Daughter Kathy Came to Visit

We never see the children and grandchildren often or long enough. But, we did have several very nice days when daughter Kathy came to visit for a few days this week.

Our first outing was to Key West where we showed Kathy Zachary Taylor State Park. First, we walked into town for lunch at Blue Heaven. We had not been there in several years and I was thrilled to find the Shrimp and Grits on the menu (as opposed to being a Sunday-only dish in the past). Seating is outdoors under the trees with cats and chickens wandering around.  Here is the entrance.

b Gate to Blue Heaven
Gate to Blue Heaven

I have passed this, or these, trees many times and just noticed them.  Yes, it is the rare “J” Palm.

b J Palm
J Palm

After touring the fort, we took a walk along the beach.  Although there are many tiki huts here in the keys, I had never seen one under construction before.  We stood and watched for a while. Two men on the ground were handing palm fronds to the two men up on the roof, who were nailing them down almost as fast.

b Thatching Tiki 1
Thatching Tiki

It was fun to watch, but we did not stay long enough to see the finished product.

b Thatching Tiki 2
Thatching Tiki

Here is another tree I have seen many times.  This was the first time a got a good picture of it.  It is a sea grape, the largest I’ve ever seen. Can you spot Kathy and Andy posing next to the canon under it?

b Andy and Kathy Under Sea Grape Tree
Sea Grape Tree in Key West, Florida

This was to be a relaxing vacation for Kathy, so we took her on our favorite walks each day.  At Bahia Honda State Park, Kathy opted to walk in the water while Andy and I kept to the dry sand.

b Kathy and Andy on Beach
Kathy and Andy on Beach at Bahia Honda State Park

The tide was very low again so we had plenty of beach to walk on.

b Kathy Walking on Bahia Honda Beach
Kathy Walking on Bahia Honda Beach

I don’t think I have posted a papaya update lately.  It is taller than the car now.

b Papaya Tree
Papaya Tree

Dave Scott was playing at Lulu’s, so we took Kathy. I sang a few songs and Kathy took this picture. I have always like that top, but now I think it makes me look pregnant.

Dinata and Dave Scott Singing at Lulu’s

We saw this iguana on the boardwalk at Oceanfront Park.  I zoomed in on the head so you can see all the interesting detail. They look prehistoric.

b Iguana Portrait
Bright Green Iguana

We also took a nice walk on the old Seven Mile Bridge.  I spotted a strange (to me) bird in the Sea Grapes on Pigeon Key. It was busy eating.  A quick Google image search told me that it is a Black-throated Blue Warbler. I didn’t get a good clear, sharp shot; this is the best I could do.

b Black-Throated Blue Warbler
Black-Throated Blue Warbler on Pigeon Key, Florida

Someone has marked the distance on the bridge in quarter mile increments.  The one-mile mark is fun.

b One Mile Mark on Old Seven
One Mile Mark on Old Seven Mile Bridge

We saw a Spotted Eagle Ray, also known as a Leopard Ray.  It is so hard to get a clear picture of them through the moving water.  Again, this was the best I got.

b Spotted Eagle Ray
Spotted Eagle Ray

I did get a nice, good, clear picture of Andy and Kathy.  She was holding her hair, but the wind was blowing hard.

b Andy and Kathy on Seven Mile Bridge
Andy and Kathy on Old Seven Mile Bridge

I don’t know why I didn’t have the picture of Dave and me. Maybe the computer bugs ate it.

b Dinata and Dave Scott Singing at Lulu's
Dinata and Dave Scott Singing at Lulu’s

I still think that outfit makes me look pregnant.

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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

 

Sombrero Beach

The television weather report tonight confirmed my hypothesis of a few days ago: Winter is Over. The forecast is in the low 80s for the next week.

Last summer I got the great idea to scan all the recipes I have collected over the years.  You know, all those torn out of newspapers and out of the magazines in doctor’s offices.  And the handwritten recipe cards from friends and family.  And the cookie recipe on the bag of sugar. I dragged all of those out of the storage unit and took them with us in the motorhome. They filled a large box and three fat three-ring binders.  And, I’ve been falling over them ever since.  The scanner is way too slow. So today I decided to take photographs instead.  Today I took 347 pictures of recipes.

We got veggie wraps at Publix and took them to Sombrero Beach. It was very crowded and we were lucky to find a parking place. Then we were lucky to find a picnic table. A large iguana walked past us and into the tall grass on the beach side of the fence.  Then a young, bright green one came out of the tall grass to munch on the lawn. I made kissing sounds to get him to look at me.

Iguana

This very large tree is near the street.  I think it is a mahogany, maybe.

That looks like a Strangler Fig covering the trunk.  If so, it will kill the host eventually.  I’ll have to do some more research and a closer inspection the next time we go there.

There are many of these little crabs along the canal into the RV park.  I suppose they are all over the islands.  We regularly see this little one in the same spot at the entrance to the canal.
Crab
This yellow Hibiscus is in front of a trailer down the street from us. The pistil must be three or four inches long.  I didn’t remember that word; I Googled it. The pistil is a female part. I didn’t remember that either.
Hibiscus