Friday, December 20, 2013

out and about

the weather has been so spectacular we have made a habit of eating lunch outside - both at home and out at waterside restaurants... and this morning I went to the beach for a walk in the water (which has remained warm due to the wonderful weather)

On Wednesday we met our former landlords Al & Carol for lunch on the Manatee River at Pier 22- you can come by boat but we came by car- LOL

Then Thursday it was so gorgeous we decided to head over to Longboat Key to Mar Vista for lunch on the Inter-coastal

and this morning it was again so beautiful I couldn't stay away from the water!

the water is so clear you can see the bottom (next two photos taken through the water)

a flock of black skimmers hanging out with a few gulls nearby-

the area between the beach and the parking is lined with trees and picnic tables and a few rudimentary grills for use by beach visitors-

these were my shell finds this morning-  a few small but perfect ones- and a few interesting imperfect ones--- LOL

tomorrow we are off to Miami for a few days to see family and then we will be back home for the holidays--- enjoying the weather before winter (such as it is here) settles in....

Thursday, December 19, 2013

graduation day!

so on our final day we started with an early field trip to Shadows on the Teche (a plantation home built along the Teche Bayou in New Iberia LA)

there we started with a film about the life of the Weeks family who owned huge tracts of nearby land used in sugar cane production.  they built the house "in town" because the cane fields were so isolated socially and commercially.  the house was not huge and fancy like many of the plantations along the River Road such as Nottoway or San Francisco or Oak Alley but it had its own charm.

then we were off to Avery Island - home of Tabasco! there we saw the bottling line and learned about the production (3 years of barrel fermentation!- who knew???) of tabasco sauce.  and of course there was an opportunity to visit the "company store"- LOL (we bought nothing- as usual- we could be the only folks who came home without even a souvenir, since we even left our free sample bottles for the maid at the hotel- LOL)



the shopping opportunity-

and the tiny bottles we left behind for the maid-

after lunch at a really mediocre buffet place, which was the ONLY bad meal we had all week long, we returned to the hotel.  there is one more dance lesson to prepare all for the trip to the dance hall tonight in Breaux Bridge.

And then graduation! our graduation initiation rite was to eat boudin! (it was spicy and waaay better than expected)

we celebrated with dinner and dancing at the Pont Breaux Dance Hall - and the group being limited to 55 and older- we are not out late... tomorrow morning everyone is off for home and I think I can say that the course was enjoyed by everyone without exception.

and just to wrap it up here is the schedule for the week (read around my notes- LOL)

we started looking at a similar class for next summer in New Brunswick - it has some of the French Canadian culture connection to the Cajuns and music and seafood- what could be better????

so soon, I'll be back to China posting- where I left off on day two - LOL!!! so many things keep us busy.....