They’re like animals around here….

No, not the people. They drive courteously, have fun restaurants, and are very creative with their city planning and individual homes.

The real animals. We’ve been told there are black bears in some of the inland areas near us. And I have to get a shot of the pair of sandhill cranes that clack-clack-clack around Marion’s house.

There are little lizards running up the sides of buildings everywhere we go! This little sweetie was a different species than we normally see; he was out in the wild at a campground we toured. The ones around houses look more sleek and cute.

Ah, but then there was the BIG surprise at another campground we toured! Can you say diamondback rattler? About 4 feet long and pretty aggressive! Fortunately, we met him in the parking lot while still in the car, so kept driving!

That same day, we ran across the absolute sweetest scene. Down a tiny road off the beaten path in a hilly section inland, we crested a hill and saw this doe and her little fawn right in the middle of the road. The mother saw us but stayed put as we stopped, but the fawn turned around and started nursing! The photo is terrible because I shot through the windshield rather than make any movement outside the car.

Robyn has spotted several bald eagles just up the road from where we’re staying, and finally today we saw one near the road when the light was good and we had the camera. He was caaaaaalling to someone!

Like a day at the beach….

We’re baaaack. Why we’ve been gone for three months will have to wait until tomorrow, because this event captures so perfectly why we embarked on this odyssey two years ago.

We’re in Florida near the east coast, so we HAD to drive on the beach at Daytona. Look what happened!

It was a lovely, hot day, nice breeze, and the water was just barely cool. But the boys’ meds make them sensitive to sun, and sun alters their metabolism of some meds. So we left them dressed.

Robyn didn’t want them to miss out on the REAL experience of the ocean, so she sat them in the surf! You can see they loved it.

Actually, Ross loved it immediately and acted like he was in the bathtub….all relaxed, leaning back on one elbow, grinning until his face broke!

On the other hand, Ryan was amused but found it disconcerting that the waves pushed him in one direction, then the backwash pushed him the other, and all the while the sand under him was shifting and moving! He was TALKING to anyone or anything that would listen.

And THEN a big wave hit!

They both recovered quickly, Ross by going with the flow and turning about 180 degrees, Ryan by doing gymnastics to regain his balance. And both resumed enjoying the puddles around them created by the wave action.

And THEN the rogue wave hit!

Actually, the boys took it in stride and continued to enjoy the water as the tide slowly went out. I, on the other hand, made the mistake of having my brand new killer smartphone in my pocket as I knelt in the surf to shoot just as the rogue wave hit. Dead phone.

Still, a very, very lovely day!

You can see how handy the new Lil Taxi was for the day’s activities (I’ll show you the plate soon). We can change the boys’ pants while they stand between two open doors!

Our fun wasn’t over. We found numerous sea turtle nests that were marked and faithfully observed by volunteers along the six miles of beach we drove. The one pictured here was due to hatch at any moment, and the volunteer had just used an ATV dragging a plank to smooth the sand between the nest and the water so the little hatchlings didn’t have ruts from car tires to climb across!

We finished our drive on the beach with this incredible view: