Thursday, November 25, 2010

Sarasota, Fl - Days 5 & 6

Happy Thanksgiving! 

Yesterday we spent a good part of the day at Mote Aquarium and its adjacent bird hospital and sanctuary. We had a great time wondering around and looking at the animals. The best part was watching them feed the sharks - no feeding frenzy, it was very organized. The sharks are trained, each type of shark feeds at a specific spot, designated by a target/sign that is lowered into the water. When the sharks see the target that signifies their feeding spot they swim up and take pieces of fish from a metal arm extended into the water. Very cool. There were also lots of fish and coral as well as manatees, sea turtles and two dolphins. 

Today we slept in, grilled steaks and ate some veggies. Not very traditional food, but fun and yummy non the less. Oh, and pie. Lots and lots of Yoder's pie. The guys watched football and I read a book on the lawn chair. It was nice :) Then we watched pumpkin chunkin'. It was a very laid back holiday, a nice break for sure! 

Nurse Sharks

feeding time

more sharks

touching a sting ray 

Tom's turn


lion fish 

cuttle fish 


The cuddly dolphin - the trainers were just sitting by the pool chatting. We watched them for at least 15 minutes. That dolphin just hung out with his head in the trainers lap, begging for more scratches. Very cute! 

Albino Sea Turtle - this one was at the bottom of the pool then suddenly came to the top and said hello. According to the volunteer this lady turtle rarely comes up to visit and was the most active she had seen her in weeks. True to her word, Mrs. Turtle stayed for about 30 seconds and then retreated to the bottom again. 

Manatee - I had never seen one before

bathrooms at the bird sanctuary 

prepping Thanksgiving meal

Steaks and Asparagus 

Thanksgiving Meal 


Tom's new pie much and a slice of Yoder's pie 

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Sarasota, FL - Days 3 & 4

We are truly enjoying our vacation. The last 2 days have been very laid back... Yesterday Tom indulged me in several hours of shopping on St. Armands circle. I even got a new pair of sunglasses (I rather like them, Tom thinks they look "snooty" :) Of course i looked for them all day, went back to the same store 3 times to try on all kinds of shapes and sizes. I finally found the perfect pair. And the sun promptly went behind the clouds and stayed there for the rest of the day!! Today we slept in, purchased supplies for Thanksgiving Dinner (no Turkey this year), had lunch at my favorite Sarasota lunch spot and went sailing. Good times!
Home of wonderful Sangria, Mojito's & 1905 Salad

the sandwich was good, but the salad was amazing

view from lunch at Phillipie Creek

Alpine steak house - home of Sarasota TurDucKen 
Note the guy in the visor - he was on Diners,DriveIn's& Dives

Not so much afraid of people

off to go sailing!

The sunset cruise was amazing, loved it!! 

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sarasota Trip, Day 2

Today we kicked back and relaxed. We stated they day attendeing Church of Hope with Steve, then decided to try out a new sushi/Chinese buffet just around the corner from our current diggs. It was great, a huge selection of food and the largest selection of sushi i have ever seen! The best part was when the check came - it was 30% off because it was grand opening weekend and is very reasonable priced anyway. So our grand total was $20.20 for 3 people to eat unlimited food!! Then it was off to the beach, where we lounged around, slept off the food, played in the water and read our books. Currently we are waiting on our $10 pizza to arrive and watching the Colts play the Patriots (o. So not a really exciting day, but very relaxing!

Just Chillin' on the beach reading my Kindle. Note the rock star hair created by lotsa hind in my hair. No complaints there!

some shells Tom found today

This weeks ride :)

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Sarasota Florida, Day 1

The origininal plan for this holiday season was much different than what is actually taking place. But due to a buy out at Tom's work, we ended up not having nearly enough time off for what we actually wanted to do. Instead, we opted to spend Thanksgiving week in Florida, which happens to be where my uncle Steve has been for almost a year now. So here we are, a whole week off with no schedules to accomidate and no need to figure out how to fit all that laundery in between work shifts. No promises that i will blog daily, i can't even manage to blog monthly! But today has been so much fun I just had to share it. The real fun started a few weeks ago. We really wanted a convertible but wanted to be fiscally responsible too (I want furniture for my formal living room, its been empty for a year!). Finally we decided to give it up, it really was that much more espensive, and we were just going to get a regular car. We could always upgrade when we got there if we changed our minds. At the last minute I decided to try priceline. I had used it for hotels and airfare before and saved a little, not not a significant amount. So I put in a bid that was way to low, $5 more than the least expensive car you can rent (I had priced all the major rental companys) Well... We got it!! It was a Crysler and not the Mustang we hoped for, but hey, the top retracts, so i wasn't about to complain! So we have the plane tickets, we have a car and grandma let us stay at her house in Pinecraft, so we had a place to stay. We're ready for our trip...

Crash the Cat says "Excuse me human's, but it is 3am. Turn off the lights and go back to sleep!!"

Made it to the airport, parked the car, checked in, got through security with minimal issues, found our gate and now its time for breakfast. (Note Tom's early Christmas gift - Kindle)

In the air on the way to Atlanta - sunrise above the clouds

First views of Florida!!

To those of you who know grandma well, this is not her house: suprise # 2 of the trip (you will see #1 later) - Steve swapped houses with us, he gave us his current diggs with cable and a hot tub. He took the Pinecraft bungalo we all love, but has limited amenities. Thank's Steve (and Aunt Sue/Uncle Glen for ok'ing the swap!)

Suprise # 1 of the trip took place at the airport - it was not a crysler, but rather a 2011 Ford Mustang Convertible complete with a v6 engine. This is a very happy me in a very fun car!

bridges and palm trees - 2 of my favorite things!

This is a fully loaded Salty Dog, as seen on Man vs. Food - thats a 1/4 deep fried hot dog on a but loaded with 2 types of cheese, bacon, mushrooms, sourkraut  - it was a once in a lifetime experience for Tom. I had a bite or four. It was pretty good actually. Found only at the Ol' Salty Dog, Sarasota Fl

View from our seats at the salty dog

More to come!!