Monday, February 16, 2009

Our Vacation, Part 1

My husband and I took a much needed break from the cold weather to travel south for a couple of weeks. We left on January 26, with the temperature at -19 degrees that morning! We were very anxious to warm up. Traveling south we spent a little time in Pennsylvania's Amish country, where I was lucky enough to visit the People's Place Quilt Museum. I wish I was a better photographer so you could see the beauty of these quilts. There was no flash photography allowed, and apparently I have shaky arms since most of the pictures were a blur. These are some of the better ones.

First was a gorgeous Cathedral Window quilt made by a woman in her 80's, I believe. She used over 30 yards of muslin in it! The stitching was exquisite.

This is a typical Amish-style diamond on point quilt with beautiful traditional quilting. There was a bright light pointing to it which made it difficult to get a picture of, but at least it highlighted the stitching.

I was stunned by the beauty of this flower basket quilt, just lovely...

And this one is an award-winning star quilt made by Fons and Porter, who had a special exhibit at the museum. The workmanship was out of this world.

Once we were in Florida we spent a day recovering from the journey, then went to visit Silver Springs in Ocala. The live oaks drip with Spanish moss and the cypress trees raise their knobby knees in every puddle...

The marshes are rich with greenery, cypress and flowers.

The trees were in blossom with small red flowers:

We took a ride in a glass-bottomed boat just like this one.
In the bottom of the deep crystal clear water we saw many catfish, turtles, caves, and long nosed fish like this one.
We even saw a giant alligator covered with mud! The boat was moving right along, so it was hard to get a good picture of him. Can you see him?

Oh! And who is that looking into the river? Gary, me (holding camera) and Mom!

There was a wildlife area with a lot of animals, including giant Kodiak bears, llamas, ostriches, self-shearing sheep (I had never heard of such a thing!), and giraffes, both topiary,

and real! We nicknamed this guy "Stinky" for a very good reason. He looked very old and wrinkled.

These white birds were everywhere, especially outside any restaurant, looking for handouts. We always save them a little something.

And there were birds in captivity too. This crazy looking one fascinated me,

these two had a sign saying "We bite".
And there were lots of Florida's favorite pink long-legged birds, the flamingos. We got to see a flamingo fight, too! I think that was the highlight of our day. I attempted to take a video of the fight, be sure to press play if you have never heard the sound of a flamingo's voice. Just unforgettable!

Here is a nice picture from later, when they had kissed and made up.

Lastly, of course there were loads of alligators, the most tourist pleasing animals in the park!

Including Silver Spring's famous white alligators. They are so very strange looking!

We enjoyed our day at Silver Springs very much. We were entertained all day by a country singer performing in the stage area, but we never did find out who he was! I think it was Colin Raye though. Good music.


The Dupuis Family said...

I liked the alligators. I wanted to go with you.

From Savannah

Sharyn said...

thanks for sharing your trip! Sharyn

Carola said...

About the flamingos ... beautiful birds making ugly noises ... they sound like donkeys LOL

Amazing those white alligators, thanks for sharing so many intriguing images from your travels.