Sunday, October 21, 2012

Farewell to Florida

Lots of Art!

Saturday morning the humidity let up a bit and we ventured to downtown Ft. Lauderdale.  It’s a very quaint area with lots of little shops and restaurants.  Saturday marked the first day of the Las Olas Art Festival, where they block off the street and have a juried art fair.  It was amazing to see so many high-end and unique artists here.  So much temptation, but we resisted!

After dinner music
For dinner we walked down to Coconuts…a waterside restaurant that specializes in seafood.  There we tried Stone Crab claws for the first time.  Mmmmm….soooo good!  I can see why they have a limited harvest season…they’re just too delicious for their own good!

Sunday morning was our day to begin the trek back to Decatur.  We weren’t really ready to go but the hotel said we had to leave by ten.  We took Route 1 up through the cities north of Ft. Lauderdale.  Mostly we saw mile after mile of strip malls and auto dealerships.  However, Boca Raton was a little more upscale…must be because Seinfeld’s parents live there?

Got a little excited when we saw the Palm Springs sign…thought we must have made a heck of a wrong turn (not to mention time warp) at Delray Beach.  No…it’s not Palm Springs, CA…..found out today that Florida has a Palm Springs of its own.  We found a cache there and then headed north to Palm Beach Gardens.

There we met up with Bob, a friend of mine since my EIU days.  He’s lived here in Florida for quite some time but this is the first time I’ve made it down to visit.  Good to see him after so long!  I can’t believe I forgot to get a pic of him and his Harley.  Duh!
Gators are well camo'ed!

Onward to the Florida Turnpike and northward bound.  I kept checking out each ditch and waterway along the interstate hoping to catch a glimpse of an alligator.  NONE!  We saw absolutely no gators on this trip even though we visited the Everglades National Park and hiked a trail there.  Now, I’ll never get to teach Mona how to throw a rock at an alligator!  (Whew!)

We also did not see a single dolphin this trip.  Can you believe it?!?!?!  All that time in KeyWest and on the beach and not a single dolphin!  We saw minimal wildlife this trip….well, lots of egrets, cranes, and herons….and many kinds of gulls….and pelicans, my favorite….well, I guess I should say we didn’t see the big critters…dolphins, alligators, crocodiles and panthers.  Guess we’ll have to come back and track them down.

Things are little weird right now....Mona is the one lifting and carrying our bags.  I can't due to doctor's restrictions.  I might just get used to this!  (Update....Mona said I won't!)

Ended up in Valdosta, Georgia.  Had time to eat too much BBQ and are now watching what some might call a “baseball game.”  Doesn’t seem like much of one yet.  Go Cards!!!

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