Thursday, March 13, 2008

alligators and palm trees: a FL photoblog

So we're back, as I've mentioned. That should also be obvious from the fact that I've begun blogging again. Yay!

We were on our way to Florida to pick up a new ("new") car. Flying down on super cheap tickets, and taking a long drawn road trip back home. Fun times. But the problem with super cheap tickets on unknown airlines is that, maybe you don't get to sit with your flight companion. We were booked several rows apart, and even when we begged and pleaded, there was no way to let us sit together. "The flight was completely full." Boo. So we get on the plane, and Jay and I switch seats. This means I am stuffed in the very back corner of the plane, while Jay uses his magical people skills to try and get the guy next to him to switch seats with me. The guy totally wold have (he said) except that he was traveling with his wife and multiple small children (duh - we were flying in to Orlando, Capital of Family Destinations) and had had to do some cajoling of his own to be in the same row as them. Ok, I resigned myself to the back seat and Jay and I would just have to amuse ourselves long distance with our wonderful Nintendo DSs.

So my very back seat was a cave. It was the back back row, against a wall, so I couldn't recline even if I wanted to. And I did want to. I didn't even have a window. I was a very sad des. My disappointment must have been radiating wildly because as the cabin doors closed, the steward asked me if I wanted to move up to some seats that had been left empty. Apparently someone had missed their flight because there was a row of 2 empty seats that I could "stretch out" in (his words). Hell yes I wanted to move! And as I walked up past Jay's confused look, I told him to come sit with me. So we got to sit together after all.

All this after the flight had already been delayed over an hour due to bad weather in some other part of the country. So we were really excited to get on our way. But wait - there's a snowstorm because we are still in MI and that's what it does here is snow. The plane stood still as wonderful robots rolled up, and lo and behold, my first plane de-icing. Yes, my first. CA has no need for de-icing because there is no ice per se, and if the planes in NYC were icy, well then they just didn't go anywhere. So despite the delay, I was a little giddy. Maybe I broke the rules and snapped some photos. Cuz that's what I do.

There was more delay as we were de-iced, the runway was de-iced, and then we had to move runways as that one re-iced. But finally we got in the air. Here's proof:

I like them purdy clouds.

We landed in Orlando, and for the first time in my life I loved the humidity. Also, I loved that I was no longer wearing my winter coat. So we drive home. Where's home? Easy Street. That's right, Jay's parents are on Easy Street.

That's right.

And about a mile away from Easy Street is a place called Silver Springs, which is basically a park that showcases many of FL's natural wildlife all in one place. It was the best place ever. This is the entrance:

And because I'm in Florida, and they have alligators, I got to see them. This is my first alligator ever:

The great thing about alligators is that they stay so still. It makes for some wonderful photographs. Also, sometimes you think they might be fake. This one is fake:

Also because we were in FL, there was sunshine. This made me and the alligators happy.

Did I mention there were alligators?

Lots of alligators. And crocodiles, apparently. Evil evil crocodiles.

Did you know that river otters are total camera hogs?

But they're super cute so it's ok with me. The des abides.

Randomly, my first gecko! Oh and there are some iguanas, but I'm familiar with those.

Also randomly, there are giraffes there. We got to pet one.

Interesting side story, the crazy toothless lady selling the giraffe food saw me and exclaimed "Well aren't you dressed!" I think she meant dressed up, but she didn't say it. I was like, yeah... I am wearing clothes... good for me? And I want to point out that wearing a dress is different than being dressed up. My hat didn't even match my outfit, sheesh.

Moving on. They had these weird little diorama things in glass cases by the restrooms. The dioramas were populated by zombies. No wonder they were tucked away in the corner.

Yeah. Click on that to make it bigger. Warning, it's a little creepy.

So they also have pumas / mountain lions / cougars in this park. I'm a sucker for big cats, and the alligators were not very entertaining since they didn't really "move." We approach, and we hear roaring. Mountain lion roaring. It went on for so long that I have learned to imitoot it exactly, and can now be all ventriloquist mountain lion on people. It looked like this:

I named him Cranky Kitty, because it sounded like he had a thorn in his paw. When we went back later, he was still roaring, and some redneck douchebag was claiming that he was the one that "got 'im all riled up" even though the cat had been cranky all day. I had to feed that guy to the animals, so I let the alligators and mountain lions fight over him. I didn't stick around to see who won. Point is, that sucka is dead now.

There were also glass bottom boats in this park. Another first for me. Sure there were lots of god fish and turtles and pretty things, but I choose to post the following 2 pictures because they crack me up the most.

A sunken boat. From back in the day when the Spaniards went a'lookin for the Fountain of Youth.

I just find it really funny that I saw a boat through the bottom of another boat.

They film lots of movies in Silver Springs, because the water is so clear and beautiful. Apparently they aren't required to clean up after themselves, as shown here:

Those are statues from the James Bond movie Moonraker, which is now on my list of things that I need to see again so I can laugh at.

What's a nature park without a petting zoo? This mule was kind enough to pose for a photo before the flash scared him off and he ran away.

Speaking of petting, there was a cockatiel in a cage. There were lots of other birds, mostly parrots, and there were big signs that said "CAUTION WE BITE!" This was a total lie. The cockatiel just wanted to be pet.

He was so cute and so sweet, and we tried to take him home with us but the park kinda frowned on it. However, when we were actually leaving the park for the day, I said "bye, we love you" and the bird made almost-word sounds to acknowledge that he loved us too. I cried a little because it was the cutest thing ever.

So that's Florida. We did more and took more pictures, but nothing really worth 'splaining. BUT, if you want to see the rest of my photos from Silver Springs, check the flickr.


MsLittlePea said...

You're after my own heart with this post. Too bad I've been so durn sick.

That dress is cute by the way.

super des said...

We totally drove through your neck of your woods, but I knew you were sick so we brought you no alligators.

Suzanne said...

Sunshine, gators, awesome park, douchebags. What more could a person want in a trip? So awesome.

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