I took a trip to Florida for work last January. After the work was done, I visited my dad and his wife at their winter home in New Port Richey for the weekend. I had never visited them there, so it was fun to see where they stay while its cold in Indiana and to meet all their friends. Here are some photos from that trip.
First of all, the weather was sort of dreary and rainy most of my trip. The sun did come out the last day, though, which was nice. I am just mentioning this, because you'll see lots of overcast skies in the photos. I actually, don't mind overcast weather. That's a funny sort of change in belief for me. When I was in college, the topic came up one day among friends about what sort of day constituted the best kind of weather. Being from the Midwest, where gray, dreary days are numerous, I said a sunny day in the 70's. My good friend the Cheese Fry, originally from Dallas, said his favorite sort of weather day was an overcast day, a little on the cold side. I looked at him like his head was spinning. What? Are you crazy? Do you need Prozac? What's up man?
But, then, I lived here in the heat for eons. And I get it. The best kind of weather, Mr. Fry, is indeed an overcast, slightly cool day. You were right. But, all those senior citizens in my dad's complex are from the Midwest and the Northeast. They don't get this pearl of wisdom and the whole time I was there kept apologizing for the weather. Now, on to the photos.
These first photos were taken at Clearwater Beach, I think, if I'm remembering correctly. The first one is looking out at the overcast sky over the water and stylized with Photoshop Elements.
Below is a photo of a pelican. There were several out on this pier, but I thought this one was especially majestically photogenic. There were fishermen out on the pier feeding them the small fish, which of course helped keep up the pelican population on the pier. And, Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers right after that, I'm pretty positive.
This is just your garden variety seagull, staring me down. Yes, there in the background are people on the beach, getting into the water in the winter when its cold.
Then, the next day, we went to a different beach, but it was still sort of overcast. I don't remember the name of this beach, but it was very pretty. I think it was outside of Tarpon Springs. I took several shots of these birds, who would land on the beach in little bunches, then take off all together, swirl around a bit and then land again. They were fascinating to watch, really.
I wish the photo below would blow up more on the blog, but it won't - its the coolest when its really large.
Then, we went into the town of Tarpon Springs. This town is known for the sponges it harvest right out off the gulf coast. It was settled by Greeks following the sponge fishing to the area. There are some very wealthy sponge magnates in the area.
My dad likes to make me take silly photos. You know, if there is something to lie under for a photo, or make an optical illusion, etc, he wants me to do it. So, here I am, supposedly losing my fingers to that there shark.
The sun finally came out the next day. I took some photos of their community, below. The first one is right after you drive in. I "hue-d" it up quite a bit in Photoshop to make it look Eden like and other-worldly.
This is their street.
And, of course, very important with a bunch of Q-tips, the shuffleboard area. Q-tip is what the locals call all the senior citizens that over-run the Florida coast. I'll let you think on it.
Below are my hosts, my dad and his wife. It's such a lovely photo with the sun shining in on them. However, they have both lost a lot of weight since this photo was taken, so they don't really look like this anymore. But, it is still a nice shot.
We took a little side trip to Parkesdale Farms in Plant City. They have amazing strawberries there, and my dad and I both love strawberries. Any drive for good strawberries is worth it, I think. You can see I was crowned the strawberry queen while there. It's a very important post. I have lots of official duties and such. It's a great honor.
On the way to plant city, we passed the "Airstream Ranch" on the side of the highway.
When I did a little google search for the Airstream Ranch, I learned this. How can this be? Egad! This is of course in homage, at least in part, to the Cadillac Ranch here in Texas. Where, no one, ever, would think of saying it was in violation of anything. Below is another photo, stylized with Photoshop Elements.
And, that ends our tour of the greater New Port Richey area and the photos thereof.