November 29, 2010

Myakka River State Park, Sarasota, Florida

Today we visited Myakka River State Park near Sarasota, Florida.

The Boylston Nature Trail leads followers to Myakka's Canopy Walkway.

The trail is an easy 40 minutes roundtrip.

The canopy tower rises about 80 feet above the forest floor. Be prepared for a climb.

If you have vertigo, don't look down.

A canopy walkway is a bridge between and in the canopy of a forest. It provides a view of the goings on in the trees' upper reaches.

Only three people were allowed on this walkway at a time.

Climbing further up the tower, we could see the walkway below.

We were also rewarded with a panoramic view of the rest of Myakka River State Park.

This sign shows just how rare canopy walkways are worldwide.

Next it was time for a Myakka Wildlife Tour on the longest air boat in the world, according to our captain.

Marlon holds up the line of passengers for his picture.

The new gift shop was built on stilts after the previous building was flooded in recent history.

This bird has to spread its wing to dry them in order to be able to fly.

What are you looking at?

Come on over and have a bite.

After the tour it was time for some lunch.

Marlon always likes lunch.

Our friend decided Doritos are the bomb.

Always savor your cookies.

Looking for the leftovers.

The boardwalk to Myakka's Birdwalk.

On the way home, we stopped at a beachside park and watched some parasailing.

This park had a whole slew of squirrels who were VERY accustomed to being fed by their fellow humans.

We scoured the beach for seashells by the sea shore.

For more pictures, click
here .

To be continued...

November 20, 2010

Magic Kingdom's Electrical Parade

Disneyland's Main Street Electrical Parade ended its run at California Adventure in April 2010 and moved here to Florida, where it is currently in an "open ended" run.

The Electrical Parade has run off and on at Disneyland since 1972.

Cinderella's coach has not yet turned into a pumpkin!

Watch out for Captain Hook!

Pete's Dragon, Elliott, disappears and reappears during the parade.

Here's a short video of the parade.

Since 2003, the Magic Kingdom has featured the fireworks show, Wishes.

Here a few pictures.

Cinderella's Castle changes colors all night for Christmas. Here it is decked out in blue lights...

and icicles too.

Main Street was hopping.

For more pictures, click
here .

To be continued...

November 15, 2010

Our Gator, Polk City, Florida

We saw our resident alligator for the first time since being back. He's about 20 feet from the house in this picture.

To be continued...

November 13, 2010

Bok Tower Gardens

We have heard about Bok Tower Gardens for the last three years we have been in Florida. Today, we finally got the opportunity to visit.

Over 200 acres of botanical gardens can be explored.

The Window by the Pond gives visitors a place to sit, relax and attempt to spot many forms of wildlife.

The spanish moss on these trees is an "air plant", absorbing nutrients and water from the air and rainfall. Among other things, it is known to harbor rat snakes, bats and jumping spiders.

The Singing Tower is the centerpiece of the gardens. A 60-bell carillon is contained within the 205-foot tower and recitals are given daily.

The reflection pool around The Singing Tower is the home to the Bok Tower Swans and Koi. They like to be fed food by visitors. Beware though, they are also very interested in shoes and pant legs.

Doug keeps a safe distance from the eager bird.

Bok Tower took five years to construct and was dedicated by President Calvin Coolidge in 1929. Edward Bok, founder of the gardens, died one year later.

Beautiful scenery abounds.

The Tower sits on Iron Mountain, one of Florida's highest points at 295 feet above sea level.
Watch some highlights of our Bok Tower Gardens visit below.
This former winter residence of Bethlehem Steel Company vice-president C. Austin Buck was originally "El Retiro". The twenty-room mansion is now named "Pinewood Estate".

Finished in 1932, the Pinewood Estate can be toured daily for an additional admission. Today it was closed for its annual Christmas decorating.

We didn't find a princess, but we did find many frogs.

Some antique cars were having a gathering in the parking area of the gardens.

On the way home, little dots were flying around with parachutes in the sky.
For more pictures, click here .

To be continued...