Thursday, 13 March 2014

Sanibel, Miami and Nightfishing: Part 2

Not far from downtown Miami is Villa Vizcaya, the former estate of industrial entrepreneur, James Deering. It was built in the early twentieth century using antiques, statues and other architectural elements from Europe, creating a hodge-podge of different styles. We spent most of the late afternoon exploring it.
Walking through the interior.

The exterior had a very mediterranean look to it.

While much of the complex is highly derivative of European architecture, this stone barge, resting in the sea just opposite to the villa, was much more original in design, I thought. I was really taken aback by it when I first saw it through the patio doors of the house.

We saw several girls having photo shoots in celebration of their quinceaƱera. Miami has a high Latin American population, and in such cultures it is common for girls to celebrate their transition from childhood to young womanhood on their fifteenth birthday.

Mangrove swamps surround the back of the villa.
Soon we were exploring the villa's Italian Renaissance-style gardens. 

Another quinceaƱera celebration.

Angela being adventurous.

We've seen dozens of lizards and geckos since we got to Florida, but this must have been the most striking, with its bulging red throat sack. A quick google search suggests it's a Carolina Anole.

Back at the stone barge.
I liked the contrast between the large, contemporary bridge in the background, and the small, archaic bridge in the foreground.

By sunset we were heading back on the long road to Cape Coral.
On Day 10 we relaxed, did some errands, and swam in the pool. This time mum joined us.

Hugging Boh-Boh.
We also bought some shrimp to use as bait, and did some nightfishing later that evening by the canal.

Faye caught a catfish pretty quickly.
Extracting the hook before releasing the fish back into the canal.
I also tried my hand at fishing, something I have little experience in (except at an ice fishing festival in Korea).
After some patient waiting, I finally caught a catfish myself.
Once again, we extracted the hook and returned the fish to its home.
Day 11 was my mum's last day in the states. We decided to spend the early afternoon at a mini-golf course. This particular one had live gators that you could feed.

Onto the mini-golf action.

After that was done, we had some lunch and then took my mum to the airport. I was sad to say goodbye, especially since we won't be seeing each other again until mine and Angela's adventures are finished later in the year. Still, we all had a fun time, and I'm really grateful to Angela's parents for putting my mum up at their place and giving us easy access to the sights and attractions in the area. From what I could tell, my mum had a great vacation with us all.

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