2017: Page 144

Page 144 was a rather blustery day along the coast so we headed inland to see what we could find to do and photograph.  There were high wind warnings in place for the Skyway Bridge as we headed over it mid-morning.  Evidently, that danger increased as the bridge was completely closed as we headed north late in the afternoon — but that comes later in the story. 🙂

Our first stop for the day was at Myakka River State Park where we did some walking and found some birds and alligators to photograph.  After some time at the park, we made our way to lunch before stopping at the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary.  On our way out of town this morning we went by a large sign advertising this place and the sign caught Susan’s eye immediately.  I don’t know that she understood it was advertising a place to see animals, but she did like the tiger pictures that were on the sign.  They had a variety of exotic, and not so exotic, animals but it was the tigers that Susan wanted to see.  Definitely worth stopping just to see the joy it brought to Susan.  Today’s photo is of one of the tigers who was very active and expressive as we watched and talked to them.

As we stopped at a farm market to pick up some veggies on our way back to town, the rain began to fall.  Heading north, the roadside signs warned that the Skyway Bridge was closed and an alternate route needed to be found.  Unfortunately, the only alternate route to this bridge was a very long drive around the entire bay.  The heavy rain had let up and it didn’t seem too windy inland, so we stopped at the outlet mall to spend a little time in hopes that the bridge would reopen.  Bonus number one of the closed bridge was the Hershey’s Ice Cream shop at the outlet mall. 🙂  After our walk and ice cream at the mall, we headed back north but the bridge was still closed.  So, on we drove north so we could come back south.  In fact, we had to drive so far north into Tampa that bonus number two of the closed bridge came up — dinner at Skyline Chili.  We did eventually make it back to our room where we could relax and go through the photos from the day.

As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:

  • When trouble comes, flexible plans generally create better results than rigid plans.
  • There are many things in life that could cause discouragement.  That doesn’t mean that you always have to let them do so.
  • While plan B or C may not be as good as plan A, they’re still better than no plan and they just might turn out even better than plan A.
  • One of my desires is to learn from Susan how to delight in the moment more often.
  • Some events in life are difficult and annoying, but beyond our control.  Find ways to experience “bonus” joy during those events and you will often find them less annoying.
  • Sometimes you have to go where you don’t want to be in order to get to where you do want to be.

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