Don’t hate me but I just got back from my Florida vacation. We spent half our time in Orlando and half in Marathon, FL Keys. My husband is an avid deep sea fisherman. So we try to go to the Keys annually for his fishing trips and my beach lounging. I especially look forward to the “All you can eat shrimp.” Of course anyone can order grilled shrimp outside of the State of Florida but you know how it is never enough? When we go to the FL Keys, my husband will grill so much shrimp that I get to eat as much as I want. A truly great gift that I always look forward to. As my daughter would say, I ate so much shrimp that I had a shrimp baby.
There was one MAJOR problem with our FL Keys trip. Remember that hurricane that sped through the Keys and wrecked havoc? Well, evidently part of that havoc was blowing away the local Wendy’s in Marathon. (It also blew away Burger King, but they don’t carry my salad). In preparation of the trip, I do realize that the last Starbucks I am going to see is in Islamorada. And I have made peace with that. What I didn’t know was how Hurricane Irma took my Wendy’s away. I am on vacation. I want a Wendy’s salad. I also want fish and shrimp but one can’t live on that alone. I was devastated. The ONLY fast food they had was McDonald’s, you know the cockroach of the fast food industry. Okay, they had Taco Bell and KFC too but again – SALAD! I am debating whether I should call Wendy’s corporate office and complain. You can be sure that I will check before our next visit to make sure their insurance or whatever came through and it is back.
We drove the FL Turnpike. I don’t want to complain (I know many of you are laughing at that statement) but I lived in FL for many, many years and if I remember correctly, the FL Turnpike was only supposed to be a toll road until the road was paid for. Guess they decided against that. It was just our luck to stop at the Service Center in Pompano Beach right after 3 tour buses full of teenagers were dropped off. Which means we immediately left. But not before I grabbed a bunch of these:
OMG! Monkey Jungle! Butterfly Rain Forest! Giraffes! Riverboat! But you know all I really wanted was a good book and a package of sunflower seeds. And of course a beach and an ocean.
Sadly, my tan is already fading. I would sunbathe in our back yard but without the beach it just seems so futile. Until next year!
During one of the cruise ship stops in Honduras, we went to this private island to do some snorkeling. It has been years since I went snorkeling and it is nice to know that the inflatable vest still keeps me afloat. There were absolutely no instructions given so when I saw these ugly algae covered bottles tethered to the ocean floor, I stayed as far away as possible. No one told me you were supposed to follow them like trail pointers. I also quickly learned that one must not float ABOVE the coral because you will end up with a skinned knee or shin or something. (It is difficult to curse under water when you find yourself in that position. Not impossible, just difficult). When I suddenly realized no one was around me, I popped my head up above water to find the deck with the people w-a-y f-a-r a-w-a-y. I don’t think I ever swam so fast back to home base. All I could remember was the movie, Open Water.
They also had an animal sanctuary on the island. There were jaguars, monkeys, birds, panthers and these little kitty’s called ocelots. The jaguars and panthers were rescued from drug dealers who would shut them up in a room filled with drugs, money and guns and use them as guard dogs. Try and find the monkey in this picture:
The ocelot was a cutie. So I went to the fence and leaned in calling “Here, Kitty, Kitty, Kitty” and was rewarded when this one came down to greet me. “How cool is this?” I thought. Until the ocelot turned around, flashed up his tail and proceeded to spray cat urine all over the left side of my body. “Oops, I guess I should have warned you,” was all I got from our tour guide. Damn Cat. I bet Boca could have beat his ass. Trust me no amount of soap or ocean water makes you feel clean after that. (And I didn’t appreciate all the “Do you smell something?” comments from my husband, either.)
We also did this thing called “Sea Trek” where you put on these $10,000 helmet thingys that weighed 75 pounds and then you descend down this long ladder 30 feet to the ocean floor and get to walk around. That was pretty damn neat although I was disappointed to find out that they do not pump Valium induced oxygen into the helmets. It took me forever to climb down the ladder and I refused to leave the final step because I couldn’t touch the ocean floor. The guide had to literally pull my ass off that ladder. But once down, it was so cool and you could actually walk around and see all the coral and huge fish and colorful fish and other ocean stuff. What I really liked the best, though was that I could jump really, really high. Like a whole person high. Which I proceeded to do again and again. Until the guide told me to stop. Oh yeah, I also didn’t appreciate the underwater video that my husband took of my 15 minute descent down the ladder into the ocean. I’m sorry but no one needs to see that much of my butt, ever.
Posted in Entertainment/Travel
Tagged Coral, drug dealers, Fish, Honduras, island, jaguars, monkeys, ocelots, Open Water Movie, panthers, scuba diving, Sea Trek, underwater video
It was a toss-up between being with lots of children under the age of 10 or a bunch of 20-year-olds recuperating from a late night birthday party.
So we decided to go to the Newport Aquarium for the afternoon. In hindsight we may have had more fun with the tired party kids. I swear I hope never to see so many strollers in one place again in my life. And I have to wonder whose bright idea it was to have bongos within reach of 5-year-olds. On a positive note, I now know how to turn the flash off on my camera. Because there were…. FISH!
Lots and lots of tiny fish! I didn’t spend any time reading the educational information. I was pretty much lost at “Oooohhh, look at how pretty and sparkly they are!”
And then there were THE CRABS. I guess these two were pissed at each other and ready to fight. Despite the “Fight! Fight! Fight!” chanting, they just stood there. Like this – forever. Not moving. Well, they would move just enough so you knew they weren’t dead.
There was a bird sanctuary that was named after me: Lorikeet. But we didn’t go inside. And the reason we did not go in was because I still remembered back in 1998 when we went into a bird sanctuary and I got bird shit all over my hair. Definitely wasn’t going to go there again.
I did take an awesome picture of the coral – probably the best one of all since I was flash – challenged.
And okay, I will admit it was probably wrong of me to tell little toddler Brooklyn that her daddy was leaving her but I really wanted a good shot at Mr. Crocodile and she was simply in the way:
I remember when we lived in Florida and there was a canal behind our house. There was this one crocodile that would visit us sometimes. The crocodile wasn’t as scary as that stupid snapping turtle that my son, Michael, must have caught 20 times when he went fishing in the canal. I bet that turtle is still there. With Michael’s fishing hooks still stuck in him.
I do have more pictures – I’ll just have to go through them to find the ones that don’t have the flash in the middle. Or maybe I can be creative and crop the flash out. During the whole tour I kept thinking we were going to be able to go outside and get away from the children. I guess I didn’t quite get the concept of “Aquarium” being inside entertainment. It’s just that all that kid noise would dissipate so much nicer outside.