Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Clearwater Florida Area

I am sorry that I have not kept up with this blog site during the past week.  It has been a busy week with our daughter's wedding activities.  We also have had many family and friends to catch up with, people who have come from a distance and whom we have not seen for some time.  In my next post I will report on the wedding itself, which was this past Saturday.  For right now I will only say that all went well and the happy couple are off now on their honeymoon.  Last Tuesday we moved our unit from northern Florida to the Clearwater area.  Our little tow car had picked up a nail in one of its tires so we needed to spend some time in a repair shop before moving on.  We did not get out of the shop until early afternoon and once we hit highway 19 down the coast it was very slow going.  Traffic was heavy and many stops lights also dashed any hopes we had of moving rapidly to our final destination, which was Palm Harbor.  Palm Harbor, where our daughter's wedding was held, is a small town just outside of Clearwater.  Both towns are on the west coast of Florida, on the Gulf of Mexico.   In some ways it would be great to continue our stay here.  We have loved seeing the lush blooming tropical plants and water birds seem to wander around everywhere.
I believe it was when we were driving around the town of Dunedin that we happened to glance down a street and see the egret pictured above.  In the park, were our rig is presently sitting, I also chanced to see a wood stork sitting in front of someone's trailer home.
It has been very warm and humid this past week, showers have popped up almost daily (except for Saturday, the day of the wedding).  This past Wednesday it rained on and off all day.  Locals claim that until November 1 (when the tourist season begins here) rain showers are common.  They also apologize for the very warm weather, which is not the norm for this time of the year.  The weather, however, has not stopped us from getting our beach time in.  Clearwater has a wonderful public beach with beautiful white sand.  We have also spent time on Honeymoon Island State Park, which is close to where we are here in Palm Harbor.  It is located at the top of Florida's barrier island chain.  On Sunday we drove to that park and from there we took a ferry to Caladesi Island.  On that ride we saw dolphins swimming near the boat.  The island itself is just one big beach which offers abundant shelling and wildlife.  It is very different from Clearwater Beach where there is a lot of hotels, shops and restaurants.  Caladesi Island is rated the 5th best beach in the nation.  Many sea shells were used in decorating the table settings for the wedding dinner.
There are signs around the island warning not to take shells home with live creatures in them.  I found a beautiful fighting conch shell which had one little wiggling foot hanging outside of it.  Park signage regarding shells informed us that when the creature inside the shells dies, the shell is washed ashore.  This creature looked very alive to us, so we returned him to his watery home.

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