Thursday, December 31, 2009

Bye-Bye 09

Christmas eve day and we're packed up and heading south to Estero, we had a lot of fun with the kids down for the week but there is no way we could keep up with them, right now we just want to get set up in the warm weather and relax for the holidays. We have a lot of friends in this area so I think we're going to be pretty busy during our month here.

The day after Christmas (Saturday)and we decided to drive over to the Conservancy of SW Florida Nature Center, they're doing a remodel of the place so it was kind of a mess ans the boat rides are closed until sometime in January, the good news is that it's free until they finish the construction. To tour the Discovery Center and walk two short nature trails was a little over an hour, our favorite part was the baby sea turtle they have there. She's about a year old and was swimming like crazy when the ranger came into the room because she thought that it was feeding time, since she will be released back into the wild when she's about 4 years old they make her catch her food so that she;ll know how to do it in the ocean. They do this by putting live items in the aquarium and making her hunt them down, they told us that she was getting pretty good at it and that just last week she caught a spider crab and ate it one leg at a time, the only problem was that the crab was a room mate and not for eating.

Today (Monday) we figured we would kill some time touring the Edison-Ford Winter homes and estates, about a twenty minute drive to find out that everybody in the state is there today, we keep forgetting about holidays, looks like everybody that has visitors over the holiday decided to bring them here. Their were only a few parking spaces open in the second overflow lot and the line at the ticket window had to be at least a 30 minute wait, time for plan B. Drove out to Manatee Park to watch the manatee swimming in the canal, not gonna happen, there were no parking spots open here and the people were standing should to should, time for Plan C. We ended up taking the long way home and did a bunch of stops to do some junking but didn't find anything worth while.

Wednesday we drove down to Everglade City, thought that we might take a boat tour at the National Park, but like everything else the place was packed and they were booked for the next two tours, no problem our real reason for this road trip was to stop at the Old Depot Inn for their crab cakes. It was a little crowded but not two bad, a nice table out on the dock and an order for two crab cake lunches. We've been coming here when ever we're in the area for about ten years now and have never been disappointed until today, it appears that there are new owners and a new kitchen staff, a fast food place wouldn't serve stuff like this at least it came with a side order of coleslaw and fries. The coleslaw was in a little plastic throw away cup and 14 fries, I counted them, and another one bites the dust.

New Years Eve day, we did a little hiking at the scrub over at Estero Bay State Buffer Preserve, about three miles and all we saw was four Gopher Turtles and a lady with a french poodle that was having a ball chasing his Frisbee into the river and bringing it back, think was he would only bring it to Cathy, who would then hand it to the owner.

We decided to go big time for New Years Eve this year, we drove out to Barefoot Beach and watched the sunset on 2009 and then stopped at the local Five Guys Burger and Fries for dinner.

Happy New Year and Welcome to Twenty-Ten.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Disney Birthday

Today was birthday day at Disney, for Florida residents if you sign up on line you get free admission to the park of your choice on your birthday.
It's my birthday so we went to Epcot with the kids, it was cold and windy today but at least the sun was out most of the time. We spent the better part of the day doing the touristy type things then we went back to their motel with the grand kids so that the folks could do an adult dinner by themselves.

Nick and I went out for pizza, now I know things are a little more expensive in and around Disney but look at this bill and tell me it's not a little bit ridiculous.

Back to the motel to grab the kids, jump on the bus for the Magic Kingdom to hook the kids back up with the folks and to say good night cause Cathy and I are beat and are calling it a day.

Cathy and I sat out a few of the rides and just sat on a bench doing some people watching while waiting for the kids and after watching thousands of people we made this discovery. The only difference between Disney and Walmart is the prices,

Friday, December 18, 2009

Busy at Disney & Relaxing at the Discovery Gardens

A slow relaxing day today to make up for the run around busy, busy day yesterday.
The kids got into Disney at 8:30 in the morning after driving 18 hours straight through and surprise their room was ready and they could move right in. We let them get a couple hour nap before we started banging on their door.
We killed a few hours walking around Downtown Disney spending money and watched a small stage show, a young married couple that did Yo-Yo tricks, they were really great and had everybody on the floor laughing. He was the 2008 Duncan Yo-Yo world champ, .

So today we decided to go walk through one of our favorite little gardens, The Discovery Gardens, it's a little hard to find but worth the effort, it's located at the Lake County Agriculture Center at 1951 Woodlea Rd, Tavares. It covers about 3 acres and has something like 20 themed gardens containing more then 700 different plants, things are constantly changing here since it's part of a teaching garden. So we just wandered around talking with the some of the gardeners and taking pictures of the gardens.

So come on, lets take a little walk through the gardens. (as always Click to enlarge)

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Junking in Florida

After the fantastic Christmas light display at DeFuniak Springs we drove across the panhandle to Lake City for two days, no special reason, just needed a place to break up the long drive, so we wandered around there for a bit. The only thing that happened was the weather alert radio going off letting us know that some really bad storms were heading our way, we just can't seem to get away from the bad weather this year. The storm was going to hit this area around noon so we did what we normally do, we packed up early and made a run south to get set up before the storms.

We got into Wildwood around 11AM and the temperature was pushing 80. We had one day of great weather and did a day's worth of junking (driving around and hitting all the thrift stores in the area). I found a gem, actually a radio, years ago I gave my GE SuperRadio to my son-in-law Don, because I thought that I had bought a better one, WRONG and I've regretted it ever since. Well today at one of the thrift stores, right as they were announcing that they were closing in ten minutes I looked down on the bottom shelf and there it was, an original GE SuperRadio. Two more people were approaching this area looking at other radios on the shelves so with disregard for my own personal safety I flung myself through the air and tackled the prize before anyone else knew what was going on. Lying on the dusty floor I rolled over and forced my swollen eye open (think I hit the handle of a hedge trimmer in my flying leap) and saw the price tag, $4.50. Don't tell me there's no heaven because I'm there right now. Back home I cleaned it up and other than a little problem with the on/off switch (which I fixed) it's just like new.

Now I can still out under the stars tonight and listen to all the long distance radio stations and see how far out I can reach with this thing, that is I could if it wasn't raining cats and dogs and the temperature wasn't dropping down into the 40's tonight.
Now normally I would take the blame for bringing this weather with us since it's been following us all season. All of our Florida friends would agree that it was definitely our fault, but at least ten other units pulled into camp the day after we did so it had to be one of them. We're going to go out and walk around to see if we can figure out who to blame for this.
To quote Governor Huckabee, “I didn't do it, Don't blame me.”

Time to batten down the hatches and lock ourselves inside for a weekend of great college football and so-so Pro ball.