Up a Creek

Literally, not figuratively.

Yesterday morning I left Florida to head to Texas for three days.  I met my friend Idalia at Torchy’s Tacos in Houston.  It had been three years since we last saw each other, so we had quite a bit to catch up on.

Today I went climbing and ran some errands down in Austin.

I got a backpack to use for my trip to New Zealand, and took care of a few last minute things.  I also took the opportunity to walk around the town of Salado.  Salado is a quaint town in Texas with very many friendly people and a beautiful creek.  They also have quite a few interesting shops.

I will be getting ready for the next six months, so I won’t be writing too much over the next few days.  In the mean time, here are some neat pictures.

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The creek

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The view from the other side of the creek.

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A cool horse (probably not real).

Big Fun in Little Haiti

Today we headed up to Little Haiti in Miami.  The area itself is pretty rough, but within its boundaries lies an oasis.

J is a friend of the head guy, and my understanding of the place is that it is part animal sanctuary, part AirBnb, part vegan farm, and part hang-out spot for anyone who wants to be there.

The people who run the place were very laid-back, good people.

They had pigs, tortoises, an emu, and a variety of birds.  All of the animals were rescued and rehabilitated, and are allowed to live out their remaining days peacefully on the farm.

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We played four games of volleyball, and although we lost all four games, it was one of my favorite evenings of the year.  The games were not super serious, and any mistakes were met with good old-fashioned ribbing with no malice.  Everyone was just there to have a good time.IMG_20180916_183658.jpg

I am glad that places like this exist in the world.

Everglades

Today was my second day in Florida visiting my friend J.  We spent a few hours in the Everglades, hoping to get a glimpse of an alligator.  We biked to the observation deck and hung out for about fifteen minutes, before doing the eight mile trek back to the beginning.

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We didn’t see an alligator, which is apparently much more difficult than seeing one.  It was a fun trip and good exercise, so I wasn’t upset.

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J also took me on a three-mile run around his neighborhood.  I’m more out of shape than I thought, but I made it.

We also spent a good part of the day playing with his almost seven-month old daughter.  She is fascinated by beatboxing and the baby in the mirror.

 

 

Back in the U.S.

I got off the plane this morning around 1am in Fort Lauderdale.  I told my friend to pick me up a little later, as I wanted to take a nap and get some work done.  In the Fort Lauderdale airport, I found some comfy seats, put my jacket on with my hood blocking the lights, and slept until about 5 in the morning.

I worked on my blog a bit, as well as tied up some loose ends on the Kenya trip.  By the time all was said and done, it was 10am.  My friend J picked me up, and we went to one of his friends houses in Hollywood, Florida.  We walked up and down the Hollywood beach broadwalk, grabbed a beer, and took a swim in the ocean.

Afterwards, my friend J took me to the outskirts of the Everglades, as he was intent on me seeing an alligator.  No such luck, but we did some some wide open fields.

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We are going to try again tomorrow.  I am writing this around 7:30pm, and I am about to crash hard.  There have been talks of a bike ride tomorrow, so it should be a fun day!

Neil