Saturday, May 5, 2012

Florida Adventures

From Singapore we went to Hong Kong, and from there we went on to Orlando. First we spent a few days with family, then a few more days in the Keys to do some scuba diving.

I'm still not comfortable enough with diving to divide my attention by bringing a camera, but they were some nice dives. One day we even had an opportunity to use our (still very limited) Japanese to help translate the dive briefings to a Japanese diver with limited English. I'm not gonna lie, there was a good deal of miming, but we did all right.

Through the Florida Keys, there is one major road. Just one.

Along that road, in front of a small artist colony, is a giant lobster.

Now, when I say "giant lobster," you might think very politely to yourself, "my goodness, that is quite a large lobster!"

No, no. It's bigger than you think it is. Here is a picture of me in front of it:

I bet you just said, "Wow!" out loud.
 It's really quite well done, and there is an impressive amount of detail.
 The craziest part is that it's actually possible to drive right by it without seeing it, even though it's about 40 feet from the highway and not behind any trees.

Another noteworthy roadside attraction is a little place called Key Lime Products. It's run by a friendly gentleman who is happy to chat. But the billboard across the street is a little creepy.
Really? You don't think the 69 cent flooring is laying it on a little thick?

On our way north from the Keys, we spent a day in Miami.
Strolling along Miami Beach 
Someone was feeding the seagulls, and they hovered so still in the air that they looked as though they had been carefully placed on a mobile in a child's bedroom.

The club/shopping district was its own kind of fabulous animal. I'm not sure I've ever seen so many people strutting around like peacocks, both men and women. So much posturing! Chests out, butts out, tight clothing, expensive cars, loud music...I'm pretty sure stereotypes are made in this kind of environment. And at least three kinds of reality TV shows. We stopped for a drink at an outdoor cafe, half a block too far away from the drag queen show to be able to see it. All we got were glimpses of ostrich feathers and sequins. Sad face.

We were traveling with a friend that had never seen an alligator in real life, so we stopped at a place that has them in enclosures and does air boat tours (there are several along that stretch of road, unfortunately I can't figure out which one it was).

They are serious about their safety precautions, too! How's this for a "do not put your fingers in the cages, dumbass" sign?

Also, juxtaposition is amusing. You might want to click this one for the full size to see why I think this is so funny.

Of course we had to stay for the gator show.

You gotta keep that sun off your face, or your skin will get all leathery.

I held a baby alligator once, but it hadn't been the size of a dog. These suckers are heavy! Also, not as amused as I am.

Next up: more adventures, back in Tokyo!

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