So I’m just full of excuses lately, aren’t I? The last 8 days or so was a good one, though. And Shamu agrees, so there.
Last year, we planned to take a weeklong vacation to Florida that never seemed to get any traction. Maybe it was because of work….an unwillingness to commit to dates…or the fact that we decided to jump headfirst into the bathroom renovation (ummm…bingo?) but as a result, a vacation was of high priority this year. April seemed like a good time to avoid the school spring breaks and the hot summer weather in Florida. Plus, we were both starting to feel burned out at work.
To save some moolah, we arranged to stay with a cousin near Orlando (and his lovely family). We rented a car for a week and tooled back and forth to Orlando, Cocoa Beach, and the surrounding areas. We also enjoyed, and marveled at, our “private” pool during the day and the gorgeously landscaped bug-proof enclosure it was in. I’ve never seen anything like that, and it was so nice!
Other adventures included…
Airboats and alligators:
A trip to a village in the snowy mountains of England…
and one very magical castle inhabited by my homeboy Harry Potter:
Hedwig wouldn’t leave me alone.
(Just kidding! It was the cutest stuffed-owl-head-turning puppet I’ve ever seen.)
A picture to prove I don’t always look like a dork. (Or do I?)
Sea World (my favorite favorite):
I’m petting an alpaca. At Sea World. Very ocean-y, right? I go for the thrills.
Can you read that? It says “Soak Zone”….
And here it comes… (good thing I don’t have a nicer camera or I wouldn’t have gotten this shot!)
My other homeboy, Shamu (actually a Shamu lookalike) who inspired my marine biologist aspirations for a good ten years or so:
The fan-flipper-tastic whale and dolphin show was my favorite (a girl *can* have eighteen favorites)…
With a quick wave farewell, we moved right along to…
A classic shot of some pink flamingoes. The non-plastic variety. Oh, and me.
I can’t forget my other favorite – feeding the stingrays some seriously delicious (looking) frozen-and-chopped-in-two dead fishies!
Up to my elbows in awesome fishiness:
I dig me some stingrays.
We also had to spend some time at the beach, of course:
And in some kayaks:
Where we met a rather playful dolphin:
And spotted something really exciting…..
Do you see it? (I am pointing after all…)
Now you see it. But do you know what it is?
It weighs something like 1500 lbs….
Has a furry snout…
Looks an awful lot like a hippo in person…
And (evidently) prefers to drink from the garden hose:
It’s a MANATEE! Actually, there are several in these pictures, including a mama and a baby (the snouts you see in a picture above), but they rise and fall in depth, so it’s tough to get good pictures, especially when you are right next to them. We were a little afraid of having our kayaks tipped when they rose to the surface, so we skirted the group and had fun watching and taking pictures.
What a fabulous vacation! Native wildlife….tourist traps….the pool….and the ocean.
What more can one ask for? (Except maybe a more diligent blogger…)