Swamp Monkey

There’s nothing quite like a great swamp. Luckily, there’s a very swampy swamp only  few minutes from Kongo’s son’s house in Tampa, Florida named Lettuce Lake.  It’s named for the lettuce looking plants that grow all over the shallow waters. Giant cypress trees line the water and help support abundant wildlife that ranges from stink bugs to tropical birds to alligators. Now Kongo didn’t see any gators on this visit but he saw plenty of other wildlife. At Lettuce Lake there is a long boardwalk elevated above the swamp so visitors can explore in relative safety and not worry about…

Kitsch and Glass in Tampa

Kongo is in Florida this week visiting #3 granddaughter and taking in some of the local sites that include things like biscuits and gravy (twice), swimming lessons, and the wildlife that visits a lake in her backyard. In between sandhill cranes, whistling ducks, egrets, and mosquitos Kongo has spent a lot of time just watching the wilderness nearby. Since this is Florida, trips to the beach are part of the package.  Persephone is pretty much a water nymph and spends a lot of time frolicking in the waves and sand. One day we headed over to St. Petersburg because Mrs….

Florida Spring Break

So, the monkey took off to Florida for Spring Break because, why not? Everyone else goes to Florida at this time of year. Actually it really was Spring Break for #3 Granddaughter and her academic parents so Mr. and Mrs. Kongo jetted across the country to Tampa to spend a week in the Florida sun. Or not. For the first few days the monkeys actually froze their little tutus off. We huddled around a fire, bundled up in sweaters, and wondered why the weather was colder here than home in L.A.  Then it warmed up for the full range of…

Kingsley Plantation

Kingsley Plantation, located at the end of a long dirt road on the remote Fort George Island northeast of Jacksonville, Florida provides an intriguing look into the history of the First Coast.  It wasn’t always as pretty as it is today and as much as modern society deplores slavery and the wretched injustices it imposed on millions of people, it turns out nothing in history is as simple as it might seem.

Jungle Moves or Why House Hunting is Not Fun

So the monkey has been away for awhile.  It’s nothing serious (or maybe it is).  There’s been way too much business travel for the past few months and the Kongos are now in the midst of looking for a new treehouse in a jungle far, far away.  At least far away from America’s Finest City.  All the way across the continent to what locals call the “First Coast.”  Kongo is moving to Florida. Loyal followers will recall that the monkey regularly commutes to Florida on business.  Regular means just about every week.  He’s been shuttling between the East and West…

Bienviendos El Galeón

The Spanish tall ship, El Galeón, docked in downtown Jacksonville today as part of the celebration of the 500th anniversary of the discovery of Florida by Spanish explorers.  The exact replica of a 16th century sailing galleon navigated the St. John’s River and pulled up in front of the Hyatt Hotel.

Photo Challenge Redux: Nighttime

After some heavy showers, the monkey caught this image from his French balcony at his hotel in Jacksonville, Florida.  The blue bridge is the historic Main Street Bridge that spans the St. John’s River.  The hardest part of taking this photo was that the camera kept fogging up.  See more nighttime challenge entries at the WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge.