I still have a long way to go before completing my List of 50 Things to Love About Florida for the non-theme park enthusiast. But 2010 has brought me closer to my home state, and 2011 will undoubtably bring me even closer. Looking back at 2010, here a few of my favorite photos and discoveries.
Alligators are everywhere in Florida.
Florida birds are incredible to watch, particularly the graceful and brave Sandhill Crane.
And the Osprey.
The Florida coast is dotted with several historic lighthouses, full of romance and mystery.
Ponce de Leon Inlet Lighthouse
Outdoor Florida provides beauty in many ways, one of which is the Oak Trees draped in Spanish Moss.
And although not as old as some of my favorite European countries, Florida does have history. Its beautiful historic courthouses are part of that.
Osceola County Historic Courthouse
Writing this blog pushed me to get out there and explore this great state. I researched things I never knew I wanted to learn about. I hiked swamps. I observed gopher tortoises, snowy egrets, golden silk spiders. I dove the waters that surround the state. I climbed to the top of lighthouses for a perfect view. I learned all about mollusks and honey bees. I learned the history of what lies beneath the sea, Spanish ships and slave ships included. I toasted Florida’s authors, past and present. I enjoyed the great Florida outdoors and dabbled a little in its politics.
Yet there is so much more to do.
2011 may see me experiencing the new Salvador Dali museum, visiting Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Cross Creek homeplace, scuba diving on the aircraft carrier Oriskiny, and possibly even taking a train across the state. Undoubtably I want to visit more towns, small and large. Find more historical places. Seek out more original foods and recipes. And find that one peaceful beach to lull away the hours.
This list may take a while.