Sunday, December 23, 2018
Dave and I made the long trek yesterday from Jacksonville to Tampa, and we made it even longer by taking a little side trip to Cedar Key.
Cedar Key is a rustic little fishing town in Florida's "Big Bend" area, and it's a long, long way from everything. I hadn't been there for about 30 years, so I wasn't sure what we'd find. There's a lot of history there, and now it has a sort of artsy vibe too.
We popped into the historic Island Hotel, which the proprietor said dates back to the 1850s. And there we found...
...a manatee playing the piano! And I had my camera!
We walked around town, popped into a gallery and bought some local art, and then walked out to Dock Street, on the waterfront, to have lunch.
The Gulf water there is heavily stained by tannins from the cypress swamps and rivers that flow nearby. We sat on the upper deck of a restaurant, listening to a guitarist playing Johnny Cash songs. I had a grouper sandwich, which cost an appalling $14 but apparently grouper isn't as easy to come by as it once was.
Afterwards we hopped back in the car and headed for Jacksonville. Driving back on the rural roads through the swampy interior, we saw...
...belted kingfishers perched on the power lines. I have never seen one before, at least not that I can remember, but they're unmistakable with that crest. Photographing them was hard -- they're very shy and every time I slowed down the car they flew off. This was the best I could do.
We got to my brother's at about 7 p.m. last night. Whew!