But surprisingly, this last visit with Tom (my brother) was very enjoyable. Was it the company? The lack of children? Or the exhibits that made the excursion so enjoyable?
It was the combination of all three. Add to these factors that Tom was hyperventilating over the fact that his beloved sailing vessel, the Maple Leaf, was on exhibit at the museum.
We toured the Currents of Time exhibit and had a marvelous time! I learned so much about the early settling of Northeast Florida. Tom and I read all the exhibit descriptions and snapped away, taking lovely photos of the various vignettes of the region.
And then, and then...we came upon her. Tom's beloved Maple Leaf (an article that Tom wrote about her can be found here).
I was excited to download these photos...if you look closely, you can see the reflection of my dear history-buff brother captured in the glass.
He was relating to me the story of the Maple Leaf. From her beginnings in Canada, to her celebrity in Rochester, NY and finally, her humble end as a workhorse vessel during the Civil War. Her final resting place? In the mud of the St. John's River, off the shores of Mandarin.
Which is very ironic, as Tom resides in Rochester and our parents, Mandarin.
And here she is, the Lady herself....
It's nice having your own private tour guide...you learn some fascinating facts!