"" Writer's Wanderings: What's Up With The Snowbirds?

Friday, February 16, 2024

What's Up With The Snowbirds?

 My blog has been a bit neglected but I have a good excuse. I am finally nearing the finish of my next novel, Hidden In Harper Valley. I'll give you a hint with a question: What would you do if you suddenly had millions of dollars but your life was in danger?

My other excuses have to do with continuing to explore with our Florida grandkids. Life has been busy. 

Have you ever been on a chocolate walk? Thanks to our daughter-in-law who messaged me the information, we were able to have a great evening in historical downtown Venice. We went early and had dinner at the Crow's Nest which had a beautiful view of an inlet from the gulf. Afterward we walked down to the jetty and joined the crowd watching a beautiful sunset. Then it was on to the chocolate walk.

The chocolate walk took place between five and eight and by the time we got there around 6:30, many of the shops were out of chocolate. Still we managed to score some delicious chunks including a couple of Godiva chocolates as well as a taste of rich hot chocolate from an ice cream shop where we also got our dessert, creamy ice cream. 

There have been some lovely sunset evenings at Maxine Barritt Park about twenty minutes or so from where we are staying. It is amazing how many people flock to the Sharkey's Restaurant pier to see the sunset but the park right next to it is mostly empty with a whole beach in front of it to watch the sunset. We find a little spot where there is a bench and a break in the sea grape trees and brush and relax as we watch the colors in the sky turn from bight yellows to pinks to purples and sometimes come ablaze with oranges as well.

After a lunch with friends from home who actually have become residents of Florida, we met our son and his family for a walk through the MOTE Marine Laboratory & Aquarium in Sarasota. It's one of their favorite places to visit and they were eager to show us around. We got quite a tour.

The aquarium was a pleasant drive from where we had lunch and took us over a huge bridge that spanned the narrow part of Sarasota Bay. It was a nice sunny day and while some are complaining about the cool weather here, I'm happy with sun and days that start in the upper 50s and climb to the 70s.

While we waited for our kids to arrive, we took a little time to explore the bird sanctuary that is right next to the aquarium. It is free--donations encouraged--and a very pleasant walk around to see the birds they are caring for, some who will return to the wild and others whose injuries will make them permanent residents. We found spoonbills which are always a delight to see.

Once the rest of the family arrived, we entered the aquarium and began our visit. There was quite a variety of marine life both large and small. Lots of research going on here. Some is visible, like the jelly fish reproductive area. Much goes on behind the scenes. 

The aquarium is expanding and building another facility near I-75. With all the spreading development in Florida there is a concerned effort to protect the natural beauty and environment of the state. Hopefully they will succeed because the rich abundant wildlife and marine life are absolutely worth preserving.

Part of the aquarium is located across the street in a separate building where there is a manatee and a huge shark tank. The only alligator we saw was the sculpture we passed in a hallway on the way out. Of course there always has to be one clown in the group. Neither she nor the sculpture were harmed. 

And between all this activity, pickleball, card games, writing and discovering new restaurants to sample, we managed to finish the jigsaw puzzle we purchased at Biltmore and start another.

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