I hope everyone had very merry Holidays!
We made a quick biz stop in Georgia, stumbled on to a VERY nice park... Georgia Veteran’s Memorial State Park which I highly recommend.
While David took care of the things he does... I sat at the shore of Lake Blackshear watching turtles. I was watching for a gator (my new obsession) but instead I saw turtles. Several of them. At one point there were 10 turtle sunning on that log.
This picture shows 7 and I saw 3 more in the water making their way towards the log and then suddenly something much larger slithered up and over the log. This caused the turtles to leap .. yes leap... back into the water and totally freaked me out. That is until I realized it was an otter!
I fumbled around trying to get my camera going to get a picture because he was swimming around with his head out of the water right in front of me. Unfortunately, muscle memory of the old fashioned cameras had me trying to find the button and putting the damn camera up to my eye and then not be able to see anything. Then when I finally remembered to look at the nice convenient digital screen he had gone under again.
It ends up this was the only picture of the otter I was able to get.
While we were there I told David I don’t know HOW anyone in the South (before swimming pools) EVER learned how to swim. There is no way in hell you would get me into any body of water unless I could see all the way from one end to the other. I am pretty sure that there are no backsies with gators.
Either they are in the water, or they are not... and if they are in the water they eat you tearing off limbs by going into a death roll or dragging you to the bottom of the water to drown and they will eat you later. Or maybe not.
So... you tell me. How brave are ya?
You going to be the first in the water to test if there is a gator there?
(tee hee I just love it! The wild beasts)
Then after a couple days, on December 23rd, we packed up and headed south again...
passing cotton fields...
and pecan orchards as far as the eye could see.
We were leaving Georgia and heading towards Florida into the panhandle.
We landed at Grayton Beach State Park. Again another very nice park and I do recommend it but I have to tell you... I would not want to be here during spring/summer. If you come, come off season during the winter time and just be prepared for some rain and chillier days. During the “on” season this place would be a zoo.
The “towns” which are an easy bike path ride away are not really towns but beach communities along Santa Rosa Beach. Well, if you look a little deeper they are not really even individual communities. They are secretly housing developments that are pretending to be towns and while VERY nice and planned out and organized... they are rather sterilized step-ford wife-ish. Disneyland like. We have not seen so many BMWs, Land Rovers, Mercedes-Benz, Jaguars in one place in a long time.
Those of us familiar with the Mendocino Coast have plenty of opinions about the Coastal Commission... and I still STRONGLY believe they ere too far in the other direction. But when you see a place like this. You understand reluctantly why there is a need for a type of a coastal commission. Without one you can’t see the beach through the trendy, matchy, stylish, well planned condo - house things.
Anyway we wandered around on a stormy day in town... here I am playing with the sea nymphs...
and here is David playing with the sea...
And after we were done and a bit chilly we went on back home and set up camp.
David even put up the Christmas lights for me,
and I got out a couple of decorations that I had brought along for the trip. It was one very festive trailer!
On Christmas day we talked to the families back home... I talked to Amber like 3-4 times! And via the internet I immediately saw pictures of everyone and after the get together both Beth and Brooke posted pictures into their Picasa on-line albums and I was able to see all the photos of the day without having to download individual pictures. Technology is pretty spiffy!
I have had a couple folks ask me if we exchange gifts. Officially we don’t. But come on... I wake up every day on this adventure after sleeping a warm and safe night. We have all the comforts of home... literally... and I am on a trip I never imagined going on. In fact, in the past 5 or 6 years I have gone places and enjoyed experiences that I could not have imagined. No gift exchange? Yeah right. I get a gift every day... and while I try to express my gratefulness, there are simply not enough words. I appreciate it all more than I can ever say.
So... we had a great Christmas, and are looking forward to the New Year. Stay tuned as we are changing up a couple of stops on the itinerary but... get this...
we have not yet planned the route back! Isn’t that great!?
And look at this....
Donovan's First Christmas... and the festive reindeer outfit!