Thursday, April 23, 2009

St Marks NWR/Earth Day

Yesterday I was up before 0700. We had plans for the afternoon so I did some chores before we left at 1115 to meet Sonsearae and Chris for an afternoon at the St Marks NWR. Most of these pictures are from the Refuge. Except the first one! I said I'd show you the new wheels Jim chose for our rig, what this picture doesn't show you is how shiny they are. But at least you know what they look like!


We met Sonsearae and Chris outside the Refuge so they could drive in with us because we have a Golden Age Pass that allows free access. Turns out that wasn't really necessary as there is no one there to collect the $5 fee. It's on the honor system. Our first stop was the visitor center, which is very nice overlooking a pond with a baby gator. Because of all the rains they've had recently there were lots of poly wogs dashing about in the water! Since we were all hungry we decided to look for a spot to have lunch.

We had packed lunches and had our picnic overlooking a beautiful stretch of water. Jim and I had roasted chicken, pasta salad and Sonsearae brought sandwiches and chips. We were entertained by a family of boat tailed grackles. The wind was brisk coming off the water but other than that it was a very pleasant meal.

These pictures aren't in any particular order. Just some random shots of the Refuge




this dead tree had a hairdo!

Sonsearae and Jim



Spanish Moss in the oaks



wild raspberry or blackberry....not very sweet but edible nonetheless



in the center there is a gator! he just looks like part of the landscape



Blue heron





Jim got a wee bit to close to this juvenile birds!




St Marks Lighthouse


It's a beautiful area to spend an afternoon. I think we enjoyed the trails and settings. I even saw a bald eagle fly over, magnificent!
After we left the Refuge we followed Sonsearae to the local Starbucks and had some coffee. Then it was on to their place to freshen up and relax. Since it was the last time the four of us would be together we decided to eat out.
Chris and Sonsearae had raved about the bison at Ted's Montana Grill so that's where we had dinner. Each couple had a discount coupon from restaurant.com so our meals didn't break the bank! We all ordered a bison steak, I had garlic mashed potatoes and asparagus, Jim had onions and mushrooms and a baked potato. Each couple split a dessert although Jim ate most of ours as I was stuffed!
We stopped by their place and said our goodbyes to Chris and then headed home. We arrived just before 2000. Boo was thrilled to see us! I fixed him dinner and let him lick the box my leftover steak was in.
Jim and I showered and managed to download all the pictures we took. But I was to tired to make a blog entry. We went to bed around 2300.
I was up just before 0800 and we have fog! couldn't even see the bay. But it's burning off now and I expect it will be another beautiful day here. Sonsearae will come by after she gets off work and this will be the last time we see her. She and Chris are going to Atlanta tomorrow to see the King Tut exhibit. They won't be back until Sunday and we leave Saturday.
We've enjoyed spending time with Chris. He and Sonsearae have entertained us well!