Monday, July 28, 2008

St. Pete's Beach Vacation - Day Four

We were off to a great start on day four. Still not quite sure what we were going to do today, so while the kids decided whether they wanted to go to the zoo in Tampa or back to Busch Gardens, we drove around and found this beach at the other end of the island we were on. It was absolutely breath taking - all soft sand and no seaweed.

The kids decided on Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa so we headed out that way. While *EVERYTHING* in Florida is ridiculously expensive, admission prices at this zoo were worse. Twenty bucks a person to get in. Thankfully, we have a zoo membership for the zoo in Peoria that gets us in to over 150 zoos nationwide, so we got in for free. Yahoo! That sucker paid for itself before all four of us were even through the gates. Our excitement didn't last long when we saw how much everything cost inside the park - on top of admission prices. While it's a very beautiful zoo, I don't think any zoo is worth spending $150 for one visit. Sorry, Lowry.

Just one beautiful exhibit after another.

Sweet. I think we'll leave him there.

In the African Safari section of the zoo, we came across this beautiful giraffe. I had never been so close to one before and were mesmerized by her eyes. She was a little put off that we didn't have a cracker to feed her, but we were still in shock that it cost $2 per freakin' cracker.

Another log flume ride and Ryan would have ridden this sucker 10 more times had it not cost $4 per person, each ride.

Another $4 per person for the Sky Ride. They must be on to something here, because we did pay it. I'm not sure that we would have ridden any of these rides if we had been required to pay to get in.

Ryan loved the Munster Ride.

Around 2pm, we still had the other half of the zoo to see. We hadn't anticipated the zoo being so big and really didn't want it to become an all day thing since it was our last day in Florida, so we took a vote and unanimously decided to skip out and spend the rest of our day swimming.

Two weeks ago this kid wouldn't put his face in the water. Amazing.

After some time in the pool we ordered dinner from the outdoor bar with the intentions of eating it outside at a table overlooking the beach. The seagulls proved to be pretty aggressive so we took the food back to the shelter of our room and ate there.


Then we spent some more time in the ocean where the waves had gotten pretty big in comparison to the last three days. We think it may have had something to do with Hurricane Dolly over on the other side of the Gulf.

I really wanted to get some pictures of the sunset, but the clouds were moving in. It was still a beautiful site, though.

One more swim in a different pool (there were 3) before heading upstairs to start packing.

This vacation was so much fun, but it went way to fast. We had to get up at 5am the next morning to make our flight home. We had called for a wake up call, but to be on the safe side Ashley set the alarm on her cell phone as well. Guess what time her cell phone went off at? 1am. At 1am, we started waking up thinking it was time to go. As Bret started getting out of bed, he looked at the clock. We had a good laugh over it, but it was hard to get back to sleep and we were all dragging on the flight home.


It's nice to be home, but if we had an ocean view from our backyard deck, that would make things perfect! We sat our back on our deck with some friends on Friday night, and the ocean was the only thing missing.

More pictures at Flickr.


Mz Diva said...

Family vacations really do build memories and I think you, Bret and the kids will alwyas have great ones of your trip to Florida. I have memories of Busch Gardents to this day! I am glad you guys had so much fun!

MamaFlo said...

Thank you so much for taking us along on your family vacation. I really have enjoyed all the photos you've been posting, it's wonderful seeing you and your family so happy together. It won't be long and your daughter especially will be heading out on her own with boys no less and the family dynamics will forever be changed.

maggie said...

Ah, so very fun and gorgeous! I love the upside down with the bat picture. Too funny. So glad you all had such a great time.