Kayaking with alligators…

and turtles and birds…and who knows what else was out there in the water?

Vickie and I went out to Orlando to play in the sun for a few days and then come home with CollegeKiddo. Our plan was to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal’s Islands of Adventure, and to see an alligator somewhere. Mischief managed on both counts.

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I’m not much of a theme park person, but I loved how this area of the park looked like a quaint little village. Most of the shop windows were just set dressing, and they were fun to peruse. It’s been a while since I read the books, and I’ve only seen the first movie, but it was quite amusing, all the same.

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We explored the University of Central Florida Arboretum after dinner at Bubbalou’s BBQ with CollegeKiddo. (Big finals study weekend, so mostly work and no play for him.)

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The next day’s main adventure was kayaking at Wekiva Springs State Park. This is a beautiful and beautifully kept state park. You can rent kayaks or paddleboats or canoes here. There’s a swimming area with 72 degree water. Lovely! But it’s best to stay in the swimming area if you want to be *in* the water.

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Me? I like being *on* the water.

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We saw lots of yellow slider turtles

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herons, egrets, and other birds

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and small alligators (up to 4 feet long)

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gators

There are at least five alligators in the last picture: two on the log, three in the water. Click for a larger view. Do you see them all?

This was a very serene way to get close to the wildlife! In the afternoon we went to Winter Park, even though all the museums are closed on Monday. We toured the lakes and canals via pontoon boat. It’s a beautiful area.

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Even the sidewalk utility covers are beautiful in Winter Park.

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We popped back to Winter Park the next morning for a quick visit to the Morse Museum to see the beautiful Tiffany treasures there, but not before having coffee and knitting with blog buddy Dee. Three knitters, three projects.

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In the afternoon, we took CollegeKiddo on an airboat tour of Mullet Lake (this was after his last final that morning).

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Fun, but definitely not as serene as kayaking! Alligators don’t lie around posing for you in the lake.

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We did see this one, though. And a group of manatees. They surface with just their noses, so they can take in air. You can hear them breathing; it’s very cool. (Click on this picture for a zoomable view.)

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Lots of birds, and this baby alligator, too. It’s about 10 inches long.

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Captain Bill was full of stories, and we learned about some things, too. Do you know what this is?

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We packed in a lot of activity in a few days. I’m glad to be home. But one more cool thing to show you. We flew next to a thunderstorm on the way out. How cool is that?

Back to knitting! I finished knitting my green sample that was in the picture, and I’ll have a couple design reveals for you in the next week or so. I’ve been busy!

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7 responses to “Kayaking with alligators…

  1. It was so good to see you again and to meet Vickie.

    I don’t know what that thing is. What is it?

    Looks like you got some GREAT pictures.

    • I’m waiting for some guesses before I tell you what that thing is! I got lots of great pix kayaking. I have tons more; it was hard to choose which ones to post. Maybe I’ll make an album somewhere. So nice to see you again!

  2. A fossilized baby alligator??? Your pictures are really fantastic.

  3. A seed pod of some kind?

  4. something alligator related? bones perhaps? oh how cool – i just found out what they are (won’t spoil it for the others). it never occurred to me they would look like that.