Thursday, February 12, 2009

Getting Away From It All

Whenever Iwanski and I go on vacation, we always try to spend as much time as possible in nature. Even though we love the hustle and bustle and energy of city life, when we get away, we really want to get away.

So here are some of my favorite “nature” (and a few other) pictures from our recent mini-vacation in Florida. (Please bear with me, as there are a lot of them. Iwanski took over 200 great pictures, and it was so hard for me to choose even these 15 or so to share.)

This was the first time I’d ever been in a forest that had palm trees…so beautiful! (And no, Diane, there were hardly any bugs--thank God!! I don't know if they normally have a lot of bugs in the winter or not--or maybe the recent cold snap that they'd had made all the bugs go into hibernation. Who knows? But it was nice!)

Florida (at least where we were) is chock-full of lakes, rivers, and bays—I really loved that.

Some of the rivers had these kick-ass creatures in them. (Yes, they would definitely kick your ass if you got too close!)

I loved this sign. What exactly would “molesting” an alligator entail? And who would even attempt that?

I just couldn’t get over how cool it was to see these things in nature. So creepy, but so cool.

We also saw so many unique birds (well, unique to us, anyway). Florida must just be a birder’s paradise! I think this one is called an Ibis.

I have no idea what this one is called.


Or this one. (If we ever go back to Florida, we really need to bring a bird guidebook with us.)

And if the animals in nature weren’t enough, we even went to the zoo to see more of them! Here’s me with two lorakeets eating nectar out of the little cup in my hand. They were extremely happy to see us—one of them even landed on Iwanski’s head. (I wish I would have gotten a picture of that!)

We arrived to see the tortoises in mid-chomp, at feeding time. We were told that they really love strawberries the best—but they’ll settle for lettuce and other greens, too. (They're so healthypants!)

Later on, we settled in at our hotel, which was right on the edge of this beach. The “white sandy beaches” that we’d heard about were not just a rumor—it was just so beautiful!

I enjoyed having a glass of wine from our beach-front table at Sloppy Joe’s restaurant. (The name sounds weird, but the restaurant was wonderful and had really kick-ass seafood. Oh, and in case you’re wondering, they also had awesome Sloppy Joe’s—-Iwanski can attest to that!)

The sunset was also incredibly beautiful…

I just love this sunset and seagull picture that Iwanski took.

Iwanski and I really enjoyed our time in Florida. (And I’m still trying to figure out how I can live there during the first three months of every year!)


Mathman6293 said...

Those are the real Floridat Gators.

Lorraine said...

I adored the healthypants turtles. And the look on your face with the lorakeet. But yeah, I'da paid big money to see a bird on Iwanski's head. Big, BIG money.

Sling said...

..and I'm told those Healthypants turtles live to be 150 years old!..give or take a decade or so for the stress of having Pelicans nest in their hair.

Barb said...

Looks like you hit Clearwater or maybe St. Pete? What zoo did you go to? We actually lived over in Tampa (west coast of Fla) before we moved over to the East Coast. Love the pics and isn't it cool/scary to see the gators in the wild. We have a few in our neighborhood lakes but they really don't bother anyone and you almost never see them

Buck said...

That red sunset pic is absolutely incredible.

I stayed in my hotel the entire time I was in Orlando last year. Florida's weather is like Venus to me.

sageweb said...

Love the pictures! how cool, we use to have a sloppy joes here and I have been to the one in key west. They are a tasty place to eat.

rosemary said...

You captured the best of Florida....and you and Iwanski are adorable.

MaryRuth said...

Wow..real alligators, thats so cool. Glad you had a good vacation.