Clearwater’s Chemistry

Clearwater, a beautiful Florida coastal city, has much to offer and has a chemistry all its own but the chemistry I speak of in this post is that which we humans find with others.

Joyful children delight visitors at cultural center.
Joyful children delight visitors at cultural center.

We have spent the past ten days in Clearwater being quite the social butterflies, so much more than normal that this little introvert is going to need some alone time to decompress (lol)!  Don’t get me wrong, our time spent here catching up with old friends and meeting new ones has been fabulous!    It seems that many of Terry’s former high-school friends have settled around the Clearwater area so there has been many a get-together, with good food and drink, thanks to the efforts of high-school chum Norm.   Our waistlines have suffered a bit from all this fun but we have been rewarded with many pleasant memories.  Good friends Doug and Donna  migrated south for a vacation to escape the frigid temps of Ohio and their daughter Kelley joined them, getting a break from the Windy City winter.  And we caught up with two couples we shared many laughs with at Amazon.

Terry's high school buds & spouses - Dawn, Rick, Terry, Jim, Doug, Donna, Joyce & Norm
Terry’s high school buds & spouses – Dawn, Rick, Terry, Jim, Doug, Donna, Joyce & Norm
Amazon buddies - Jim, Sharon, Rich, me, and Pat
Amazon buddies – Jim, Sharon, Rich, me, and Pat

For those in the RVing community, there is always a level of excitement at the prospect of meeting someone whose blog you have followed for some time. We were very pleased to have met a couple who have been on my “must meet” list for a long time.  As time passed I thought we were going to be two ships passing in the night and I was feeling a bit sad but the stars aligned properly and a brief window of opportunity presented itself.  Emails were exchanged; plans made; and we found ourselves heading over to Cortez to have lunch with John and Pam Wright of Oh, The Places They Go.  They were as delightful as I knew they would be and we walked away feeling like we were catching up with old friends instead of meeting for the first time.  With the hopes of meeting up again near DC later this year and discussion of hiking out west together, the day ended on a perfect note.

Me, Pam, and John
Me, Pam, and John
John & Terry on the beach at Anna Maria Island
John & Terry on the beach at Anna Maria Island

I had a similar experience several days earlier with another blogger friend, someone I have followed for quite a while, a brilliant landscape photographer who took time out of his busy schedule (in Clearwater on assignment) to have coffee.  What started as a quick cup of coffee ended 2.5 hours later, having covered quite a bit of territory outside the photography realm, as I promised myself I would not harass him for tips.  Ok, since photography is his passion, he generously shared a few tidbits with me, for which I am most grateful. 🙂  For those who haven’t guessed by now, I met up with none other than the talented Rick Braveheart.   If you have yet to see his work, I urge you to go here and check it out.  I promise you will not be disappointed.   As we were saying our goodbyes, I asked for a photo and a quick selfie was taken with Rick’s iPhone.  I avoid close-ups of myself at all costs so sadly Rick’s arm just wasn’t long enough for me to proudly display a photo!   You are just going to have to trust me that there was a chance meeting. 😉

All of this socializing has got me wondering about why we connect so strongly with some?  Common ground is one reason that brings us together initially, which seems to be obvious in the RVing world.  Those who have a wanderlust for travel, a love of nature, enjoy the same recreational activities; i.e. hiking, biking, kayaking, photography, seem to gravitate toward one another.  But there is that certain something that transcends the similar interests after you meet, the comfortable silence in-between the conversation when you know you have met someone special.

As many of us do, I have a diverse group of bloggers I follow.  Writers, artists, photographers, international travelers…the list goes on.   What draws us together, satisfying that desire to learn more about the person behind the computer screen, half a world away?  Since we will most likely never meet face-to-face, yet we are drawn to one another, I believe that the chemistry between others cannot be explained by science alone.  It feels more like a spiritual connection to me, familial, déjà vu, a sense you have known that person before.  Experiencing this kind of chemistry with others rejuvenates me and as I get to know them better, whether virtually or in person, I feel I discover another little piece of me. 🙂

Just a few of our fine feathered friends we saw while in Clearwater:

87 thoughts on “Clearwater’s Chemistry

  • Sounds like you had a jam packed time while you were there. Glad you were able to meet some of your new friends, too. Hope you are taking it easy for a few days, to recuperate, but continue to have fun. I went to your friend’s website, and already learned something from him. Great!

    • We had a good time but now I need a little rest to recharge. Rick is a fabulous photographer and he has been very gracious when it comes to teaching us novices.

  • Aren’t Pam and John just the best! We met them at Yellowstone two years ago, and they parked at our house in Ohio for a long weekend. What fun we had.

    One thing I truly enjoy about reading other blogs is experiences the adventure along with the writer. It is so much fun to read how much fun others are having in different areas of the country. Also, I just love looking at the photos everyone posts. Even if I haven’t been to a particular area, I feel like I have seen it through all the lovely photos.

    Thanks for doing such a great job, LuAnn. I so enjoy reading your posts and your photos are always fantastic!

    • Thanks so much Marsha! We loved meeting Pam and John and they carried on about how much they think of you and Paul. We hope to see them again soon and haven’t given up on the hopes of meeting the two of you as well. 🙂

  • I especially loved your last paragraph that so eloquently brought to mind the spiritual connection that can’t always be explained. Surprisingly, some of the people who are the closest to me in this lifetime were met through the internet in one form or another. Two have passed on, sadly, but my was forever changed by both of them.

    • I completely agree with you Sue. Since I have been blogging and following others who blog, I have developed some strong bonds that are difficult to explain but wonderful! Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

  • Wonderful post. I can’t believe you met with Rick Braveheart… Gunta, I’m green. Sounds like a whirlwind of a week, but a fun one 🙂

  • So very glad we were able to catch each other even if just for a day. I know there will many more meetings down the road.

    Hope all goes well with your Everglade visit. I can’t wait to read about your adventures.

    • We are still talking about our visit with you two and how fortunate we feel that we could get together, if even for a few hours. Thanks for the Everglade tips. We will be following in your footsteps. I scheduled the canoe trip today and we will head to Snake Alley as well. Hope to see you both later this spring. 🙂

      • So glad you were able to get a spot on the canoe trip. Don’t forget your Sea Eagle seats, you will be so glad you have them.

        It sounds like the people who were in Flamingo are really having a wonderful time. But she does mention the mosquito too often. Which reminds me, try not to walk in the grass in Midway. It stirred up the mosquitoes. That seemed to be where they were until dusk. So we found if we stayed on the macadam, we did wake them during the day:)

        There’s no hope for the spring…we WILL make it work:)

        I forgot to mention earlier how much I love your header photo. Beautiful. We are still working on one for ours but we have been totally fogged in every morning and evening.

        Take care. Happy journey:)

      • Thanks you two. We did remember you suggesting we bring our Sea Eagle seats. Terry is already thinking about 4-5 hours in a canoe with no restroom breaks. 🙂

        Terry just read me an article and showed a photo of an 18′ python that was just captured in the Everglades, although the report did not say where. Yikes!

        The header photo was from a rare sunset shot I got at St. George Island SP.

        Can’t wait to see you two in the spring and take John up on that Gettysburg tour.

        Enjoy the rest of your stay in Cortez. 🙂

  • I get excited to see John and Pam Wright together with you!!! It really IS SO cool to see RV community meeting each others. It’s somewhat wild. 😀

  • It appears the you had a great time in Clearwater and really enjoyed meeting RV friends and others. Your photos of the many birds in the area and the beaches are great and remind Gayl and I of our time in Clearwater. Hope you continue to have wonderful times in your future adventures.
    Roger & Gayl

  • Loved your sentiments regarding the spiritual connection between certain people…could not agree more!

    We keep meeting more and more very special people…all in the RV/blogging world.

  • I am certain you can imagine our envy as we are experiencing below zero temps with snow on the ground. But, as with anything, we have a positive attitude and know we will be out of here soon. heading your way. Seems as if our plans will meet in GA, no FL. I will write when we our on our way the end of the month.

    • We are finally getting some good weather but I am certainly not going to rub it in as most of our family is experiencing frigid weather. We don’t care if it is FL, GA or the Carolinas, as long as we get to see the two of you. 🙂

  • Sure understand (and connect) to the whole RV connection thing. Have formed some really lovely friendships since we’ve been on the road…you guys included!

  • What a lovely lot of friends you have, LuAnn, and so nice to meet up with like-minded bloggers. The weather is just great at the moment, and I’m loving it. Beautiful bird pics. Love your pretty gallery. 🙂

  • What a wonderful experience LuAnn to share so much time with all your friends. And to meet up with bloggers too must be amazing! How much time are you spending in Florida? Sounds like you are having a fabulous time!

    • Thanks Nicole! Meeting other bloggers has been a wonderful experience. We will be in FL through mid-March, then heading up the east coast to do some exploring.

      • Wow, mid-March! lucky you! Excited to hear more of your stories and I see you are doing to the Everglades. Do you ever visit the Keys? I love them.

      • Yeah!!!! We went there every XMAS for five years straight when I was in high school. We always stayed in Key Largo and spent NYEve in Key West. I love the feel of it. So lazy, fun and all those trinket shops. Best of all is the Key Lime pie and amazing sunsets!

      • Looking forward to it. We are staying in Grassy Key near Marathon as we couldn’t get a reservation in Key West. We plan to spend some time there though. 🙂

  • Me again (I got interrupted by my daughter when I was typing). I love what you say about connecting too with fellow bloggers and RVers. Although I don’t RV, I love travel and blogging like you and I’m amazed at the friendships I’ve built over the past three years. Some of my blogging friends have been more supportive than friends I’ve known for years, and I’ve actually met quite a few of them already. It really truly is a wonderful community and yes I do believe in chemistry. 🙂 You have been a wonderful support for me LuAnn and I am so grateful for that!

    • I must admit to having a list of bloggers I would love to meet in person, those I feel certain just from reading their posts that I had gotten together with an old friend if we met face-to-face. You are on that list Nicole. And I know what you mean, some of my friends who don’t blog don’t understand my seeming “infatuation” with other bloggers. There is a connection that is difficult to describe. You inspire me so much Nicole. You are a beautiful spirit and a wonderful role model. 🙂

  • Ah much jealousy at the bloggers you have met so far and the ones you will meet and I intend to be in the mix for that at some point. I do wonder how many of us came to the blogs with a certain audience in mind and how that has changed as I am certain that everyone must have been dragged into new and exciting worlds with the plethora of choice and talent.

    • You are absolutely right Ste J. When I first started my blog it was to keep friends and family informed of our time in Mexico as so many were concerned we were being chased around the country by the drug cartel, which couldn’t be further from the truth. I still wonder why some folks choose to follow my blog, given their talents, but I am not complaining. 🙂 You dear friend are definitely on my list of “must meet” and I fully intend to make that a reality someday.

      • I know we will definitely have a meeting or two, perhaps we can get chased by a cartel and then sell the rights for the film after blogging about it of course. Your blog is a wonderful treat and you have great talent as well. I love lists, especially being on one…except a hit list.

  • That “déjà vu” you talk about rings true. There is this intuitive level that operates when we interact with other bloggers… It is such wonderful thing to connect in this way. I am happy for you that you have met so many in person. (And I totally understand the need to step back. Wishing you many more adventures. Maureen

  • I just don’t visit you enough….scolding myself. For certain when I do I am always so…well…more knowledgeable about this grand country of ours and so excited for your adventures!! You write and photograph them so well it’s like getting to travel with you! I miss Florida so very much….grew up there (lots of time on the beaches) till almost a teen then to the Northwest till now. I can sometimes smell that incredible ocean air…even still!! I absolutely *love* reading your writing!! Sending so much love and huge hugs to you dearest friend ❤❤❤!!

    • Thanks Christina and honestly, there is a part of me that wishes Terry would do the travelogue and let me focus on other writing. I haven’t gotten him convinced of that yet.

      I had forgotten that you spent your younger years in FL. It is a beautiful state but my heart is still in the west. 🙂

      • Hmmm, perhaps he just needs a little more blogger encouragement to do the writing up of your epic adventures. I know I am not alone in wishing to read your creative writing morer!!! Hehe, well out here in the West I shall wait impatiently (haha) until you return to retrieve it! Huge hugs and best wishes for a very Happy Valentines Day ❤❤!! 🙂

      • Happy Valentine’s Day to you my friend! Were your ears burning earlier today? I was just telling Terry about my need to write something other than a travelogue and was telling him a little about your journey and how you have inspired me. Hope you are having a beautiful day. 🙂

  • Hmm, wouldn’t let me reply up above, and somehow lost your reply in the little archive chat light thingy…that sounds clear as mud lol. My ears were not burning….however….I am honored to have been an inspiration and would move mountains to see you have the time to write creatively more!!!! So, if there is something…anything I can do…please let me know!! 😀 I hope your Valentine’s day was special and full of love and that your weekend is as well!! Sending love and huge hugs to you ❤❤!!

    • Mine was a calm Valentine’s Day, but quite lovely. I will continue to read our poetry, in the hopes that some of its awesomeness will rub off on me! 🙂

      • I am happy it was lovely and calm! You are just too awesome sweet 😀 !! I have read your writing dearest friend and you need nothing but the time to write! 😀 Hugs and wishes for a happy week full of joy and good things❤❤!

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