You can't go into an incredible week without some build up. Before I left work on Thursday, I finished some stuff up and I was feeling very excited about that. The trip down was slightly turbulent, but we survived with no ill effects other than me being slightly dizzy when we left the plane. We picked up our car with very little hassle and set out for Ft. Myers.
We settled into the hotel, met up with Hoppie's parents and had a great time with them. We drove down to Shark Valley (a place that is neither obviously a valley nor populated by sharks) and did a tour through the Everglades. On the way into the nature preserve, and it was a long drive into the Everglades, we saw very little wildlife at all. In the preserve, it was a whole different story. Right off the bat, we saw a mother alligator with a couple of babies. We learned about the habitats of the everglades, and then we saw many, many alligators. We saw them sitting comfortably in the water, we saw them on land, we saw them walking, swimming, we saw two more mothers with her baby alligators (and I did not take one home, although, of course, you know I wanted to. They are so cute.) We stopped midway on the tour and hoppie and his parents went up, which you know I oppose on moral grounds. I wandered through the low area. A natural trail that wound around and through a pool of water. I saw some smaller animals, three snakes (all the same kind), a red bellied sea turtle, a lizard, a very large alligator, sitting back among some trees, and three or four alligators lying in the water. While I was watching, they swam a bit, then dove under the water and swam off, making way for the aforementioned sea turtle. As we pulled away from the tower we'd stopped at, we stopped to watch an alligator crossing the road behind the bus. The rest of the way was littered with alligators, including a few off to the side of the road. Were you inclined to pet an alligator, it would not have been a difficult thing. There were also many, many birds.
The way back, looking at the same side of the road I'd been watching the way down, again, there was wildlife everywhere. The way there, we'd seen nothing but a few vultures. The way back, we saw at least three different types of birds, including the aforementioned vultures, some of which had found an alligator who'd probably perished crossing the road, and again, many alligators hanging out near the waterway that runs along-side the road. The whole way up and down, we saw people hanging out and fishing. I could not say if the fishing was good or not, or though. I can only assume it was a time of day thing, so as a note for intrepid alligator viewers, may I recommend afternoon rather than morning, between 2 and 4.
The Red Sox game was pretty good. After two errors in the first inning, leading to the Marlins drawing first blood, the Sox came back and the game play was very tight. The bottom and the 8th and top of the 9th started to look a bit more spring training like as the Sox scored 8 runs and the Marlins 5, to get a final score of 12-6 Red Sox. Beckett pitched 7 strong innings and had a lovely line. It was hot and beautiful and we all got a little bit of burn. I have pockets of color. Very odd.
And that's all we have time for which means you don't even get to see what this week has in store for me.
Florida pictures from Jan. Mostly more Asher, with a little bit of my parents and Sissy.
Pictures from Superbowl, mostly Kevin and Heather
A very small Heather/Kevin set from Feb 11
Hoppie's Dad's birthday, plus, if you look closely, you'll see a special guest
A slightly bigger Heather/Kevin set from Feb 27">