We were so very lucky to be able to do some pretty cool things on our vacation. My uncle Kenny has a place in Tampa and met up with us at one of the beautiful Florida State Parks to take us on a canoe trip down a little river running out of the Bay. We were on the lookout for alligators - and since Kenny had frequented this park, he knew where most of their resting spots were along the bank. I have to admit I was a little nervous about this excursion, but I put on my brave face and went along for the ride. I had only one request - to paddle with Kenny (not my husband or my dad)...not that I didn't trust them, but well, okay I didn't trust them. :) I wanted to be with the most experienced of the bunch. We even brought Ethan along too! He thought it was pretty cool although it took him a little while to find and focus on the gators that blended so well with the grass, mud and water.
I think we saw about 7 or 8 gators with the biggest one being about 5ft long, several turtles of various sizes, birds of all kinds, beautiful cyprus trees, palm trees and Spanish Moss (which, I learned, is neither from Spain nor is it moss)!
The river was very smooth and flat which made for a relaxing trip. Besides getting about 10 ft. from alligators, the most nerve-racking part would have to be when Ethan announced he had to go potty. We were about half way through the 2 hour trip which meant we had to improvise and figure out a way for him to relieve himself. Let me tell you, I was one nervous momma holding my 2 year old over the edge of the canoe while keeping the boat balanced so we didn't tip. Not to mention that we had to dig the nose of the canoe into the bank to keep it in one spot. THE SAME BANK WHERE WE'D BEEN SEEING ALLIGATORS! To make it more interesting, he had to do it twice along the way, with the 2nd time being - ehem - #2. Luckily Kenny had a backpack with some supplies including Purell wipes...
Most importantly, we all made it back safe and sound and we had a great time! Thanks Uncle Kenny!