A Touch of Glass in Venice

_MG_9157On the monkey’s third day in Italy, he and Mrs. Kongo took a water taxi across the water to the little island of Murano to check out a glass factory and see the sights.  In the image above, rods to hold the glass being worked are being heated in the oven.  Murano is about half a mile north of Venice, accessible only by water.  Hundreds of years ago city fathers moved all glass making activity to this little island in order to prevent fires in Venice and to ensure the proprietary glass-making process developed in Venice was kept away from the prying eyes of competitors.

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The Monkey of Venice

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With all deference to Shakespeare, this monkey is not the Merchant of Venice.  The little simian is not a money lender and has no ships at sea carrying expensive cargos soon to kiss the bottom of the ocean.  Instead, the monkey is set on keeping Mrs. Kongo from meeting any of the real merchants of Venice who peddle expensive shoes, hand bags, and fashionable clothes.  The monkey’s plan to keep Mrs. Kongo away from the real merchants is to keep her walking along the canals and through the narrow streets and that’s exactly what he did yesterday on his second day in Italy.

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Ciao! Venice

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So the monkey finally climbed down from his treehouse, found the airport and headed back to Europe to check some more spots off his bucket list.  Yesterday morning, after an all night flight from ATL, Mrs. Kongo and the Monkey arrived in Venice after a brief layover in Milan to get gas and wait for the fog in Venice to clear.  Wow!  What an amazing city. Continue reading

Florida Rookery

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Kongo returned to the Alligator Farm in St. Augustine on Sunday to visit its famous swamp rookery. This 4-acre preserve is home to a wide variety of species that include spoonbills, herons, all kinds of egrets, storks, and others. From February till June you can see the nest building, mating rituals, nesting, newborn chicks, and fledgling birds getting ready to head out on their own.

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Kingsley Plantation

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Kingsley Plantation, located at the end of a long dirt road on the remote Fort George Island northeast of Jacksonville, Florida provides an intriguing look into the history of the First Coast.  It wasn’t always as pretty as it is today and as much as modern society deplores slavery and the wretched injustices it imposed on millions of people, it turns out nothing in history is as simple as it might seem.

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