Carlos And Elsie

Yesterday, our good friends, Carlos and Elsie De Leon Campos paid us a visit. We were happy to share with them our new home and lifestyle. They are both excellent artists and Carlos has won numerous awards for his work. Two of his large pieces of work which adorned our former home is now admired by those who enter All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Lakeland. When we downsized to boat-life, we donated these two to our church. We still have some of his smaller pieces on board Beatitude to brighten the place and add a little culture to our lives.

Carlos' "The Presentation of Christ in the Temple" after Simon Vouet (Now gracing the walls of All Saints' Church in Lakeland)

Carlos’ “The Presentation of Christ in the Temple” after Simon Vouet (Now gracing the walls of All Saints’ Church in Lakeland)

They arrived mid-morning, and we soon threw off the dock lines and made our way down the Manatee River. Instead of heading out into the bay for a sail, we decided to duck into De Soto Point and anchor for lunch. After eating a healthy salad, we dinghied onto shore and took them through the De Soto National Monument/Park. Cindy and I have now been several times, but we always enjoy it, both walking the meandering trails and looking over the educational material regarding De Soto’s landing in the Tampa Bay area and his subsequent 4,000-plus mile journey across the southeastern United States.

Elsie, Carlos, and Cindy (Elsie and Carlos in full sun-protection gear!)

Elsie, Carlos, and Cindy (Elsie and Carlos in full sun-protection gear!)

Along the way, we lost a fender overboard.  Carlos stands with his prize fished from the river.

Along the way, we lost a fender overboard. Carlos stands with his prize fished from the river.

Lunch at anchor

Lunch at anchor

This little guy defiantly placed himself in the middle of our trail, only moving on with a little nudging by me.  A yellow rat snake?  Help me out, all you herpetologists!

This little guy defiantly placed himself in the middle of our trail, only moving on with a little nudging by me. A yellow rat snake? Help me out, all you herpetologists!

There are Indians lurking in the woods!

Beautiful Beatitude

This little crab was playing dead along our trail

This little crab was playing dead along our trail

From there we headed back in, dodging rain showers along the way. All boat systems worked well and no significant problems during our day’s adventures. Cindy and I enjoyed the evening onboard. I grilled some burgers (in a driving rainstorm) and we watched “Letters to Juliet.”

Grilling in the Rain

Grilling in the Rain

P.S. My creature loving niece, Paula, has correctly informed me that the above pictured snake is not a snake at all, but an Eastern Glass Lizard. Who would’ve thunk it?

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