Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Florida- Day 2

Day 2 of our trip was Thursday, June 2nd.  Yikes, I am behind! 

We had high hopes for a pretty low key, mellow day. 

We took the kids out to breakfast at a place called Pinky's.  The food was great, but they wanted like $5 for a cup of coffee so we decided we would just drink water and get coffee on our way out of Tampa. We were sure there would be something convenient. I mean, Tampa's a big city, right?

Wrong.  We were forced to get coffee from McDonald's.  Now, I'm not a coffee snob and I have had perfectly fine coffee from McDonald's, but this particular McDonald's had absolutely no clue how to make an iced coffee and Michael returned from inside with what was basically a cup of cream over ice with some coffee flavoring for me.

We had a 12:00 reservation for an airboat ride north of Tampa.  We needed to check in at 11:30.  We were about forty minutes away when we got stuck in non-moving traffic because of a huge accident.  So, our reservation time was blown.  Michael called and moved our reservation to 2:00.  That was nice and all, but then we were going to be hard pressed to fill two hours of time and make it back to Tampa in time.

Once we got out of the accident traffic we exited the freeway and went to a Florida visitor's center.  We explained to the lady working there that we had about two hours to fill before our new reservation and we needed something quick and cheap to do in the area.

She was very enthusiastic about sending us to a local citrus grove with a petting zoo and all sorts of other activities.  That sounded fun so we took the brochure and map and left. 

This was in the visitor center.  Weird.
So, we drove about 20 minutes to the citrus grove that will remain unnamed lest I get sued for my poor review.

We walked inside only to discover to a little shop of horrors.
There was all sorts of crap for sale and creepy dolls and "antiques". Room after room.  We made it all the way to the back where we found a ticket booth and some antique ice cream for sale.  Nobody seemed to work there though.  And then I got a huge cold chill and the hair on my neck went up and I told Michael that I thought we should leave right away. 
 The kids had no problem getting out of there, so they must have had the same bad feeling.

We ended up wasting some time going to Walmart and getting some lunch and then finally, way later than we had hoped for, we made it to the airboat ride.

First up, holding an alligator.

Then, the ride.

It was an hour long and gorgeous.

The "captain" went really fast when we were out on the open water.

We saw all sorts of birds but only two alligators.  Do you see the eyes poking out of the water?

We had promised the kids ice cream on the way back to Tampa, but a google search revealed nothing by way of local ice cream parlors, so we stopped for shakes at Steak 'n Shake.  Why is this place not in Arizona?

Finally back at my brother's house we settled into life with three kids because we had promised to baby-sit Bella so that Nathan and Kendra could go out for their 9th wedding anniversary.

The kids had chicken nuggets for dinner and after everyone was in bed Michael and I shared a frozen pizza.  Remember my third degree mouth burn from the airport coffee?  It still wasn't healed and I further burned the burn on the pizza.  I could have gone in for a skin graft, it was that bad.

Bella is allowed to trash the newspaper after her daddy reads it and Elliott was very agreeable to help. 

Spencer was very patient and gentle with his cousin.  Very unlike how he is with his brother.

Spencer may or may not have been trying to push Elliott down the stairs.

Bella requires approximately 8,000 books before bed.
Michael and I were the parents of three kids for about two hours and then we were pretty much done.  Everybody had to go to bed.

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