Sunday, February 3, 2013

Kickin' Around South Florida

I had a great time jaunting around South Florida this week with Phoebe. We packed a ton of stuff into a week that left us both exhausted and ready for some non-travel time. I love when friends come to visit as I get to take them to all my favorite places and experience new ones along the way. This time, Phoebe and I went to Key West, my first time there since moving to Florida nearly 15 years ago. It was bigger than I expected and really crowded. Still, there was tons to see and do and of course, a few Key Lime Pies to try!
I wish I had time to process all my pictures and share them but there are just too many and the Superbowl is today! So, here are just a few of my favorite images from my week with Phoebe, all taken with the iPhone (my DSLR images will have to wait until I have time to process them) and starting with our weekend jaunt to Sanibel:

 Golden Path

 Keep Off

 Little Shell Collector

 Pippi Longstocking goes Fishing

Sand Dollar

Beach Tree

I logged 5 new birds on our visit to Sanibel and I wasn't even birding! We were staying at Seaside Inn and there on the beach were a flock of seabirds. In this one flock I got a Sanderling, Sandwich Tern, Forester Tern and Black Skimmer. The next morning, I went out to capture the sunrise and got a Great Black-backed Gull. I took Phoebe to all my favorite places, The Island Cow, the Bubble Room, Captiva, Ding Darling, my favorite antique store and even the lighthouse. We even did some shelling and found some awesome treasures which included pieces of coral, unique shells and even a sand dollar! My favorite moments were watching the flock of seabirds take off and a little interaction I had with a crab. Sanibel is always magical and I can't wait to be back there in March with both Lita (for more birding) and Luke who will be down for a visit.

Birds of Sanibel

Crabby Encounter

After a weekend in Sanibel, we had a nature-filled day at Butterfly World and Green Cay Wetlands:

 Black with a Hint of Yellow

 Rope Bridge

 Stop and Smell the Roses

The Wetlands

Now, it was time to take a road trip to Key West, stopping on various Keys along the way. We ate lunch in Key Largo, walked the small strip of beach on Marathon and spotted a Key Deer on No Name Key. We spent the first afternoon in Key West on Mallory Square and I watched the Cat Man perform with his amazing kitties while waiting for the sunset which was accompanied by ships, birds, biplanes and an F-16 flyby.  The next day we enjoyed breakfast at the famous Blue Heaven before walking all over old town until our legs and feet were screaming at us to end the day. The best part for me were all the cats we met at Hemingway's house and all the chickens running around town. Before heading out our last morning, we visited the Audubon House and did a little shopping. It was a wonderful getaway to a colorful and fun area of Florida. On the way back we stopped and walked the old seven mile bridge on Pigeon Key and had lunch on Islamorada.

Sunset on Key West

 Rooster & Cat


Strong Jaw

 Starfish Cottage

 Colors of Key West

A Little Country

Sailin' Away

Where the Stories Happen

Our last day together was spent enjoying a yummy lunch on Marco Island before exploring a bit of the Everglades near Fakahatchee Stand where we saw the smallest post office in the USA, a huge gator sunbathing on a rock, a nesting bald eagle and a snake skeleton which greeted us before we started on a trail that made us a bit uneasy, what with gators, Burmese pythons and skunk apes on the loose. ;-)

 Ochopee Post Office, the smallest in the USA

 Boardwalk at Fakahatchee

Snake Skeleton

I managed to keep on shooting sunrises for a fifth week, adding in two from Key West, as well as two sunsets. The sunrises are getting earlier so as long as I naturally wake up before the sun is up, I'll continue to capture them. ;-)

Sunrises & Sunsets, Week 5

This week will be devoted to getting my "pay-it-forward" packages out as well as working on my next assignment for Carla Sonheim's Year of the Giraffe class. This month is all about mixed media. I'm so excited with this assignment. I will share my pieces here on my blog when they are finished!
Hope everyone has a wonderful week! See you soon!


Luke A. Bunker said...

Wow, it looks like you had quite an adventure! That snake skeleton was so eery!! I must admit I've only seen skins before - spooky, indeed!

I am SO looking forward to escaping the world when I come down! :-)

Catherine Constance said...

Hi Laura, am so jealous. Although gators and other creepy crawlies are not my thing. Looks and sounds like you had a fab time. The dinky Post Office is wonderful. One of these days girl, I'm coming to visit... :)

Jenny Wall said...

The rest of us are freezing and you've got sun. So jealous!!

Laura said...

Thanks everyone! Yes, it has been beautiful lately with lots of sun! Catherine and Jenny you are both welcome to visit! My guest room is waiting! Luke, see you soon!!