For tomorrow - (I'm not being politically correct - I just don't want to upset the chaps at the top of the page).
Wednesday, November 24, 2021
Well here we are again in Venice, Florida - to be correct we arrived a month ago but, well, it takes time to sort these photos out.
The beach was still there to greet us, I'm happy to say.
So were the weeds, unfortunately (I'm working on it - watch this space!)
You'll never believe how fast weeds can grow in the hot, humid summer, until you come to Florida. (Western New York in June is bad but nothing like this.)
Though the Mexican clover does make what's left of the lawn look pretty. At this time of year there's quite a carpet of it.
The birds still rule the roost, as it were.
Wednesday, November 17, 2021
We were in Florida and on the look-out for manatees, also - and aptly - named sea cows. I'd only seen one in an aquarium before. During the winter they gather in warm waters, particularly around power stations, so it's a good time to see them. Unfortunately we were too early for that but at least the Homohassa Springs Wildlife Park (trying saying that in a hurry) promised some semi-tame ones that were there year round. It proved to be an interesting place for all sorts of reasons. For a start, guess what this is.
Gopher Tortoise Enforcement Policy. Gosh.
Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Thursday, November 4, 2021
Our next overnight stop was Wilmington, North Carolina, another place with a chequered history - blockade running in the Civil War for example - and some beautiful old houses. From our hotel window we could see a battleship from a more recent conflict.
And something more modern, looking a little lonely.
As always we wished we could have stayed longer to explore.
Further south on the road to Charleston we drove the Sweetgrass Highway, dotted with stalls selling intricately hand-woven baskets. The stalls apparently run in families - one weaver we spoke to said she was the last of hers to be interested. The young generation just couldn't be bothered, she sighed. The baskets were eye-wateringly expensive but exquisite.
Sorry to say we by-passed Charleston (with its beautiful architecture but also its bustle and crowds) this time, though you can take a look back to this previous post from an earlier visit, which has plenty of photos.
Then fate took a turn. As we happily bowled along, sister-in-law's phone somehow found its way down a narrow slit in the state-of-the-art console of her state-of-the-art SUV and remained firmly stuck. A minor disaster, relatively speaking but we realised it was beyond our powers to sort it out.
We did hope to see something of Savannah - city of cemeteries and Spanish Moss and yet more history but the hotel which had promised us the historic district turned out to be on the historic riverfront, which wasn't quite the same thing. Plus there were roadworks and building works all around. Once we'd worked out how to get into the hotel, we got a warm welcome.
Tuesday, November 2, 2021
As we left Richmond I had a yen to drive along the south side of the James River in the hope of seeing some interesting historical sites but at first it proved a little disappointing - a lot of industrial stuff, then a few swanky but modern country houses set in rolling acres and you couldn't see the river at all. It was well out of our way, so we were going to turn round and head south again, when we saw a sign for a place called Claremont. "Let's just take a look at Claremont", I suggested. At least it might be somewhere where we could see the river. The country lane seemed endless until finally we reached a little settlement. The houses were old, wooden and mostly seen-better-days shabby, although there were hints of more swanky estates hidden behind intimidating gates. We saw a sign for a beach, went over a roundabout, got lost, went back to the roundabout, tried another road and finally, there it was. The James River. And talk about interesting historical sites...
Wow - how about that, as hubby would say. (The British-style roundabout should have given us a clue. No doubt those early arrivals stopped to build it before decamping to Jamestown, or rather what would become Jamestown, the first permanent English settlement on these shores, on the other side of the river.) Well in America that's about as historical as you get - unless you count St Augustine in Florida but that was the Spanish. We savoured the moment, wondering how the would-be colonists liked the place. Evidently not a lot.
We couldn't see much of a beach. Unlike a lot of places where you have to fight to get a water view, only a handful of houses lined the river. There were a couple of boats and a gate with a sign warning that access was strictly for the house-owners. Slightly incongruous under the circumstances but that's what they paid for, I suppose.