We were very lucky to be able to stay in Florida for seven days. My previous vacations were short bursts...lasting only four days, two travel days and two days to explore and visit. This time, having seven days to do whatever came to mind, made it more relaxing and easier to decide on what we wanted to do with our time.
On the ride down to see my Aunt and Uncle who live in Englewood, we stopped at Stump Pass Beach
and got out long enough to take a quick walk. The day was chilly for Florida, (low 60's), the wind was whipping; a perfect day to do a car tour of the area. The visit with my family was wonderful. Lots and lots of talking, eating, and being merry! My uncle makes stained glass art and I took some photos....
aren't they beautiful?!
Another adventure we had was visting the Mote Aquarium located on City Island just a few miles outside of Sarasota. I especially liked the up close and personal with the (barb-less) Stingrays. They seemed to like the attention they were getting, swimming up close so folks could touch them. They feel incredible, not slimy, but sort of "spongy". The two resident dolphins
were not especially active, save for a moment or two when one of the handlers came out to the pool. One of the dolphins became quite excited and circled the large pool at great speeds, then favored us with a couple of jumps. Once he realized he wasn't getting food he calmed down a bit. Both dolphins were rescued from stranding and came from two different areas of the country. For whatever reason, the feds refused to allow the aquarium to re-release them after they had been rehabilitated and that is why they are now permanently located there.
I revisited the Sarasota Jungle Gardens, having discovered them on my last trip. It was Easter Egg Hunt day, and the park was full of children carrying baskets, searching for the treasured Easter eggs! The exhibits were great, and when we came upon the Flamingos,
we stopped long enough to feed them. They have a funny way of eating. I think their bills are upside down(?) so they have to lower their heads and turn them upside down to get their food down into their throats. It's quite the maneuver! My favorite part was the visit we had with the Birds of Paradise.... you are allowed to pick out a bird that you'd like to hold, and the trainer brings it over to you and places it on your arm. I held a little Sun Parakeet,
brilliantly colored with yellow and red feathers. My brother decided he wanted to hold a Cockatoo, so when the trainer brought it over, he held out his arm, and then `whoosh`!
The bird ran right up his arm and latched onto his ball cap! The bird apparently did not like the hat, tried to take it off of his head, and the trainer had to pry it out of the bird's beak!
It was hilarious! Hope you enjoy the photos!
I have two or three more adventures to share with you .... but I'll have to save them for the next post. Duty calls!