Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Everglades from the Ernest Coe entrance in South Florida

Jan. 13, 2016---THE EVERGLADES!!

Finally, we get to play tourist again---thanks to Josh going out of town and Angie suggesting we go to the Everglades.  To my surprise, even Ken went along.

Anyway, it was a beautiful day to head to the Everglades---about 65, dry but cloudy.   There are 4 entrances to the Everglades from South Florida, we went to the main one by the Ernest Coe Visitor's Center which is farthest South, near Homestead.  I had been there once back in about 2003 after Dad tried to drown himself on a cruise and we ended up in Fort Lauderdale for a few extra days, but we didn't do much in the park other than walk a bit of a boardwalk.  So it was time to get back there and see what else we could find.

The drive from Coral Springs to Homestead took about an hour.  It was all toll road, so the drive was easy---especially since I didn't drive.  Once we passed Miami, much of the views from the road were of farms.

 One of the first signs we saw as we entered the park!  Since Ken went, we didn't have to pay the $20 entrance fee.  He has the Old Age pass (forgot the official name for it).  
 We skipped the Ernest Coe center and went straight to the Royal Palm Visitor Center about 4 miles into the park.  It was established in 1916 and later became the nucleus for Everglades National Park.  We were surprised when we pulled into the parking lot and saw all the tarps on the cars.
 Then we saw the sign explaining why they are here.  Turns out the vultures like to eat the rubber around the windows and windshield wipers.

Saturday, January 16, 2016

2015 Oregon 3 week Christmas trip with the "kids"

 For awhile now the "kids" (son who's 37 and his wife, and our daughter who's 35 and her husband) have been talking about us all going somewhere for Christmas.  So on Thanksgiving of 2014, we decided in 2015 we would do it.   All we had to do was decide where and wait for over a year for the time to come.  After suggesting places like Grand Cayman, Grand Bahamas, Key West, and other assorted warm weather beach places, I mentioned the Oregon coast.  That was it, they didn't even hesitate!  That's where they wanted to go!  No warm beaches, no snorkeling, no t-shirts and shorts!  I've lived in Oregon many years ago and know that in winter it rains A LOT!  But I don't remember being in Oregon for Christmas since I was a kid, so I said, "Why not!?"  So at 13 months out  I went onto the Worldmark site and booked a 3 bedroom condo at Gleneden for 2 weeks. When it got closer to Christmas 2015, I refined our reservations by booking 3 nights at Depoe Bay before the Gleneden stay since Angie, Josh and we flew out earlier to get better airfare and cancelled the 2nd week of Gleneden when the kids had all flown home.  Ken and  I stayed an extra week to get the better airfare back, but my brother and sister-in-law offered us their empty house in nearby Dallas since they wouldn't be making it back for Christmas.  

Dec. 16, 2015---flying out of Ft. Lauderdale

Dec. 17, 2015 --- up to rainy Cannon Beach

Dec. 18, 2015---down the Oregon Coast to Cape Perpetua

Dec. 19, 2015---move to Gleneden Beach and Tim and Faith arrive

Dec. 20, 2015---walk along the beach and Mo's

Dec. 21, 2015---to Rogue distillery and brewery

Dec. 22, 2015---Tim's 37th birthday!

Dec. 23, 2015---heading south towards Newport and Seal Beach

Dec. 24, 2015---more sea foam and White Elephant gift exchange

Dec. 25, 2015---Christmas!

Dec. 26, 2015---sad day, the kids leave :(, but first--Multinomah Falls and Mcmenamins Kennedy school for dinner

Dec. 27, 2015---move inland to Dallas

Dec. 28, 2015---apparently there was nothing I wanted to remember about this day?!

Dec. 29, 2015---Silver Falls and Oregon Gardens

Dec. 30, 2015---riding around in the valley and search for Northern Lights

Dec. 31, 2015---Playing with my new lens, Rogue Farms, and into the coastal range by Falls City

Jan. 1, 2016---hanging around Dallas

Jan. 2, 2016---Senior pictures of my great nephew

Jan. 3, 2016---snow and ice storm and time to leave

After living 3 places in Oregon as a kid (Klamath Falls, Corvalis, and Dallas) for a total of 7 years and spending many years vacationing to Dallas as an adult after my parents retired and moved back there, it was nice going back to a place that felt like home.  A lot happened in the year from Thanksgiving 2014 and Christmas 2015---such as Tim and Faith moved to Knoxville and we moved to South Florida.  But we all still managed to come up with the time and money to make the trip.  Even with the cold and rain, it turned out to be a fun trip!