4:26 p.m. - Feb 25, 2013 @artandrhinos Bald Eagle - mile marker 194.3, I-75
4:36 p.m. - Feb 25, 2013 @artandrhinos Ron Paul 2012 sign - mile marker 183.3, I-75; also, Highway 4, racoons 0
Ladybug - Rest Stop exit 131, I-75
Also, as I pulled out to leave I spotted an EASTERN BLUEBIRD! Here it is eating a mole cricket. I love these guys and they're quire rare. I did a little dance in my car when I saw it...then scrambled to get my camera.
Rest Areas have a unique feel. Here's some pictures that I think represent my experience pulling off the highway, parking in the car parking lot (not the huge Semi parking spaces), walking towards the set of structures standing alone in a field, looking for the giant "WOMEN" sign and then completing the business that pulled me from the highway.
officially passing onto Alligator Alley! SunPass lane for the win!
The sunset in my rear view mirror.
And the sun set beautifully behind me. Then, quite unexpectedly, I witnessed one of the best moonrises I've ever seen. This red orb rose from the dusky horizon. I was fortunate that a rest area came up quickly. I pulled over and was able to get some wonderful shots.
It was a beautiful sunset/moonrise on Alligator Alley.
I pass a Muvico - I saw all 3 midnight showings of the Lord of the Rings movies there. Good times. Great movies. I went with my boyfriend, then fiance, then husband. I took the day off work the next day just to see them.
I pass FIU (Florida International University) - I took a few classes there, an aborted start to a Masters in Education.
I pass the off ramp that would lead to the University of Miami, more memories.
I pass the road where I grew up, off of where I lived the first six years of my life. These last memories are almost primordial. Bird Road, 40th, and Tropical Park - my memories are deep and almost stylized, they've been replayed over and over and over with each remembering. Emotions run deep, but details are almost overexposed, hard to picture exactly.
I exit the freeway and pass Baptist Hospital, - this is where I was born. It's grown and changed and sits in a much busier city now, but it is still there, passing to my left, my origin, my first breaths.
And then... I'm past it. I'm turning left again, driving into a beautiful, quiet, somewhat upscale neighborhood. I'm there. I relax for a moment, enjoy the beauty and uniqueness of this city.
The next few days will undoubtedly be filled with far more stress than I'd like. Sharks, and cats, and good food, and endless figures and numbers and questions I do not have the answer to - but that is the nature of this yearly trip. I look forward to the drive back - the voyage home.
(ugg, gag, did I really just get that cheesy? At least it's the descriptor of the 4th Star Trek movie, the one with the whales. I liked that one.)