On December 6th Clermont had their Christmas parade and Santa came to town. It was a hot, sunny day, glad I wasn't in a red suuit or marching in the parade.
December 13 was Miracle on 7th Street, which is the address of the First UMC of Clermont where we attend while we are here in the winter.
Toys are donated so families in need can come and shop for gifts that Saturday. Larry and I were some of Santa's elves helping the parent get gifts for their children.
We were glad Keith and Marie came and helped in the fun and enjoyment of the day. They helped keep the tables well stocked.
The parents were able to get at least one toy, a book, a stuffed animal, and a stocking stuffer for each child on their list. A 365 Bible Stories book was given to each family. Families signed up for a time to come this year so there wasn't a long line to wait in. 300 families were signed up, and there was plenty for all.
Sunday evening was the church cantata. We attended a buffet dinner they offered before the performances. It was a very nice affair.
Pastor Doug narrated the cantata.
It was a beautiful cantata by the choir and orchestra.
We all joined in to sing a few carols. On a sad note we heard this was the last cantata Bill will direct for he is leaving. He will certainly be missed.
We left Hattiesburg early Friday morning after Thanksgiving. We were on the road by 5:45 and in Florida around 8. It is a long drive across the panhandle to I-75.
I liked the Blue Angel plane at the welcome center.
We stopped at Jellystone Park in Madison, FL for the night since the temperature was to drop to freezing at night. It is American Passport park, so we only paid $25.
What a neat park for kids. Acres for ATV riding,
water slide with a lazy river, and a jump pad along with lots of activities. We enjoyed walking around the park.
We arrived at Clerbrook early Saturday afternoon.
Wednesday evening we went to Winter Park for The Lettermen concert.
Tony Butala (in the middle) is the only original singer. The other 2 singers have been with the group for almost 30 years. The first half of the show they sang the Lettermen hits. The second half was Christmas songs.
Florence LaRue, the lead singer from the 5th Dimension, was also part of the concert. It was a really good concert.
Friday night was Light up Clermont. We went up early to have dinner from the food trucks.
It turned out to be a beautiful moonlit evening. There was a really good turnout for the festivities.
There was entertainment and then this tree was lit
and all the decorations on the street and around the lake. Clermont is really lit up for the holidays.
On Friday we went down to the Mississippi Gulf coast. It is about 70 miles south of Hattiesburg. We had come to this area with our church to help rebuild after Katrina ten years ago. It was nice seeing the area recovered.
Our first stop was in Waveland at the Ground Zero hurricane museum. It was a small room with pictures of building before the hurricane and what they looked like after. There was a craft show going on in the building so we enjoyed walking around it and talking to the different vendors. Many had stories of their experiences and damages from the storm. They expressed gratitude to all the volunteers that came and helped.
We were told this was just finished this summer and they were quite proud of it.
The bridge on route 90 from Bay St. Louis to Pass Christian.
We stopped at Beauvoir, Jefferson Davis Home and presidential library
Hurricane Katrina damaged the home and many of the things inside.
It has been restored and we were given a tour.
The house was built as a summer home in 1852 for James Brown, a wealthy plantation owner. In 1877 Jefferson Davis moved here to write his papers and books.
Jefferson died in 1889 and his daughter owned it till 1898. She sold it to the Mississippi Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans with two stipulations. The first was the property was to be used for a Confederate Veterans Home for the veterans and their widows at no charge and that was done until 1957. The second stipulation was that the property be used as a memorial to Jefferson Davis and the Confederate soldiers. The Presidential library was built after Katrina.
There are several animals on the property
including a very friendly camel named Stanley.
There is a cemetery on the ground and the Tomb of the Unknown soldiers of the Confederacy.
We drove along the coast to Biloxi and then stopped at the Reef for dinner.
Gumbo with shrimp, scallops and alligator sausage, very tasty.
Larry had a whole fried flounder. Never had one like this before.It was a little boney, but he enjoyed every bite.
We went to Iao Valley state park (middle of the little section of the island)
Iao Needle served as a lookout point when Kamehameha defeated Maui's forces in a ferocious battle the ultimately changed the course of Hawaiian history and uniting the islands.
We climbed up 133 steps from the parking lot to get to this lookout spot. We were lucky that the clouds hadn't covered it yet.
We took a drive to the top of the big section of Maui to Pala Bay and watched the kite surfing at Hooipa Beach Park.
This section of water was for the surf boarders.
Look closely and you will see some crosses on the rocks in memory of surfers who have died.
In Paia we ate lunch at the Fish Market. I had mahi and Larry had fish and chips, fresh and delicious.
A little way north of where we were staying on route 30 is this park. It actually had a life guard.
Sitting on the beach and the next thing you knew a wave came roaring up the sand and we had to move farther back. I enjoyed walking in the water but you had to watch for those waves, every once in awhile one would hit with force.
After a while of enjoying the sun and surf we drove farther north (top down on the car) to Nakalele Point and the Blow hole,as the waves came in the force formed this geyser
We turned around and drove back down route 30 for the road became too narrow and you were to drive it at your own risk. this part of the road was curvy and narrow enough!
Glad there were some spots to pull off and look at the beautiful coastline and water.
The last two days of our stay they were calling for Hurricane Ana to come ashore, but lucky for us it went further south and all we had was a little wind and rain. These surfers were enjoying the higher waves in Lahaina.
We enjoyed watching them as we ate at the Lahaina Pizza Co. and enjoyed another beer from the Maui Brewing Co.
A beautiful rainbow to end our stay in Maui. It has been a great vacation.
We retired in 2005 and began traveling. We are certified directors with DWG Waterless car wash, so if you want to clean, shine, and protect your car, cycle or RV see us.In April 2012 we answered God's call to service and joined NOMADS, Nomads On a Mission Active in Divine Service.