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May 19, 2021
Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park
If you saw my Facebook post, you know I was missing my daughter and took a quick trip to Florida last week.
I wanted to visit her and her fiancé, and I knew it was going to get stinkin' hot down in Florida soon. My daughter said it already was!
I front-loaded my week and got as much done as I possibly could. I packed up on Wednesday night, and Bauer and I jumped in the car Thursday morning and drove to Tallahassee.
The drive is about 4-1/2 hours - 5 by the time I make a couple of pit stops for myself and Bauer!
Thankfully, I had a full tank of gas. I was hopeful that by the time I got there the pipeline hacking situation would be figured out. My daughter said there was still gas at some of the stations.
It was a beautiful drive!
There were so many places along the way that I wanted to stop and get photos, but I wanted to maximize my time with my girl, so I figured I'd wait until I was on my way home.
I got to Tallahassee by about 1:30. It was partially cloudy and cool when I arrived. We had a nice afternoon.
My daughter, Ellie, wanted to show me a cute antique store down the road, so we went there a little while after I got in.
The man who owns it, Paul, was a hoot - a very interesting guy. We talked to him for quite a while. He used to be in a band called the Swamp Rats. He described some interesting times and events and getting to hang out with Mick Jagger!
I love meeting new people and hearing interesting stories.
Friday morning, Ellie, her guy Ryan, the dogs, and I all went on a walk at a park down the street from their apartment.
It was beautiful! Here's one of the pathways we walked on:
The lighting conditions were rough with lots of shadows and bright sun but I was captivated by all the Spanish-moss-hung trees over the pathway. Gorgeous place!
I was hoping to see some alligators because Ellie and Ryan said they see them at this place a lot.
There's an area where the path is pretty narrow and runs between the Piney Z Lake and Lake Lafayette.
We stuck to the middle of the path between the two lakes and kept the dogs on a short leash. Apparently, it's not unheard of for an alligator to take a small dog if he wanders too near the water! Yikes!
We didn't see any alligators on Friday's walk. We did see an interesting bird with its wings spread wide, apparently sunning itself.
The sky was so blue, the air was cool, and the humidity was reasonable.
We walked for about an hour on the sun-dappled path.
I had my camera but didn't get a ton of photos there. I didn't want to hold up the walk with my constant stopping. I planned to go back early the next day but didn't make it.
We went back to the house after our walk so I could work for a while.
Ellie and I went to check out Alfred B. Maclay Gardens State Park later on Friday afternoon. It was much warmer but still a fantastic day.
Ellie wanted to check out the park for a quick engagement shoot while I was down there. The grounds are extraordinary.
We still had our eyes peeled for alligators but no luck there either.
The cover shot for this blog post was taken at the gardens on Friday afternoon. We wandered around for a while and then headed home.
We went back to the park on Saturday and got some engagement photos. I wasn't happy with the shooting conditions.
If I had my way, we would have been there for sunrise. Unfortunately, the park didn't open until well after sunrise, and getting Ellie up early is not an easy thing either!
We didn't get photos until about 10:30 or so at which time the sun was well and truly out, bright, and glaring with shadows everywhere! We were also fighting a wicked little breeze.
I felt like I was struggling but, happily, I managed to get a few nice shots anyway.
I really liked this semi-candid one with Ryan talking and Ellie with her eyes closed. It captured a nice moment.
Ryan and Ellie
Ellie and I did a little more exploring down near Florida State University later in the day. The day went way too fast. Don't you hate that? You think you're going to have so much time and it just flies.
Before I knew it, it was Sunday morning and time to get back to Atlanta. I always leave a little bit of my heart behind when I say goodbye to one of the kids.
Bauer and I had an uneventful drive home.
I saw different things on the way home that I wanted to photograph, but I didn't see any good spots for pulling over. There was no shoulder at all, and I didn't want to cause an accident to get a photo.
We only stopped once and we were back in Atlanta around 3 or so. It was a fun few days with my girl and her guy.
Tallahassee is beautiful. I hope next time I get to see an alligator or two.
Did you have a good weekend? I hope so!
See you between the raindrops!
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