Florida Vacation, Part II

Yesterday I shared the first part of Jason and my Florida vacation, and you can read all about it here. Today i’m back to fill you in on the final leg of our trip: Naples and Tampa. We had a great time during our final five days in Florida. We certainly jam packed it full of memorable experiences: Alligator sightings, a trip to the Clearwater Aquarium (where Winter lives), searching for shark teeth on Venice beach, and of course a few great meals.

We spent three days in Naples where we quickly realized there wasn’t going to be a lot to do. So, we decided to make the trip back through the everglades in hopes of catching a few alligator sightings. The thought of actually seeing an alligator in the wild was excitement overload! We made it to the park with just over an hour until closing, quickly applied sunscreen, and hit the trail. And we weren’t let down!

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One of my favorite pictures was taken with my zoom lens… this guy was ready for his action shot.DSC_0584-4

After we finished up at the Everglades we headed back to Naples. We got back to the hotel just in time to catch sunset on the beach.

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Like I said, there wasn’t a whole lot we wanted to do in Naples… so on our last full day we decided to scour Venice beach for shark teeth. We read that it is the shark tooth capital of the world and were ready to try our hand at finding a few. We were hoping the drive would be worth it.

DSC_0845-1Lucky us, we found a few! Woohoo!

Our trip would have been just perfect if we had left from Naples, but we had one last stop before heading home. And it turned out to be one of my favorite cities that we had visited in Florida.

DSC_0623-5Tampa! Well, technically our resort was in Clearwater, but close enough. We spent some time exploring Tampa and saw a lot of magnificent houses that will forever and always be 1,000,000,000% out of our price range.

The beach was great, the weather was perfect, the food… the food! Wow, the parmesan encrusted mahi-mahi sandwich at Keegans Seafood Grille blew my taste buds away, in the best sense possible. I’ve never had mahi-mahi that tasted so fresh and exploding with flavor. Kinda like peanut butter is meant for jelly, well, parmesan must be meant for mahi-mahi. The restaurant was a short drive from our resort and Jason and I loved it so much we ate there two days in a row.

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After napping off our full stomachs, we headed to the Clearwater aquarium to see Winter (from the movie “Dolphin Tale’). I had such a great time during our visit. Poor Jason could not get me away from the Stingray pool. There graceful yet powerful movements kept me in awe for a good 10 minutes.

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We also saw this sea turtle. His butt was sticking up because of air trapped under his shell.

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If you’ve seen the movie “Dolphin Tale” you may recognize this fine fellow, Rufus.

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We walked right by the door seen in the movie… Go watch it and you can see for yourself:) Jason and I watched it last year after he got back from a business trip in Tampa and surprised me with a tail-less stuffed dolphin.

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The main attraction was of course Winter. We watched a short demonstration of her physical therapy where her tail was put on, but it was difficult to get a good picture of the action. The trainers said she can swim with our without the tail, as long as she undergoes physical therapy on a regular basis while wearing it.

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The Clearwater Aquarium was the perfect ending to a wonderful vacation. We were able to see so many different beaches while exploring the southern parts of Florida. However, nothing can come close to the quality time we were able to spend together as a couple. I love each and every trip Jason and I take together and look forward to our next adventure coming up in August.

Have a good night everyone.

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