Monday, December 6, 2010


Earlier in November John and I took a quick trip down to Orlando to visit his family. Now that we live in NYC we've realized that we really enjoy spending time in nature every chance we get so while we were in Orlando we definitely worked that into the trip.

We went to a state park that has a hot spring fed river. The water temperature stays in the 70's even in the winter and so the neighborhood manatees migrate to this river to stay warm. There was a boardwalk along the river with areas to take pictures, here's one of a mama manatee and her baby.
John and I wanted to make sure we really got our fill of nature on this trip so we decided to go November! Being that it was Florida it wasn't too cold but still, canoeing is a little scary when its cold and you're really scared of tipping over.
John's brother Justin and his wife Andrea went on the canoeing adventure with us. I should have known the brothers would do something crazy, they always do when the two of them get together. There was a wide path that the guide suggested we canoe on but of course John and Justin saw a tiny overgrown area that they wanted to canoe through. To me this looked like nothing but snake heaven and I am TERRIFIED of snakes! The whole time I was just looking for snakes or dead bodies (on a side note, I've watched way too much CSI: Miami!).
 Luckily we made it out of snake alley unscathed :) We saw more birds than anything else, I didn't even see a snake until we got back onto the main river. At that point the river was wide enough that we could keep a comfortable distance, which is good because it was a big snake!
Our non-nature part of the trip was going to Universal Studios to see the new Wizarding World of Harry Potter the next day. The theme park was just a small section of Universal so there wasn't a whole lot to see, but what they did have they did really well. There was Hogwarts which had the roller coaster ride in it and then Hogsmeade had all of the shops. Both were very impressive. Here's John drinking his butter beer (not beer at all, much more like syrup!) in front of the Hogwarts Express. 
It was a quick weekend trip so that was about all that we had time for but it was definitely lots of fun and we love getting to visit with family!  

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