Florida

My nephew, Aaron, is an awesome jazz trumpet player and is completing his studies  at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music.  In April, he was having his senior recital so it seemed like a good opportunity for us to take a trip down to Florida, stopping to see Nina's sister, Amy, and her husband, Dave, along the way.  We started in Cocoa (near Cape Canaveral) where Amy and Dave live.


Amy was an excellent tour guide and took us to see some wonderful wildlife and coastal Florida scenery.  One of the first places she took us was her secret manatee-viewing spot.  Nina and Amy found a manatee that they called Mama Cass (???) and wanted to take it home and adopt it.My nephew, Aaron, is an awesome jazz trumpet player and is completing his studies  at the University of Miami's Frost School of Music.  In April, he was having his senior recital so it seemed like a good opportunity for us to take a trip down to Florida, stopping to see Nina's sister, Amy, and her husband, Dave, along the way.  We started in Cocoa (near Cape Canaveral) where Amy and Dave live.


Amy was an excellent tour guide and took us to see some wonderful wildlife and coastal Florida scenery.  One of the first places she took us was her secret manatee-viewing spot.  Nina and Amy found a manatee that they called Mama Cass (???) and wanted to take it home and adopt it.



I watched the manatee for a bit, but then ventured over to where a snowy egret and a little blue heron were at the edge of the water, lunching on some shrimp.  They were much more occupied by the shrimp than they were by my presence, so I was able to get some close shots of them.


We spent the rest of the day, taking a lovely drive along Biolab Road on Merritt Island.  There we saw many different types of birds including osprey and herons of all colors: big blue, green, and tricolored.



The next day our kind chauffeur took us to see some more wildlife.  This time it was to the Black Point Wildlife Drive in the Merritt Island Wildlife Preserve.  Thank you, Amy, for the great adventures.  More herons, some egret and ibis, a bunch of butterflies, and several alligators were found along the way.





The next day, it was time for Nina and me to head down to Miami for the rest of our trip.  We stopped at the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge along the way.  We took a little hike which was pleasant, even in spite of the lack of any real wildlife.



I have always wanted to go to the Everglades.  Debra says that we went there as kids, but, if anything, I have only a vague memory of that.  We did not exactly tramp our way through swampland in search of wild alligator, but did have a very pleasant hike on the Anhinga trail.  True to the name, there was an abundance of anhinga as well as several alligators along the way.  It was a fun day.



 The next day we took a walk through Little Havana, which was just a few blocks from the place that we were staying.  I loved the bold, colorful signs and architecture.  We had some fine ceviche for lunch and I bought a cool shirt.  Tony topped me, however, with his awesome hat and cigar!




On our final day, we mad a quick tour of the art deco district.  Again, the distinct architecture of the era was delightful and an easy target for my camera.



And what about all of those great shots of my nephew, Aaron, performing on his trumpet?  Well, I had my camera ready and was all set to shoot when they announced. "NO PHOTOGRAPHY OR RECORDING ALLOWED DURING THE PERFORMANCE."  Darn.  I did, however, get this wonderful shot of the stage before he went on!



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