Sunday, November 6, 2016

Road Trip: Scotland, Italy ...I Mean Florida

What a surprise - I thought we were heading south.

But there is indeed an Inverness, Florida (instead of the Loch Ness Monster they have alligators and possibly Burmese pythons). We have visited here before. Remember the Deco Cafe?

It's still there, as is the nice old courthouse   and here was the first palm tree of our trip.

Putting us in celebratory mood, which was enhanced when we reached Venice and found they were having a parade.

With all kinds of wacky floats.

Strange little men in strange little cars

And - don't look now!

Yikes - a scary clown! Help! You may have read elsewhere that Americans are frightened of clowns - though lately they may have had good reason, it seems an odd thing to be afraid of in general. We once stopped at a roadside restaurant with a toy clown collection which the owner had had to move from the dining room as people were afraid of it. That was my first brush with Clownphobia (yes, such a thing exists).
Then along came the far more benign US Coastguard

With canine friend

And talking about scary (for some people). This was a popular sign on our route, which, admittedly, did not tend to go through natural Hillary-supporting territory.

Ah yes, that explains it

Someone's got a little mixed up..

And talking about scary (for other people)

n case you're still puzzling, he was a Donald lookalike, complete with wig. At least I think it was a lookalike.

The crowd in fact were far from silent, emitting not a few cheers. But where were the Clinton-ites? I do have to be impartial here, as a foreigner. We must have missed them.
At least we can agree that guide dogs are a Good Thing. Except Americans, who sometimes like to make things more complicated than they need be, call them "Seeing-Eye" dogs.

Venice is a pet-friendly city. It has, if you remember, a  Dog Beach.   

There's also a great circus tradition. For some time it was the famous Ringling Brothers' Circus winter home. The tradition lives on.

Being Venice, the Italian-American club's float had a gondola.

And a gondolier.

The local paper is called the "Gondolier Sun", in case you were interested.
The Middle School band were brilliant.

And here were the Middle School's junior Marines.

Very impressive - and rather touching to see kids interested in patriotism rather than Pokemon.

This is the choir singing the Marines' Hymn, "From the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli.."

I don't know if he was meant to be in the parade but he was. Dustmen are heroes too.

A Trump supporter had got left behind.

Did I say this was a pet-friendly city? He was advertising the Mutt Hutt - something to do with dog grooming.

And here's a customer

Did I mention ... grooming?

Phew - here she is at last. I didn't want you to think I was biased.

The sign was a little unfortunate but I was told it applied to some local law that the Democrats are against. But I can't help thinking it might be misconstrued.

Meanwhile, only in America..

Those pets just can't get enough..

Here's everyone enjoying breakfast

Oh and I almost forgot the High School Band.

I don't know if their outfits represented gondoliers or what but they were really, really good. I have to say that no one does a parade quite like the Americans.

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