Saturday, June 6, 2015

June 4-8th, 2015 Florida Trip

Tamsyn and I left for Ft. Lauderdale, FL on June 4th at 10:25 pm.  We arrived on the 5th at 6 am, picked up our rental car and then drove to the Everglades.  Our first stop was Shark Valley where we took a tram tour.

It was so fun to see all the alligators and learn about the Everglades.  It was a lot different than I had imagined.

baby alligator

Tamsyn wanted pictures of every animal and interesting plant she saw.  Too bad I can't label them all.

The picture below is of an alligator nest.

After our tour we found a place nearby to go on an airboat tour.  Our guide was a bit crazy and talked about a ton of things totally unrelated to the boat tour, but we got to see more alligators up close and stopped at a strange island board walk place out in the middle of who-knows-where.  The airboat company was operated and owned by Florida Native Americans (but our driver wasn't - I think he was from South America)

The place where we stopped was a bit odd, it had all these old sewing machines and other random objects, along with totem poles.

After our airboat ride we headed to our hotel.  We were both feeling pretty tired after our red eye flight and busy day.  That night and the next morning we went over our questions for the segment we were going to shoot at Showcase Marketplace.

June 6th
We got ready and made it to the studio around 12:45 for our 1pm shoot.  They did a bit of makeup -- nothing fancy and hooked us up to our microphones.  I had researched and learned that this segment probably wouldn't benefit my company much if at all, but since I had already made an agreement and didn't want to go back on it, I decided to bring Tamsyn with me so she could have the experience and we could make it more about a fun trip than a business venture.  It did turn out that the segment was basically useless (other than for my own use).  Supposedly it aired on a variety of small networks, but I did not see any surge in website hits after those air times and really no sales from it at all.  I have had more sales from newspaper articles in Wyoming than from this -- so I don't think there was anybody watching -- and definitely would not recommend Showcase Marketplace to any company.  Luckily I didn't feel too bad about it because I was prepared in advance that it would likely go that way.
Plus -- all of the fun we had was definitely worth it.  And now both Tamsyn and I can say we have shot a commercial.  During the shoot we had to stop several times and redo parts.  Tamsyn would try to walk and mess up her microphone.  She got a bit frustrated, but held it together and overall did a really great job.

After we finished at the studio we took our lovely burnt orange rental car that we both really liked and headed to the beach.

It was really cloudy and started raining, but we had a blast playing out in the waves.  We walked up and down the beach looking for shells and while doing so, I stepped on a bee.  It stung the bottom of my foot and hurt really bad.  By the time we headed home it was puffy and super itchy.

That night we went to eat at a seafood restaurant called Flanigan's.  Tamsyn was most excited about getting dessert.

On June 7th we spent the morning at Butterfly World.  Tamsyn took these pictures of a weird looking duck and her ducklings while we waited for it to open.

She also took pictures of about everything else in sight :)

Birds in this Aviary

That night for dinner we took the Jungle Queen Riverboat Cruise.  It was a tour through the ritzy part of Ft. Lauderdale and then a stop for dinner and a show on an island.  Tamsyn was more interested in finding wildlife than she was in the fancy houses.

The food was good and it was fun -- not sure it was quite worth the 4 hours of time and the cost though.  The show consisted of some magicians, a ventriloquist and some musicians.

June 8th was our last morning there we went to the beach early and had a great time and then went back to the hotel to check out.  After that Tamsyn was going to swim at the hotel pool but they were doing maintenance so it was closed.  We decided to head back to the beach but we had a super hard time finding parking.

The blocked off area is where a sea turtle has laid eggs.

Tamsyn gathered lots of shells and picked out the best ones to take home.  She also picked out cute stuffed animals to bring back for Natasha, Thurston and Dantley.

We had an unforgettable time and I hope that Jake and I will plan on taking one-on-one trips like this more frequently with each of the kids.

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