Jungle Life

Today we took advantage of the Florida polar vortex (temps of 13C) and went to a nearby park for a short hike with Molly. She loves this weather that makes locals put on parkas or hibernate indoors and lizards fall from the trees. We use an app called All Trails which was recommended by our hiking guru, Leo. In these modern digital times, the app lets us find a trail nearby, describes the landscape and intensity and, great for those lacking orientation skills, helps us navigate back to trails head.

The park is Shingles Creek and the trail is Steffee Homestead. A meandering walk partly dirt, partly paved and partly boardwalked through the jungle. I always channel Jurassic Park because of the huge plants and dense moss that drips from the trees. This park also includes some interesting historical sites and a watercraft launch if you dare paddle the creek. Today would have been ideal since all creatures of swampland were well hidden to keep warm.

On the drive over we FaceTimed with my sister at my folks. That’s a whole other jungle. I could sense that my mom was a bit agitated and that’s usually amplified by her dementia demons. Evil Baby, as my sister calls mom, was lashing out in her passive aggressive way. It’s a scenario that my dad is used to, but it gets on everyone else’s nerves after a day. I’m not sure how my sister tolerates for several days. Maybe that’s why they call her The Tin (wo) Man. In any event, we were the diversion. Since I was driving, Rudy was on phone duty. It is easy for everyone but me to forget that my Bluetooth is programmed to my hearing aid unless I manually turn it off. I had the gps lady chirping in my ear while trying to talk to the gang. Makes me feel like a celebrity with an earpiece listening to instructions while attempting to speak coherently. Some are better at it than others.

Once we arrived at the parking lot for the park we picked a parking spot at the end. It’s another thing we have to be mindful of with Molly as she needs a big gap between vehicles to make her leap into the backseat. She hops out and barks excitedly. I’m not sure what her reason for barking is since she had a 318 in our neighborhood before we left. Rudy’s convinced she has to go again. He was right. Within minutes of starting the trail, Molly is dropping a deuce. We call it Double Dutch; if anything her constitution is functioning at its peak!

The trail is quiet. We are the only ones weathering the freezing (ha ha) temps to be outdoors. Molly is mesmerized by the smells; she is exuberant in her fuzzy fur coat trotting along and sniffing. It’s an in and out trail which means you walk to the end and back again (versus a loop which, naturally, loops around). Back at the car Molly’s ready for a drink and Rudy pulls out her water bowl. Sniffing is hard work.

Since we are really close to historical Kissimmee we take a drive to the downtown. It’s very interesting (albeit deserted) and we make a note to come back on a hot day for a bike ride around the lake.

Two jungles ticked off the list. It’s a good day.

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