Sunday, March 21, 2010

Walk in Lettuce Lake Park

Yesterday, my son Brian, DIL Amy and kids took me on an outing to Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa. The weather was beautiful (for a change) and we had a lovely time walking along the board walk, looking for wildlife. It was pretty early in the morning and still a bit cool, so we didn't spy any big 'gators, but managed to see one little one.

Ashton and Kaiya had fun atop the tower over looking the lake......

and running along the boardwalk that took us through the park.

We found these three turtles sunning themselves on a log.....

while Brian caught this little lizard who hopped back and forth from Brian to Amy, delighting the kids to no end!

A fun time was had by all and we headed off to a Chinese Buffet for lunch.

I'm finding this is a time of "firsts" in my life without John. We did everything together and enjoyed our life immensely, whether it was something as mundane as grocery shopping or exciting as our annual trek up Champlain Mountain in Acadia National Park.

I ventured out on my own a couple of days ago with a road trip to Historic Spanish Point in Osprey, Florida. I hadn't driven much in the past 7 or 8 years and Heaven knows, the traffic in Maine is not nearly what one finds down here, so it was quite the adventure for me. But, I must find ways to fill the days and I can only go to the YMCA or read so much. Therefore, I gave myself a pep talk, took a deep breath and headed out onto the freeway!

Spanish Point was interesting from an archeological point of view, but I was hoping for more of a botanical garden type visit. The few colorful flowers I found were interesting, but no signs gave me a clue as to what they were. I plan on visiting the Marie Selby Botanical Garden in Sarasota soon.

This "hammock" tree had a very interesting stump.

And this little green gecko was kind enough to sit still for a close up!

According to the literature, all building materials and supplies had to be brought in by boat in those days and the Point turned in to quite the spot for northern tourists looking for a respite from the cold winter days.

My next first was going to a restaurant for a meal by myself. It was quite the strange feeling, not having John sitting across from me asking "what are you going to have". I sat alone at the table, observing my fellow diners and feeling envy that they had someone with whom to share the experience and realizing that this was only one of a long line of many "firsts" upcoming in my life.

Again, another deep breath. Carrying on alone right now is the most difficult.

Life is Good, but sometimes quite unfair.

Hugs, Giddy


Crafty Gardener said...

It looks like you had a lovely walk with your family. I can't relate to the firsts you are taking, but my friend has been going through similar circumstances. She tells me she takes it one thing at a time. With the help of family and good friends she is getting through each one. And you will too.

Kerri said...

I'm curious about the unusual name, "Lettuce Lake Park".
It looks like a fun place with that board walk. Those grandkids are adorable!
Love those turtles and the little lizards.
You were courageous to go out driving, sight seeing and dining on your own. Good for you! That's one small step, and the next one may be a little easier.
I'd love to be going to the Marie Selby Botanical Garden with you.
Happy spring, dear Giddy!
Hugs oxoxoxo

Anonymous said...

I am proud of you, Giddy. But then, you know the secret of making life good-doing it!

Do you have the cats with you, or are they at some fancy cat spa, up here?

It is a bit cold here this morning, after 72ยบ on Saturday. But, still no snow in the forecast for the coast.

Did that little lizard try to sell you some insurance???

Giddy said...

Crafty, thanks for your kind words of encouragement. I too, am trying to take one day at a time. Tomorrow will be 8 weeks since John passed away.

Kerri, I think the name of the park comes from all the "duck weed" and other lettuce looking greenery in the lake.

I'm not so much courageous as I am stubborn. I refuse to just let my kids "babysit" me, so I head out on my own whenever I can.

Sandy, not only do I have my two cats here with me, but am also "babysitting" my eldest son's two cats while I'm here. Long story. And the little green lizard never did get up on his hind legs and make a pitch for insurance!! "-)

Stone Art said...

Looks like and interesting place, interesting name too.

Zoey said...

What great scenery! That boardwalk reminds me of my walks through the Everglades waaaay back in the late 1970's. It was always fun to spot a gator--as long as it was not too close to us!

How brave of you to go out onto the freeway! It would be scary for me to do that, too.

I am glad you are getting out and about. How long do you plan to stay in Florida?

jim said...

Charles said...

My first visit to Lettuce Lake Park in Tampa was in March 2011. A fantastic place to see and visit. The boardwalk and observation tower are the main attraction. I saw gators, birds, squirrels, turtles, and many other things that were the best. I shot lots of photos, but my next visit I will be shooting an HD travel video. If you like Florida travel, see my blog that has lots of videos on great places to visit in Florida. Excellent blog here with great photos. All the best.