Sunday, February 26, 2017

Alligators, Ants and Beach Bunny's, Oh My!

We are enjoying as much of the sunshine as we can. The weather has been just perfect.

Lisa's sister Heidi and her two son's Nyle and Orion came for a visit and to escape the never ending snowfall in Colorado. Lisa's dad has a house here in central Florida so she stayed at his place. He has a pool so who wouldn't? Besides we were only 20 minutes away. They flew in Sunday and got settled in. So we went for a visit on Monday.
Lisa, Heidi, Orion(in the pool) and Lisa's dad LaRay
After a couple hours of the girls chit chatting, we decided to go for an air boat ride to see some alligators. There is a lake north of Orlando called Lake Jessup. According to our boat captain, he said that they used to take all the nuisance alligators that animal control caught and dump them in Lake Jessup. So the population of alligators in this lake is around 9500. I don't think it would be a good lake to go skinny dipping in, if you know what I mean.
Air boats are the bees knees!

We were up front enjoying the swamp spray in our faces.

A couple of small ones by the boats.

Heidi and Orian looking for Sasquatch.

This was the only picture of Nyle I got.
Here's a fun fact. To figure out the size of a gator with just his head showing in the water you do this. The distance in inches from the nostrils to the eyes will tell you how big he is. Say the distance is 10 inches from snout to eyes. That means that that is a 10 foot gator. 1 inch = 1 foot. Also of the 10 foot length, 5 feet would be body and 5 feet would be tail. I think it helps to have a tape measure with you to get an accurate reading.

We left the Orlando area on Thursday. Moving over to the Tampa side.
Our house under the trees.
A big problem I have with Florida is the ants. They are everywhere. They have tiny ants that you can barely see and of course the biting red ants. Some campgrounds do a pretty good job of keeping them under control at the sites. This one, not so much. So when we set up, I spray everything that touches the ground with bug killer. I do this once a week. I also have a can of raid that I will attack every ant hill I see. This is done daily. I set out Terro ant traps around the rig. Those are eaten in a day so I keep putting more out. And finally I was up on the roof to install vent covers and noticed ants up there. See all that Spanish Moss over our rig? Some of it was touching, so I cut and pulled everything touching the rig. As of right now the score is: Dino-1000's, Ants- 1. They scored one because we were sitting outside having cocktails and I felt something crawling on my neck. I swatted it and it turned out to be a red ant which bit me in his final moment of life.

We met up with Heidi and her boys one more time before they had to fly back to Colorado. She was staying in St. Petersburg so we drove that way for a beach day.
St. Pete Beach

My favorite beach bunny.
It was a super nice day. The water was cool. We all got too much sun but that didn't hit us until later.
I don't know what they talk about all day. Must be recipes.
I even did a little metal detecting. I did not strike it rich. All I found was 2 batteries, a bottle cap and a gum wrapper. Someday I will be able to retire on my findings, I hope.

The Strawberry Festival starts in a couple of days so we will be quite busy with that. I hate strawberries. We will have to find a corndog festival or something yummy. 

Stay cool or warm, wherever you may be.


  1. The air boat trip looks cool, we have seen them on the water but have never riden on one. From what I have seen the ear muffs certainly are necessary!

  2. You need ear muffs. They use 454 big block engines with straight pipes. I wish I would of had my goggles because we were getting a lot of water in the face. All part of the fun.

  3. We did an airboat ride in Florida too. The guy scared the crap out of us a few times because he would skid the boat in tight turns kissing the shore, but what a blast!

    1. That is the fun part. Well, besides a face full of swamp water.

  4. Looks like you are enjoying your stay in Florida! I am with you on the ants. We've only had an issue once, and that was in Southern California, in an expensive campground where I feel they should have been taken care of! I fought them regularly and eventually won the battle, but we moved on before they could entirely take over. UGH!

  5. Oh those fire ants are the bane of the insect world. Stepped on many a hill in Florida when we were there. Hurts like a b****. Have fun in Florida :)

  6. Swamp ride looks like fun. We didn't get a chance to take one when we were there. Beach looks great! We're in AZ for a couple of weeks and they are having a cool spell. Looking forward to the 70s that are coming later this week! I hate ants almost as long as I HATE bees!

    1. Will be anxious to see how you get out of California.