January 7, 2009

Vaca Recap Part 3

Okay, I think the end was my favorite part of the entire trip. Key West was fabulous and then we got to drive across Florida on 41! JB's sister's ex-husband R (I know, keep up) winters in Florida so we drove from Key Largo to Naples to visit with him and his wife. Don't judge - it was a lovely visit. As we were driving across 41 I was on the lookout for alligators. R had said I would be able to see them from the car. I didn't believe him and JB didn't believe me when I told him I was seeing them. The top one is the first one I saw. I had to scream at JB to stop the car! After seeing that first one, JB was able to spot them from the car too. They are pretty amazing. At one point, we were standing on the side of the road, and this guy (over there on the left) got off the rock he was sunning on and started swimming right toward us. Spooky. There were actually 2 alligators sitting right next to each other on the rocks and at the same time, they both splooshed into the water and started coming at us. One went under and the other stayed on top. Thankfully, we never saw the one that went under again and we hightailed it back to the car.
Another thing that was amazing was how clear the water was and how big the fish were. I don't know what type of fish, but they were huge.
There are tons of birds I have never seen before. Just sitting around. R's wife told us that some of the birds are good divers but can't fly when they are wet, so they spread out their wings to sun themselves before flying away again. It was beautiful, but every time we would stop the car they would fly away - so we didn't get a photo of them all splayed out.
We stopped at a nature reserve boardwalk. There was lots of interesting wildlife, but one of the neat things was the Strangler Fig. You can see how one tree is hugging the other - essentially feeding off it and killing the host tree to survive.
More birds of varieties we have never seen before, so there were lots of photos.
On the way out of the boardwalk, we saw this little turtle sunning himself.
After spending a day visiting with R, we called my friend S. She is a "Virtual Friend" that I've now had the pleasure to meet. I know her through the weight watchers dog walking group. S and her husband and dog also winter in Florida. They live within 20 minutes of R, so it was logical to get over to meet them.
S was absolutely lovely, her home was beautiful, and her dog is so well behaved. Tootsie Jane could teach my pack a thing or two. When Tootsie greets you - she runs up to you then sits right in front. It was the cutest thing - she doesn't jump on you, she doesn't hit and she doesn't snatch cookies. We had a lovely visit. I'm really glad to be home. However after 2 days back at the office, I can already say - Did I just have a vacation? You'll have to wait until Friday for the lessons.


  1. Toostie sounds wonderful! Sissy is getting awful about pawing me, only she just reaches out, grabs and holds on!

    Neat that you stayed in touch with the former relative by marriage. I am still mourning the loss of a dear friend just because she and my BIL didn't stay married...

  2. What a great trip and the photos are really neat. It looks like it was very relaxing.

  3. These are some wonderful critters, although I'm not that fond of the "gators" myself. It's so nice that you got to see S and her dog Tootsie. Being back at work is always a bummer; you never seem to have enough time to reflect on and enjoy in retrospect the vacation!

  4. I am so glad that you got to spend time with S..she was SO excited to have you guys! Tootsie is such a complete sweet pea. Yes, i think that the husband and i need to take a trip down there soon! If not, we will stop thru their place when we are on our way back from WA this summer

  5. That first bird... the wing spreader... is an Anhinga. I love them, so cool... also called Snake Birds because when they swim all you see is the long snakey neck above the water. The second bird is certainly a heron of some kind. lots of herons (white, blue and great blue), lots of egrets and ibises around there.
    And alligators! Whooboy!
    And I would never judge negatively about remaining friends with a divorced relative. I think that's great! I've lost some friends due to separations and I would hate to lose family. I love my in-laws...

  6. Great vacation photos! I hope I get to take a trip like that someday! With the excursions, I would have been disappointed too about not getting to explore and with being on someone else's schedule, but it is kind of a trade off for seeing a whole bunch of stuff in a short amount of time. And I definitely would have been booking it back to the car if an alligator was coming at me!


I appreciate you coming to see me. It may take me a bit to publish your comment - but I will get to them by the end of every day. If you leave a way for me to get back to you, I will. Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your opinions. g

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