Van and I flew to Florida 2 weeks ago and before we leave on the 5 am shuttle to Orlando airport tomorrow, I'm going to put a few pictures here. We've been visiting my brother in Lake Wales, but made a couple of trips over to the Gulf coast. In Palmetto, we canoed in Boca Ceia Bay with my cousin Madelon in her kayak. I have happy memories of canoeing in these same waters with Madelon when we were kids and it was fun to return.
This is Van in the back of the canoe and Madelon behind in her kayak. We were heading through the mangroves to the Manatee River but when we got there, the wind was blowing and we had to go back. We saw lots of birds... a roseate spoonbill and ibises amongst others.
After a stop in Osprey to visit Bill Locher, an old Alaskan friend, we went to my Uncle Jean's beach house on Little Gasparilla Island for a few days. There I spent many hours walking on the beautiful beach and picking up shells and did a few little sketches. Here are some of them.
The main reason we came to Florida this year was to attend my Aunt Lou's 90th birthday. We celebrated with her in Palmetto on her actual birthday on the 18th and again on the 26th with a hugh party with lots of friends and family. It was good to see cousins I hadn't seen in years and meet new ones I'd never seen.
This is me with Aunt Lou. Isn't she pretty!
The day after the big birthday party, cousins Madelon, Martha, and Mike and Van and I headed down to Crystal River where we kayaked for an afternoon. I grew up in Florida but never saw a manatee until this trip. We paddled along side of this guy for quite a while.
I'll end this post with a sunset, this one from Little Gasparilla. I have more pictures and places to tell about and will put on another post soon. On to Seattle tomorrow.