Back from Florida


Beth caught in the act of photographing a snowy egret and a roseate spoonbill.

Back from a brief jaunt to Florida to visit Beth’s aunt and cousins and see my mother on her 85th birthday.

We flew Allegiant air from Niagara Falls to Tampa/St. Pete for two travelers with one carry on bag it cost $440.

Allegiant is no frills. Our flight took off late on Tuesday afternoon because they had to deice.

The Sarasota area is warm, congested and expensive. Still, we saw lots of fun birds and loved staying in an 8th floor water-facing condo with Beth’s cousin Eileen and husband Dennis.

There is something cool about seeing an osprey fly by the window with a fish in its talons.

A big part of our visit was having a chance to visit with Eileen’s mom as well as taking a jaunt to Manasota Key to see my mom on her 85th birthday.

We also got to visit Myakka State Park to see alligators, roseate spoonbills and even a white stork.

We also enjoyed a great boatride around Sarasota Bay. At one point, we were following a yacht named “Comedy Relief”. I looked it up on the Internet – you can rent it for $511 an hour plus fuel.

Ed Smith Stadium is home to the Orioles for spring training. Think of it as Sal Maglie times 3 with a decent scoreboard, a delightful place to see the Phillies take it on the chin.

Sarasota’s city market sprawls for blocks but it’s hard to buy produce when traveling. Still, I snagged some dried morels, salts spiced for seafood as well as black garlic salt. The market is so big there were 3 different musicians playing live as well as a guy busking.

The Ringling Circus left an indelible mark on the community with theaters and playhouses and Ringling Boulevard. We didn’t have a chance to visit the museum. Maybe next time.

No discussion of that part of Florida is complete without mentioning that despite the fact we walked a lot and it was very temperate, it is a car-dependent place with sprawling retail plazas everywhere.

Why the snowy egret and roseate spoonbill like to hang out is not known. Birds of a different feather flock together.
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