Saturday, January 03, 2015

Thank You Florida for Being Such Fun

And thank you Florida bloggers, you know who you are, for sharing your wonderful state with Alan and Becky and me for two amazing days. And for writing about the cool stuff so we knew where to go.

Virginia was for shivers

We went running up and down and back and forth, feet in the sand on both coasts in one day, Manatee Springs, Cedar Key and the Jax beaches where our family lives over two fast forward type days. Axis deer, feral hogs, unicorns...birds, more birds, still more birds.....I could have birded the Walmart parking lot and gone home happy.....more on that later....

World famous Cedar Key pelican

And thanks to the really friendly folks on the Cedar Key boat launch who made us feel so welcome and told us where to find the sights and critters.

To the nice trucker who saved us from the tire "gator" in the middle of the interstate.

To the manatees, giant fish, and monster turtles and did I mention birds?

To the people of Jacksonville Beach for sleeping in on New Year's Day, thus giving us the beach almost to ourselves.

Special thanks to the good folks who stayed home and fed Daisy and Elvis and the other critters and kept the home fires burning.

Most of all, more than my words can express, the biggest thanks to Alan for being the kind of kid who calls his mother up one night and says, "Let's go to Florida."

Could some kind Florida person help us with this gull?

And proceeds to take his mom and older sister on a wild tour of wild places (we spent a total of six dollars on tourist attractions; we wuz there for the birds and the sand and the wildlife) and takes care of them every mile. Pays for everything, food, gas, rooms to lay our weary heads after all that traveling and birding, and manateeing

 And the only time I was afraid on the Interstate was when other people created dangerous situations. Four days of safe, fun and happy, and so many exciting discoveries.

G̶r̶e̶a̶t̶  Boat tailed grackle.....(not a lifer....alas, but thanks for the ID

How lucky to have a kid who would drive nine states in 21 hours, all by his loneself, (as a six-speed Camaro on the highway of the world is not my thing)....just to get home in time to drive back to Washington DC tomorrow to work on Monday. I think we'll keep him.

There are tangelos...limes....and grapefruit too

Found on Jax beach, New Year's morning

Go here for lots more on manatee springs. Make sure to click "older posts" at the bottom of the first page for many more posts on Florida's springs.


joated said...

Well done, Alan!

Cathy said...

I have a request. Next time you hug that young man. . . . will you give him a little extra squeeze for me. Kinda blows me away . . that kind of open-hearted kindness in someone so young. The beauty and joy you experienced in that brief time, probably exceeds what most snow birds get in an entire winter down there. Beautiful, my friend. Beautiful.

ellie k said...

So happy you enjoyed our state and got to see so much of it. This is a great time to be here, the weather is perfect. Thank you Alan, you are a really great son but I know your Mom already knew that. We have a manatee viewing site here in Ruskin, the power plants runs warm water out in an inlet and the water stays warm, the manatees gather there, plus they get feed lots of lettuce so they stay happy. There are lots of them wintering there now. Enjoyed reading about the trip, tell us more. My company is going back to Spokane today after a month here, back to cold and snow.

Throwback at Trapper Creek said...

I guess he's such a sweetie because his mama and daddy raised him right.

What a gift!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I think your gull is a laughing gull in winter plumage.
Also your grackle is a female boat tailed.

Terry and Linda said...

High-five Alan! What a neat thing to do!



A. Montgomery said...

So glad you made it home safely. Also glad that you had a wonderful trip. Love you all very much. Also thank you for keeping us posted so we knew where you were and how you were.
Love Mom

R.Powers said...

Good lord I had no idea you were in this area. I assumed you were doing the beachy east side.

NumberWise said...

Welcome home! I'll bet you've noticed the difference in the weather...

What a wonderful trip! Yes, you did a good job raising that guy, and I'll bet Becky was great company, too. I'm looking forward to the blogs and all the details and photos.

threecollie said...

Joeted, it was the best fun

Cathy, I was....we loved it. I will savor the memories forever and go to sleep at night thinking of strange birds and white sand.

Ellie, it was so much fun, thanks for sharing. Maybe we will try this again with more time in hand and see some southern parts. Thanks

Nita, it was. I am utterly humbled.

Anon, thank you! Please chime in on today's birds too. We think we got at least some of them right, but shore birds are not big here in Upstate NY and I am not terribly confident about my IDs. I thought they were laughing gulls, but in no way sure.

Linda, he is a great guy. Thanks

Mom, thanks for worrying...not everyone has a mother who does. Love you

FC, we gave serious thought to bringing you a couple of nice upstate rocks for your pond, but we didn't know for sure where we would end up, and didn't want to interrupt your holidays with your family...all that stuff. Would have loved to say hi though...we did keep an eye out for the red Jeep. We did both sides, once in the same day. lol

NW, thank you. It was amazing. I feel ten years younger and more enthusiastic than I have since we sold the cows.