My friend, Rick, who I've know since 1995, and myself at the Everglades National Park in Florida. Photo taken by Rick's wife, Zena (and yes she's the original Zena, not to be confused with television's pretend Xena - grin).
This past week I spent a week (well six days) with my good friends Rick and Zena in Florida, a state I'd never been to (Kate couldn't get off work). Rick and Zena live in Pembroke Pines, which is kind of between Ft. Lauderdale and Miami (but actually closer to Ft. Lauderdale). It was great to catch up with Rick and Zena, who graciously opened their house to me and took time out of their schedule to show me many of southern Florida's charms.
If you click on the photo here, you can see a bird within the Everglades having a little snack. Nature in action.
Florida has many beautiful birds that you just can't see anywhere else outside of going to the zoo. This beauty striking a pose is a blue heron.
When people think of Florida and the Everglades specifically, one of the first things that comes to mind is alligators and crocodiles (and as I found out from my Everglades visit, Florida has the only environments in which they share the same terrain, other than zoos). I was happy that I saw this napping alligator while I was at the Everglades (Rick and Zena told me that they usually see a lot more there).
The Everglades National Park, like most National Parks in the United States, is a great place to go to get away from over stimulated fast paced big city living and witness the many forms that nature and the animals / plants that inhabit them take. If I get another life or two after I do a long stint living as a surfer dude by the beach (it would also help if in my next life I knew how to swim), I'd also like to work at and live near a National Park.
Rick and Zena are two of the best people I know on this planet (they also have two amazing daughters) so it was great spending a week with them. One of the evenings while we were hanging out / chatting at their house we watched the last two episodes of season three of Torchwood Children of Earth and while I thought the way the premise was a bit wonky, this show is very well done, engaging, and makes me want to check out more. We also watched The U.S. vs. John Lennon, which I somehow hadn't seen before and it was an excellent documentary on my favorite Beatle. I brought Paper Clips, a documentary about a school in Tennessee that comes upon a unique way to teach students about the Holocaust, with me, because I hadn't seen it in a few years and I like sharing this with others.
Besides just visiting with Rick and Zena, one of my favorite things we did last Saturday night was go to a Unitarian Church about forty minutes from where they live to attend one of the folk concerts that place has the second Saturday of every month. Rick and Zena told me they'd been to see shows there many times and they heard some great largely unknown folk acts there. We didn't know who was going to be playing before we went and that was part of the attraction for me. When we got there, we saw that they had two couples on the bill (Jennings & Keller and Scott & Michelle Dalziel) so that further upped my interest level. During the first hour both couples played five songs each and then in the second hour, the four of them got on stage and although one of the couples had just recently moved there from Iowa, they did a set together that seemed like they'd been playing together for years. Both couples had just met each other, but anyone in the audience could tell that the four of them would quickly become great friends - actually they'd remarked onstage words to the effect that they were having so much fun and I thought they were going to give us back our money as they were having a better time than the great time the audience was having. A truly magical evening and fun time was had by all. Go to: www.jenningsandkeller.com and www.dalziel.net, click on music and next to their song titles, click on the arrow and you can listen to some of their songs.
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