November 8, 2015 – Marathon, FL

We’ve been back in Marathon for a week now and are just about settled into our winter home. Here is Sao snugged into our small RV site in Key RV. It was late afternoon so I took the picture right into the sun.

b Sao in Marathon

I was pleased to see that our neighbor’s trailer had been painted during the summer.  It had been looking a bit shabby.  I love the tropical  colors.

b Neighbor's Trailer

The first morning here, we went to the Home Depot and bought three huge bags of potting soil and plants for my garden.  I like to call it my farm. I got three large tomato plants, in the largest pots, and three cherry tomato plants, in the medium sized pots next to the street, and basil, cilantro, and mint, in the smaller pots in front of Sao.  The square pot is a coconut I planted two years ago.  There are no signs of life yet so I probably need to find another coconut to grow.

 

b Garden

The ugly orange Home Depot buckets are Andy’s method to keep people from using our small space as a place to turn their cars and trucks around.  I bought some spray paint to turn the buckets tan. And, I planted a plum tomato plant in the one in  the far corner.

The Marathon Yacht Club, where we lived on our boat for five years, added a swimming pool while we were gone. I loved the garden that was in the space before and was not too sure I would like a small pool, but it looks a bit bigger in real life than it did in the drawings we saw last winter. That is the Gulf of Mexico in the background.

b Yacht Club Pool

We did not go swimming that day, but plan to make use of the pool on a regular basis. Andy said he is going to swim while I work on that book.

b Yacht Club w Pool

After a sweaty day of setting up the screen room and patio furniture, we walked to the water front here in Key RV.  This is where we sit a watch the ocean. You’ll see more of that little lighthouse, I take pictures of it just about every time we sit there.

b Key RV Waterfront

I noticed a large iguana in the mangroves on the far side of the canal.

b Iguana in Mangroves

Here is a closer look. I love my zoom!

b Iguana Close Up

Iguanas are cool in a prehistoric kind of way, but it doesn’t take long to get tired of them and learn to dislike them.  They eat the shrubbery.  AND I have already chased one away from my garden.  Didn’t even stop to take a picture of it.

I zoomed in on the coconuts across the canal too. It is interesting to me that they don’t all ripen at the same time like an apple tree.  New clusters emerge on some regular interval.  I have seen a tree with green, yellow, and brown coconut clusters on it. These two clusters were on neighboring trees

 

b Green Coconuts

b Yellow Coconuts

 

October 30, 2015 – Boca Grande, Florida

Linda asked me if we had ever been to Boca Grande and I said no, but I had heard of it. Then, even though we had planned to only spend one night, we decided to stay and go sightseeing with Joe and Linda.  It was a bit of a drive and then we came to a toll booth on a regular street.  I was having trouble making sense of that. We followed a causeway and then crossed a bridge.  The road did not have much along it but a bike path.

I was having some serious deja vu.  It seemed so familiar.  I was pretty sure I had been there before, but could not remember when, how, or why. I told them that I would know for sure when I saw the lighthouse, because I remembered that, if this was the place I was thinking of.

We drove through a cute little town and then on to Gasparilla State Park. Gasparilla sounded very familiar. It was driving me crazy. As soon as I saw the lighthouse, I was sure that I had been there before.  It must have been when we passed by here on the boat in January of 2007.  Or maybe there were two similar lighthouses and we were at another one. This is the Boca Grande light.

b Boca Grande Lighthouse

We took a walk on the beach and then toured the small museum in the lighthouse. Andy and Joe were watching the Gulf of Mexico

b Andy and Joe on Beach

while I was taking pictures of the water at the inlet. There was a clear line where the inlet and gulf waters met. The water was a little rough there.

b Current Lines on Water at Inlet

These steps show how much beach erosion they have had.

b Watch That Last Step

I asked my scale model Andy stand in front of the cliff of sand for some scale.

b Andy on Eroded Beach

He found a shell covered in little barnacles.

b Shell with Shells

This is one view from the lighthouse front porch.

b Lighthouse Porch

I got a few beach flower pictures.

b Beach Morning Glory

A sign called these Beach Sunflowers.

b Beach Sun Flowers

The waitress took this picture of us after she took our order.

b Lunch w Joe and Linda Coffey

I took this picture out the front window from the backseat of Linda’s car. It is the Gasparilla Island Rear Range Light. I’m glad the windshield was clean and not spattered with bugs like ours.

b Lighthouse

As soon as we got back home, I checked my photo files and, sure enough, we had stopped at Gasparilla Island on our way south by boat in January 2007. I remembered the name of the island and not the town.

We spent a good part of the afternoon in the swimming pool.  The water and air temperatures were perfect and Joe and Linda have some excellent pool lounging floats.

b Swimming Pool