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I'm finally back to the blogosphere after having a wonderful holiday. Yesterday I did a crazy photo shoot which found me on the Anderson Street overpass looking down on the I-4 traffic. That was some crazy shooting fun! It was a city thing which I'll talk about tomorrow showing you a little something. For now, let's concentrate on the trip.

I've put captions on the pictures this time; for those who don't have time to look at it full size I'll try to briefly recap.

1. Left Monday morning bright and early, hopefully forgetting nothing.

2. Around Lakeland we left the interstate, traveling south on small roads allowing us to see what Florida is really like. We saw phosphate mines and orange groves, two industries which made Florida prosperous. A few hills and gorgeous, spring green everywhere.

3. Eventually we got to the park and set up our campsite. The lake was closed due to high bacteria levels, ironically from a large Earth Day celebration, according to the ranger. As well we learned we couldn't launch the canoe from our campsite. Two disappointments right off but we decided to make the best of it.

4. After lunch we explored the park on our bikes, Bruce fished/napped and dinnertime rolled around. The weather was super pleasant with low humidity and few mosquitoes, two real blessings.

5. Bruce put the screen over the open back window and the drivers side window with the little fan sitting on the dashboard circulating the air and we got into the back of the Element for a good nights sleep on our quilt-covered sleeping pads and a sheet. During the night it got chilly so I was glad I put a light blanket in at the last minute.

6. A giant raccoon woke us up during the night. Although Bruce had tied the cooler tops down, this wily guy managed to somehow get a paw inside and eat our pound of bacon! The next night Bruce won the battle.

7. A long bike ride to the store, fishing lakeside, and a yummy breakfast the next morning were all a great success. While at the store I noticed the road name--Casey Key Road. We decided to explore and I'm glad we did. What a gorgeous drive. Apparently Stephen King found it so, buying up the end of the peninsula according to our handy park ranger.

8. Bruce napped as often as possible while I read "Still Alice," an excellent book.

9. Our camping neighbors were all nice folks, the bath house just a short walk from our campsite was spotless. As well, the scenery is wonderful with dappled sunlight, jumping fish in the creek, and wonderful, deep crimson cardinals flying all around. We'd read the park is a habitat for the endangered scrub jay although I didn't see one until the final day. They were very small and intensely blue. Cute as can be. Each morning we were awakened by the sounds of twittering birds--fantastic!

10. A trip to another state park nearby was interesting. Grasslands, alligators, and deer were mostly what we saw. The Myaka River was swarming with gigantic gators prompting me to express relief we didn't stay there.

11. Wednesday morning I left Bruce at the canoe launch to fish to his heart's content while I went back to the beach. I spent an enjoyable few hours collecting shells, including a small starfish and a nearly perfect sand dollar, before it got too hot. The sand is so white I imagine it gets pretty hot later in the day. I took one swim in the crystal clear cool water.

12. Lunch, more biking, reading and napping filled the afternoon. Our stove developed a small leak but we were still able to cook a yummy meal. Afterward we enjoyed our last campfire and conversation, climbing into the Element for a good nights sleep.

13. Sadly it was time to tear down Thursday morning and head home. Before we left the area we stopped at Spanish Point, a spot I highly recommend if you're ever in the area. After spending two hours or so there, we took back roads seeing a different slice of Florida during a leisurely drive home.

14. Angela, Matt, and Michael took excellent care of Baxter in our absence but if you know Baxter at all, you can picture him leaping in the air when Bruce went to get him. He was a happy little Yorkie.
Listening to: Beats De Los Muertos - Cantos A Ochun El Oya (Frankie Feliciano mix)
via FoxyTunes

Listening to: The Bees - Got To Let Go
via FoxyTunes

Listening to: The Bees - Got To Let Go
via FoxyTunes
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