Monday, July 06, 2015

The Week That Was: Florida Edition

So, I went to Florida, did I mention? Yes, it's time for the avalanche of pictures.

The trip down was fine, except for a delay in the flight, somewhat annoying since it was an early flight that ought to be less prone to such things, but oh well. Still arrived in time for lunch, and happy to be there. Especially since it was raining and chilly when I left, sunny and warm when I arrived! Ahh.

We only walked on the beach twice during the week; it's something I could normally do every day, but man, with such hot air and only a small hot breeze, and the water feeling like bathwater instead of cooling you off ... you know I'm not complaining, but when that much sweat is dripping off, it's not ideal for walking miles. A couple of days we "swam" in the pool instead, if by swam you understand I mean mostly floated around. It's enjoyable.

And let's be clear, the beach was still very nice!
I like to pick up shells, and got a few, though as our timing worked out, it was better for walking than for shelling both days when we went, smoother and less shelly underfoot. My feet were glad of it! On Monday I found this shell, perfect.
And I had hopes for this one, but when I poked at it, its occupant turned it firmly back down, so I left it as it was. "I'm not done with it yet!"
Also on Monday we had a neighbors reunion, having lunch with sisters who lived across the street from us when we were kids. Funny how they seemed so much older than me then, and now, it doesn't register. It was so nice to see them again and do some catching up.

Tuesday we drove over to Everglades City to take the boat tour. Again, super hot, and it's a good thing I put on sunblock because in spite of it being overcast, I got some sun. Should have worn a hat, in fact, as the top of my head got tender, but then I might have passed out if I'd worn one, so perhaps best not.

When I'm in Florida, I always think of one of my friends who's into manatees in a big way. So I had to get a picture of the Manatee Zone sign, of course.
(Got one of Manatee Road another day, too.
Our friend the brown pelican.
And an osprey, chilling in a tree.
Another pelican.
Terns on a post.
Off in the hazy distance, Marco Island.
Nearer sunset, this will be covered with a million birds, more or less. I've seen it that way.
The dot in the middle there is a dolphin. Click on the picture to see it better.
Large (relatively) white bird in the middle. Ibis? Maybe?
Terns on the sign again, lined up better.
Driving home: a flock of egrets on a lawn.
Because that happens there.
The path to the beach.
Hot, yes, but gorgeous.
I mean, really.
Just perfect.
On Friday we took the little boat tour from the Conservancy in Naples. It's hard to believe that this is behind the scenes in the middle of a city.
That's a mango tree!

This time, instead of the usual tour, we took one that took us to a nearby restaurant for lunch. Fun change!

We also had time to look around the Conservancy before the tour. They had some very nice exhibits, new I think since my last visit. Another manatee sighting!
And a (live) turtle, floating with his reflection.

Dinner and a show Friday night: big lightning off in the distance while we ate. Kind of neat.
I mean, check out the sky.
And one night we saw a rainbow! Here's the left half.
And the right half!
Dinner on Thursday, and another threatening sky that fortunately did not douse us.
Some oddball things. Like, someone thinks their Nissan Versa is "gorgeous"?
See, above the Nissan logo? I guess that proves what is in the eye of the beholder, all right.

We had dinner Sunday at a local sports bar with this sign.
Which was somewhat ironic, as there were some people there who were very, very drunk, and really, really LOUD. The kind of thing that makes you hurry to leave, but is a good story later. (She has 13 brothers and sisters! And is on her third marriage! And...way more than I would ever want to know about even a friend, let alone a complete stranger.)

Meanwhile, in another restaurant, I liked this sign.
A funny thing to rule against, but I'm okay with it.

For my return flight, I was thrilled to have an empty seat next to me, such a rarity these days, and such a difference it makes in the comfort of the flight. When I had checked in on Friday, I saw that there was a window seat left that had an empty seat next to it, and I switched to it figuring that, while the middle seat would probably end up being filled, there was that chance--and it worked! Wonderful. That flight even left a little early; got in a little early; my bag was about the sixth one on the belt; the shuttle pulled up just as I got to the area for it; and I hit no traffic going home (not that I expected to, but still). All quite painless, and were the cats glad to see me! And how. Belmont has taken to coming to the bed when I go, something she has never regularly done, as though she just can't stand to be in the living room alone. They follow me around, and welcome me rapturously when I return after being gone for an hour. It's quite sweet, in a slightly suffocating way. Such are cats.


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