Jan. 21

Out early to go to Wakulla Springs.  We were here about 22 years ago or so, in the summer.  At that hot and humid time we saw many alligators and turtles sunning themselves, and perhaps a snake or two in the overhanging branches.  This time it was cooler–65 degrees.   But because it is warmer here than in the gulf, we were able to see manatees wintering in the springs!    

They are so ugly, they are cute!

One alligator did show its face to us as we toodled down the river.  

The bald cypress with no leaves, and the Spanish moss draped on them, make a perfect background for the vultures roosting in the trees.  

This area was where the old Johnny Weissmuller Tarzan films were shot, as well as the Creature from the Black Lagoon.  

Flowers are blooming!  Several camellia bushes were full of blossoms!  

There is a lodge at this historic site, too.       wakullasprings.org/

From here, we traveled quite a ways to the other side of town to an old country market.  

This place had the best home-made sausage!  They do their own smoking and processing of hogs, on-site.  www.bradleyscountrystore.com/The floors are really old, as are the displays along the top of the shelves.    It is worth the trip to go  outside of town for their sausage, and I’d assume their bacon, too!

One last stop, today.  The Tallahassee Antique Car Museum.  tacm.com/

  We’ve been to many car museums in our travels, but never to one that had such a wide interest level.  Not only are there cars from every era…  , including movie cars…, and children’s toys  , but there were trains, dolls,and  golf clubs (too many to count).  Anything that someone would want to collect seems to be represented in this museum.  I did not know how many different boat motors there were!  Lots of dishes, too.  Steinway pianos were here…  And in case you ever travel to dangerous parts of the world, make sure you take your Vampire Kit with you!      

Oh, for Maggie–the temperature reached a balmy 77 degrees today!  I understand Paola was a little less than that…27, maybe??? 🙂  Off to new adventures tomorrow!

Jan. 20

Larry and I started this day by visiting both the old and new state capitol buildings in Tallahassee.  the old one has been recently restored to its 1902 appearance, with work still being done on the capitol cupola.  

The new building has a completely different appearance.  What is interesting is that they both occupy the same block, with the old building being in front of the new.  After exploring the historic capitol, we went to the skyscraper for a marvelous view of the city from the 22nd floor.  

We then traveled to the Mission of San Luis, otherwise known as the San Luis Archaeological and Historic Site. www.missionsanluis.org/  This is a semi-active dig site and has re-enactor/interpreters on the site to help explain what would have been happening between the soldiers, friars and the Apalachee Indians.         This was the largest mission in the southeastern region.

Jan. 19

Finally caught up with the entries!  Have not had Internet for several days, so these posts all came at once.  We are now at the Big Oak RV Park in Tallahassee, FL.  www.bigoakrvpark.com/

After we set up, Larry and I went to the State Museum, behind the State Capital.  Florida does well in making good use of small space in their museums.  This exhibit started with the Paleo-era and continued through WWII.  http://www.museumoffloridahistory.com/

We now have sewer, so I’ve been doing laundry.  The dryer works great!

Jan. 18

Cooler this morning.  Flags are posted to tell of water safety.    Today was a red and purple day.    I didn’t see any dangerous marine life, just those two dolphins I’ve seen every morning, plus the birds.  Barefoot joggers were taking advantage of the early morning and running near the surf.  The sand was well-packed–two hours of hard rain last night.

Larry and I went to Bass Pro to see the difference, if any, between Florida and Kansas.  No mountain in the middle, but many animals on tops of shelves.  Bigger fishing rods, too!

We visited the local Destin History and Fishing Museum. www.destinhistoryandfishingmuseum.org/

    This small museum gave a great overview of the history of the town, as well as the fish that have been caught in the Gulf.  They also have an annual Gumbo Competition–their version of our BBQ and Chili Cook-offs!    

The museum has a very neat piece of history. One piece of the collection is Mr. Hemingway’s rod used to win the Havana, Cuba fishing competition, and a picture showing him using it!    

It seems Ernest Hemingway had a friend who lived in Destin.  Ernest gave him this rod after the tournament, who later gave the rod to the museum.

There seem to be some very unusual fish in the depths of the gulf.  Whether one believes this replica or not, the curator’s assistant showed us this fish that has a frog’s head, small legs and what appears to be wings, though not used in air, but to help propel it in water.  Sea robins, also known as flying gurnard    

http://www.fishbase.org/summary/speciessummary.php?id=1021

We went back to the beach and collected some sand.  The day was so much calmer than the past several have been!

Jan. 17

Walked the beach again this morning.  Much warmer this morning.  a beautiful day to be out and about.  It will be 70 before the day is over!  Another museum–this time the Air Force Museum in Eglin, FL.  Much smaller than the naval one, but just as interesting! http://www.afarmamentmuseum.com/

    Larry has a photo of all the planes, if anyone would like to see them!  We then drove down the Gulf Shore Drive.  School had just let out, but many kids already had their surf boards and were out in the gulf!  Air temp was 75, but I know the water was not that warm!

Jan. 16

I watched a couple of dolphins play in the surf this morning, then Larry and I went back with a metal detector to see what treasures we might find.  Much to our dismay, this beach is too clean–at least where we hunted!  Will have to try another spot, another day.  We had dinner with two of Larry’s friends, Gordon Turner and Nick Rawlins and their wives, who are spending the winter in Destin.  

Jan. 15

Destin, FL.  Every home needs to be cleaned, even the ones on wheels!  I worked on the inside of the trailer, while Larry worked on the dryer, again, outside!    We are getting pretty good about taking it in and out of its closet!    It is a good thing Larry is handy with fixing things.  All should be working well by the time this trip is over!  Went back to the beach.  It is a 1/4 mile stroll to the sands, down a very pretty pathway.    Once out of the foliage, the beach vista comes into view.    The sky changes quickly, depending on the weather front.