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emw
Dec 24, 2005, 02:16 PM
I had the good fortune of heading to Florida last week for my wife's birthday. We went with our 2 children (2 and almost 5) as well as her parents, and her brother and his girlfriend.

I thought I would share a few pictures as I have time to work on them. I'll try to flow them in here regularly over the next week as I have time. I took about 300 pictures ;)

Don't worry, I won't show them all :D

The first morning, we woke up to some rain, but that was the end of it - no more for the rest of the week. However, I got what I thought was a nice shot of a clearing sky.

http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Cloudy%20Morning_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Cloudy%20Morning_2.jpg)

Then we started combing the beach, which was right outside our house, and found a bunch of shells, most of which were completely intact, vs. broken like many we've found in the past.

http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/First%20Shell_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/First%20Shell_2.jpg)

840quadra
Dec 26, 2005, 04:14 PM
Looks great, I like the clouds over the water, makes it look kinda cool out.

emw
Dec 27, 2005, 10:53 AM
I'm finally through the Christmas rush and back at work, so now I have some time to update the "album" :D

Anyway, we were lucky enough to rent a home on the beach in the Keys, which was surprisingly economical when traveling with 2 other couples. Here are a couple of shots of the house where we stayed (as viewed from the beach).

http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/House%20Left_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/House%20Left_2.jpg) http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/House%20Right_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/House%20Right_2.jpg)

It was nice that the pool had a "hot pool" as well. I'd call it a hot tub, but it was too big. It was one of those pools that you can supposedly swim in (it generates a current), but that didn't work out so well. The kids loved it, though!

http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Kids%20in%20pool_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Kids%20in%20pool.jpg)

Although the Keys had sustained some pretty significant damage, our house was pretty well cleaned, except the vegetation was battered. From the picture on the left you can see how the neighbor's dock was almost completely destroyed, but it was mostly rebuilt by the time we left.

http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Damaged%20Dock_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Damaged%20Dock_2.jpg) http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Rebuilt%20dock_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Rebuilt%20dock.jpg)

emw
Dec 27, 2005, 01:07 PM
Since I'm trying to make this at least a little educational and not completely useless, it was nice that we were able to observe quite a bit of sea-life right outside our doors. We saw many different crabs, some lobsters, and a variety of fish. Here are some crab pictures, the top two of which are taken through the water, so are a little less clear. There were literally hundreds, if not thousands, of hermit crabs within just a couple hundred square feet area off the beach.

http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Hermit%20crab%20in%20water_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Hermit%20crab%20in%20water.jpg) http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Crab%20in%20water_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Crab%20in%20water.jpg)
http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Crab%20in%20sponge_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Crab%20in%20sponge.jpg) http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Horseshoe%20crab_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Horseshoe%20crab.jpg)

We also saw two Man-o-Wars, one of which was on the beach, and the other was in the water, swimming with a fish "friend" who was probably there for protection.

http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Man-o-war_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Man-o-war.jpg) http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Man-o-war%20with%20fish_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Man-o-war%20with%20fish.jpg)

Of course, we also had the requisite Florida lizards.

http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Lizard_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Lizard.jpg)

EGT
Dec 27, 2005, 01:29 PM
Those are some lovely pics. What camera are you using by the way?

emw
Dec 27, 2005, 01:34 PM
Thanks! I suppose I should have mentioned these are all shot with a Canon 350D with the standard lens. I'm kicking myself for not buying a nice telephoto lens for this trip, as it would have come in handy.

yellow
Dec 27, 2005, 02:26 PM
Cool shell pic. Might like to try and beg a hi-rez version off you for a nice background. :D

emw
Dec 27, 2005, 02:32 PM
Cool shell pic. Might like to try and beg a hi-rez version off you for a nice background. :DNo begging necessary:

http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/IMG_1499.JPG

Also, here's another shell picture that I liked:

http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Anybody%20home_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Anybody%20home_2.jpg)

yellow
Dec 27, 2005, 02:42 PM
Awesome, thanks Eemeewaaah! That'll make a killer background for my momski's new Mini in her FL home. You rule.

puckhead193
Dec 27, 2005, 02:46 PM
nice pictures. I like the one with the crab on the sponge thing...

emw
Dec 27, 2005, 03:28 PM
Of course, you can't go to the Keys without getting some sunset shots. We went to Key West for a day and of course headed to Mallory Square for the sunset celebration, a few beers, and some laughs. During it all I managed to get a couple of reasonable sunset shots. Because of damage in the area, we were blocked off from being right on the water.

http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Sunset_boat_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Sunset_boat.jpg) http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Sunset_boat.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Nice_sunset.jpg)

While we were there, there was a couple that had just gotten married, and the bride gave the bouquet of flowers to my daughter. I don't know if I should be worried or not. As a side note to this image, you can see some of the destruction left over from the hurricane. The dock area behind her was in bad shape.

http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Kelsey_flowers_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Kelsey_flowers.jpg)

emw
Dec 27, 2005, 04:27 PM
Okay, this is the last batch I'll torture you with. The day before we left we went to a small animal rescue center called Theater of the Sea in Islamorada. It's nothing fancy, but we like it because you can get close to the animals (which is fun for both us and the kids) and they are rescuing animals that have been injured. Many of the animals have lost limbs or are otherwise unable to be re-released into the wild. Some, like the dolphins, were born to parents housed at the center, and as such remain in the park.

While we were roaming the park waiting for the tours to begin, I happened to snap a quick shot of one of the dolphins playing around. No one was in the area with him/her, so it was fun to see them doing flips on their own. The second shot was taken during the dolphin show portion of the tour.

http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Ad%20lib%20dolphin_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Ad%20lib%20dolphin.jpg) http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Dolphin%20show%20jump_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Dolphin%20show%20jump.jpg)

Of course in any good dolphin show you have to have a trick where the trainer gets pushed out of the water by the dolphin!

http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Dolphin%20flips%20trainer_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Dolphin%20flips%20trainer.jpg)

As I mentioned, the kids can get up close to the dolphins. In the first picture below, the dolphin was right below us as I sat with my son by the water. In the second shot, my daughter was part of a group that was asked to go over to the dock to pet the dolphin. She was thrilled (she's the one with the flower pants).

http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Dolphin%20close-up_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Dolphin%20close-up.jpg) http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Thumbnails/Kelsey%20pets%20dolphin_tn.jpg (http://www.mremw.com/MR_Images/Vacation/Kelsey%20pets%20dolphin.jpg)

wwooden
Dec 27, 2005, 04:37 PM
Does your camera take those widescreen shots or are you cropping them? They look awesome!! I really need to get south, have only been once in my life, it gets cold up here in the winters.

emw
Dec 27, 2005, 04:46 PM
Does your camera take those widescreen shots or are you cropping them? They look awesome!! I really need to get south, have only been once in my life, it gets cold up here in the winters.
The natural camera aspect ratio is 3:2, so they're not quite like HD widescreen (16:9), although some of them have been cropped to different dimensions to accentuate a particular area of focus. Glad you like them.

And there's nothing like Florida in the winter. Weather was beautiful the whole time, in the upper 70's, with the exception of the day we left, when it was in the 60's, making it easier to come home to the cold.

ibook30
Dec 27, 2005, 04:57 PM
Super cool photo of the sail boat.
Arrrrr, I love the sea!
Looks like a good time ! Cute kids too!

kwajaln
Dec 27, 2005, 05:25 PM
Looks like an excellent trip!!

MacAztec
Dec 27, 2005, 05:36 PM
My girlfriend took me to her house in Sun Valley, Idaho. Was really cool, huge house, we snowboarded a lot, ate out all the time, had a great time...