holiday in the sun…

So I haven’t been all that active in a few weeks, mostly because I haven’t done much. I did just get back from a little trip to the other side of the country, however, so here are a few pictures from that.

I was in Florida, visiting my parents with my partner for the winter holidays. I do celebrate Xmas, but not being a Christian, I celebrate it usually the way most people think about celebrating Valentines day.

The above picture was taken I think the day after we arrive in FL, and is from a pier facing a bay. The pier houses a bunch of little shops that had some interesting nick-nacks and other things. It reminded me a bit of Sea Port Village in San Diego, which is really something to check out. It was a bit smaller, but still worth a stroll through. I took a few more pictures that as well.

Above are some of the buildings that house the shops and restaurants.

This picture was taken at a stop light, later that some day. We were on our way to eat and check out a mall that was about 45 minutes away. One of the things about the part of FL in which my parents live is that there isn’t much in the way of sights, especially stuff you can see from the road. Its mostly billboards, which is interesting until you realize that they are all for the same 4 things (Divorces, Insurance, Porn Stores, and Medicine).

Most of the time we were there we spent hanging out, sleeping, and getting things ready for Xmas. Traveling, especially in recent years, with a ton of wrapped presents is rather difficult, so what we have done is just stuff everything in a suitcase, which of course gets inspected every single time, and wrap them/prepare them when we get there. The trouble is that can take awhile, and when you don’t see people for a year at a time it can be difficult to steal away from an hour or two to wrap, or in same cases finish shopping for them.

This picture was taken at a zoo, in the parking lot. I find it difficult to take pictures at zoos, mostly because all of the animals are in cages. Taking pictures isn’t that difficult, but getting a good picture with hurricane fence in the foreground is a challenge, at least to me. So most of the day we spent at the zoo I  was taking pictures of the plants and the sky, which looked really cool as the day went on.

With this exception, of course. I guess it is a bit easier to take an okay picture of something that is this huge. My partner and I have an inside joke about giraffes, so I figured I should at least try to have a picture. Or two.

One of the things that I think living in CA has spoiled for me is a good sunset. Not because they are bad in CA, but because there is something about seeing the sun set over the ocean that makes most other sunsets seem not as interesting. Still, being on the west coast of FL I was able to see a few pretty nice ones. I forget if this was the same day as the zoo or a different day, but this was taken as we were crossing a bridge heading to St. Armond’s, a small island that my parents used to vacation on before they moved to FL. There were 3 bridges to cross, and each time we were crossing I tried to get a picture of the sun going down.

After arriving in St. Armond’s we walked around for a bit and then ate dinner. The town itself has a few shops, many of them for tourists to the area, and was decorated very extravagantly for Xmas.

I always found the idea of decorating a palm tree odd, since, at least in my lifetime, fake trees have always been available. I guess there is something kitschy about it that appeals to some, but I am just not one of those folks.

I also feel sort of strange about public parks being decorated for a religious holiday, but I guess this one in particular is so engrained into the culture of the US that it may feel even more strange to not see them decorated. I don’t know.

I am pretty sure that this was the last outing we took, and the rest of the time we spent getting ready for Xmas, entertaining some family friends and then preparing to go home.

While I wish that I would have pictures to post from my New Years Eve plans, I don’t think I am going to be allowed a camera, so a story may have to suffice. Until then…


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