And I’m Back from my Adventures!

Filed in Midlife, Texas Travels, Travel by on May 18, 2015 14 Comments
Crystal River

Crystal River

What a whirlwind the last month has been! I’ve been to two weddings (one of them was my son’s) and had a major surgery. I’ve either been walking on the beach, dancing, hosting a rehearsal dinner, or recovering. Right now, I am recovering from surgery. A long story short: a MRSA infection several years ago left me with a tummy deformity…and the idea of fixing it was always with me, but the fear of going through 3 months of MRSA stayed my hand. Finally, I went to see a Reconstructive Surgeon at UT Southwestern, and did it, 2 days after my son’s wedding. With no time to fret or think much about it with all of the wedding activities going on I can say now I am very happy I went through with it. Surgery went well, and I know I will not only feel better physically, but I will be more confident emotionally.

A Corgi/Retriever Mix!

A Corgi/Retriever Mix! I met this little cutie in Crystal River.

The first wedding I attended was in Clearwater Beach, FL. My daughter went to school in St. Petersburg, and my in-laws lived on Siesta Key, so I was familiar with the area though I had never been to Clearwater Beach before. Prior to the wedding I drove up to Crystal River, FL which is famous for snorkeling with Manatees. I took my underwater camera and was excited to meet some manatees, but alas, the water was so murky you could be 2 or 3 feet from one and wouldn’t be able to see it. So…that was a bust. I was very disappointed, but I had fun exploring the Crystal River area. I even saw Black Bears! I had no idea that Black Bears existed in Florida, but they most definitely do. The black shapes crossing the road stunned me, but since I was driving, there was no time for a photo. They were moving quickly into the woods adjacent to the sea grasses.

Plantation Inn

Plantation Inn at Crystal River, I recommend it as the best place to stay!

Sandpearl Resort

Sandpearl Resort is the place to stay in Clearwater Beach!

Clearwater has a beautiful beach, a terrific walking beach. Randy (who is doing very well after two hospitalizations this year due to viruses) and I also came across interesting critters I had never seen before. (to learn about Randy’s Double Lung Transplant, click HERE)Have you ever heard of Sea Pork? I have spent my entire life visiting sea shores, and this was the first time I had ever encountered it. These weird blobs are actually colonies of tunicates covered by cellulose for protection. They were all over, and I even found a heart shaped one! The whelk and conch egg cases were beautiful, and so intricate and delicate. There were plenty of birds to entertain me as well! The birds screeched all through the outdoor wedding ceremony, but it added rather than detracted from the event. Of course, not everyone felt that way.

Randy found another heart for me! A cool colony of tunicates!

Randy found another heart for me! A cool colony of tunicates!

2015 cb whelk egg case

A conch/whelk egg case…so incredibly intricate. Don’t you just love nature?


My son’s wedding was in Austin, and we held the rehearsal dinner at Abel’s on the Lake, an iconic restaurant in Austin with a view of the sunset over the lake. It was an incredible setting for a great party. The wedding itself was at Inn of Wild Rose Hall, an absolutely charming venue complete with horses, donkeys and goats! It was owned by Stevie Ray Vaughn’s bassist. My daughter-in-law used vegetables like artichokes, and succulent plants for decor, and the men wore air plants on their shirts. Many of the guests had never visited Austin before, and believe me, Austin, Tx is easy to fall in love with. It is an active city, people are walking, running, kayaking, paddle boarding, etc. Add to that one of the most beautiful Capitol buildings in the country, 6th street with all of its music venues, and UT Austin. Yes, a very active city!

The View from Abel's on the Lake

The View from Abel’s on the Lake

Table arrangements for the wedding

Table arrangements for the wedding

A very pretty venue, Inn at Wild Rose Hall.

A very pretty venue, Inn at Wild Rose Hall.

As I recover, I look forward to my future travels, and to my daughter’s wedding in October. 2015 has been a non-stop year, and it will continue to be so! Stay tuned.


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About the Author ()

I am an avid scuba diver, underwater photographer, amateur historian; interested in all people and cultures. For me, the unexpected is usually the norm! My motto? I am an Empty Nester who likes to Renew, Revamp, and Reinvent Life! Contact me at

Comments (14)

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  1. You never sit still! It’s fun keeping up with your adventures.

    • Tam Warner says:

      I’m 11 days post surgery…and I spent the last 11 days lolling about, resting, sleeping…and watching Downtown Abbey (I just started the 3rd season). Now they are broke? Ah, drama drama drama!

  2. Congratulations on your new daughter-in-law and I agree, Austin is a great city to visit. I am a big fan of Clearwater as well. I grew up, part time in Daytona Beach (my dad and step-mom lived there) and visit several times a year. On our last visit in March we went to Silver Springs looking for manatee and they were all out in the river.
    I hope the rest of your recovery goes smoothly. Our son had a MRSA battle. It was awful.

  3. Barb Free says:

    Tam, I am so glad the surgery went well, and you are on the path of recovery. Make sure and take it easy. Glad to hear all weddings were a success, and that you had a great time. B.T.W. Love Downton Abbey!

  4. Welcome back! Glad your surgery went well and congrats on the weddings! Enjoy Downton Abbey — my favorite!

  5. Ines Roe says:

    Sounds like it has been an eventful time. Lovely photos of your adventures. The wedding some wonderful. I too am preparing for my daughter’s wedding in October. It is so exciting when fun things are happening. Wishing you the best in your recovery.

  6. Kimba says:

    I grew up in Florida with the manatees and they are truly a sight to behold. Hope you get a chance to go back some day and swim with them when the water is clear – they are magical.
    Kimba recently posted…You’re In My SpotMy Profile

    • Tam Warner says:

      I’ve been with them in clear water several times, and I agree, they are magical. We’ve been diving with dolphins, mantas, whale sharks, Great Whites…my son says the manatee is his favorite, he thinks they are so friendly.

  7. Gorgeous photos. I hope your recovery goes well. Seems like you’re on the go. I admire your energy!!
    Cristin Frank recently posted…Sunglass Trends 2015My Profile

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