Monday, November 30, 2009

Last of Florida--For Now

Here are some final shots from Florida, for now. First is the sunrise.



The second is a pair of Pelicans dive-bombing for their food.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Holiday Greetings from the Gulf

No, not that Gulf. The Gulf of Mexico. Perdido Key, Florida, specifically. I have rented a condo overlooking the beach for Thanksgiving week, and am exploring the Pensacola area for the first time. The ocean is beautiful and photographically inspiring:



For me, the ocean is as exotic as it is beautiful; Illinois, and Iowa for that matter, are about as far from ocean as you can get on this continent, so this is a nice change. And the weather is very nice.

As for the surrounding countryside...well, that's another matter, I'm afraid. This part of Florida is sort of swampy/scrubby, and combined with ramshackle pell-mell development is not really a pretty sight. It's crowded, and the traffic is crazy, but I have to say the people I have met are very nice. And the food is good, so there's that.

Thanksgiving is about food, but also about gratitude, and gratitude is something I've been thinking a lot about over the last year. I'm grateful for a lot of things, including the people I know, the job I have, the home I love, the means and ability I have to to travel and see new places, and the fact that a simple vista of the sun over the ocean can still make me catch my breath. It all makes me thankful.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Florida on an impulse


On an impulse a week or so ago, I rented a condo for a week near Pensacola Florida. I just wanted to get away from the encroaching winter in Illinois, and Thanksgiving Break gave me the chance.

I have completed my three day drive across Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Alabama to get to Florida. Kentucky, Tennessee, and Mississippi were pretty much what I expected (which wasn't much). Alabama wasn't. Alabama makes the frickin' third world look luxurious. My God, such squalor and poverty.

Anyway, It was cloudy and drizzling all the way down here, until I got within ten miles of my condo, and then the sun came out, and it's beautiful. Here's a picture from my 13th floor condo.