Last tie we had covered up through April visits up in central Florida so today we’ll pick up there and go on.
Before that though…the humans left Wednesday morning for the first trip of 2023…they stayed overnight in Titusville before visiting Black Point Wildlife Drive over on Merritt Island again and then they went to Lakeland for the overnight. Friday morning it was Circle Bar B and the drive down to St. Petersburg for a planned Saturday morning visit to Fort DeSoto State Park.
They had a really great dinner out Friday evening…the Three Birds Tavern…Connie did her DLETC thing and got them a hightop outside bar reservation rather than sitting inside…it was semi-open but had roll down walls and gas space heaters to keep it warm as it was down in the low 60s by sunset when they arrived.
After a dinner of grilled peppers and some chicken wings they finished off with Bananas Foster Cheesecake…which was decent and they ate it all but it wasn’t what they envisioned. Their thought was that it would be cheesecake with Bananas Foster sauce but the bananas and foster were swirled in the batter before it was baked then topped with whipped cream. Really good though…just a bit more than they expected. They had a cocktail and wine and then with their dessert they got a couple of Amarula…that’s a cream liqueur similar to Baileys but with a bit of a citrus tang…the alcohol comes from the fermented and distilled fruit of the Amarula tree…it’s a South African product that they found quite tasty.
They were up early this morning and went down to Fort DeSoto…paid their $5.35 daily parking fee…drop up to the gate arriving just about sunrise at 0720…and found the gate closed with a cop car and flashing lights behind it. Park was closed until 0900 for a half marathon foot race…and he was most unsympathetic to Neil’s plea that the birds would be gone by then. They turned around and headed home but did take a few shots of an Osprey and the sunrise before leaving.
Home before lunchtime…a bacon sandwich and then a nap before Mass this afternoon. The choir director got unceremoniously fired the day after New Years and there’s been absolutely zero information coming out of the administration about choir, music, cantors, or anything related to the situation. The new choir director did the cantering himself this afternoon and the pastor introduced him with no words about the previous director and no actual information beyond…stay tuned.
Anyways…back to the 2022 wrap-up.
A few shots here and there of birds around the lanai…
Red Bellied Woodpecker.
Then a trip to Corkscrew.
Better shot…you can see it’s swallow tail here.
Roseate Spoonbill in really low water and a pretty huge gator.
Nice plant with excellent lighting by Connie.
The Kite again with something to eat.
In May…a trip to see the kids in VA and then stopped by Charleston SC for a couple of days. There are a couple of their fave eateries there and despite living there for 6+ years they had never been to Fort Sumter out in the harbor where the first shots in the Civil War were fired.
Dinner at High Cotton.
And Fort Sumter with a boat ride the next day.
We were on the first trip of the day so got to raise the flag on arrival.
Connie and one of the fort’s artillery pieces.
The fort as we departed…it was actually obsolete by the time the war started as its walls were not designed to withstand the rifled shot fired by late 1800s artillery…they surrendered after 30something hours. They’ve been in a lot of forts over the years and it was pretty small but was adequate to defend the harbor when it was designed and built.
In May still…a trip to Indiana for a couple of things. First up was the Benjamin Harrison Presidential site with a tour of his house.
Then it was on to Connor Prairie…a historical park sort of place that was once the homestead of another of Neil’s ancestors…William Connor…4th great grand uncle according to Connie…he was the brother of Henry Connor who was the translator and negotiator for the Ojibwa (AKA Chipawa) Indian treaty. William had both an Indian wife who left and went back to live with her tribe and a non Indian wife after that.
Looking out to the front of the homestead…the trees in the background are on the levee that now controls the flooding but this whole area flooded in the spring and boats could come right up to the bottom of the hill.
The back side of the house.
The front of the house that faces the river 2 pictures back.
Then it was over to Vincennes IN which was one of the places that Neil’s Cody Kidney Stone incident cancelled back our last year traveling in the RV.
And the George Rogers Clark memorial.
After that they headed down and spent a couple days in Louisville KY…drinking bourbon at various distilleries of course.
Their final stop of the trip was in Cumberland Falls KY to see…naturally…the waterfall there.
By then…it was summer and just too hot to do much so we all just stayed home. In the fall we did get up to Daytona Beach for a Ladies of Elks thing…each incoming president of the state LoE chooses an icon for their year…this year the president chose a rocket. So…naturally while we were out celebrating at her President’s Reception…SpaceX helped out by launching a Falcon 9 headed north up the coast during the reception.
A close in shot of the booster and second stage (far left) after they separated with the booster landing on one of their drone ships offshore. Sorry ‘bout the crappy noisy picture but it’s a ridiculously cropped iPhone shot instead of being taken with a camera with a telephoto lens. You can see the 2nd stage exhaust at the far left as it heads left towards or bit and to the right of that the booster starting to head back as well as the fairing halves that cover the payload until it is out of the atmosphere. Altitude here is about 70 or 75 miles, it’s about that many offshore as well, and speed about 5,000 mph at this point.
Neil took a trip back to Black Point Drive one morning during the convention…it was only 30 miles away or so…
Little Blue Heron.
Different individual Green Heron but you can see here how long its neck actually is, it just keeps it retracted most of the time.
Then…one final trip was planned after the Daytona Beach stop…well, actually it was a continuation of that trip. They were supposed to go to Tuscaloosa AL for a Saint Saens Organ Symphony performance, then stop by NC to visit friends Bill and Linda, then the kids in VA, then Connie’s 50th High School Reunion before heading back home. Notice I said supposed to…what actually happened was they came home from Daytona and put up the storm shutters to protect against Hurricane Ian.
Ya can go read the gory details about the storm back in the entry from Sep 30 in the archive section on the right side of this blog…but basically we had a couple trees down, a couple of lanai screens blown in and that was about it. The generator kept the fridge cold and the freezer frozen for the 3 days we were out of power. It took until the week after Christmas to actually get the trees completely gone, trunks removed, sod planted, and the lanai screens replaced but we’re pretty much back to normal now.
And that’s it…a complete recap of our entire year.
Interesting things found on the net.