a second look, adventure, Amazing artwork, birds, Florida landmarks, food, friends, fun, making memories, nature, perseverance, photography, road trip, sky

Return to Cedar Key…

The day was going to be hot, but the sky was quite pretty and we hadn’t been out for pictures in a few days, so we made the drive to Cedar Key yesterday. My last trip must not have been on the weekend because I was surprised at the crowds at the restaurants and shops on the waterfront. Last time I was there I had taken lots of pictures of and in those buildings, but this time the crowds and lack of parking had us moving on. But not before we had clam chowder at Tony’s, which was at least as good as advertised. I was hoping for refills, but no such luck.

We are New Englanders, but this version of clam ‘chowdah’ holds it’s own with the best of them.
Patronage was steady, but not overwhelming for the cook/server, who was doing double duty.

There are adorable sculptures in the garden at the side of the library. They appear to be more weather-worn than when I was there before, but still charming as ever.

I love this sidewalk fisherman. He has a fish on his line, but not one of the little fish in the mural, he has snagged the big fish in the feature photo.
Love this little mural on the wall also.
If I take pictures of old barns out in the country then I guess an old building in town is also a subject.
This mural was a challenge to photograph without the cars that were sitting out front.
But really the sky was what I was wanting to see in my photos as we drove around the area.
Those clouds, and the blue sky just looked so pretty.
Our sole bird sighting. No Spoonies this time.
More clouds.
A tiny house. Too tiny.
Cemetery Point had been suggested as a viewing spot, but this grave was what caught my eye. Big Ed must have been something, proud southerner and firefighter, well remembered.
We can’t learn too much from this spot where Jimmy the Greek rests in peace.
At 15 miles per hour this was our view for quite a while after turning into a wildlife preserve.

,Leaving Cedar Key seemed like more of an escape than just a drive. Still on backroads the GPS gave us no clue as to where we were in relation to a town. After we turned into the wildlife area I asked how we were doing on gas, and the reply was that he wished I’d asked that question sooner. To which I suggested that the driver might have been keeping an eye on the gas tank without the passenger’s input. Eventually, like a mirage, a gas station appeared up ahead. And we were advised that if we just drove straight ahead we’d come to route 19 and we could head south to home! A fun day’s outing, with just a little added drama…

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Amazing artwork, bugs, butterflies, flowers, friends, fun, gardens, life, life goes on, making memories, perseverance, photography, road trip

It’s all about the bees…

Heritage Gardens was supposed to be about the hummingbirds. I was there two years ago and came across a shrub that was just off the walking path and the flowers there were making the hummingbirds very happy. And the hummingbird moths too. So in my usual way I totally expected them to be right there waiting for me to take more pictures of them this time. So much of life has changed in the last two years, why should I expect the hummingbirds to be carrying on in the same way? I’ve certainly chosen a bit of a different path for myself these days, I guess they can too.

I was attracted to the intense blue and purple colors of this hydrangea.. The bee was a bonus.
Gorgeous hollyhocks.
The charming windmill.
Chipmunks are so cute, and we don’t see them in Florida.

Wait, I said this was about the bees, didn’t I?

Orange bee…
Pink bee…
Purple bee…
Oops, this is a butterfly!

Lego sculptures were found throughout the gardens.

Same picture from this angle…
And then from this angle.
And now we see how this was done…

We had such a nice day. And when we got back my friend got to reunite with two close friends from childhood for the first time in over 20 years. After all my travels and reconnections these past few years I know just how great that feels. What a very nice day.

'scene' along the way, a second look, adventure, Amazing artwork, brainstorms, food, friends, fun, making memories, perseverance, photography, second chances

Spending time…

We weren’t lost exactly. We were killing time waiting to meet with the camera club and found ourselves at the mercy of streets that were closed off, and we got turned around a bit. So I wanted to take a picture, and the idea that there was a dolphin playing in the water was just a coincidence. Trust me, he’s there, almost dead center in the photo.

The next day we decided to go to Mazzaro’s, which I’d been raving about for quite a while, and I know I’ve posted about it in the past. I had raved so much that I wondered if it would live up to my build-up. And what had the pandemic done to the business? But I needn’t have worried. If anything the outdoor murals were brighter, the selections in the gift shop next store were even more irresistible, and the food was still as good as I remembered. The crowds were as big as ever also, which is why there aren’t photos from inside the shop. Trust me, and go there if you ever get the chance.

It’s fun to take someone to a favorite spot and have them be as enthused with it as you have been. Several nice days in a row and now I’m listening to rain on the roof as I write…

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Life goes on…

As unlikely as it may seem, the day may come when there is a new someone special in your life, and you want to introduce him to your kids. Not that I was worried, but really didn’t I expect to have one of the most fun nights ever. Belly laughs that just wouldn’t quit.

See? Laughing!

There were crabs on the menu at Frankie’s Raw Bar, and this New Englander who found herself in Baltimore for a few decades wasn’t going to miss a chance to eat steamed blue crabs. I consider it a failure, however, that I failed to recognize that it was not Old Bay seasoning, gasp, that they were doused with, it was J&O seasoning instead. My son didn’t pick up on it either, but he didn’t eat crabs in Baltimore for as many years as I did, so he had an excuse.

My daughter-in-law took us on a tour of the back rooms and garden of the place, where we found many surprising things…

This door looked like a potential ‘through the looking glass’ moment, but we didn’t enter to find out.
There were sea creatures in crates, coming or going? Who knows.
And not so sea creatures.
Some possibly escaping.
Beautiful pieces everywhere.
And stained glass pieces to boot.
And what felt like a secret garden.
New life…
And a froggie too.

Life is funny, but when it hands you a gift just take it and be grateful…

Amazing artwork, finding my way, Florida landmarks, perseverance, photography

The Morean Art Center…

Across the street from the Chihuly Museum you will find the Morean Art Center, where they feature works from local artists. You might choose to browse there, but don’t miss the glass blowing demonstration that is given multiple times a day also. Is it hot in the studio with the several furnaces working 24-7? Yes it is, but fans cool the audience, I’m sure it’s a different story for the artists. It takes three of them to do the demonstration, and it’s like a dance as they work together while moving around the space carrying rods with molten glass. There were no wrong moves at the demonstration that we watched. But I can’t imagine how it was that glass making ever came to be back in 3600BC.

Spinning the glass on the end of the rod, shaping with a wad of newspapers, and blowing into the tube, they made it look easy. Okay, maybe not easy exactly.
Maintaining the temperature of the glass.
The nearly finished product, but the true colors wouldn’t be seen until it cooled the next day.

And more from the Chihuly collection…