Saturday, April 9, 2011

More Gators and Stuff....

A couple weeks ago we made it back out to Sawgrass Lake park that is down the road from our house. Not much to say about it (we have posted from there before..), but here are a few cool pictures.

Some baby gators, followed by Dana hanging out with their momma.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Space Shuttle Discovery

One of my goals during our time in Florida was to get to experience a Shuttle launch before the program is over. After almost 8 months of living here there was finally a successful launch! I had planned to go to the originally scheduled launch back on November 1, 2010, however, due to a bunch of issues the launch got pushed back until February 24, 2011. Luckily, I was able to get away from work for the afternoon long enough to make the drive (wow.. horrible traffic) and see the launch.

Even this attempt almost didn't happen, as there was a computer issue at 5 minutes from the launch time. They quickly resolved the issue and Discovery took off with just 2 seconds left in the launch window. This was Discovery's last flight before they retired her.

I viewed the launch from Titusville, FL, which put me about 13 miles away from the launch pad. Seeing the launch was amazing, being there and actually feeling the rumble from the rocket booster is an experience that I'm so glad I was able to witness. I didn't have my tripod, but I was still very pleased with the pictures. Here are a few of my favorites:

This is a panorama of the street in Titusville. It was packed. Very packed. In fact, I had bumper to bumper traffic all the way back to work in Tampa.

The next two pictures show the Solid Rocket Boosters coming off the shuttle, which happens after about 2 minutes of flight.

Last picture, and probably my favorite, showing Discovery's track through the clouds.


Sunday, February 27, 2011

Manatee Trip

A few weeks back we were able to go on an amazing trip a little ways north to Homosassa Springs, FL to snorkel with manatees. We spent three hours swimming with the manatees, which really was more like floating around while the big sea cows meandered along. They were huge, but very quiet and graceful. What follows is a video that takes a few of the highlights of the swim.

Along with the manatees, we also got to see an island in the middle of the river that was home to a group of monkeys. Very random, but fun to watch. The video shows the island as we passed by it on our way to and from the manatees.


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Walt Disney World - Part 1

Well, we have again been incredibly bad about keeping our blog up to date. In an attempt to catch up we should have a few new posts coming shortly. To start things off lets take a look at our trip to Walt Disney World (thanks Cheryl!!).

Before we leave Florida we hope to visit all of the Disney parks around the Orlando area. We took the first steps a few weekends ago by traveling that way and spending a half day at Epcot and the evening at Magic Kingdom. Epcot was great- not too crowded, very well done world areas, entertaining rides, and beer with great souvenir glasses.

We'll start off with some Epcot pictures...

Here's Dana making a quick call...

The crazy French people climbing chairs...

And the famous Epcot ball. Which, as it turns out does not hold a roller coaster inside as I had thought. It was a slow educational ride about the history of technology.

After seeing all of Epcot we made our way via ferry to the Magic Kingdom. We were able to visit the entire park before making our way back across the ferry to view the fireworks from a distance. The park was great, but Epcot was our favorite as there were a fraction of the people there.

I told Dana not to steal stuff from the gift shop...

Right after dark they had a parade...

And then the fireworks. Here is a clip of the long display that we took from across a lake.


Sunday, December 19, 2010

A Florida Christmas

Since we'll be leaving later this week for our Christmas vacation in Texas we decided to have our own Christmas celebration here in Florida. This gave us some relaxing time together before all the travel headaches begin. There is something that scares us about going to the airport two days before Christmas.

We spent the day (once it started after sleeping in) cooking up a great meal, then exchanging our presents. For dinner, we tried making up some new stuff including a cornish game hen, corn soup (thanks Kari), and scalloped potatoes. It all turned out great and left us very full...

Here's the healthy ending...

Next up... exchanging presents. That was a blast, and thanks to Dana we'll be going to see George Strait in January! Finally after all these years we get to go to one of his concerts.

Lastly, I wanted to show an update on Tex. Since our last post months ago he has grown a ton... he begs more than Rusty, so its not surprising. A quick picture and video-


Sand Castles

A few weekends back we were able to head down to Treasure Island for their annual sand castle contest. There was a great variety of sculptures from sand castle builders from all across the US (even South Padre). Some really interesting designs, and some really weird ones. Lets get to the pictures...

I just liked this next shot of a older hotel...

And finally, Dana being a pirate.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Sawgrass Lake

Looks like we have been slacking off in the posting of our pictures again; we'll try to get a few updates up soon. This set of pictures I took a while back at a park down the road from our apartment. It has a small lake with a lot of swampy area surrounding it that was full of wildlife. Seemed like everywhere you looked there was a new animal ready for a picture.

Lets start off with a few random shots I liked, then we will get to the animals.

The fish seemed to spend most of their day waiting to be fed by people passing by. Made for a good picture anyways.

The next few shots are of a momma gator and her little ones. In all there were six baby alligators sitting around while their mom sat back in the bushes. I'm sure she wouldn't of minded if I took one...

The remaining shots are of some different birds, gators, fish, and turtles. To put that last picture in perspective, the turtle was probably a good 3 feet long. Interesting fish it was with... no clue what it was.