Boy it’s been busy at work! I’m not really complaining because this is when I make the $$$ that pays for all my little jaunts but I think we’re setting new records this spring! Anyway, that’s why I haven’t had time to post much.
As anyone who has followed along for any time knows, I want to go to every state for a vacation. Even some of the more “boring ” states have lots to share if you are just willing to do a little research. As I’ve said many times, one of the best vacations was to South Dakota but when I told people that was where I was going they always asked “What’s in South Dakota”?
Now Florida is home to the snow birds, Mickey Mouse and the world’s longest stop lights. (That’s so all of us senior citizens with slow reflexes have time to react) Yet I keep going back. If I took all my visits to the Sunshine state and used them toward my goal of visits to every state, I’d be almost done! I go to Florida at least once a year, sometimes more and it never gets old.
I love the animals, mostly birds. They are colorful and abundant and there’s lots of things to do besides Disney and Universal. I lean toward places like Gatorland and eco-safaris, botanical gardens and airboat rides.
I’ve spent most of my time in the Orlando area but I’ve made jaunts to Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Key West, St. Pete and St Augustine so I’ve pretty much covered the state and I’m still not bored. There’s still more to see.
This winter I have a longer trip than usual planned. I know I will miss the kitties staying away that long but it made more sense to do one long trip and save on air fare than to split it up so I’m spending 4 days in the Orlando area and then moving down to South Beach for 7 more days. Can’t wait and can’t wait to tell you all about it.
For now I will leave you with a few Egret photos from the “breeding pond” at Gatorland.
Wow, my work has gone from zero to 60 in .5 seconds. One minute I’m drifting along at a nice slow pace and the next I’ve my nose to the grindstone, no time for anything. My head is spinning. But that’s why I haven’t had time to post much.
Even with the craziness I try to check my Facebook page at least one a day and what was staring me in the face but a picture of that bird I saw in St. Cloud!
Wild Willy was right, it is a very rare bird. It’s a Snail Kite (formerly called the Everglades Kite). It’s a Neotropical species found in the wetlands of southern Florida. It’s main diet is snails, snails called apple snails.
The Snail Kite is endangered in North America so I guess I was very, very lucky!
There’s always something happening at the Magic Kingdom. You can pick up a schedule of events but we did it one better…we had our personal guide, my good friend JR. Since he works at the park he was filled with ways to get the most out of everything the Magic Kingdom had to offer.
We even managed to squeeze in a mid day parade.
These are camera phone pictures. I left my camera at the time share because we had signed up for the Memory Maker, the Disney photo service.
Makes traveling the park much lighter.
Gatorland was certainly a high point for the trip. Between you and me, my young guests said they liked it better than Animal Kingdom!
Gatorland gets you up close and personal and if you are into big lizards there are certainly enough gators and crocodiles to satisfy all.
Besides the gator wrestling show you have a chance to sit on a real gator in the ring just as if you were doing the wrestling. Of course your gator has his jaws taped shut for safely.
There’s also the feeding frenzy where handlers hand feed the big gators and even a few crocs. They send chicken carcasses on lines out over the gator pond to encourage the animals to jump for their meal.
Other gator ponds are open to feeding by the guests. You buy a package of hot dogs and break off pieces to throw into the ponds near the gators.
You try to get the hot dogs close to the gators because the birds will steal the bits right out of the gators’ mouths. They seem to have no fear.
Just a couple more images from our airboat ride at Wild Willy’s. Here’s a shot of one of the 6 person airboats.
A Great Blue Heron
A Great Egret
This was the first picture taken when we arrived at Disney. I love Tinkerbell!