Friday, October 10, 2014

Fall is Here!

Looking north along the Atlantic Ocean.  Notice the hotels?  Nope.
Finally the fall weather has arrived in central Florida!
Last Sunday it was 62 degrees when I got going.  There was a cool breeze and the sky was crystal clear.  It even sounded different, like it does when the weather first changes temperature.
I drove to meet my friend Walt who cooked both of us a delicious breakfast with lots of hot coffee. Then we headed east to New Smyrna Beach where we raised a drink to the surf before driving south to Canaveral National Seashore.  Walt had just turned 62 this year and got us into the park for free with his new pass.  We drove in free and cruised along the coastal dune to the turnaround at the end of 6 paved miles.
And looking south, no hotels here either!
The car windows were open and we sat enjoying the cool wind waiting on a parking space, listening to the waves crash below.  After a few minutes waiting we drove back north to the next available parking space and walked down to the beach on the boardwalk.  Just watching the waves rush in and out was fine for me.  We waved at the Park Rangers and the people walking by, watched the surf fishermen cast lines about and followed the gulls as they flew overhead in the breeze.  This was nice.  No bugs, no heat and actually the wind was a bit chilly without a second shirt on.  I could stand here all day, leaning against the dry wooden rails and just stare out to sea.
The State House
Comfortable rockers!
An explosion of plant life above with Resurrection Ferns in the Live Oaks
The view from the rocking chairs.
Coral Honeysuckle, a Florida variety.  It doesn't smell as strong as northern varieties.
We drove up to the restored State House where we sat in the porch rockers watching the boat traffic and fishing people along the Intracoastal Waterway in Mosquito Lagoon.  Crowds came and went.  More birds flew by.  I noticed our conversation had gone quiet as we contemplated life's details.  I could also sit here, rocking all day, quietly.  It was nice to get peaceful.   One of the neatest things about using the free entrance pass is you don't feel you have to spend your every moment living to the fullest anymore.  You don't have to hike all the trails or get a line in the water to fish or see all the museums and displays.  You can slow down and just enjoy a short drive in a cool place that you probably wouldn't take before.
Intracoastal Waterway looking north from JB's
After a couple hours, a couple conversations and talking about a couple of dreams, we left and drove north to have lunch at JB's, a favorite eating stop along the barrier island. We waited a while after lunch on the dock, again just watching and listening.  There are some days I need to do just that and nothing else and today was that day.  I celebrated the end of summer's heat and bugs by leaning back and doing very little.  To end today with a quote, that made all the difference.

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