Monthly Archives: January 2013

Florida Keys

For one week in mid-January, our family took a much-needed respite to the sunny climes of the Florida Keys. Time to post some pics!

We rented a car from the Ft. Lauderdale airport, and set up camp down at our hotel in Key Largo. One of the first things we did was to visit the Laura Quinn Wild Bird Sanctuary just down the road from us. Saw several sea birds, owls, raptors, as well as the circling turkey vultures and a few pelicans on the shoreline alongside the sanctuary.

sanctuary
bayside view from the back of the sanctuary

We spent some quality time at Sombrero Beach in Marathon; we were surprised at the lack of nice beaches in the Keys, but really there’s more snorkeling, scuba, and fishing done there than hanging at the beach. The water temp was quite comfortable. The Portuguese Man-o’-War were out in force, with a handful of softball-sized ones washing up on shore, their tentacles bright blue.

beach
facing southwest from our location on Sombrero Beach

One morning we got going early and went to Theater of the Sea in Islamorada. We arrived just as it opened, and had practially a private tour and bird show. We enjoyed seeing all the animals there, and the cooler weather that day made for light crowds.

jump
Sherman the dolphin’s performance highlight

Mo and I spent one morning putting in some road work on the trails at Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park. It was a very peaceful hike along three miles of tree-lined pathways, although we did a little backtracking because the recent high tide left a couple unpassable spots among the mangrove scrub on the south end.

We saved Key West for our last day, when the island was less busy. It’s a 2-hour drive from where we were staying. There is a ton of interesting history there, and we wished we could have spent more time to see the architecture and visit more of the shops.

kwest
K, Mo, and I at the southernmost point marker in Key West

It was a wonderful time of relaxing and soaking in the warm weather and great seafood.

sunset
sunset over the bay behind our hotel

I’ll post some wildlife pics in my subsequent vacation post.

An New Year’s Accumulation

I’ve taken the post-Christmas time frame to make a few card exchanges, pick up some more difficult to find cards, look for any eBay finds, hit a free card show, and spend my gift certificate from “Santa” 😉

This batch includes my first autograph cards of Twins HOFer Jim “Mudcat” Grant and of Levi Michael.

accumulationA
clockwise, from top left: 2004 Upper Deck Legends Timeless Teams #8 “Mudcat” Grant (auto); 2008 Upper Deck A Piece of History Franchise Members Quad #FM4-16 Joe Mauer w/Rodriquez,Varitek,Posada [13/99] (jersey); 2007 Upper Deck Elements Clear-Cut Elements Bronze #CCE-FL Francisco Liriano [279/350] (auto/jersey); 2010 Topps T-206 Piedmont #TR-GP Glen Perkins (auto); 2008 Upper Deck Goudey Graphs #GG-GP Glen Perkins (auto); 2012 Bowman Platinum Prospects #AP-LM Levi Michael (auto)

I picked up a whole scad of low s#’d Twins cards, many like these below.

accumulationB
clockwise, from top left: 2004 Donruss Classics Team Colors #TC-47 Bert Blyleven [027/100] (jersey); 2003 Fleer Mystique Ink Appeal Gold #IP-MR Mike Ryan [13/54] (jersey); 2005 Upper Deck Past Time Pennants Gold #3 Bert Blyleven [17/50]; 2007 Upper Deck Artifacts Antiquity Artifacts Gold #AA-HU Torii Hunter (jersey); 2004 Playoff Honors Credits Gold #118 Torii Hunter [09/25]; 2003 Donruss Champions Statistical Champs #SC27 Rod Carew [04/50]

And of course, a few of Lew!

accumulationL
clockwise, from top left: 2005 Fleer Authentix Mezzanine #68 Lew Ford [10/75]; 2005 Donruss Zenith Museum #183 Lew Ford; 2005 Topps Chrome Black Refractor #192 Lew Ford [172/225]; 2004 Donruss Elite Extra Edition Status #36 Johan Santana [07/56]

So what have you been up to? Don’t forget to check out my trade bait page and see if there’s something there for you!