Monday, December 17, 2012


Hi, Everyone.

Hope you all had a great weekend.  No doubt you were as busy as I was shopping and preparing for Christmas which I simply can't believe is just days away.  Boy, did this year go quickly.

I also hope I didn't bore you with my last post about our vacation because guess what, this post is going to be about our vacation, too.

Ok, so on our second day once we dropped our suitcases at our place, we went food shopping at Walmart and then at Publix.  I made the mistake of buying the meats at Walmart last year and what a mistake that was so this year, we got most of our groceries at Walmart but then went to Publix to get the meats.

While in Publix, Jim noticed this display made out of Coke cases.  I totally missed it but once Jim pointed it out, I put Spiro and Emma in front of it.  It was a very clever display considering we were so close to Disney, don't you think?
Behind our townhouse there is a lake wherein you can find all sorts of waterfowl.  We usually feed them in the back but this particular morning, they came to the front door and we were all too happy to provide them with breakfast. 
Nothing like having a giant pool all to yourself, right?  This is the pool just 1 block away from us.  There are other pools in the complex but we prefer this one.  There's Logan down by the waterfall.  He wasn't alone long as both grandparents and Jim joined him in the water.  
As you can see from their pale skintones, neither one of them gets a lot of sun.
 After some frolicking in the pool, Spiro went to get a massage.  Those are his feet you can see as he's lying on the table.  I snuck over and unbeknownst to him, I crawled under the head rest and took a most unappealing shot of his face.  Do I hear blackmail anyone?  Ha! Ha! 
One afternoon we took a short drive to an area attraction called Old Town.  There are quaint little shops, rides and bars there but it's a quiet place in the day as it comes to life at night time.  Here's Jim having a chat with a puppet. 
 This is one of the rides at Old Town.  It's a sling shot except it shoots people!  Just looking at it from the ground made me dizzy.  
The main thoroughfare where the businesses are located is closed to cars so we strolled carefree down streets and enjoyed ourselves as we visited many of the shops.  We had a fun time here.  We went back a day or two later but we never did get there in the evening.
So one day we decided to check out a wildlife park we'd never been to.  According to the advertisement, it was only 17 miles from Orlando.  Well, after more than an hour's drive, we realized they had to be measuring from the outskirts of Orlando because it was more than 60 miles away.  As we drove we kept saying, this place better be worth it to make us drive this far!

We finally arrived there and this was the first sight I saw, a beautiful peacock.  In fact, there were several roaming the grounds.   They came right up to us looking for food.          
There were many alligators here.  They number in the hundreds.  Here's one covered in something called Duckweed.  It's a plant that according to the guide regenerates itself every 24 hrs.  It rather thickly covers all of the water in the park.  The strange thing she mentioned, the park has no ducks.  Not hard to understand why when there are so many gators hiding beneath this stuff. 
We were given a presentation by an American Indian who not only taught us some things but did it quite entertainingly.  He showed us all sorts of different tools his ancestors used in their daily life and made it fun in the way he delivered the information.  That structure everyone is standing under was a dwelling.  The center support pole has indents in it which they used to climb up into the loft area. 
Here we are at another informative demonstration using a few of the big gators.  Brave girl there ready to toss a piece of chicken into that gator's mouth.  
We took a boat ride around the park.  When we came around the bend which opened up to this view, I felt like I was in the Amazon.  It was hard to tell it was Central Florida.
Ok, who reading this thinks of "Ice Age, The Meltdown" when they see this picture?  As soon as I saw all those vultures in that tree, I immediately thought of the movie and started singing the song the vultures sing as they are looking down on Manny and the rest of the gang, Food, Glorious Food...   Oh man, now I've got that song stuck in my head again. 
This park had all sorts of animals from this pretty coyote, to lynxes and mountain lions, to wolves, to foxes to parrots and even two black bears named Boris & Natasha. 
We took part in a show and tell which actually turned into a show and touch of all sorts of creatures.  Here Logan is touching a skunk.  I was so surprised by how soft the skunk's coat was.  I expected it to be much coarser.  I held a snake and a baby alligator.  I even touched a rose haired tarantula. 
There's Jim with his chance at holding the snake.  
This guy had no clue what he was in for when he volunteered from out of the audience.  They proceeded to put a large, hairy spider on his head and a really big scorpion on his shoulder.  Brave man, indeed!
We had a great time at this park so even though it was a drive, it turned out to be very much worth it.

Hope you had fun reading about our animal encounters.

Have a great day!


courtney said...

Guess it's easy to spot the tourists in Florida this time of year.....we're the pastey-white ones who find the water just fine when the tanned locals find it too chilly!
More great shots and wonderful stories! Ha! Too funny, you crawling under the massage table to get a surprise shot!

Lisa said...

oh no no no no no no no! That man had to know what was happening, cause most men are too scared of little spiders, let alone those!
I want to see the picture of you holding a snake!
That's a cool coke display!
I agree with Court, you can tell who the tourists are! :)

Staci said...

Great pics! I love the Coke display. Happy holidays!