Bringing in 2000 in the Sunshine State

 

I was fortunate enough to be able to travel to Miami for the New Year's Holiday this year to spend time with a friend I made on the internet through a group called WOW.  Yes, it does happen!  We have become the best of friends and following are several pictures of my trip.  Believe me, 80 degree weather in December/January is pretty nice!  And for this country bumpkin from Idaho, this was a trip to remember.  What a grand time we had!  Click on the thumbnail for a full-size view. You can also get more information about the areas by clicking on the name.

First stop:  Bayside MarketPlace, MiamiThis has turned out to be one of my favorite places in Florida!!!  The atmosphere is incredible.  It is right on the water and there is activity all around.  Shops, shops, and more shops.  And, the best Pina Colada's in the world!

Me, doing the Florida thing!

The Voyager of the Seas cruise ship.

I've gone to the birds!

Denise and I have both gone to the birds!

The best Pina Colada's anywhere!

Man's best friend going for a little ride!

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Next stop:  Key West, FloridaWe drove to Key West for a couple of days.  What a beautiful place.  So much to do; so little time! 

Cuba, only 90 miles!  Holy cow!  I was sure I could see it from here!

Beaches, beaches and more beaches!

Sunset in Key West -- beautiful.

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Next stop:  Miami MetroZooThis is one of the neatest zoo's I have ever been to. Every animal imaginable.  Here are a couple of my favorites:

These flamingos were beautiful!

Distant relative????

This is one of the cutest creatures I've ever seen!  I wanted to take him home :)

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Next stop:  The Orange Bowl Parade, New Year's Eve, Miami:  This was so neat.  I had never been to a "major" parade before.  It started at 6:30 p.m. on New Year's Eve.  We had wonderful seats in the grandstands and a terrific time!

Downtown Miami and the starting point of the parade -- great seats!

A familiar icon for the Sunshine State!

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Next stop:  Butterfly World, just north of Ft. Lauderdale, Florida:  We spent the better part of a day here.  It was absolutely incredible!  There are several different parts to the compound -- 1) a butterfly area; 2) a lorikeet area;  3) a hummingbird area; and I'm sure I'm forgetting other areas, but these are the ones I liked the best!  These areas are enclosed but the butterflies, lorikeets, and hummingbirds fly freely inside.  The butterflies actually land on you.  Incredible.  The surrounding grounds were beautiful.  Lorikeets are beautiful parrot/parakeet like birds.  Very colorful and very friendly!  This was a great day :)

Butterflies, Butterflies, And more ... Butterflies! So delicate.

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Beautiful flowers... And landscaping ... Very serene. Colorful lorikeets ... And they love people!  Well, Denise anyway!

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And to top it off:  A rainbow, shopping, and food!

A rainbow shot from Denise's front yard.

My favorite shopping mall -- The Falls -- at night.

The most beautiful strawberry pie I've ever eaten!  Florida strawberries as big as baseballs!  (Well, maybe not quite that big.)

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What a great trip!  It ended all too soon.  But what wonderful memories.

 

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