Florida in July!

I’ve been very busy with life ūüôā for the past couple of years, and haven’t made very many posts lately. However, I’d like to make this post about a trip my son and I took to Florida this summer.


My son at Florida Sea Base, Islamorada, July 1, 2020

It was great to get away to Florida for a few days! Of course, it was very nerve-wracking to go in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, but we did it.


View of Miami from Biscayne National Park, July 8, 2020

My son spent many days at Sea Base in the Florida Keys with his Order of the Arrow honor society through Boy Scouts of America.

It was an experience that we planned on prior to the coronavirus pandemic, and we were still deciding whether or not to go even in the days prior to the trip.


Key West lighthouse, July 2, 2020

Ultimately, we decided to go and be as safe as possible while wearing our masks, neck gaiters, and cotton gloves as much as possible.


Royal Poinciana tree with beautiful orange flowers, Key Largo, Florida, July 6, 2020

In my hotels in South Florida and Key West, I also used Lysol to wipe down all of the high-touch areas, including on each occasion after housekeeping came through to clean and tidy up.


Lizard at Florida Sea Base, July 2, 2020

I’m so thankful and relieved that we could go, have a good time, AND stay safe and healthy, avoiding COVID-19!


Butterfly at the Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory, July 2, 2020

I must say that I’ve never been to Florida in the incredible heat of July, so this was a first!


Rhinoceros lizard at The Alligator Farm, Homestead, Florida, June 2020

It was so incredibly hot in South Florida, especially with the Saharan dust blanketing the atmosphere, warming it up like an oven. I knew it would be hot, and it was definitely sizzling!


Parrot at Theater of the Sea wildlife facility in Islamorada, July 6, 2020

Unfortunately, the beaches were closed from Thursday through Monday for Independence Day weekend due to the Florida governor trying to limit the coronavirus spread, so that put a damper on beach plans.


Palm tree with coconuts growing, Bayfront Park, Homestead, Florida, July 8, 2020

However, it was necessary. Coronavirus infections continue to rise and break records in Florida. I eventually got to the beach and got my fill of the sun – within one hour! That was plenty for me. ūüôā


Crab at Biscayne National Park, Homestead, Florida, July 8, 2020

In all, it surely was so nice to get away for awhile!


Mighty and Majestic Niagara Falls (By: Michele Babcock-Nice)

Niagara Falls, Canada “Horseshoe Falls” View with Maid of the Mist, June 2012

Growing up near Niagara Falls, my family visited this wondrous natural miracle during my childhood.¬† As a college student at the State University of New York at Buffalo (UB), friends and I would also take trips to the Falls to view it’s amazing might and majesty, particularly at night when it was illuminated with spotlights of every color.

Into adulthood, I continued to visit the Falls for an afternoon here and there, being both exhilarated by the thunderous roar of the water crashing down at it’s base, as well as by the peaceful serenity of the beautiful, rushing¬†waters.¬† Visiting the Falls in an afternoon to enjoy this natural beauty, it was typically peaceful and not busy, so I could enjoy a picnic lunch or snack there.

Niagara Falls, Canada – View of the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls, June 2012

It had long been a desire to take my young son to visit and enjoy the might and majesty of the amazing and miraculous Niagara Falls.  Taking that opportunity in June 2012, we spent an afternoon in Canada and viewed the Falls Рthe American Falls, the Bridal Veil Falls, and the Horseshoe Falls Рboth from the ground as well as from atop the Skylon Tower.  Both the American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls are located in Niagara Falls, New York, while the Horseshoe Falls are in Niagara Falls, Canada.

Niagara Falls, Canada – Partial View of Water Falling over the Horseshoe Falls, June 2012

Waiting until I was an adult in order to sail on a Maid of the Mist boat, the experience of sailing as close to the Horseshoe Falls as possible was invigorating and thrilling.¬† Only once in my life have I sailed on the Maid of the Mist.¬† I would have done so again on¬†this trip, though my son did not feel comfortable with the thought of being so close to the thunderous Falls.¬† And, I don’t blame him – after all, I was an adult in my mid-20’s before I did so.

Rather than sailing on the Maid of the Mist, my son and I viewed the Falls from the enormous height of the observation deck on the Skylon Tower, feeling the strong winds into which we had to force our weight in order to walk.  The view from such a height caused the Falls to appear much smaller and somewhat less significant than they actually are.

Niagara Falls, Canada – Zoomed-in View of the Horseshoe Falls with Maid of the Mist from atop the Skylon Tower, June 2012

Still, the view of the Falls from atop the Skylon Tower was breath-taking as my son and I¬†enjoyed looking at them – as¬†well as¬†the surrounding area that we could see for miles (I mean ‘kilometers’) around.¬† That was just fine for us.

We had a lovely visit, and my son can now say that he is an international traveler, having used his passport for the first time on this trip to Niagara Falls, Canada!

The direct link for this blog post is at http://wp.me/p25c1A-aJ.