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Connecticut River Valley, New England, United States

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Another Heavenly Florida Day

Today began with a visit and coffee with Trish. So good to see her up and about. She said having coffee was a good sign because she can't stomach it when she is stuffy with sinusitis. We talked about lots of things--her boys, some of Bill's other frat brothers, living here, Manatees in the river etc, etc. Bob popped in on his way to work, smelly delicious. I love men's aftershave and so few men use it now. Bill never does, even when he shaves. So it was nice to have a scented man around for a few minutes. Trish said that she was going to force herself to stay vertical all day but that she was going to bow out of the Mardi Gras festivities on Flagler tonight. We said we were definitely not going to bother with it--I've never aspired to attend MG in NO why would I want to bother anywhere else. Public drunkeness, rowdiness and nudity didn't appeal when I was young and I haven't developed a taste for it through the years.

After dressing and checking the map we were off to the interior--Deland and Orange City. First stop, Blue Springs State Park. We ambled down the length of the cove to the St John's River. Unfortunately, the 1 pm river boat cruise was booked and we didn't want to hang around until 330 for the next one. Bill is not one to return to a place we've already explored on the same trip so my suggestion to reserve for tomorrow and come back was voted down. Oh, well, it looked so lazy and relaxing. Nevertheless, we had a marvelous time looking at all the fish--alligator gar with their long needle-like noses, tilapia in huge schools and other fish that I cannot remember the names of though I'm sure it is in the brochure. At then at the mouth of the cove where it meets the River we spent ages watching the manatees. The water, as you can see, clear as can be and the manatees just wonderful, particularly the mother and baby. Even the birds in Florida wait around in lines--it is so crowded here! It is interesting how narrow the temperature range that the manatees can tolerate. Too shallow and warm they move to the river, too deep and cool they move into the cove. They eat vegetation so the fish are not in the least bothered by these huge silent slow moving creatures. They are mammals so they stick their noses up once in awhile for air and, of course, moms nurse their infants for about a year.

After a short break in the cool of the pavilion with a hot dog we continued viewing them and chatting with others --a man and woman with heavy Quebecois accents from Madawaska Maine--what was Rich's last name from Van Buren?--and an adorable red headed boy named Mason who was getting whiney because he didn't see any. I called him over and he looked through the bars of the fence to the white patches--the scars on the manatee's back--didn't tell him what they were--and he was so happy. Then, of course, he was able to see all the others now that he knew what to look for. I told his Mom I was tempted to steal him, since I'd always wanted a red-haired boy. She laughed and said Done! He's yours!  and we all laughed as he blushed. Then Bill went to get the car--these legs and this ankle bring me to the brink of tears with frustration more than pain. I feel like such a cripple. What a difference from last year at this time.  I just pray that it is merely that it will take awhile for the ankle to regain its strength and I'll walk normally again. I swear I've aged ten years since I broke it. But enough of that.  While Bill was getting the car I was joined by a gentleman of my vintage who opened the conversation by saying it was warmer here than where he is from--Ohio. He's been to all the states but Hawaii. He was a steelworker and had driven the Alaskan highway in 85---spent a lot of money on gas to do it--got laid off the fall after he came back and was happy he had gone because he knew he'd never get a job that paid as well as that one had and he would not have been able to go. He said, rather resignedly but hopefully, it looks as though some of those jobs may come back to this country though.  When Bill picked me up he laughed and said --you've still got it kid!  LOL

From Orange City we headed back through Deland. Unfortunately, I'm not getting shots from the moving car--only when we are stopped--so no pictures of the beautiful buildings of Stetson College. Soon we arrived at Deland Municipal Airport and the Perfect Spot at SkyDive Deland. Was great to chat with the jumpers and watch the different ways they choose to land from way up on high where they are just specks. Some drift down like leaves on air currents--others choose to whoosh down like skiers shooting straight down a long steep slope and believe me there is an audible whoosh that you hear before you see them come flying by you on the way to a two footed running landing. Amazing.

From there we came back to NSB and a beer at PJ's and our 21st of the month picture of two. Back home we were greeted by the barking of Lucky, Petty and Indy and a smile from Trish on the balcony. She spent a half hour in the sun near the pool and stayed up all day. She is feeling tired so having soup and to bed. That is good--Bob is at work and she has no need to fuss. We are tired and relaxed and content. Tomorrow is another day. They are supposed to send up a rocket from Kennedy tomorrow --don't know when but I guess it goes right over the house. That would be fun. At this point don't know what we'll do tomorrow--deep sea fishing, St Augustine and the A1A drive, Cape Kennedy?  We'll decide over coffee and biscotti tomorrow. For now, The Help, which I'm loving and then my NCIS shows. Until the same time tomorrow night--good night all!

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