!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Resa,
      It was a wonderful time. At least the weather was tolerable – and better than home! March is a crazy month here. It has started like a lion, so I hope it goes out as a lamb. Cheers to walking!


  15. That’s some serious walking, Frank. I usually get over 20K when we go somewhere and we’re out all day but to do it for as many days as you did is serious business.
    I love the Outback for many reasons but that gas mileage we get on trips is a major bonus.

    Liked by 1 person

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