Running on Coffee

Meditations in Motion

It’s time for our monthly coffee talk. Let’s grab a cup and sit for a while. We need to catch up.

If we were having coffee I would tell you about our recent trip to Florida to visit my sister and brother-in-law. It’s the first trip Hubs and I took since he retired and the first time we really weren’t on any kind of timeline, except for the date we had to be home. Our dogsitter, the teenage daughter of a friend, was playing in a volleyball tournament, so we had to be home before it began.

Meditations in Motion

Since we had the time, we decided to drive rather than fly from Pennsylvania to Florida and visit some new places. Our first stop was in Richmond, VA (not a new city for us, but one of our favorites). It’s never good when you pull up to your hotel and there are fire trucks sitting outside.

When we drove into the adjacent parking garage a siren began blaring and a mechanized voice told us over and over to exit the building. We quickly parked the car and entered the hotel using the stairs as instructed, not the elevator.

As it turned out, we couldn’t have used the elevator if we wanted to. A water pipe in the parking garage had burst due to freezing in the recent cold snap and water was gushing out of the elevator shaft and into the lobby.

Meditations in Motion

Because we obviously couldn’t check in, we decided to go for a walk. One of our favorite Mexican restaurants is in Richmond, about three miles from the hotel. It’s in an area with lots of shops and restaurants, so we set out for Nacho Mama’s, thinking a margarita might be a good way to kick off the trip.

It was sunny, and even though the temperature was in the 30s we were warm and the walk to the restaurant went quickly. We arrived at the location Nacho Mama’s should have been and looked around, puzzled. We could not find it. Were we in the wrong block? No, the restaurant wasn’t there. A burger place had moved into the spot where our Mexican restaurant used to be. A quick Google search informed us that Nacho Mama’s was no more.

We turned around and forlornly began to trudge back to the hotel, margarita-less. Fortunately, we didn’t have to trudge far before we came across another Mexican restaurant. We entered and ordered two margaritas. They were delicious! Because we were there at 3:00 in the afternoon, we were the only patrons. The owner brought out some salsa and chips to go with the drinks and soon we were ready to complete the return trip to the hotel.

Meditations in Motion

When we arrived at the hotel the water issue had been resolved and cleaned up. We checked in, relaxed for a while, then went to another favorite restaurant, The Capital Ale House. They serve mussels made in a white wine/smoked gouda/bacon broth that is absolutely delicious. I would have tipped the bowl that they were served in and slurped down all of the broth if I wouldn’t have embarrassed Hubby.

Meditations in Motion

The next day we set out for Savannah, Georgia. We arrived later than expected, so by the time we got to our hotel, it was dark. We grabbed a bite to eat, then strolled on the Riverwalk by the Savannah River. The riverfront is an eclectic mix of shops and restaurants, but we were beat from the long drive and did not explore too long.

The next morning we woke up and went for a run in Riverfront Park. The path in the park was flat and there were plenty of sights to keep the run interesting, but it was not very long. We wound up extending our run by running on a sidewalk along a busy road. Not the ideal way to see the city. Then it began to rain.

We headed back to our hotel, wet, dripping and sweaty. When we returned, we realized we did not have time to shower before breakfast, so we ate breakfast in our soaked running attire. I hope we did not offend any of the other hotel guests.

After breakfast and a shower, we set out for our final destination, Howey-in-the-Hills, Florida, where my sister and brother-in-law enjoy golf course living.

Meditations in Notion

Howey-in-the-Hills is a rural community on the shores of Lake Harris. The small town is surrounded by orange groves, wetlands, and palmetto-live oak forest.

We had a great time visiting and spent the time with my sister and brother-in-law eating, running on a path by the lake, eating, playing games, eating, binge-watching “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel“, and, of course, eating.

My sister is a fabulous cook. Her pasta puttanesca was out of this world! We played some card games I had not played in, um…well, many years, not since I was a young teenager. Our rousing games of canasta and cribbage were filled with laughter and helped fill the time between meals.

Meditations in Motion

I felt like I had to run just to counteract the effects of all of the food. We ran in the morning on a picturesque lakeside path. I am a bird-watcher, so I watched birds as I ran. The birds were mostly species I would never see in Pennsylvania (such as Sand Hill Cranes and Tricolored Herons) or birds I will not see until spring (such as Eastern Phoebes and Palm Warblers). My head was swiveling so much from spotting birds it’s amazing I could run at all.

Meditations in Motion

One morning I convinced Hubby to do part of our run on a trail through a nature area. We ran on a beautiful sandy trail, full of roots trying their best to trip us. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), we saw a pair of pileated woodpeckers making a nest hole in a tree next to the path, so our run was temporarily halted as we watched their progress.

It was a very sad day when we left to come home. We hated to leave our excellent hosts and the warm Florida sunshine, especially since the temperature in Pennsylvania was -4 degrees. Our sorrow was somewhat ameliorated, however by the fact that we missed our grandchildren back in Pennsylvania and by the plans we made to visit again next year.


I am linking up with Coco from Running With Perseverance and Deborah from Confessions of a Mother Runner for their Ultimate Coffee Date, Kooky Runner for Tuesday Topics, and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 5.








  1. What a wonderful trip! My husband hopes to retire in the next few years and I hope we’ll be able to travel like that also. He travels a bit with his job now, but it’s not quite the same. ha. God bless you with that cold weather you returned to!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I hope you and your hubby get to travel too. It’s the best! We traveled through a snowstorm to get home. The temperature was 16 degrees! Ugh! I was ready to turn around and go back!


  2. This sounds like a wonderful trip. I haven’t even begun to look at what we’ll do in Savannah yet . . . I really need to do that. I’m sure running by the river will be a must. The riverwalk in NOLA isn’t very long, either, but I enjoyed running there, too.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Fun travelogue! Who knew there was such a place as Howey-in-the-Hills? Another reminder that Mark Twain was correct when he observed that truth is stranger than fiction, because fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities, while truth isn’t.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I never heard of Howey until my sister moved there (in the wintertime). Who knew there were actual HILLS in Florida? I was anticipating all my running being on level ground, but I had to climb each day (of course, I got to descend too!). Mark Twain is right – truth is often stranger than fiction.


  4. How long did it take you to drive from Pennsylvania to Florida? o_o I’m planning on doing a cross country road trip later on this year (hopefully), but hoping to stretch it out to 2 months so I can explore everrrrryyyywhere, haha. It sounds like you had a good trip, and yay for delicious food and watching The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel! I love that show!

    Liked by 2 people

    • It took 15 hours. We went from Lancaster County, PA to Howey-in-the-hills (between Ocala and Orlando), but we broke it down into 3 driving days each way. Wow!!! A cross country trip sounds amazing. I will be looking forward to reading posts about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, sounds like a wonderful trip! My hubs and I like to explore and this sounds right up our alley. Glad to hear you were able to roll with the punches–the flooded hotel lobby would have thrown me for a loop. That nature path in Florida looks gorgeous.

    We just finished Mrs Maisel and man, did we love it! We’ll have to be patient for Season 3 I guess!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Love the photos! Sounds like you had a wonderful trip. Yayyy to retirement!

    The Hubs retired last year and we plan to tour Europe in March (5 countries in 8 days!). It’s a trip that has been put on the backburner for 26 years!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a fun getaway! I’ve never explored Richmond or Savannah. Would you say Richmond is a walkable city? Jason and I like cities that we can park and leave the car for the remainder of our stay and explore on foot. Glad you got to enjoy some warmer weather; my in laws just went to Florida last week and will be there for the month of February… you lucky duck retirees!

    Liked by 2 people

    • That’s exactly what Bill and I do too – park the car and explore on foot. Richmond is very walkable. I can now see why people retire to Florida. It was soooo tough to leave the warm weather!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Good to know, we may have to make a mini trip down there sometime! I can’t imagine having to come back to the crazy polar vortex weather we just had. I’m just glad to see higher temperatures to run in next week!

        Off topic – have you been to the Lititz Fire & Ice festival? I would love to go but Jason hates crowds so I was thinking maybe if we went on Sunday we could still enjoy the sculptures but maybe not deal with the crowds since the activities are on Fri. and Sat. if I’m correct?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, you are correct. The sculptures are still up on Sunday. We have been to the Fire and Ice festival several times. Actually, there is not a huge crowd downtown on Saturday, either. Most of the crowd is at the chili cook-off and kids’ games at the high school.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh no, how sad that Nacho Mama’s has closed. I’ve not eaten there, but I think I remember you mentioning it in a previous post, probably when you recapped one of your Richmond races. I LOVE Mexican food AND margaritas, yet another reason I suspect we’d get along well. 😉

    My husband and I just finished The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s second season on Sunday night. We enjoyed it and are wondering what we should watch next.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Actually, we began AND ended our trip with margaritas. The last night of our trip we stayed in Rocky Mount, NC, where we had delicious Mexican food and margaritas. I may have had one for you! 😉

      I was distraught when I realized that Season 3 will not be out for another 10(ish) months!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sounds like you managed to find all the good points in what could have been a less than perfect trip? Great attitude! Am glad you had such a good time together. 🙂

    Love the (Tri-coloured?) heron! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  10. I have never seen “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” but have definitely heard about it. Bummer that your favorite Mexican restaurant was no longer there but happy you found another one for the margaritas!!

    Savannah sounds and looks so pretty. I was supposed to run a half marathon in November but ended up cancelling my trip.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I had never watched Mrs. Maisel before visiting my sister. Now I am bummed that there will be no new shows until at least November.

      So sorry you had to cancel your trip to Savannah. I hope you get another chance to go back there. It was a charming city.


  11. What a lovely trip with fabulous food (always a big plus for me!) and some runs in new places. I love exploring different places and towns – I always find it so refreshing. I recently played “30 Seconds” with my parents and sister… it was so much fun and made me think we should actually schedule games nights more times in the year.

    Liked by 1 person

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