Took a field trip to Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary last week – highly recommended.  Lovely area, very helpful educational signs, and the boardwalk trail takes you through a variety of landscapes.  The boardwalk is very stroller (and wheelchair, it seemed to me) accessible — so much so that there is a fleet of umbrella strollers and wheelchairs available to borrow (no additional charge) if you have someone along who isn’t up to the walk.   The visitors’ center has an interesting educational ‘film’, once you get use to the unusual format.  

Can’t recommend it enough.  Take a look at the link for photos.


Also made a side trip to Ave Maria town for lunch afterwards — we hadn’t realized it was so close, until we saw the sign and decided to investigate.    Interesting place.  From a distance the church looks rather like a silo turned on its side, or perhaps some kind of massive manufacturing plant.  Up close though, it evokes the feeling of a European cathedral.  Say, what Frank Lloyd Wright might have designed if he’d been taller and more catholic.

photo of Ave Maria oratory

All controversies about the community aside, the oratory deserves an award for silence.   Very prayerful.   The kind of atmosphere which makes any church more beautiful.