In January, I spent eight days in lovely Florida.
Some days were spent in Orlando, followed by Jacksonville,where I attended a Supernatural Convention held by Creation Entertainment with friends.
A couple of nights prior to leaving for Jacksonville, a couple of friends and I went to dinner at the Town Tavern in Celebration, Florida.
What a fun place! I recommend it!
Think of Town Tavern as this place that puts a little bit of Boston in Central Florida. They have lobster rolls, salads and lots of pub fare.I wound up getting a Beefsteak Tomato Mozzarella Salad that was to die for!!!
It had heirloom tomatoes, baby greens, mozzarella drizzled with a delicious balsamic reduction that two weeks later, I still dream about.
The next morning we headed to Disney’s Animal Kingdom . It was one of the few places in Florida that had NEVER been to.
Putting my trusty Canon 5 DSLR to use, I decided for the trip to rent a 70-200 mm 1.8 lens from Borrowlenses.com
It was the best decision I made.
The photos will now preserve my experiences for a lifetime. The first thing the group of us did was go on a safari. We saw Gators, a Cheetah (thanks Glo for taking that photo!), White Rhinos, and two Lions.
Here’s some of the photos! (photo credit by me!)
After the safari, my friend Gloriana, who is former employee at the park, asked us if we smelled a distinctive odor.
I can’t explain what the odor was, it was a mix of wet moss, mud, and flowers. Only more pungent.
After a few seconds of attempting to determine what the smell was, My friend, Jennifer and I told her, “Yes, we did.”
“Oh, those are the gorillas.” Gloriana replied casually.
Since Gloriana had done this several times before, it was nothing new for her. But here I was, standing quietly in front of her pretending not to be both excited and scared sh$tless at the prospect of seeing these creatures in front of me.
We went along the trail which was great because we saw what we couldn’t see during the safari. We saw several birds, a Komodo Dragon, and these cuties taking a nap.
We also saw snakes, rodents and then this darling girl who was playing with her older sister and mother who weren’t having any of her shenanigans on that hot day!
After a break, Jennifer, Gloriana and I took another trail. The enclosure in which these animals are kept is simply gorgeous. It was Asian in decor and full of aged vibrant reds with hints of off white and beige.
After you make a quick right, the guide introduced us to Summi, a five-year old female tiger who was beating the heat like everyone else was that day. (Man was it hot! ). She is beautiful. Look at her markings!
If you have time, go to one of the live shows at Animal Kingdom. There are terrific for all ages. We went to “A Bug’s Life” which is pretty much a 3D phenomena that was a lot of fun and perfect for kids. (Note: Be prepared to get a little wet!)
Another note: If you go to ANY of the Disney parks, try to invest in a Fast Pass. These passes can save you time (minimal wait time) and money.
Thanks to Jennifer, Gloriana and Cortney for probably one of the best experiences of my life !
Tomorrow, Part II… Star Wars!!!