Lavender's Travels travel blog

Potluck with Bill, Sheila, Alfie and Bella (standard poodles)

Wine and eggplant with Sam, Sheila, Oscar and felix(cat brothers)

Detail man just finished, see the sparkle?

Estero art fair

Better photo of Nubian reindeer

Following Armando Jr.

Full day hike at estero preserve

Collecting chigger bites at estero preserve

The fiddler crabs are highly entertaining to observe

Art exhibit at the settlement

happy New Year! We wish you a safe celebration and a wonderful 2015. Hope we see everyone reading this at some point in the coming year.

We have moved to Myakka River State Park for a 2 week stay. We spent two weeks here near the start of this adventure and loved the park. There are three campgrounds in the park. last time we were in the newest campground and this time we are in the oldest area. We will attend the New Year's Eve ice cream social at the log cabin this evening. Hope they have good ice cream. I look forward to revisiting the trails, but plan to avoid the fire ants.

We had a fairly quiet week as far as going and doing, but quite busy socially. As many of you know, my brother Evan is a graduate of Indiana University and returns there each summer to teach. It was quite a coincidence that this week we pot lucked with a couple 4 nights who were graduates and retired faculty of IU and after they left, we had two evenings of food and wine with another couple who were also retired faculty of IU. I know it is a huge university, and Bill and Sam each taught at different campuses, but still, how unusual! Both of the women were named Sheila. We had a great time with both couples and certainly ate well.

We spent a pretty full day hiking at the estero preserve which we enjoy. We had a hard rain, so some of the trails were flooded, but the fiddler crabs were very happy and busy and we watched for tortoises and other wildlife. Sadly, what I seem to have interacted with the most were chiggers. It really is quite unfair that tom and I go somewhere together and he has no itchy bites and my legs are swollen and driving me nuts due to the dozens of bites. We learned that it was a myth that chiggers burrow into your skin, they just inject a toxin to firm up the skin to make it easier for them to eat. I was happier as I swallowed Benadryl to know there were no bugs burrowed into my legs, just residual poison. What a relief. Thank you friendly Publix Pharmacist for your excellent advice.

We returned to all the farm markets, although many of the vendors were absent to celebrate the holidays.

Being always on the lookout for good walks to keep the fitbit satisfied, we walked to the big mall about 3 miles away and admired all the vendors at the Estero Art Fair. We were surprised not to see any of the artists who exhibit in Key West, but the art was varied and excellent. We did not buy anything, no room in the camper!

last week a huge class A camped near us had the Detail Man visit to clean their rig. Our poor Roadtrek was in need of a good cleaning and we just don't have the equipment, so Tom arranged for the Detail Man to visit us. It was an all day event. Mr. detail was working hard with his sidekick from 8:30-3:00. They cleaned and compounded and waxed and polished and Roadtrek just sparkled and gleamed. Too bad he doesn't detail interiors. The beauty treatment was Monday. Tuesday we moved to our present location and it rained and leaves fell and the sparkle is dulled, but we know it is still there under the leaves.

The Koreshan Settlement placed a high value on the essential nature of culture. The theatre they built is still in use and we enjoyed a traveling exhibit on loan from the New York museum of natural history. From 1904-1913 A.W. Dimock and his son Julian Dimock, financiers from New York, made 10 trips to southwestern florida, each trip lasting several months. They lived close to the earth camping on the beach and traveling in small boats and using the glass plate photography of the day they took thousands of photos capturing the moment in time of the people and places they met and visited. They wrote about the trips and donated over 2,000 of these photos to the New York museum of Natural History where they sat in boxes untouched for decades. Fortunately for us these luscious black and white photos are now rediscovered, and a small portion are traveling to small museums. if you have an opportunity please visit the Dimock's photos.

Be well, bike with care, with lots of new year Bisous to you!

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