Family Vacation 2003

Ok, this is waaaaaayyyyyyyy outdated, but I found a random cd while packing and just got around to looking at it this morning. These are pictures my brother, Kevin, took on a family vacation to Marco Island Florida in 2003. We stayed in this great house called "Big Pink" which was right on a tributary, had a pool, and was a block from the Gulr of Mexico and just north of the Everglades National Park.

We spent time on the beach, of course. It was difficult to drag ourselves out there, let me tell you. Beaches in southern Florida are drastically overrated (note dripping sarcasm).

Beach pictures…

Yes, this is some sort of giant bird eating a fish…

Collecting shells… This part of the western Florida coast is known for amazing shells that wash up after storms.

Cute one…

Reason number one why I loved my grandmother so much. She was such a trooper. She couldn't walk very well at this point in her life (I believe she was 92) but dang if she didn't plop herself into the fat wheeled beach wheel chair so she could get out with the family.

Of course being so close to the Everglades we did a touristy day-trip where we took a pontoon boat tour, an air boat tour, and a bus tour. I think we might have also gone to an alligator park but I could be making that up. Pics of the family, activities, and beasties…

Pontoon Boat – it was raining like crazy when we got there, but it's Florida so it stopped and got beautiful an hour later.

This pelican landed on the roof and got fed by the boat owner. Trained, of course, but still cool. Look how big its beak is!

My older brother and his wife. He hasn't made too many appearances on the blog because he lives in San Francisco and we don't see them much as we'd like.

Reason number two why my grandmother was awesome. The pontoon owner had a baby gator on board that we all got to hold. Her face is priceless…

My turn with the gator… I looooooooovvveeeeee animals, so this was as fun as Christmas.

Air boats… by far the highlight of the day. They were AWESOME. I highly recommend it if you get the chance.

Air boat video… Wheeeeeeeeee…

We saw the most "wild" animals on the bus tour. I put wild in quotes because yes, they do live in the wild, but they were clearly trained as well as Pavlov's dogs to come running when they heard the bus motor. All of them. Even the gators knew to swim to a certain spot so they could get their treat.

Wild boars… Furry isn't he? I wasn't expecting that.

Running to meet the bus at the designated treat spot…

Wild bears… Waiting patiently at the designated treat spot… Nope… Nothing there yet.

Racoon eating its treat… Marshmallows… We got to feed it. Don't tell the Humane Society.

Feeding the racoons video…

And gators, of course… Also lured and fed marshmallows. We did not feed them.

Me thinks this one's had too many marshmallows…

The bus…

It was a great vacation. The Florida sun is HOT. I got burned after being in the sun for *minutes*. Crazy. The sunscreen industry must be booming. At least I hope so.

One thing I noticed after looking at the pictures… I'm still wearing a lot of the same clothes now. Ha ha.

One of my favorite memories was how much Kevin & Jean's kids loved my brother Rick. The climbed him like a ladder, beat him up, followed him around like puppies. He just has the "big kid" kind of way about him. Plus, it seems he tastes good too…

Fun times… We should do it again soon.

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8 thoughts on “Family Vacation 2003

  1. But that's your normal life… What do you do for vacation? I prefer hot, tropical type places but will go anywhere that allows me to rest and unwind.Boy toys might not exactly allow for the unwinding… More like winding up. 😉

  2. Yeah, it was really cool. I think it was partly because of the environment – going back through those jungle-like overhanging trees. It seemed like we were in some sort of fairy land.But the best – by far – experience I've had of this sort of vacation was canoeing in the Okefenokee Swamp on the border of Georgia & Florida. We had the same kind of scenery and animal life – especially gators, biiiiigggggg gators – but we did not have tour guides or big old boats to keep us safe. It was just us, in little dinky canoes, up close and personal with nature. We had a couple of close calls where a person got within 2-4 feet – UNINTENTIONALLY – of a huge gator. Eek! Very exciting.Ok, you've inspired me, I need to blog about that trip. It was something else.

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