Monday, July 25, 2011

Medieval Times and Disney World's Animal Kingdom

When the kids were visiting us we just had to do the Orlando thing!  After a hot day at Gatorland, we had dinner and a show at Medieval Times.  We got to eat a wonderful meal (with our fingers) and watch knights in shining armor do battle on horseback while the crowd cheered.  It was great!

It was Jacob's first time to see a real knight and he was ready!

An enthusiastic audience!

We cheered for the yellow knight but, unfortunately, he didn't win this time.

They never fail to put on a good show no matter how many times I've seen them here and in California.

The next day we headed for Disney's Animal Kingdom where ......

we went on safari and .....

Jacob made lots of friends.

These are just a few of the friends he met!

All too soon it was time to say good-bye to the kids and send them back to Arizona until next time.

I won't be posting for a week or so while I'm visiting my parents in Hannibal, Missouri where they own a bed and breakfast called Robards Mansion.  I'll be posting about that later, but you can go to if you want to see where I'll be staying.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Last Space Shuttle Launch and Lots of Gators!

On Friday, July 8th, we headed out to Titusville to watch NASA's last space shuttle launch.  Fortunately, the kids were visiting at just the right time!

Daughter Dawn was prepared to photograph this historic event.....

along with almost a million other people.

It was a thrill watching the Atlantis lift off from Cape Canaveral.

Dawn was able to get this picture with a stronger lens.  Launch over, we joined the hordes of people trying to leave Titusville.  FIVE hours later we arrived in Orlando.  It's ordinarily a ONE hour drive - but seeing the last shuttle launch was worth it.

The next day we went to see some gators!

Evidently, these "youngsters" are pretty well fed.

This is the way to get rid of a son-in-law in Florida.   I guess we'll keep ours though.

We were having way too much fun!

How'd you like to see these big guys in your backyard?

Our family can never pass up a photo op.

Then, it was time for some alligator wrestling.

The "Gator Whisperer."

Show's over.

You could lose an arm doing that!

They even had albino alligators.

Ol' Blue Eyes.

As we were leaving, I spotted this bird patiently waiting to buy some food.  You never know what you're going to see at Gatorland!

A big HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my beautiful daughter Dawn today!!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Loggerhead Turtles and Whitehall Mansion

When the kids were visiting us, we had so much to show them!  Hubby and Son-in-law went deep sea fishing while Daughter, Grandson and I visited the Loggerhead Marine Life Center in Juno Beach.

Jacob was very impressed by the size of the sea turtles.

But he loved the new baby turtles!

He never passes up a photo op with his mom. 
And how did the deep sea fishing go?

Son-in-law caught two fish!  They were delicious, by the way.

The next day we headed off to the Flagler Museum, otherwise known as Whitehall Mansion, in Palm Beach.

It took four posts to display the pictures I took the last time I visited.  I love this place!  Check out my earlier posts on Whitehall Mansion for more details, and pictures.

Dawn,, was fascinated by this beautiful mansion. 

Hubby and Grandson patiently waited while Daughter and Son-in-law took a closer look at some of the bedrooms.

There's so much room!  Jacob couldn't resist a spin around the foyer.

How many homes do you know that have their own railroad car?

A special pavilion was built just to house Henry Flagler's private car.  He used the car to travel his railroads along the east coast, all the way to Key West.

I'd love to travel in such luxury!

Jacob offered to make me tea in the car's little kitchen.

On the way home we took a little side trip to see The Breakers, a world famous hotel, built by Henry Flagler.  I could get used to this lifestyle!
The adventures didn't end here though.  Next up:  the last space shuttle launch and Orlando.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Alligator Hunting With The Family

When our daughter and her family were here visiting we, naturally, had to try and find some gators in the wild.  So, we headed on back to Grassy Waters Preserve, headwaters of the Everglades and the main water supply for West Palm Beach.  Last time Hubby and I were there we spotted 3 of the elusive creatures.  Would we find any gators this time around?!
This fellow greeted our arrival at the Preserve just as Hubby and Son-in-Law spotted a bobcat disappearing into the nearby bushes.  No wonder the bird was a little upset!
Next, grandson Jacob spotted this huge grasshopper.
Being all boy, he just had to touch it so Papa helped him out.
Jacob's first grasshopper - Papa was so proud!
Then, they were off to explore and find that wily gator.
At the ranger station Jacob got a closer look at an alligator
and examined things under the microscope with Papa.
Son-in-law and Daughter enjoyed walking together and taking pictures of the swamp flora and fauna.  But where were the alligators?
Finally, we spotted one!  Do you see him?
He was just a baby - maybe 18 inches long.  There was no sign of his mother though.
Our mission accomplished, we headed back to the truck.  Bird waved "good-bye" and we were off on our next adventure.