The Logic Lifeline

A logical approach to sorting out world events. Where logic, opinion and speculation are combined to produce a reasoned, but entertaining reading experience. The unofficial hometown conservative blog of Woodridge, Il

Friday, January 12, 2007

Another Wonderful Vacation in Florida

My vacation in Florida was fantastic. Though I love my job, the axiom is always true that a bad day on vacation is better than a good day at the office. We chose to fly to Tampa due to flight availability. This meant some driving time but the state is beautiful to drive through. Our ultimate destination was the Florida Keys. We arrived there in the evening staying in our favorite Key: Marathon. The place was an absolute charm. The first thing I noticed were the hammocks. It was heaven lying on a hammock in the warm evening breeze. The breezes lasted until the last day, and kept the bugs away. Our hostess took us in a boat to a sandbar out on the ocean. We were able to walk around in shallow water due to the low tide. We were able to find some interesting shells and pieces of coral.

The saying is often true that "No good deed goes unpunished". While I was looking around I saw something floating in the water. It looked just like a partially inflated balloon with a string on it. Some readers are already laughing at me, but it seriously looked like a balloon. I have heard about how ballons are left in the water and sea turtles choke on them. So in my zeal to save a sea turtle from certain death, I grabbed the string of the balloon to throw it safely away. I found out
quickly that it was no balloon, but a Man of War. It got a good sting on my thumb before I was able to throw it back in the water. Within minutes my whole arm hurt. After some first aid, some aspirin and about an hour it finally stopped hurting. Reminds me of some news stories I have grabbed onto and posted with, as you can read about in my last post. When the pain stopped, my wife and I got into a canoe and explored the Mangroves. In the lagoon, there was an entrance into the Mangrove trees that led through a "pathway" to another lagoon on the other side. There were hundreds of crabs crawling on the mangroves. There were so many other living things in the area making the experience truly amazing. We were told a manatee was visitng the area lately and searched very diligantly for it, but did not see it. I have seen one from a large boat before, but it would have been great to come close to one in a canoe. We saw a 3 ft. iguana and some exotic birds. I later saw a book showing the ecosystem that occurs in the root systems of the Mangroves.

We visited Bahia Honda State Park. It was apparant that the place was still suffering from Hurricane Wilma since our last visit. It was still beautiful and we were able to camp out on the beach for more sunshine. My oldest son loves to get a tan, and achieved his goal. We next drove to Key West. The last time I was there I made up my mind to avoid the place in the future. The kids wanted to go, so we did. I am now determined never to go there again. It is every bit of a moral cesspool as New Orleans, yet without much other redeeming value that I could find. New Orleans (pre-Katrina) had some character and history that interested me. Anything else that was in Key West could be found elsewhere in the Keys.

If you look on a map, the Keys have only one highway (US 1) that goes through it. The Keys are very small islands connected by long bridges (one is 7 miles long). The mile markers start at 0 in Key Largo West and end at exactly 100 in Key West Key Largo is around the 100 mile marker (thanks to Keys Treasures for the correction. My mind sometimes reverses things). Many places the land is so narrow you can see the Atlantic on one side of the road and the Gulf of Mexico on the other. With only one major road, you can imagine there is alot of impatience going on. Combined with large vehicles and trailers, drinking vacationers and speeders this is a very dangerous highway. We entered on the 3rd of January and a sign said "Number of fatalities on Highway 1 Year to Date: 10". Two days later Key West had a similar sign that had bumped the number to 18. Three fatalities per day is quite sobering. The police are doing everything they can to keep the speeding down. They are
literally ALL OVER. We were warned before coming that it was nearly impossible to speed without getting a ticket. So we went the speed limit.

We visited the Dolphin Research Center in Marathon. Of all the luck, while we were there a dolphin was being born. The place averages about 1 per year and we were there for this one. Turci the dolphin was in labor for about 30 minutes after we arrived. She went under water and the next surface, there were 2 dolphins. It was quite a special moment. They kept surfacing together in unison after that (see picture). There were other dolphins in the place we also saw. The male dolphins kept swimming slowly by with one eye cocked toward us. Must have been looking at Olive Oil.

We drove back to Tampa and went to Busch Gardens the last day of our vacation. They had 4 very good roller coasters which our whole family is passionate about. One coaster had a 200ft 90 degree drop straight down. That was a huge rush. The day we were there, the attendance was quite low. Every roller coaster was near zero waiting to ride. In two hours we had riden
each 5-6 times with at least two front row runs. I was satisfied enough to spend time looking at the animals in their safari section. My kids thought that was a waste, so they kept riding. The park closed at 6pm which is early for theme park professionals like my family. However, we all felt quite satisfied when we were walking out of the park that we had a sufficient number of rides.

It was a great vacation. There was more R&R than usual. The weather was fantastic. I think I counted 5 total drops of rain. We all came back with nice tans. We had some very good family time together. We survived driving on Highway 1. My bones are warm for some cooler weather that I am sure will come in the next few weeks. I have much to be thankful for.

5 Comments:

  • At 10:28 PM, Blogger Keys Treasures said…

    Illogically you have it backwords. You stated "The mile markers start at 0 in Key Largo and end at exactly 100 in Key West." The truth is Key West is at MM 0. This is because US1 begins at Key West and goes to Maine.

    Additionally US 1 on Key Largo runs from MM 92 to 106.

     
  • At 11:41 PM, Blogger Return to Westernesse said…

    Looks like yet another post you'll have to retract, since, having seen it within the last year, I concur - mile marker 0 is on Key West.

     
  • At 12:35 AM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Ok, ok, I had a dyslexic moment. I stand corrected.

     
  • At 8:27 PM, Anonymous Jacob said…

    Ha! I thought you were going to say that it was a tampon.

    *retrieving mind from gutter*

     
  • At 8:48 PM, Blogger All_I_Can_Stands said…

    Well, you didn't think condom. Ha.

     

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