The other day we had some low-key fun at a Florida ranch known as Sun City Stables. It was a birthday party for three-year old Amelia, but because it was the day before New Year’s there was no shortage of fireworks.
The next night was New Year’s Eve and we watched fireworks from all over the world on YouTube. In my opinion, Dubai edged out Hong Kong for best show and that’s saying something. London was pretty amazing also and came in a close third. All of the displays were beyond belief and must have costs millions of dollars to produce. I wonder how many hours you would have to wait and much you had to pay to get a good seat at those venues.
But that was on TV, thousands of miles away in major cities around the world. On the other hand, these here where in the small town of Ruskin which is a rural community on the outskirts of Tampa. I believe the cost of the fireworks was a little over fifty dollars. I preferred this display because I got to see them in person with a front row seat. All I had to do was turn my lawn chair around from the campfire.
This boardwalk crosses over the dunes to Nokomis beach. Whenever you go to the beach here along the gulf coast you see these walkways. They protect the dunes which in turn protect the islands during storms. I like how they appear to provide a grand entrance to the beach.
The sand at the beaches around here is a fine white silica, almost like powder. I’m not aware of any other beaches that have this type of sand. My car has black floor boards and the white powdery sand gets all over it. When I was in the Caribbean I learned a trick from a local tour guide. That is, to keep a brush in the car to brush the sand from my feet before getting in. Not that sand is a big problem, but I’m a bit of a neat freak so little tricks help.
The sand on the east coast of Florida is completely different. The first time I walked along the beach in Fort Lauderdale I was amazed at how hard it was. Your feet sink six inches with every step making any long walk a real chore. This west coast sand is much easier to walk on. Anyway, that’s probably way more that you ever wanted to know about sand.
On Christmas day, we did something out of the ordinary and headed over to a nearby horse ranch for a picnic and bonfire. The horses there spend days in their stalls or with riders out on the trails; however, in the evening they are free to roam the property. As it was a holiday the horses came and went as they pleased. That meant they would come up to the picnic table looking for handouts.
At night, the only light was from the bonfire so when I stood up and turned around there was usually a horse looking right at me. Someone turned on their iPhone flashlight and I snapped this profile. It might look staged but it was just luck on my part that I was able to get this shot.
I’m an animal lover so I’ll jump at any excuse to hang out on a ranch. In addition to horses there were sheep, goats, pigs and at least one ostrich. It was a fun way to spend an evening and if I’m not mistaken, the horses thought it was pretty cool too.