A Week

Lately (as in the past five or six years), Jan and I have gone down to Florida every so often to see her cousin Bob and his wife Paula or my folks.  Our last trip was in September.  Sometimes our children and grandchildren come with us for a family reunion or we have gone on our own.

We went there once more last week.  Our flight out of Springfield was last Monday morning.

On the way out, two landmarks of our city - Hammonds Tower and Hammond's Field

On the way out, two landmarks of our city – Hammonds Tower and Hammond’s Field

Paula met us at the airport and drove us to their home where we spent the night.  Going through Orlando we passed this stadium.  Maybe it is for some university.

Not being a football fan I have no idea who plays here.

Not being a football fan I have no idea who plays here.

On the way to their home I saw my first alligator in the wild.  It was in some lake west of Orlando floating on the surface.

Jan’s cousin and wife live next to a golf course.  Most people have seen a golf course but not many see a sunset like this one.

03Sunset

Maybe with the sun setting over the Gulf of Mexico, Florida gets more sunsets like these than other places.  I don’t know.

Paula drove us to my mother’s home Tuesday morning and after lunch we changed into the usual Florida dress.

Standing in front of Mom's avocado tree.  I felt my legs were awfully white.  It is early in the season....

Standing in front of Mom’s avocado tree. I felt my legs were awfully white. It is early in the season….

The tree had one avocado left on it.  It is up at the top and quite large, as all of them were.

08Avocado

We asked Mom if there was anything we could do around the yard and she came up with a few items.  One of them was painting the mailbox.

Sawing off extra lengths of some bolts.

Sawing off extra lengths of some bolts.

The next day we went to the store and stopped by a fruit stand.  We always go to fruit stands when in Florida.  The mangoes were wonderful.  Also at this stand were visitors from Canada.  I saw more Canadian cars this week than all of last year put together.

The Strawberry Festival at Plant City will occur later in the month.  I was sorry to have missed it.

The Strawberry Festival at Plant City will occur later in the month. I was sorry to have missed it.

The sky had clouded up a bit on this day, but the overall temps were great.

07ParkingLot

One of the particular things I enjoy about Florida is the different wildlife.  I already mentioned alligators and we also saw and heard many sandhill cranes.  But the animal I got close to the most was the lizard.

09Lizard

10Lizard

11Lizard

I thought this was a snake at first, but then saw its legs.

I thought this was a snake at first, but then saw its legs.

I don’t know what type of lizards these are, but I enjoyed their scampering and jumping out of my way.

Behind my folks house was a large pasture.  Often, my dad would feed the cows and steers grapefruit peel.  They showed up in the afternoon and I went to visit them.  But, they knew I was not my father and so were not interested in seeing me.

They wouldn't come up to the fence for anything.

They wouldn’t come up to the fence for anything.

Friday was the warmest day (the pool never did warm up enough for me to get in) and that was the day we returned to the Ozarks and 35°!  However, I know that 100° will get here soon enough.

Finally, in the ‘Toot One’s Horn’ category, I was quoted in the March issue of Bicycling Magazine on page 66.  I must now revise my resumé to include being quoted in an  international publication!

Stay happy,

twofeet

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About rlhoover

A perspective on life and cycling in the Ozarks. I started serious cycling in 2008, after seeing my wife be on the bike for a few years. We have biked many places and hope to continue. I am no where near being a real good cyclist, but I have fun trying to improve. Who am I kidding? Me? Improve??
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