Florida farewell tour

The Florida Farewell Tour was created to fill full the heart of a teenage boy with memories of his beautiful home state before he leaves it to go off on his own adventure far away.

The Florida Farewell tour is a gift to my youngest child. Everett is a senior in high school so will soon be leaving Florida. He will never live here again; he will only visit. Due to Covid, he is attending senior year remotely from our house. Also, he is not participating in his sport. Usually he would be working out 6 days a week. Instead he is laying in his bed. I decided Everett needed a weekly field trip doing something of interest. Of course, he doesn’t have much interest in my project. Never mind that. I want him to see the best of Orlando and Florida to take with him in his heart when he travels off to see the world.

We have seen the Holocaust Museum as well as the Maitland Arts Center. He can only see so many museums though. Some weeks I have to throw in quick activities more suited to a teenager’s taste. We went to the supposed best place in Orlando for hot dogs. We tried the new donut shop.

Mother nature’s talent is apparent along the St. John’s River.


This week’s activity was special. We went out for a sunset airboat tour.

If you haven’t done this, you must. Florida has so much natural beauty. Being out on the St. John’s River is good for the soul.

There is much to see and learn out on the river.

It was my first sighting of a Roseate Spoonbill. They are like flamingos in that their pink color comes from their food. Our guide said they like grass shrimp.

They congregate in small flocks living in coastal Florida, Texas, and southwest Louisiana.

Art print by Alexander Wilson. Published by Oppenheimer Editions.

Art print by Alexander Wilson. Published by Oppenheimer Editions.

The guides have grown up on the river, and it is how they make their livelihood. They are generous with their knowledge sharing it during the 1 1/2 hour tour. For example, we were told that the heads of bald eagles do not turn white until they are 3-5 years of age.

The bald cypress, seen above, are protected by law. Due to extreme deforestation of the species in the past one can no longer cut them down. High water from Hurricane Irma a few years ago left brown stains on their trunks.

Nature has its unattractive side as well.

There are many cows along the river. Fortunately, in winter the gators don’t eat much. They are trying to stay warm. Once it warms up though, they are ravenous. They will take down the smaller calves for a meal.

Casa V Interiors will bring Florida-inspired beauty to your home.