Weekend in Florida

This past weekend was a blast – a lot of traveling, perhaps, but still a lot of fun. It was my wife’s grandmother’s birthday, so we traveled to St. Augustine, FL for her surprise party. To be honest, I was a little apprehensive – I was going to be meeting a whole side of her family that I had never met and talked to very little overall. I knew that her brother and his kids would be there, so that was a bonus, but I was still nervous. I shouldn’t have been.

Norma and Philip were splendid to meet, as were her grandmother and Aunt Bonnie. Her other relatives and family friends were all friendly and welcoming – I felt right at home immediately. Norma is a unique entity that exudes a familiar wackiness about her – think of the Fairy Godmother from Shrek 2 but without the evil underpinnings. She was quite a character and offered up a great southern hospitality from moment one. Philip was likewise congenial (and conspiratorial, I would later find out). The two of them make a great pair, and their home was warm and wacky and fun and beautiful all at once. Their house sits on the banks of the St. John river and the view was hard to leave on Sunday.

While there, we stayed in St. Augustine, and had a chance to do a little Florida birding. I actually got a few new species to my list (Short-billed dowitcher, Dunlin), and Shari added a host of them. I’ve included some of the pictures below.

I also got some good shots of our the family while I was there (more to come tomorrow):

Mick and Shari posing Shari and Marty

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