I am here, it’s March and the best time of year to visit the state. I have left behind cold, wet and windy weather and enjoying the beautiful warmth and great company.
Due to COVID and caring for my mother I have not been able to take my yearly ( sometimes twice yearly ) trips to the USA. I have many friends and chosen family here and it is always wonderful to catch up and enjoy the good things that America has to offer.
My first trip across the Atlantic was in 1986 and some 50 visits later it is still wonderful to enjoy friends and family life. I can also stock up on clothes which they make for the vertically challenged here. I shall also be stocking up on coffee and toothpaste. Prices have risen here as they have in the UK., but you can still find a bargain.
I always say I wasn’t born to live in the northern hemisphere and as one of my ancestors was born in in Pensacola, Florida I could be correct. I love the warmth and the sun and never feel better when in this particular climate. I don’t winter well in the UK and it is probably time to make some adjustments to where I live during the winter.
My hosts here in Florida are chosen family and it is lovely to able to relax, sleep and have no pressures. For the first time in a while I didn’t rent a car as it spends so much time sitting on the drive it isn’t economical. But, if I need to go anywhere I can borrow the family Kia.
I was delighted to see the Alligator was still swimming by the back yard making his appearance on my first morning.
Yesterday we took a trip out to The Sunken Gardens in St. Petersburg. It was delightful warm Spring day in the mid 80s. It was quite busy but not uncomfortably so. The trees were amazing and for me the butterfly garden was a delight. Anyone who knows me well will understand as one of my photographic passions are Butterflies. I was only armed with my mobile phone for photos as the new camera I have ordered doesn’t arrive until the end of the week. In time I hope for our trip to Tampa Zoo.
(Florida 2023 Album on picture pages soon)
Another relaxing day on the porch watching the world go by. A glimpse of the alligator and a turtle in the canal that runs past the back yard. Linda replaced the Hummingbird feeder and now we have the whole family come to visit. They are so small and delicate, I will try to get a picture when my new camera gets here.
They are widening the highway the other side of the canal making it 6 lanes up to the junction so much crashing and banging and that annoying beeping when they are reversing their machines. It wont be long now before its finished so on my next visit things should have quietened down.
It hasn’t stopped the birdhouse from being busy and the many squirrels going about their business.
Long talk with the neighbours yesterday (daughter and son-in-law of my hosts) they had no idea how difficult and complicated it is for us UK people to move over here ( been trying since 1986) I would move here in a heartbeat if it was possible as my health and wellbeing is 100% better in this climate, no sneezing, wheezing, coughing or feeling miserable. As I always say ‘ I was not born to live in the Northern Hemisphere!’
Off shopping today to stock up on some new clothes ( they fit me better here) and also to get my coffee and toothpaste.
We had a change of plan today and I took my hostess Linda ( my chosen sister) out to lunch. We went over to Dade City to a restaurant called Limoges. It is a lovely small town (by American standards) and has some wonderful small shops, including The Book Shack, that has second hand books of all genres as well as buying back books that you no longer want. Had to purchase 3 so will enjoy reading them when back home. There is also a pet store that has everything for dog and cat and a lady who was keen that we should buy something. Next door was a fashion store with expensive items but everywhere you looked there was a psalm or religious quote!
Limoges was disappointing as we have so enjoyed our visits there, there used to be high end fashion, purses and expensive gifts in half the store and an old style American restaurant in the other with waitresses dressed in starched white frilled aprons and southern hospitality. Its now had a makeover, but the food was good and more than plentiful ( brought half mine back for supper) and we were delighted to have our usual server.
I am still waiting for my new camera to arrive so I will only be able to take snaps with my mobile when we visit the zoo today.
We visited the zoo today in Lowry Park Tampa. Weather was in the mid 80s and sunny. Not so many animals and birds to look at but what we did see was good. Lots of children making plenty of noise and the incessant piped music. It was a good trip despite the added entertainment.
Woke up this morning to No Water. We have well water here and the ants occasionally surround the pump and it turns off. My host soon freed it up and got it started again so my coffee wasn’t delayed for too long. My camera is out for delivery so fingers crossed I can get out to the lakes in the park for some good images.
Yes! my new camera has arrived so when the batteries have charged I can go snapping!!! It’s an all dancing one with whistle and bells so hopefully I can get back to accepting commissions again.
Awoke to another warm and sunny day, it’s tough I know! Off to the park today to look for photo opportunities across the lakes and through the trees. Mr Woodpecker came to the feeder this morning while I was drinking my early morning (well not that early) coffee so managed to get a picture. Will try to get some more of the Hummingbirds today, they are so small and quick.
My last Sunday in Land ‘O’ Lakes for a while has arrived. Sad that it is now a gentle slide back to a climate which gives me coughs, sneezes and wheezes. Hopefully I can bring some warmer weather back with me but maybe not the 92 degrees they are forecasting tomorrow.
Yesterday Linda and I went to the park which is usually a wetland with lots of birds, but sadly because of the lack of rain it was very low and only spotted one family of Sand Cranes. There are some wonderful trees and lots of areas for camping and hiking.
In the evening we took a ride out to Hudson Beach to watch the sunset, looking across the gulf toward Mexico. Lots of people turned out as they do every evening.
Today was my last full day so it was dedicated to shopping. Now all packed up so lets hope it arrives safely at the same airport unlike a friend whose case went AWOL when she went to Australia recently ( it still hasn’t turned up) It has happened to me in the past but please not this time.
So, last morning on the porch with my coffee and laptop.
Fly home later today, looking forward to seeing my dog but not the cool, wet weather. Have felt so well over the last 2 weeks and hopefully it will carry me through until I next visit. Managed to stuff all my new clothes into the suitcase. Can’t decide whether to check an extra bag and carry my camera. may be less stressful.
Yes a checked a second bag without charge 🙂 The flight was delayed by over 2 hrs which meant 5 hrs waiting at the airport. When we eventually boarded I was the only one in the middle row of seats so I was able to get ‘some’ sleep.
Arrived home and within 24hrs my Hay fever hit, back to being cold and miserable! But at least I have my dog to hug.
Until my next travel journal, enjoy.
(There will be an album of more photographs in the photography section soon)