Tuesday, December 29, 2020

2020.12.29 Miami, FL

    Wynwood is an eclectic district in the urban part of Miami, Florida. It's home to art galleries, antique shops, funky bars, eateries and one of the largest open-air street art installations in the world. Wynwood Walls, a street art museum, features more than 50 murals and graffiti art by world-renowned artists. Founded in 2009, as an outdoor art museum, covering more than 80,000 square feet of abandoned warehouse walls. The murals are constantly changing and being updated.
    We attempted to visit the Wynwood Walls but like everything else during Covid pandemic, it required a lot of planning to get in. So we just drove by for a preview. It was still very unique experience. It reminded us the colorful murals in South America.

Sunday, December 27, 2020

2020.12.27 The Florida Keys

    The Florida Keys consists of 44 Islands and 42 Bridges. The Seven Mile Bridge (actually 6.79 miles long) is one of the longest segmental bridges in the world. The Keys are divided into five regions: Key Largo, Islamorada, Marathon, Big Pine/Lower Keys, and Key West. We have visited the Bahia Honda State Park, an island in the lower Florida Keys. The park occupies most of the island, is virtually uninhabited and has the best beaches in the Keys. In 2017, Hurricane Irma wiped out the Sandspur Beach and destroyed the Sandspur campground which is still closed today. There are two pretty nice beaches left: Calusa Beach and Loggerhead Beach. This Park is very popular place for snorkeling and kayaking.

Saturday, December 26, 2020

2020.12.26 Everglades National Park, FL

    Our first experience at Everglades. We did not know what to really look forward to except alligators and mosquitoes. And I have to say the wildlife was truly incredible. On the very first day we have spotted a snake, tortoise, alligators, voulchers and many different kinds of birds.
    Our camp was surprisingly quiet and I suspect that Christmas holidays had something to do with that. The National Parks campgrounds can be very rustic and this one was no exception. But our biggest problem was invasion of mosquitos every evening immediately after dusk. Even with the mosquito screens everywhere and dimmed lights, some still managed to sneak inside our RV. However we survived and now we're treating our very itching bites. Everyone who ever visited Everglades knows that mosquitoes can be brutal at this place. During our stay here we decided to rent a kayak and explore some mangrove forests. My wish was to see a manatee because I've never seen one before. And I got lucky we spotted a mother with a baby. The baby manatee was very playful and was following our kayak for a while. It really made my day.

Saturday, December 19, 2020

2020.12.19 Lovers Key State Park, Fort Myers, FL

    This is a park with 2.5 miles long secluded natural beach with piles and piles of sea shells. You can see dolphins, manatees and bold eagles and variety of other birds here. We were able to see enormous amount of birds including a bold eagle. One thing that was an unusual experience for us, was red tide. First we saw some dead fish on the shore and shortly after we both started coughing. The cough subsided shortly after we left the beach. Later that evening we learned that the red tide was spotted in southwest Florida. BINGO.

Friday, December 18, 2020

2020.12.18 Sunken Gardens, St. Petersburg, FL

    This 100-year-old botanical garden has over 500 species of tropical plants and flowers. Some of the Bougainvillea and Cuban Royal Palms here are the oldest in Florida. The garden also holds several exhibits of exotic bird species including Chilean flamingos, parrots and kookaburras as well as koi fish, tortoises and a alligator snapping turtle. It's a small garden but they have very unusual tropical plants. Calm, relaxing place to enjoy nature.

Tuesday, December 15, 2020

2020.12.15 Goodwood Museum & Gardens - Tallahassee, FL

   It is considered one of the most elegant mansions in Florida, originally a cotton plantation. The plantation home built in the 1830's is a historic museum on the National Register of Historic Places. In addition to the main house, there are 20 structures (cottages, pool and carriage house) dating from 1835 to 1925. The museum is situated on 20 acres of land with centuries old oaks and beautiful gardens. We couldn't see the interior because the guided tours were very limited due to Covid but it was still very nice just to walk through the gardens.

Saturday, December 12, 2020

2020.12.12 Florida Panhandle - Panama City Beach

    We decided to take a break from driving and settle down for a week at a beach condo in Panama City Beach. The place was very quiet at this time of the year so it was unusually relaxing. Just a few spectators every evening strolling on the beach and watching the sunset. It became our ritual as well. Northwest Florida panhandle has very unique, sugar-white sandy beaches and emerald clear waters. We did not found many shells here but we've seen plenty of birds and some were posing for us while taking photos of them. One evening we even saw stingrays jumping out of the water. What a spectacular show.
    And it's time to get back on the road.