Saturday, April 24, 2010

It just keeps getting better!

27 days and about 1400 miles of Florida and we enjoyed it all. It's been 67 days and 3700 miles since leaving home in Feb.

We had a fun stop near Jacksonville to see a friend of Gregg's that he hadn't seen in about 50 years. They treated us to Happy Hour in their nice wine shop.

Our last stop in Florida was Amelia Island where we might have caught this big fish if we'd gone out fishing (didn't).

Cute little town of Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island and a shopkeeper expresses their feelings on political matters on a chalkboard out on the sidewalk.

Then - next stop Georgia.
This is Griffin at the Georgia Sea Turtle Center on Jekyll Island. He weighs 197 pounds and is being rehab-ed after some brain damage. The black patches are velcro and they attach weights to him to make him practice diving in hopes that he will re-learn doing that. Lots of turtles being cared for at the Center - very interesting.

But here is what this island is really all about - its history. From 1888-1946 it was owned by the Jekyll Island Club members before being sold to the state of Georgia. Club members included JP Morgan, Rockefellers, Pulitzers and the like - the upper echelon of the rich and elite of the USA. The history and buildings and furnishings have been remarkably preserved making this a fascinating place to stay.
The hotel still has croquet played in the front yard, players dressed in white. This is one of the "little" cottages, as they called them.

We had some wonderful bike rides on 20 miles of diverse trails - some along beach, some through maritime forest that is very jungle-y. HUGE Live Oaks dripping with Spanish Moss, Saw Palmettos, tall, thin Cedars, vines, all very dense.
Even came upon some alligator along the bike trail! Gregg has no fear. I was WAY back using my telephoto.

Remarkable sunset over the river separating us from mainland Georgia...

But it was the sunrises over Driftwood Beach that were really breathtaking.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Been too busy to blog...

We're finding lots to see and do along this east coast of Florida. Fascinating visit to Kennedy Space Center. Barack Obama was there the same day we were - guess he heard we'd be there. but he didn't get to see us.

It was April 15th, Tax Day, when we were there and Titusville and Merrit Island Floridians were Tea Partying along the highway as we left the Space Center - not happy campers here over the expected space program cuts. Everyone wants everything from the government.

Next stop - World's Most Famous Beach - Daytona Beach. Where auto racing began on the sand. Fun driving the Jeep on the beach.

More fun riding in the Home Depot NASCAR car on the track at Daytona International Speedway. Three laps at 170 mph around 31 degree turns. Wow!! But we both agree the 3 laps were enough and 500 miles would be punishing.

St. Augustine - oldest European occupied city in the continental US - 1565. Older than Santa Fe or Jamestown. Very touristy now but lots of fun. Had a good time feeding fish and gulls through little trap doors at a restaurant on the bay.

My favorite part - the Alligator Farm, a zoological park. Birds were courting, nesting, and parenting and it was magnificent. See the baby under the Mom? Egrets, herons, spoonbills, many others. The trees were absolutely full of big nests. Incredible!

Not to mention the alligators and crocodiles! They have the world's only collection of all known crocodiles and there are a LOT of them.
Seeing an albino alligator is said to bring good luck so here is one for you to see and get some good luck. Cute, isn't he?
For $20 you can have your picture taken in that big yard full of gators, right up with one, touching his back. I may be willing to ride 170 mph in a race car but I didn't do the gator thing!

More Florida pictures...