Thursday, January 27, 2011

Florida Stories

When I was here last fall, it was just before season. No, not tourist season: orange season. And in orange season, this is part of breakfast:

Every day you're willing to crank up the juicer, as long as you've been to the grove. There is just nothing quite like taking the oranges, squeezing them, and drinking the juice within five minutes. If you've never had it fresh, you've never had real orange juice.

All that and it's good for you! Hard to beat that. I juiced six oranges this morning (while Mum was out), and I could have drunk more. Mmmm.

So here I am, on my second bonus day. Tomorrow, I fly home and start digging out again. I haven't forgotten what it's like. I left this, beautiful but cold and messy:

Took off last Friday as that storm blew out of town:

Which gave me some interesting cloud and snow-on-the-ground perspectives:

We flew through the afternoon, until the sunset was glowing across the sky:

And here I was. Warm (if not for here, for where I came from). With my mother.

With these! I've never seen the like.

Golden raspberries! I didn't know such a thing existed. They were delicious.

And endlessly amusing, for some reason. Like raspberries! Only not red!

I took this picture for the interesting tree, but now I see the greenness of the grass, too. You know, they take it for granted down here that the ground isn't white.

I am not complaining when I say that the weather hasn't been perfect. I'm okay with it. It doesn't have to be shorts weather to be better than home is. And I find the clouds and light patterns interesting.

Though more of this sky would be nice, too:

Anyway, we make our own fun. We spent about a whole day bargain shopping, plus stores here and there, and I have a nice new jacket ($20), a skirt ($6), eight new t-shirts (some to leave here for next time; $4 each):

And five new pair of jeans/khakis (for a combined total under $60):

Some stores have reminded me that I'm not at home, in case the lack of boots and coat wasn't enough of a hint. My local Walgreen's doesn't have one of these:

Though according to my mother, you really want to use fresh chum, not frozen.

I really liked this pelican painting:

And the zebra (she paints all sorts of animals on palm fronds, they're quite good).

In 3-D art, we found a recent addition of a manatee sculpture (which made me think of you!):

We've only made it down to the beach once, as it's been cooler and windier weather most days. It wasn't typical perfect beach weather, but it was still lovely:

And we picked up a ton of shells.

I threw these two back, as I suspected they were still occupied, but they had their kodak moment first.

It was a strong shell-and-beach-stuff tide coming in.

I also suspected this guy was still in the land of the living, so back in the water he went. I hope he made it. I've never seen a starfish on the beach before!

This one was still hinged, and probably a broken part of something, but I don't know what kind of shell it is, other than a pretty one.

Shells often have little holes in them, not so often large ones. Do you see the heart?

Another day, we stopped in at the farmers market, and marveled at the beauty of it all.

It turns out that my flight got in close to on time yesterday, but I don't regret changing my plans. The uncertainty as to how it would go, plus the bonus days here with Mum, for no extra fare, is well worth it. I feel better fortified to deal with what awaits me at home, though I don't expect it will take long before I'm bitching about it again.

Hey, it's my blog; where better to whine? And today, at least, is whine-free. When Mum gets back from bridge, we'll go out to lunch, and then we're getting pedicures--my first! And after that, who knows? For now, the sun is shining, and the lanai calls to me. It's not warm, exactly (maybe 65), but the sun, the sun ... I feel like a reverse vampire. Must go to sun!


Leslie said...

Your extra two days have been good for MY soul. Loved the photos (and the bargains). thanks!

Anonymous said...

Safe travels!!

Mom IsAmagpie said...

EEEEPPP!!! Manatee!!! It looks like my tattoo!!!
Okay, I'm done. It looks so gorgeous down there hope those extra two days were as spectacular as they look!

Kate P said...

Now I have the song "A Manatee Sneezed on Me" in my head!!!

Fresh orange juice is yummy and it must be even yummier in Florida. I imagine it was like the OJ that I had in California. . . like nothing I'd ever tasted before!

Red Stethoscope said...

Hello there! I grew up in South Florida, so those scenes look familiar! (Now, I live in the freezing cold too!) I haven't seen a golden raspberry before, though (but now I'm going to be obsessed and hunt some of those bad boys down). :)