Spent Saturday celebrating Mom’s birthday with a road trip into our past – to Vero Beach and McKee Botanical Garden, which was McKee Jungle Gardens last time we visited in the late 60s. It’s a lot smaller now, and no jungle critters running around or squawking, but delightfully preserved as a mazy meander of trails through a native hammock peppered with doses of tropical plants.
Especially eye-catching: the colorful water lilies. Amber tagged along and enjoyed the faux dinosaurs stationed throughout the park, on temporary exhibit, that made it feel more retro 60s under the royal palms.
On the way home, I detoured to a beach – who can resist? – where we saw skimmers huddling together against the wind.
Then a stop at Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, which started the whole National Wildlife Refuge system back in 1903. Thanks to Teddy Roosevelt, migratory birds have protected stopping points and nesting areas. The pelicans were out on the island, but on the near impoundment, we watched a skimmer do its thing, over and over skimming the surface for a mouthful of bugs.
The Centennial Time Capsule is due to be opened on the park’s bicentennial, 96 years from now, and I told Amber she needs to be there to interpret it!