Thursday, July 22, 2010

Returning to Aust...

As most of you know mum and Nina have returned to Australia....but we had been so busy site seeing that we did not get to finish the blog, so I will try and get it done for them.

One of the things they got to see (and eat plenty of) while here was WATERMELONS...the 160 acres across the road from our house was planted in watermelons this yr and the ladies arrived in time to see them harvested.

One of the interesting things about the watermelon harvest is the hauling....

Old school buses with their tops removed are used to
carry the melons from the fields to the sorting sheds.

At the shed the buses are unloaded and sorted according to size before they are shipped all over America. These boxes of melons were destined for Missouri.

Here is little Sara showing her true diva side as she channels her inner Paris Hilton.

Well they got to see Cedar Key, quiet fishing village, and then on the 4th of July they got to see it again during the Clamerica day celebration, with lots of fun and folks and plenty of sea food...One of the local boys shows us how to climb a greased pole...
Many tried, but this guy was the closest we saw to getting to the top.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Disney World's Magic Kingdom and Hollywood Studios

Well here we are finally at Disney one of the many parade's they held through out the day at the Magic Kingdom theme park.

I guess you could say we were happy to be there.

Micky and Minnie doing their thing.

one of the many floats in the parade.

Pinochio was there of coarse

Di took the easy way out. She also found a friend he took her for a dance in her chair at the street party. Disney is not just for kids.

There's a bear in there.

Di's granddaughter Sara just had to have a Micky Mouse balloon. She had an absolute ball.

Then on to Disney's Hollywood studios a few day's later.

Di's grandaughter Michaela with boyfriend Matt they were happy to be there too. Taken on main street.

Sara receiving her first Oscar as she is such a good actress.

She found her favourite T.V. star Handy Manny

Naturally Sara and Aunty Nina had to check out the Cars.

Nina did get an awesome video of the finale fireworks but alas it was to large to upload, so you will just have to imagine how amazing it was...especially with a "live" Tinker Bell zooming from the very top of Cinderella's Castle over the crowd and into the distance...Truly no-one does it as good as Disney.

Two Tails Ranch and Elephant Sanctuary

This is Spike the Hedghog one of the many animals to see at the Two Tails Ranch. How cute is he. The Ranch is owned and operated by a retired trainer and Conservationist and has been running it for 20 years.

Her specialist is the Elephants. This is Luke doing some of his tricks.

Luke used to watch her son paint while mum was working the animals and decided to give it a go. There was a program on T.V. over home about Luke so it was cool to watch.

This is the finished product. The shirts are sold to help toward the upkeep of the sanctuary.

Butterfly House in Gainesville FL

Di and Nina at the Butterfly House in the Gainesville Natural History Museum. Never seen so many Butterfly

If you look close you may see the Butterflies plus one of the few exotic Birds they also have in the enclosure.

This is a close up of the African Orange Bishop Bird

One of the many feeding trays they have around for the Butterflies a good chance to get photo's as they don't exactly keep still for long.

Found one taking a rest.

This is a picture of their hatchery as you can see they are just coming out. Due to the fact that they have such a short life span they release new batches twice a week.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Manatee Springs

Had Picnic at Manatee Springs one of the many natural Springs in the area and popular swimming hole.

Di & Sara taking a ride on a Manatee.

We were treated to a visit from the local residence just on dusk.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Shell Mound and Cedar Keys...

Shell Mound is exactly that, a mound made from oyster and clam shells by American Indian's over a thousand years ago...this photo was taken from the top of the mound which rises 25feet above sea level and covers a 5 acre area (this is the largest intact shell mound remaining in Florida)...The mound help to protect the village from storm surges and provided a use for the shells, which were a bi product of the Indian's primary food source.

As we were leaving, we questioned whether to obey this sign or not, after all, those are rather large bullet holes, do we really want to stop and find out how fresh they are?? lol jking

Our next stop was Cedar Key, a very quaint fishing/tourist spot located on "Way Key" the largest of 12 small Islands (Keys) that make up the "Cedar KEYS" area....Above is a photo taken from the fishing dock of the water front resturants on "Dock Street"...The entire island has an enchanting quaintness about it, making you wish you never had to leave.

This old fishing shack has seen many storms and is considered an iconic site to locals and visitors alike. Kelsie tells us, herself and David have watched it begin to lean more and more over the yrs with each passing hurricane, it will be a sad day when it finally surcomes to the storms..But for now, it is a testimony to the skills, of the unknown builder of yesteryear

Di and Granddaughter Sara take a paddle in the Gulf of Mexico...Glad to report the Oil Spill has not tarnished this part of the Florida Coast line.

Can you think of a better way to relax after dinner than enjoying this view.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Local Sites and Sara turns 2...

During our second week we got to help Sara celebrate her 2nd Birthday. With neighbors, balloons and "tup takes", fun was had by all.

We went to visit the local quilt museum, were we found a couple of Elvis inspired quilts. Quilting is a big part of the areas heritage and is still practiced by many of the local women today. The beds we are sleeping in, have quilts handmade by David's grandmother on them.

Of course you can't visit the USA without going to "THE MALL"...When we got sick of shopping we took Sara to the kiddies play area known as "The Swamp at Oaks Mall" named for the UF Gators and the play area is created in the shapes of the swamp animals and bugs, along with a big old oak tree slide. Everything is made with a soft foam vinyl covered material so the under 5's do not get hurt.

Dudley Farm is an early pioneer farm established before the Civil War. Currently it covers 325 of the original 640 acres that were operated by the Dudley family for three generations. An authentic working farm, the homestead consists of eighteen buildings. These are restored - NOT recreated - and include the family farmhouse with original furnishings, an 1880's kitchen outbuilding, a general store and post office, and a functional cane syrup complex.

One of the residents of the farm welcomed us with an amazing display of his "manliness"...Strutting, gobbling and showing off his tail feathers...Felt a little like Friday night at the pub.

Nina found herself a job at the farm doing the laundry.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Graduation on the Suwannee River...

We arrived in Sunny Florida from Western Australia at the end of May to visit family who live in Trenton FL....Though we have been here 3 weeks we only now have time enough to stop and share a few snaps taken during our site seeing adventures...

We started our visit right off the plane and ushered into a church for Di's granddaughters Baccalaurete...(A ceremony held to wish the graduates a safe and prosperous future)..Sure it was lovely, but jet lag leaves this memory a wee bit fuzzy.

A week later was the actual graduation ceremony....Held on the football field, leaving us to melt in the stands, because though it was 7pm the temperature was still in the high 30's (90's for you Americans)...As you can see by the beaming faces of Mic and her BF, very excited to be done with High School.

The week leading up to the graduation we visited Fort Fanning, a park erected in memory of those that died during the 2nd Seminole Indian War 1834 - 1838 on the banks of the Suwannee river.

Across the highway is one of the original tressels from the last bridge to span the Suwannee River before it empties into the Gulf of Mexico 30miles down stream...

The title image was taken of the Suwannee River from just south of the bridge.