An all day walk at Disney

Last year we did not make it for our annual lunch at Disney Springs so this year we couldn’t miss it. We knew it would be crazy crowded (and it was later in the day) so we got there early to walk around before lunch.The above statues are made out of Leggos and there’s always a line to get in that store.

All of Disney was decorated for Christmas this week.

After lunch we decided to try something different. We didn’t want to go to a theme park but instead hopped on a bus to a hotel and then rode the monorail to several of the nice hotels to walk around and look at the holiday decorations at each one. I didn’t really notice the decorations at the Polynesian Resort but I thought this statue above was really cool and it had beautiful orchids all around it.

We could see the Grand Floridian across the lake and decided this would be our next stop on the monorail ride.

The lobby at the Grand Floridian was beautiful. They have a large lifesize house made out of gingerbread and candy. The details were incredible. There were people standing in the back of the house selling gingerbread cookies. That’s how big it was.

All of the details at this hotel are perfect. Down to the wreaths hanging in the lobby.

We headed back to our car at Disney Springs and stopped at a french pastry shop to get some desserts to take home.

After a long day of walking around, we got back into Tampa as the sun was going down behind the buildings downtown. My sister snapped this with my phone. I love the reflection on the hood.

SkyWatch Friday

Starting vacation

The Monday before Thanksgiving I headed to the airport to pick up my sister who was coming to spend the week with us. I had a few minutes before she got off the plane so I snapped the above of this beautiful tree near her concourse. Even though it was a bit early, it still put me in the vacation spirit.

It was beautiful outside so after lunch we headed over to Clearwater beach. It’s always fun being a tourist in my own town when she comes to visit. We ended up at the Clearwater marina later that afternoon and watched the fishing boats come in (it was something we use to do with our parents when we were growing up and came here to visit our grandparents).

We decided to stay for sunset even though the clouds were moving in quickly. The sky looked like it was on fire as the sun went down. While we were there we thought we might as well have dinner on the beach too. A great way to start the week.

My Corner of the World

Skirting by

How do you get a big beached sailboat back out into the water?  Very carefully with a big truck. For many people in the Tampa bay area, we were really lucky when Hurricane ETA skirted by us last week. It was a little nerve racking on Wednesday night as Brett and I were trying to go to bed and 70 mile winds were blasting through our channels. There wasn’t a lot of wind damage to the area but a lot of flooding. We kept getting up and peeking out the window to see how far the water had gotten into our yard. High tide was around midnight and by 10:30 we had water over our seawall and a few feet into our yard. We had some minor damage to our dock but many people had flooding in their homes. Even people who didn’t live near the water had flooding in their streets and ended up with flooded homes.

The news was saying there were sailboats beached in the small town of Gulfport in south St. Petersburg. I was out running around on Saturday morning and stopped by. I had heard there were 12 boats beached but by Saturday there was only 6 left on the beach. They were craning one of the boats to put back in the water. That’s a big task.

It looks like there is just minor damage to these boats. Mostly lots of dings but I’m sure that expensive. Some of these boats had people living on them so they have been displaced until the boats can be fixed.  Gulfport doesn’t sit directly on the gulf. It’s a small bay off the intercoastal waterway and many boats stay anchored in this area.

Otherwise, it was a beautiful morning and you would never know a bad storm came through 2 days earlier if it wasn’t for the sailboats sitting on the beach. I could see the pink hotel across the bay (Don Cesar Hotel) that sits on the beach.

The Christmas tree was up in front of the beach. I’m assuming someone put this here the day before since there wouldn’t be any balls here after that storm. The restaurants in front of the beach were opening up for breakfast. They had spent the last 2 days cleaning up the sand off the floors.

SkyWatch Friday

Yoga at the zoo

The week before Christmas I attended yoga at Zoo Tampa. It was on an early Saturday morning. The weather was perfect. They had a few animals show up before we started. There was a goat but he took off before I could get a picture. Santa also showed up for a visit.

My new yoga buddy.

The view from my yoga mat.

After yoga I walked around the zoo for a while.

Christmas lights at the zoo

Same tree, different colors.

Just a small sampling of the lights and entertainment at Zoo Tampa during their “Christmas In the Wild” nights.

You could still see a lot of the animals in their homes. A few of the nocturnal animals that you rarely see moving during the day were also moving around.

The trees over the alligator exhibit were full of ibis, snowy egrets and great egrets sleeping. There were 100’s of them. It was pretty crazy to see them in the dark.

Afterward we stopped at our local Chik Fil A to get milkshakes, even though it was cold outside (Florida cold means it was 50 degrees).

Linking to Wednesday Around The World.

Funny faces at the zoo

“Gimmi a kiss, lady”.

A fun day at the zoo over Thanksgiving week while my sister was visiting. The young zebra eating while mom was watching over was born last July.

A black and white warbler hiding out in a tree.

Pretty birds and lunch for some of the birds in the aviary. After this appetizing walk through the aviary it was time for us to leave and go have lunch (we opted for salads).

The zoo was decorated for the holiday season.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup

Mickey says “Merry Christmas”

I spent the rainy day after Thanksgiving at Disney Springs (formerly Downtown Disney) with my sisters who were visiting for the week. We ate lunch at one of the restaurants there and then walked around for a while peeking in the shops and soaking up the Disney “Holiday style” fun. It was drizzling when we first got there but stopped after we ate lunch. The dark clouds stayed all morning.

Our World Tuesday Graphicimage-in-ing: weekly photo linkup