Monday, December 31, 2018
I'm writing this in the Tampa airport, where I'm sitting at the Cigar City Brewing Company "taproom" and having a pre-flight beer with Dave. I'm going to schedule this post to publish Monday morning London time, about the time we land. So you'll have to wait until Tuesday to hear about our flight! (Hopefully there will be nothing to report.)
Our last day in Florida was busy. It dawned very misty, as you can see from the photo above, taken from the dock behind our hotel.
But when the mist cleared and I happened to glance across the street, look at what I saw -- a bald eagle perched majestically above its nest in an old pine! We saw these nests across from our hotel and talked about how big they were, but stupidly we didn't stop to think they might be eagle nests. (There are at least two of them.)
We met up with Dave's family and went to the Red Barn Flea Market in Bradenton, a sort of family tradition. Dave and I didn't buy anything but, as usual, I saw a lot of curious stuff. (None of which I needed to haul home in my suitcase.)
We said goodbye to everyone about 11 a.m. and drove up to Tampa, where we had a few hours to kill. We went to Lake Park, near my stepmother's house in Lutz. I found a parking area and left Dave in the car while I went walking with my camera. Among other things I saw gopher tortoises (above) and a big pileated woodpecker that was too fast for my lens.
Only after my walk, as I was returning to our car, did I realize that I had been walking partly through the archery area. Christ! I'm glad I didn't emerge from the woods with an arrow in my chest. (I have issues with the signage in this area of the park, but anyway...)
Dave and I drove to my stepmother's, where we began our Florida sojourn almost two weeks ago. We took Maybelline for the second walk of her life, and again she seemed half-awed and half-terrified. Look at her marveling at the size of that big dog bowl full of water!
After a quick post-Maybelline shower and an Uber ride to the airport, we happily checked our bags, and now, here we are, waiting for our plane. Next stop -- London, and 2019! Happy New Year, everyone!