I wanted to post a few pictures from our trip and share some of the things we did as a family. My last post was depressing and I don't want it to be at the top of the blog! Let me begin by giving an explanation as to why our family visited museums and wildlife exhibits rather than the traditional Florida hot spots. The first reason is that we are a nerdy museum family. It all started with our little professor, Colby. He has a memory for facts and loves to learn new things. During the summer we try to visit a museum or other such location each Friday (a.k.a "Friday Fun Day"). We were excited to find some museums and nature centers in Florida that were FREE, reason number two for choosing to visit them. Lastly, these places were not crowded. I guess there weren't many other nerdy museum families on vacation.
Side Note: it was on a"Friday Fun Day" two years ago that Carter fell at the aquarium, broke his leg quite badly and got to ride in an ambulance. It wasn't a fun day!
We were able to visit the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center which is like Florida's version of the Bean Museum, except the animals were alive not stuffed. I guess it is easier to house and care for living snakes and turtles than mountain lions and cougars. We learned all kinds of things about the wildlife in Florida and we saw some of the research that the University is doing with sea turtles. There was also a nature trail with lots of really big, really gross spiders. Next, we visited the Loggerhead Turtle hospital for injured sea turtles. We saw a turtle who had been hit by a boat propeller and had to have its front arm or fin or whatever it is called (need to ask Colby) amputated. The turtle was healing nicely and was going to be released back to the open sea. We also saw some new little hatchlings which were so cute! Caitlin loved them because they were tiny. She is convinced that anything miniature is better than its full size counterpart, like her insistence that miniature Teddy Grahms taste better than the regular ones. And then it happened...we accomplished Colby's goal of seeing an alligator in its natural habitat (his words, not mine). While visiting another nature center that was located by the Florida Everglades, we were able to see several alligators swimming in their swampy home. You have never seen a happier child and Carter and Caitilin were impressed as well. Sorry, didn't get close enough to get a picture!
Visiting the Beach
Of course we went to the Beach. We were able to just hang out and enjoy the eighty-five degree water, the warm weather and being together. Carter and Caitlin loved the water and much of their time was spent floating up and down on the waves. Colby didn't venture into the water much past his knees. You see, he owns a copy of the 'Shark Attack Almanac' so he knows that more shark attacks occur in Florida than anywhere else in the world. In fact, when we got to the beach he promptly knelt down at the waters edge and prayed that we would all be safe. Between the prayer and Colby's warnings not to splash too much, wear shiny jewelry, or swim in large groups, we were all spared an encounter with a shark.
Colby braving the water
Carter and Caitlin Floating in the Sea
I love my little family and it was a joy to be with them. I am glad that I took the time to enjoy being with them despite my frustration and sadness. Carter was a little trooper the whole time, which is no surprise. He has such a great attitude and, as I have said before, rarely complains about his leg hurting. He had a rough couple of days when we got home, his leg was really bothering him. But now he is back to his happy-go-lucky self...cracking us up with his quick wit and humor! I will end with something he said the other day. With a very sad expression he told me that he needed to admit to breaking something. That got my attention. Then, with a very serious face he said, "Sorry, mom, I am going to need a new butt because mine has a crack". I laughed despite my reminder that I don't like the word 'butt' and that hiny in much nicer.
POSTED BY MOM (to the greatest kids in the world)