Sunday, February 27, 2022

Reflections of Florida


Florida is the only place in the Continental US that is dependably warm in the winter. We've been in Lake Placid since September, and I have been able to swim every morning. Of course, some of the people here think I'm crazy some mornings when it is a bit brisk, but even those cool mornings are rare.  I love getting up in time to see some stars and then watch the sunrise while I swim my laps

One of the many restaurants with outdoor seating overlooking either a lake, the Gulf of Mexico, or the Atlantic Ocean that we frequent.

The Moose Lodge on Anna Marie Island is one of our favorite lunch spots. It sits right on the Gulf in Bradenton, which is about 80 miles to our West. It pairs nicely with a visit to Costco, or time with our friends from Englewood.

So many great parks - The state parks' camping areas are jam packed during "the season", but many are close enough for a day trip.  Most have either tram tours or boat trips with experienced park rangers to provide information about the flora and fauna of the park and often history as well. Even if you don't take the tours, the walking trails are great.  Walking through forests, or along boardwalks across water through Cypress swamps, or through prairies, lets one realize just how diverse the state is. We took the glass bottom boat tour at Silver Springs and saw so many different fish and birds. 

On one of our walks when our kids were visiting, we saw baby alligators and were watching them when the Mama alligator suddenly rose up out of the swamp with a massive roar.  We were happy for the walkway above the scene but it still startled us.
Lake Okeechobee is the largest fresh water lake that sits fully inside the United States.  There is a huge berm all the way around the lake with a walking trail along the top, allowing great views and many fishing spots for many miles.  We've ridden the motorcycle all around the lake, and it takes all day.
One of the things we do down here is ride the motorcycle.  The best rides are with the Moose Riders. Since we look across our little canal to the Moose club, we joined.

February 26, 2022 - We rode with the Moose Riders through orange orchards with the lovely smell of orange blossoms in the air, past lakes and cattle farms, through a few quaint towns, and arrived at an out-of-the-way resort called "Cherry Pocket". After all the sparsely populated areas we rode through, we found at least 50 motorcycles and at least that many cars already there.  Lots of people in Florida right now.

We took up fishing, and have found some great parks where we can fish from docks.  A couple of channels from Lake Istokpoga to the Kissimmee River also have fishing spots.  So far, we have caught a couple of little Blue Gills.  We sent them back to grow bigger. It's just a fun way to get outside and enjoy the sunshine and look for birds and alligators and turtles.

Festivals and car shows happen every weekend somewhere close by.  This car show in Imokolee last weekend brought hordes of people from all over. At least 50 food vendors provided refreshments, and a live band kept the crowds entertained.
But things change - and we have sold our Florida condo and will try spending our winters in warm weather in a motorhome next year.