|Check out this palm tree. Talk about bending over backward!|
I always delight in our first sightings of Spanish moss and egrets on our trips south. Right on schedule, the moss started showing up in southern Georgia, but I didn't see hide nor feather of a single egret during our whole drive down. Not good. Then again, I didn't spot any armadillos taking naps at the side of the road, either. Very good. But ya know what was even better? When we arrived at our motel, I looked out our window, and what do you suppose I saw? Egrets! Lots and lots of egrets! Whole flocks of 'em, all over the grounds outside our window. Welcoming us! I knew then it was going to be a fabulous visit.
And it was. Wanta see some pictures? (But not too many...)
I don't suppose Jordan, a senior in high school, would appreciate being called a grandbaby, but I won't tell her if you don't. Besides, you all know it's the truth... no matter how old our kids and grandkids may be, they'll always be our babies.
Chloe, our other teenage baby, and Ella, who spent a lot of time wearing that silly, but adorable, pink cat hat.
This is our youngest grandchild Atlas. They call him Bud, or Bud-Bud. (Bet that takes some weight off his shoulders...)
Our son left the hustle and bustle of the Orlando area earlier this year to relocate to a rural area in horse country. (Not far from where John Travolta has his spread.) They don't have horses, but they sure have room for them now. And there's lots of massive moss-draped trees on their property. Just beautiful.
And even more beautiful? Seeing the three younger girls having fun running around in the yard, playing together. Olivia, Persephone, and Ella spent a lot of time swinging on this rope. Swinging high. Taking turns. I got lots of action shots, but settled for sharing this posed shot of all of them. Tell ya what, they were having so much fun, I was sorely tempted to give that ol' swing a try myself. Alas, common sense prevailed. Fear of breaking the rope, or worse, pulling the whole darned tree down, prevented me from indulging.
And YES!!! Manatees!!!
And not just THIS perky-looking fella. Lots of real live manatees. Big lumbering critters, lolling in the water, leisurely feeding from the bottom, floating with the water's flow. We saw them in ones and twos, in larger groups, and mamas with their calves.
It was amazing! I took lots of pictures, but none of them really do the experience justice.
In all, we saw almost forty of them. As the weather gets cooler, there will be more of them. Maybe hundreds. What an experience! And you know what? Blue Springs is such a beautiful place, it's worth visiting even when the manatees aren't there for the winter. For me, it is definitely a do-over, no matter what time of year we go to Florida.
It was a terrific week, all the way around. But it's good to be home again. Our cats evidently agree. They were so glad to see us again, they didn't even pretend not to care. Life is good.
Until next time, take care of yourselves. And each other.
P.S. If you're interested, the e-version of Hot Flashes and Cold Lemonade will be on sale for cheap-cheap-cheap from the 7th to the 14th, both in the U.S. and the U.K. A Goodreads giveaway for two autographed paperbacks will also be going on in the U.S. from the 8th until the 21st.