There are no pics of me or of Jeff. We spared ourselves that. :)
There were a couple of bridges to the island, and this one was particularly pretty.
Jeff said this pic made it look a little dingy. I told him I was trying to be REAL, man.
There were palm trees everywhere:
The only reason I snapped a pic of them is because of a rather entertaining conversation Jeff and I shared about how prevalent coconut-related head injuries (and deaths) are around the world. We were having this talk as we wandered around our first evening. Then we looked up, and the palms above us were absolutely loaded with coconuts. We both faux-screamed and ran away.
I wish I wish I had gotten a snap or two of the hotel. Alas, I did not.
But I did get a nice picture of the pool:
I really loved that pool. There were also some nice gardens around back, sand-floored, and even a hammock. It was a really nice place to be.
Check out the beach:
The above picture is the exact right color. I was amazed at the wonderful whispery blue of the water that day.
Especially the first full day, the beach was scattered with small, brilliant blue, beached jellyfish. Which were attractive (in a dead beached thing sort of way) and a bit alarming.
On our second full day, we went to the Seaquarium! Here's the massive turtle fossile statue that greeted us at the entrance.
Feeding the sea lions:
A bird hanging out nearby, hoping that one of the sea lions will miss:
My favorite part of the Seaquarium was the manatee show. Manatees!
Some of these manatees were injured rescues, that were being fattened up on a special high-calorie diet of lettuce, apples, sweet potatoes, and bananas. All of which were floating around on one side of the pool.
More hott manatee action: Yay! I love them.
The BIG one is named Julia.
I also have a very special movie for you, which also happens to be my favorite movie of the whole trip. This is a manatee munching up some food: munch munch munch. I have no rational explanation for my sudden love affair with manatees. They're just CUTE.
I also have an irrational love of pelicans. And there were some truly awesome pelicans, hanging out around the 'quarium like they owned the joint:
Tall and Short:
There was this rather fantastic fellow hanging around the entrance to the bird stands:
Abruptly, the impressive lizard decided that it needed to go chasing off after the other, smaller lizard. All the tourists watched with some bemusement.
At that point, the two lizards started some kind of a fight, with the larger one quite literally gnawing on the smaller one. I was greatly saddened by this. I mean, dude, I know law of nature and all, but when you see one part of the exhibit chowing down on another part of the exhibit, it just puts a damper on your fun.
Then I realized that wasn't quite what was going on.
"Park ranger dudes! Your exhibits are humping in a family park!"
We moved on to the birds. Ah, birds. Decorous. Graceful. Not as likely to fornicate right in front of you. Here you see the noble flamingo, napping somewhere near its natural habitat:
For the following pictures, you may picture me wandering around, jaw hanging open, completely agog and in ecstacy at the macaws.
This fellow was my favorite. The colors just do not translate.
"We are gorgeous and we know it."
"Hey, lady, check US out!"
"Work it... work it... own it..."
None of them appeared to be tearing feathers in distress, but just after these pictures were finished, every bird of them took part in what appeared to be an extra-loud version of a screaming fight between New York cab drivers. When you're beautiful, you can be as obnoxious as you want to be.
Now, this was quite the lovely:
And now, the first dolphin show we went to. Dolphins!
After that show, we happened to peek over the back of the dolphin pool. And lo, there was more ocean back there.
Then we went to see another dolphin show, and I have no pictures of that. What I have of that one are movies!
Dolphins playing ball with kids!
You can add a dash of dolphin to any bad day and make it better, you know.
Then we had gators.
A little movie of a gator swimming.
They were feeding the turtles nearby as well, which was kind of fascinating, to me as well as to the pelicans.
More feeding the turtle. Munch munch.
Can you spot the deer in the, er, lizard paddock?
How about this one?
So, yeah. There were deer at the Seaquarium, but there are deer everywhere else in the US, so why not here too. Deer on islands!
Neat sunrise shot of the beach:
There was at least one day of no photos. But the last morning I was there, I had to head out and say goodbye to the beach (and the pool).
For some reason, all the gulls had congregated on the beach, staring out toward the water.
Then, at what appeared to be a certain agreed-upon time, all of the gulls flew several yards forward to the shoreline. Where they... stood. Again.
Bye bye, Miami.
The results of my shell-hunting expeditions: