Tuesday, April 3

Surf rider

Heavy surf on Cocoa Beach made for some fun rides on the tube.

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Sunday, April 1

Giraffes heading home

Kayaking at the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida. The giraffes were heading back to their pens for the evening and walked next to the canal we were on.

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Saturday, March 31

Cocoa Beach

A photograph shot in Cocoa Beach, Florida in March. It was a little cool, but not enough to keep people off the beach.

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Bird of paradise

This photo was taken at my parent's house in Florida. The flower bloomed the day before. My Canon PowerShot S3 had a feature that will highlight a color and turn the rest of the image black and white.

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Hyacinth Macaw

The Hyacinth Macaw is usually found in Brazil. I took this photo at the Brevard Zoo.

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Tuesday, March 27

White Rhinoceros

I took this photo of a white rhinoceros at the Brevard Zoo. They're not actually white, but are grey or yellowish in color. This one had just climbed out of a mud hole.

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Monday, March 26



A parrot photographed at the Brevard Zoo in Melbourne, Florida. One of the best little zoos in the country. It gets better every time I visit.

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Saturday, March 24

Universal Orlando

The Cat in the Hat and Grinch greet visitors at Universal Orlando's Islands of Adventure. I visited with my family last week. My son and I loved the Hulk roller coaster and Seuss Landing was very cute. Hulk may be the best roller coaster I've been on. At the start it accelerates from 0 to 40 mph in 2 seconds and hits a top speed of 67 mph. There are a total of 7 inversions. We give it 4 thumbs up.

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Saturday, January 6

North Carolina skiing

The first week of January my family went skiing in North Carolina. We wanted to introduce our children to skiing and make sure they enjoyed it before booking an expensive trip out west. The temperatures over New Years weekend were getting pretty warm and we were concerned they wouldn't have any snow on the slopes. Luckily they were able to make snow the two days before we arrived.

The first day we went to Ski Beech and put our children into a one-hour lesson. After that my wife and I walked up a short slope with the kids and gave them our own private lessons, getting them to make snowplow turns.

The conditions were actually better than we expected in the morning and Ski Beech had two slopes open. But as the day progressed temperatures in the 40s created some thin coverage across the mountain.

The next day we figured there would have been too much melt at Ski Beech to make it pleasant. We looked at the web cam at Sugar Mountain and headed over there instead. We were glad we made that decision, as they obviously had more snow on the ground. But by the end of that day the Easy Street run we had our children on was turning into a mud hole. Luckily we got to ski it most of the day. The other run they had open, Flying Mile, looked like it might survive for another day of skiing. More photos from the trip can be seen in this gallery.

We're glad we made our reservations at the last minute. We were able to get a discount on lodging. I don't think I'd ever plan a trip in advance to any of the North Carolina slopes. It's just too hard to predict in advance what the conditions will be like. We certainly had a lot of fun teaching our kids to ski and the mountains were good for that.

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Monday, January 1

Photos of Bisbee

The header image at the top of this blog was taken during a vacation to Bisbee, Arizona in April 2006. The original light fixtures hang in the Copper Queen Plaza. Bisbee grew up around the Copper Queen Mine and is now an artist colony and a great walking town. You feel like you've travelled back in time to the early 1900s when Bisbee was the largest city between St. Louis and San Francisco. I took a lot of photos of the wonderful architectural details to be found in the city and posted them in a gallery.

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Friday, December 29

Tulum gallery

I'm still sorting through photos from our family cruise over Thanksgiving. I've just posted a gallery of images from our visit to the coastal Mayan ruins at Tulum in Mexico. Once we shook our tour guide we were able to walk around to explore the ruins and get some nice photos.

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Thursday, December 14

Visiting Haiti

Over Thanksgiving this year our family took a cruise that stopped in Labadee, Haiti. You can see the Royal Caribbean Mariner of the Seas above next to the cruise line's private beach. We heard crew calling it their private island, but that's not true. It's actually on a peninsula as the satellite images show. If you click on the image and zoom in you can clearly see the pools, putt-putt course and inline skating track on the ship. On the beaches you can make out the cabanas spread along the shore.

Labadee was certainly an exotic stop. They had a couple of nice beaches for swimming, though the north shore was a little treacherous because of higher waves, a rocky bottom and sea urchins literally everywhere.

There were a few old plantation ruins on the peninsula and an old church bell still stood on a scenic hilltop location.

There were a number of vendors selling local artwork, jewelry and wood bowls. We bought a little of each, hoping to put some cash into the Haitian economy. Unfortunately the vendors were extremely aggressive in their tactics and I imagine they scared a lot of people away. The strong-armed hawking grew weary rather quickly.

With Haiti's history of civil unrest it seems an unlikely stop for a cruise ship. There did seem to be ample security and a wall seemed to surround the perimeter of the property. It was an altogether pleasant stop and I'm glad Royal Caribbean is making this effort to help the Haitian economy.

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