Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Rita visits, plus a surprise at the end

A visitor! We've had so many visitors while we've been in Florida, and I'm sure there will be many more! Aunt Rita is coming to see us! Her plane got in late, but the kids still really wanted to go with me to pick her up. She was surprised then when we pulled up at 10:30pm to see both kids in the back of the truck ready to greet her!

But what should we do together? We wanted to get out and stretch our legs a little. One of the great places to do that is the Van Fleet Trail. We usually bike this trail, but this is our first time walking it. 

Slowing down, we see things we don't usually notice. Like these orange trees that are fruiting just off the trail. We hadn't noticed them before!

Straddling two different counties. Across one of the bridges, a line has been drawn. Polk County on one side, and Lake County on the other.  

This is our destination today. The Bridges. This is where we find a whole lot of wildlife on every bike ride. 

This definitely looks like swamp land. It's the Green Swamp of Florida!

Filled with big gators!

And tortoises. 

We spoke to the Rangers about the oranges that were growing along side the trail. I know that in National Parks it's forbidden to pick things, but in State Parks it's different. The Ranger said that as long as it wasn't for commercial use that we could pick some. We were reminded though that some of the animals in the area might also depend on them as a food source, so don't take too many. 

We were also warned that these were oranges that grew naturally, and as such they were a sour orange. The ones that the farms cultivate are specially selected to be sweet. Indeed, it was a sour orange!

After the five mile walk, it was nice to cool off in the pool. 

For dinner, a hearty meal of chicken nuggets, broccoli, and mac and cheese. Always a tasty meal!

The next day, we enjoyed even more time at the pool!

It's Aunt Rita's last day here which is sad. Theresa disappeared that morning before everyone got up. When she returned she brought a surprise! 

Aubrey, Jared, and Ethan are all down here in Florida for Spring Break!

They've rented a house nearby with friends, but they're spending the day here with us!

I made sure to have a hearty breakfast ready for everyone! My favorite recipe for homemade biscuits, plus eggs, sausage, bacon, and cheese. 

So good! They make great breakfast sandwiches! 

Everyone was happy to be out of the cold Michigan weather. 

The kids love having their family out to visit. They insisted on buying them ice cream! 

And they're always up for playing games. 

Theresa and I came back early to make lunch/dinner (lupper?). 

Yum! Sweet and sour chicken, fried green beans, teriyaki chicken, spicy sauce, and rice. 

Afterwards they all had fun playing Mario Kart together. 

Goodbye Aunt Rita! It was a quick trip, but always a welcome one. 

While Theresa took Rita to the airport, the rest of us stayed behind to enjoy a few rounds of shuffleboard. 

We love all the amenities the resort offers! 
Tomorrow we've got another fun day planned!

1 comment:

  1. Ian shows us how easy it is to be in 2 places at once (Polk and Lake Counties)! Walking (instead of biking) definitely slows you down to better see what's around you and appreciate more details. Pool time, regardless of a 5 mile walk or just for fun, is a great way to pass the time. Whoa...I was not expecting that big of a surprise!...Seeing Aunt Rita again was great, but then to have Aubrey, Jared, & Ethan join in was unexpected...what a great gathering, and a chance to play together and feast together (that was such a hearty breakfast you had waiting, and delicious lupper feast you and Theresa made) As an aside, funny you should say "lupper"...shortly after college graduation (that was many moons ago) I was invited to a "lupper" (according to the invite), since it was being held between the lunch & supper hours :-) Fun time with the extended family! EOM