Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Key West

When our friend, Bob, was here a couple of weeks ago, we did the tourist stuff. WDW one week and Key West the next. I guess it's time I post some pictures from Key West so here they are.

One of the things you have to do when you go to Key West is hit Mallory Square for the Sunset Celebration. It is definitely the place to be. Our first night there was Super Bowl Sunday. I didn't think we would be able to get in anywhere for dinner but we had no problem getting into the Hog's Breath. After dinner we wandered down Duval Street. The streets were practically empty. Everyone was inside some bar watching the game.Lots of booze was being consumed!! (Of course if you were to look closely, you could see that there is a false bottom in this barrel).The next day we headed back into town hoping to see some of the sights. The first thing we did was take the Conch Train tour. It was so crowded, we had to sit backwards which meant whenever the driver said, "Look on your right" we had to look on our left. (This is not our train by the way.)The Saints fans were all wearing their finery. Didn't see a whole lot of Colts gear! Everyone wants to have their picture taken at the Southernmost Point. No way were we going to spend all that time standing in line. I've been through the Hemingway House before and thought Bob might like it too, but with the lines--again--forget it!Of course we had to have lunch at Margaritaville. There was a wait but it was worth it. It was amazing that the empty streets of last night turned into the packed streets today. We discovered why the streets were mobbed! Two cruise ships in port is like dumping the population of two large cities into a little town. We did manage to find a nice hidden garden where we consumed some of the best Key Lime Pie I've ever had. This kitty was VERY interested in the residents of the pond. By the way, if you visit Key West, do go to the cemetery. I had been there before and found some really unique tombstones. Unfortunately, we go there too late to get a map of the cemetery plus there was a burial going on so we didn't find too many of the interesting tombstones. But it still was interesting. We did return to Mallory Square for another sunset (not so spectacular unfortunately) but decided that we would pack up and head home the next day rather than spend another day fighting the crowds. We had a great time but will check out when the cruise ships will be in port the next time!

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Canine Distemper on the Island

This announcement appeared on the Sanibel city website the other day.

"The veterinarians at CROW Wildlife Rehabilitation Center on Sanibel have positively identified canine distemper in raccoons that have been brought in recently for treatment.

The disease does not affect humans. Canine distemper can infect unvaccinated dogs, foxes, coyotes, and skunks and is often fatal for wildlife. It severely weakens the animals and may cause them to appear disorientated and to wander aimlessly. Like all wild animals, even if they appear weak they can still become aggressive and bite if approached too closely. It is therefore unwise for the general public to try and help these animals directly if they are observed. If a sick raccoon is observed, the City encourages residents to call CROW at 239-472-3644 for response and pickup of the affected animal.

Canine distemper is more likely to occur when raccoon populations are large or concentrated. City of Sanibel Natural Resource Department biologists note that canine distemper among the raccoon population repeats on the Island in cycles of 5 to 7 years. Not all raccoons get the disease and many typically do survive these outbreaks. The disease is spread when animals have direct contact with body fluids or droppings from an infected animal. Distemper is always present in the environment, so the best prevention for dogs is to make sure they are vaccinated. If unsure, pet owners may want to contact their vet to make sure their dog’s shots are current. Symptoms of distemper may include discharge from the nose and eyes, a rough coat of hair, emaciated appearance, and unusual behavior such as disorientation or wandering aimlessly. The animals’ symptoms become progressively worse and the disease is usually fatal. Distemper is not the same disease as rabies, although some symptoms are similar."

CROW's numbers of raccoons are way up because of this. Not all volunteers can go on these rescues. It takes someone who has had their pre-rabies vaccinations. And yes, I have mine. Distemper is almost always fatal in wildlife. Unfortunately, they can't be vaccinated like your dogs. If you see a raccoon who appears to be sick, do not approach it. Keep it in sight and call CROW. They will then call a volunteer to come and get it. You may be asked to place something over the animal to contain it but if you can't--just keep it in sight for the volunteer.

If you live on the island or are visiting the island and you have a dog, PLEASE make sure that it has it's shots and do NOT let it near any wildlife. Remember--Sanibel has a leash law.

"It is unlawful for the owner of any dog to permit such dog to be at large (without a leash) in or on any public right-of-way, beach, or other public property, or upon any private property without the consent of the owner of such property. A leash must be no more than eight (8) feet in length. Sanibel’s laws also require cleaning up dog waste as dog waste poses additional hazards to people, water quality and wildlife habitat."

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Mardi Gras Periwinkle Park Style

We live in Periwinkle Park which is a combination of a campground and trailer park. Every year, the Park staff throws a big Mardi Gras Party. First there is a parade with lots of beads being thrown and then a huge cookout with burgers, dogs, potato salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, beer, soft drinks and the most amazing desserts you could ever hope to see--and eat. Today was Mardi Gras Day and I took lots of pictures.

Our Park has both Americans and Canadians.
Three Blonde Mice
The Olympics were very much a part of the parade.

Some proud Canadians
Last year's King and Queen

This years King and QueenThe campground residents are known as the 49'rs. Don't ya love the "babe" on the right?
The parade people got to go first. The rest of us stood in line.
The chefsServing the masses
The best part of the meal
The diners and the entertainment. The Community Band sounded great.
Our loot.
Even though it was sweatshirt and jacket weather, it was sunny and beautiful. A great time was had by all.

Ruby Tuesday-Pop Century

We went to Disney World a couple of weeks ago and stayed at the Pop Century Resort. Red seems to be a very popular color there. OK, I know you are all busy checking out everyone's Ruby Tuesday but take the time to bookmark me and drop back to check out my blog. I am a retired Special Ed teacher who now lives in paradise on Sanibel Island, Florida which is a Sanctuary Island for wildlife. I volunteer for a wildlife hospital. I am also the proud grandma of 5 wonderful grandkids and brag about them often!! I also have a blog called Branches and Roots where I talk about genealogy and my ancestors. OK, enough about me. So if you really want to see red go to Work of the Poet

Monday, February 15, 2010

Mellow Yellow Monday-USA! USA! US!A

I love this meme called Mellow Yellow Monday. Lots of yellow pictures to brighten up a Monday. After you look at mine, hop on over and see lots more.

OK, so I know that the USA Olympic Team doesn't dress in yellow and red but this is the closest thing I have in my collection of pictures that is yellow and has anything to do with sports. So, USA! USA! USA!

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Visiting Mickey

It has been a VERY busy couple of months. In early December, my college friend and her hubby visited. Then my son and his family were here over Christmas. Also our friends,Rick and Marta and their two kids (our godkids) visited for a couple of days. On January 12th we headed to San Diego to visit our daughter and her family. Home on the 22nd and then on the 27th, our friend, Bob, from Michigan came for 17 days .While he was here, when I wasn't working at CROW, we were on the GO!

Our first trip was to Walt Disney World. Bob had never been there. As Florida Resident Passholders, we can go anytime we want and also get room rates for really good deals. $49 a night at the Pop Century.

We arrived on Sunday the 31st and it was COLD and WINDY. We got there later in the day so went to Downtown Disney for dinner.Someday I want to go up in this balloon but it was grounded this day because of the wind. The Lego Dragon that ate Fultons Crab House.
On Monday, we headed to the Magic Kingdom. Again chilly and wet. And crowded.
I much prefer this view of the castle.
Disney made a LOT of money from rain ponchos that day.
Even the parade had to make changes. They did their "Singing in the Rain" parade.
Despite the weather, we hung in there long enough to watch the fireworks. It was raining and overcast so I didn't get any pictures but did catch the castle all lit up.On Tuesday we headed to Epcot. Again--heavy rain. UGH. Luckily the rain ended about noon and the rest of the day was pretty good. I love the Illuminations display at Epcot even if you have to find your "spot" 1 1/2 hours before they start.
On Wednesday morning, we checked out of the hotel, left our car in the parking lot and took the bus to Animal Kingdom. I don't think I have ever seen so many people in one place in my life! And I HATE crowds.
Of course crowds mean "stroller hell"! We headed over to see the Lion King show first. No matter how many times I have seen this show, I still love it!
Then it was off to take the Safari Ride. I've never been one to use the Fast Pass so we got in line. OMG, it took us almost an hour and a half--much longer than the sign said. There were way more Fast Pass people that those of us in line and of course they got to go first. But I must admit, we saw more animals that I've seen in the past.We headed over to Asia.
We hoped to get something to eat. Lines were horrible even at the snack places. Since we were tired, leg and foot sore, and had a 3 1/2 hour drive ahead of us, we decided to head back to the hotel for lunch and then head home.

Despite the cold, the rain, and the crowds, we had a great time. The Pop Century rooms are kind of small but still were fine--especially for the price! And who spends that much time in their room anyway??

Stay tuned for my post on our trip to Key West.