Sunday, March 6, 2011

octagon wildlife sanctuary

another spring break adventure took us out past fort myers to a wildlife sanctuary called octagon. octagon rescues various animals from circuses as well as from owners who were lacking in the common sense department when they decided that an alligator or a raccoon might make an enjoyable family pet. the sanctuary was quite nice and had a very comfortable homey atmosphere about it. the animals were very well cared for and seemed very content. aside from the tiger spraying incident (which luckily only involved a portion of my left leg) we had a marvelous time enjoying the animals from only about five feet away. we even had a picnic lunch with baxter the lion. i am so glad that there are people who undertake this great act of love to care and provide for these animals that have nowhere else to go in a world where their lives mean very little.

as is apparent the big cats somewhat monopolized the pictures. there were so many other animals (bears, turtles, alligators, smaller cats, raccoons, iguanas, monkeys, wolfs, etc,) but i didn't start taking pictures until around nap time (as is also obvious). the tigers and lions were just so charismatic, they talked and made funny noises the whole time we sat by their cages. plus they had the best sleeping poses, i have never seen animals so relaxed. spike is the orangutan at the right. he was a hoot to watch, he would take that stuffed ape in the picture and attempt to groom it, which he did quite thoroughly, and was clearly disappointed in not finding a solitary bug embedded in the synthetic fur. he loved his t.v. which was housed in a rubbermaid container outside his enclosure and he clearly could discern between what foods he liked (carrots and lettuce) and what foods he did not care for (mushrooms). he was also very aware of his looks which was apparent by his consistency in checking his reflection in his toy mirror every couple of minutes just to make sure there were no particles of food or leaves lounging about on his face and hair. this little outing was by far one of my favorites.

Florida Living

so once again i have been reticent in terms of the blogging world. since this blog is pretty much the only thing chronicling our lives i am making a renewed effort. here is what we have been up to most recently.

this past week was spring break for quinn so i took a couple of days off of work so we could go on some day trips. our first jaunt was out to the island of sanibel. sanibel is a quaint little island known for its excellent shelling (aka: the collection of sea shells, considered a sport for some) so we headed out early and hit the shore. there were many others combing the sea edge doing the "sanibel stoop" as it is fondly known around these quarters. we had a lot of fun on our little shell treasure hunt and came away with some great booty:)

later on we went biking through some of the preserves around the island where we saw some beautiful birds and a rather large gator which i didn't get a very good picture of.

we finished off the afternoon with a visit to an independent bookstore on the island (an area in which naples is seriously lacking) and lunch at doc fords which is a restaurant based on a book. the book is by a local writer who now owns half the restaurant. doc ford is the hero in many of randy wayne whites novels, none of which i have read, but the restaurant has sparked my interest and is now on my list of books to buy:) the food was pretty good and you can't beat an afternoon lunch on the patio, sipping lemonade in the 80 degree weather in the middle of march.

Monday, October 11, 2010

free time

since i haven't started work yet i have had a lot of free time so i have undertaken some small projects. i refinished a bookcase and painted it yellow, i recovered some old novels, i have started studying for the gre, i have read a lot of books, i am almost through the entire friends series (thats right-all ten seasons), i am currently obsessed with the tv show bones-showing at least twice every evening with new episodes on thursday with the occasional all day marathon, i am more inclined to try new dishes including indian dahl which is sooo delicious but equally pungent. here are my recently finished books, next up re-staining my t.v. stand and side table-we'll see how it goes.


i have recently discovered cake boss on tlc. the main character is a boisterous italian man who, with the help of various family members and employees, creates and assembles amazing cakes. quinn's birthday was coming up so i went out and bought cake pans and a great cake icing decorator from williams sonoma which i completely recommend. my cake was much less flashy and pretty simple but it was fun, next time maybe i will go the extra mile with more tiers and cereal treat decorations complete with fondant and an array of colors, or i might just learn to use the other frosting tips. anyway, happy birthday quinn, i'm glad you enjoyed your inspired cake:)

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Enzo (Quinn's study buddy)

quinn requested a dog for his birthday so he went out and found this puggle. dogs are very different than cats but he has been fun. he cares mostly about food and treats but he is a good cuddler. he has really bad gas from eating his food so quickly, other than that i guess he's a keeper:)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010


quinn has decided to attend ave maria school of law in naples florida. we rented a moving truck and with the help of quinn's dad hauled everything to st. louis in two days- or was it one- i can't remember because we drove all day and night, therefore my sense of consciousness was seriously impaired. we dropped dave off at his home then continued to florida. we live in a resort town which fluctuates with the seasons, the seasons of other states and other parts of the world that is, seeing as florida has no seasons. we went out to st. louis as a last hurrah before quinn's surrenders to books and endless readings and case briefings. we went to a cardinals game and had amazing seats, even though i am not a huge of fan of baseball it was an enjoyable experience. the perfect end to a perfect summer.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hello Again!

blogging is not one of my fortes, as is apparent by my lapse in posting. i have vowed to do better in order to keep certain family members apprised of our goings on. here is a rundown from where i left off:

we successfully completed our first european excursion, after london we continued on to:

*paris-10 days of hitting every major site and dozens of nooks and crannies of the outer
city. we stayed in a fabulous hostel with fabulous roommates who supplied us non night lifers with plenty of entertaining tales. the food was ok, the pastries were sinful, and the seemingly boring fare of bread, cheese and fruit turned into our most often ate meal (aside from the made to order nutella and jam filled crepes). the louvre only took three days to navigate though i could probably live there and still not see everything. all in all a very successful first visit:)

*rome- ten days of unbelievable sights including, but not limited to, the colosseum, the roman forum, all seven of rome's hills, the spanish steps and the pantheon. our feet were by now well accustomed to the miles and miles of walking which especially paid off in rome which is much smaller than paris. we explored every church we stumbled upon which was rewarding in not only the grand art we found but also in the comfort of the stone walls that not only kept heat out but also excessive light which clearly ruins the atmosphere. we ate exorbitant amounts of gelato at both world famous gelateries as well as the little hole in the wall patisserie in the town of fiano romano where we stayed on a campsite and watched world cup matches with alfredo, our italian shuttle chauffeur. it was awesome. oh yeah-vatican city is overrated-the vatican museums however were very nice-the sistine chapel is indescribably awe inspiring.

*naples-trash, trash, and more trash. we explored enough only to find the good pizzerias, the remainder of the nights we ate food ordered for us by our new british friend harriet while we watched world cup games. our sole purpose for naples was to see pompeii which was so worth it. two days was quite sufficient.

*florence-an art lovers paradise, which made me very, very happy-quinn however was a little museumed out after the louvre and the orsay in paris so i reveled alone in the amazingness of the uffizzi and several others. we waited in line for three hours to see michelangelo's david which thankfully paid off when i was able to acquire a few illicitly taken pictures of the larger than life sculpture which was absolutely breathtaking. florence was almost painfully beautiful-i could most definitely live out my days in its sun soaked hills.

*venice-truly unique with its meandering canals and carless city. venice is pretty small and manageable if you can avoid becoming lost in its countless walkways and alleys. we walked all of the city and i can report that my theory of following groups of what we hoped were tourists panned out well, i strongly recommend this method if you are hoping to find large attractions. my favorite spot was the peggy guggenheim collection. also noteworthy-candystores that have bins of haribo candy in bulk, pannetone, and biscotti.

after venice we rode the night train back to paris with some gratefully normal brazilian med students (the other night train we took consisted of being woken up at two in the morning in switzerland by rail police who proceeded to escort one of the three middle eastern men from the cabin never to be seen again. shocking i know but i hope he was ok because he was nice and shared his chips with me, he also said i should learn arabic which i am still considering). after perusing paris for the afternoon, eating one last crepe which exploded all over my shirt leaving a noticeable nutella stain resulting in a slightly inappropriate change of wardrobe by the seine, we (and by we i mean i) spent our last few hours before flying back to london in the famous bookstore shakespeare and co. which was intoxicating. we spent two more days in london, this time on the other side of town. at last it was departure day which by now was a welcome relief because of the exhaustion that had officially overtaken our bodies and souls. it is a good thing that heathrow airport comes equipped with several large no duty stores, at least two toy stores and a miniature harrods because our plane was delayed for somewhere around six hours. some people were quite upset, some gave up and fell asleep on the floor, others (who had been there far longer than us) wept openly, i masked my pain by purchasing a purse while quinn surfed the internet. we flew into philly, missed our connection and were compensated by a free dinner and stay in a deluxe sweet at a nearby marriot which i have to say was one of the best nights sleep i have ever had. we landing in LA the next afternoon and i slept for many, many hours. best time of my life.

this concludes my deceptively concise description of our travels. for the two people who will probably read this i hope it wasn't too boring and that it answered the inquiries that i was too tired to explain upon my return.