11 July 2015

Florida Wildlife

In all of the years that I lived in and we've been back to Florida, we've never seen the manatees. I'm not sure why. During this visit we thought we'd take the kids to TECO Manatee Viewing Center because it is very close to my mom's place and looked like it would have cool activities for the kiddos.

It's a bummer that my kids' mother isn't more thorough because when we got to the viewing center, it was closed. I didn't see that tidbit of information when I researched it.


We decided to go back to Little Habana Cafe for lunch and to regroup.  Funnily enough, we ran into my sister and her husband there. It appeared that they were trying to escape the closeness of the family (or maybe just my kids?)  Guess great minds think alike? Or maybe just our bellies all wanted to binge on the wonderful Cuban food like we did the other day.

This time I had the caldo gallego and half Cuban sandwich and needless to say, it was soooo good. I don't normally put potatoes in my white bean and greens soups, but I am going to try it next time. The potatoes added a little more to the soup.  My belly was happy.

After lunch we decided to check out another nearby park for wildlife. It was touted as a waterfront wildlife sanctuary so we thought we might see something cool (alligators? manatees?).  We drove around the park area and saw a few people fishing, but it was a little too hot for picnicking.

You can't tell from this picture, but this place was stinky. 

Stinky and Hot = no bueno

If we'd had fishing poles, we might have stuck around for a while, but we decided to jet. Actually, we wanted to see if there was anything else to see at this park.

We came across this.

Look at that massive nest!

This was the 3rd time we'd spotted an osprey nest in as many days. The osprey (a "fish hawk") is another creature I do not recall from my youth.  How could I have been so unaware? Maybe because I was too busy looking down and around (hello, gators!) to look upward to the great nests built by these birds? I will never know, but I was very intrigued by these guys.

Simmons Park Osprey Eying Us (Me/Emi Not Pictured)

We saw platforms for their nests at Ft. Desoto the other day and then again when I took Emi to get a S'more Frappucino for her birthday. This pond was very close to the Starbucks. It would have been cool to be in that cherrypicker to see a bird's eye view of the nest and inhabitants.

I wonder how close these guys in the cherry picker got to the birds...
We didn't end up staying at Simmons Park for very long so it was nice that it only cost $2.00. We headed back to my mom's to fish and relax.

It was nice to be able to buy this beer at the grocery store. We cannot get it in Oklahoma...

Aubri caught a catfish....

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