Monday, October 29, 2007
This morning we got up really early (for us) and left the house on a little family adventure. We followed Daddy through little local towns, heading further and further into the state of Florida.
We had the pleasure of meeting this Momma at a roadside rest stop. She had 6 one-month-old babies hiding in the waters with her. They were well hidden from us, which was just what she wanted. She was really active and it was obvious that she was protecting those babies with all she had.
And then, as you can see in the background of this photo, her large male friend appeared to say hello. He was big ... probably about 10 feet long, and much calmer and lazier than the Momma. Alligators are, by nature, pretty immobile and can stay in one position for a really long time so to get to see both of these moving around was a treat.
The alligators were behind a fence, but the fence was only to keep cars from going into the swamp and didn't extend very far ... leaving open space on both ends ... if they'd wanted to they could have come a lot closer to us, but really that isn't their way if they're not threatened or really hungry so no worries.
Their is an indian reservation just to the north of where we were, smack dab in the middle of the Everglades on I75, and we could have gone for a day of touristy things, but that wasn't our destination today.
So we continued traveling across the Everglades. It's hard to tell in this photo but the "river of grass" extends far past the eye can see, and in this portion it's really just grasslands, not many trees at all.
Ah, here we are at our final stop. No, not Frog Kingdom. Much better. The one and only IKEA in the state of Florida (for a teeny bit longer ... there's one opening in Orlando in a few weeks). Brand spanking new, just opened about two weeks ago.
It was our very first visit to an IKEA. We had to see what it was all about. What a trip!
A. and K. spent the first 45 minutes in the supervised kids play area. They had fun, but were limited to 45 minutes which really wasn't much time for the rest of us to tour the store.
Tour we did though. We looked at every chair, lamp, cabinet, fixture, accessory, etc. We sat, we touched, we played. We had fun! Oh my gosh, so much to see and so dang inexpensive. Some things were definately cheap, some were just inexpensive, and it really wasn't hard to tell the difference.
I had a short list of things I was looking for and only found area rugs for the kitchen ... but the rag rugs were $1.99 each, I couldn't have made them myself for that little. We also found some washclothes and two flower lamps for the girls room. We picked out a pair of bookshelves for the dining room but they were out of stock so we'll try again at a later date.
I'd hoped to find some fabric but didn't. Much of it was very cool but the prints were too large for my purposes.
And then we ate at their restaurant. Very chaotic, but good food. Surprisingly good for a cafeteria-style restaurant. And again, inexpensive.
It was a fun adventure and we'll be sure to head back there when there are things we actually need.