Travelogue: Spring in Florida

Florida was my home for a long time. I did a lot of my growing up there. I went to college and grad school there. I got married there. I saw my niece born there. Florida holds people I love deeply, both family and friends, so it will always be a home place. But I was called away, north and west, returning to the four seasons and traditional environment of the northern hemisphere, much like my early years in my home country of Canada. But once I left, of course, that huge swampy, bright beautiful state has remained entwined in my soul and is a place that has flavored and colored who I am. Early this April, when I went to visit my family, as I do at least twice a year, I felt Florida's zesty salty air, jewel tones, rushing ocean sounds, sea creature neighbors, its dense places, quiet and loud, teeming with life of all kinds, welcome me home like dear old friends. The best part of course was being with my family, every moment with them treasured, every moment with them refreshing, like Florida. 

Photos above taken at the home and tropical garden of my mum and her husband in Venice, FL. 

Venice Beach near Sharkey's on the Pier in Venice, FL. 

A frozen custard shop, Sarasota Bay, and Lido Beach with my Dad and his wife near their home in Sarasota, FL. My dad wrote the URL for our adoption website in the sand. 

Spent a lovely afternoon exploring Marie Selby Botanical Gardens in Sarasota FL with my mum. She has fond memories of coming here with my grandparents years ago, and my Grandpa, an avid gardner, bought her a book on bromeliads. We also got to see some original Marc Chagall paintings thanks to a special exhibit in the main historic house. 

From a fun afternoon at the wonderful Florida Museum of Natural History on campus of my alma mater, University of Florida. 

Met an old friend for coffee at a fun new hangout with called Curia on the Drag in Gainesville, FL. 

Precious time with family, including a beautiful afternoon and evening at the amazing Depot Park in downtown Gainesville, FL. 

Accompanying my sister-in-law, a large animal veterinarian, on a call to meet baby horses! 

Hiking in Alfred A Ring Park, painting leaves, and picnicking in the back yard.