We haven’t blogged in a while because we were traveling – by air and by car – back to the east coast to visit family, friends, doctors, and to attend the DeFever Cruisers Rendezvous. It was a hectic trip where we crammed a ton of things into a short time, but it was a fantastic trip… except for the weather. We started in NJ to see Robin’s brother and sister-in-law (and their great dogs), an old childhood friend from the Sea Scouts, then we got caught in a snow/ice storm as we drove down to Maryland to visit friends. It was pretty slippery driving that last part of the trip, but we arrived in one piece.
Everyone laughs at us for spending the winter in the Pacific NW, but it’s much warmer and nicer here than it was back east (except for the Florida part of the trip). We weren’t used to all that cold and snow! We did all our annual doctor visits and they renewed our warranties for another year. We saw some Power Squadron friends, and we got to see one of Jim’s brothers and his wife, but missed his sister Margaret because of another snow storm that slammed us in Virginia. We holed up in a hotel for 2 nights to wait out the record-setting snow and had a few things cancelled because of it. We wrapped up the northern part of the trip spending some time with the Halls and then visiting with Jim’s son, his wife Valerie, and to meet the newest grandbaby – James (4 and a half months). Little Donald is 21 months already – an active little man!
We escaped the ice and snow, driving down to Florida to visit more friends, then a quick stop in Orlando to shop at the ham radio store, then on to see Jim’s Dad in Clearwater. From there we drove to lovely Captiva Island for the DeFever Rendezvous, and it was great to see so many old friends and all those big flared DeFever boat bows!
As you might notice in the photo, there is a lot of fog in the air. What was really strange was that the fog persisted through most of both days – highly unusual. It dampened our hair and clothing but not our spirits, though it made for a very odd “sunset beach party” since we couldn’t see the sun and barely saw the beach!
We zipped down to Marco Island to visit boating friends, and they took us on an adventure looking for wildlife in the Everglades – which was terrific. Even though we had warm days we saw lots of alligators.
Our friends showed us some hidden little gems – nature walks and small state parks with interesting things, such as this example of a strangler fig.
We saw anhingas, wood storks, bald eagles, herons, egrets, glossy ibis, moor hens, and a nice kite, but my favorite were these little burrowing owls.