Friday, November 11, 2011
Our Florida Vacation
This is part two of the Ramsey family's Florida vacation scrapbook. Florida is such a nice destination for vacations and whenever I think Florida I think flamingos. Do you all also think that? Or perhaps you think sunshine and fresh squeezed oranges. All wonderful thoughts of this sunny state.
Our flamingos were on display in Busch Gardens Tampa. Did you know Busch Gardens is owned by the Anheuser Busch Company? And did you know the Anheuser Busch Company is very friendly to military personnel? I hope you do because the cost of the millions of free tickets Anheuser Busch must have given away since at least 1990 (after Desert Shield/Storm) must be an astronomical amount. The very fact that Anheiser Busch is so generous to the military sure has my attention and all of my gratitude. You see, active duty military and their immediate family members can get into the Busch parks free of charge. What a deal! Just Google 'Salute to the Heroes' or check out this website for more information.
After delivering my uncle safe and sound at his home southwest of Orlando we decided to stay in Florida an extra day so we could visit Busch Gardens Tampa-especially since the tickets were free. The pictures in this post were all taken in Busch Gardens Tampa and this is a scrapbook for my family. We'll get back to regularly scheduled garden posts next week.
If you have never visited a Busch Gardens park you are missing out. All of the Busch parks that I have visited (Sea World, Busch Gardens Williamsburg Virginia and of course Busch Gardens Tampa Florida) are top notch. There is something going on all the time in the parks. The gardens and landscapes are extraordinary, people are friendly, and there is a wide range of rides and shows and animals that appeal to people of all ages.
The Williamsnburg Virginia Busch Gardens Park has a theme of Europe. Since the Ramsey family lived in Europe for over ten years visiting the Williamsburg park is sort of like home-very comfortable and familiar to us. Busch Gardens Tampa has a theme of Africa. This park certainly did not remind us of home and was quite exotic and fun for all of us in the Ramsey family. We visited the Serengeti Plains and were able to get up close and personal with kangaroos-all without leaving the United States.
We saw elephants of the live kind and also the bronzed kind. He kind of reminds me of Dumbo.
The caladiums simply shined under the cooling trees in the park.
This palm was such a great feature I took several pictures of it. Just look at the architecture of it! That silvery blue color sure makes it stand out too.
This tree was an acacia tree. It is in the mimosa family and is native to Africa. The bark was so shiny and smooth. A very cool tree! Most of the specimens and plants were marked with easy to read plant labels. Hence, the 'Garden' part of Busch Gardens. The Busch theme parks are not just amusement parks but also botanical gardens, operas, theaters, restaurants, and of course amusement in the form of many rides including roller coasters. On this visit I don't think I rode any roller coasters. Rattling my brain is not something I enjoy so no roller coasters for me. The Jimster and Mr. Fix-it rode quite a few though.
More of the gardens. Commercial parks and properties really have to mass plant for big impact. Busch Gardens got it right for sure.
We saw giraffes of the live kind and these topiaried giraffes were pretty neat too. Busch Gardens must employ a million horticulturists to take care of all the gardens and plants. What a big job.
And finally I include two pictures of the Jimster. For him the most wonderful part of his visit to Busch Gardens was not riding all the roller coasters-two times each, it was not the food or the shows, it was not the great weather and myriad of gardens, no, for the Jimster the best part of the day was the kangaroos. He got to feed them and get up close and personal. While he was feeding the older kangaroos there were several baby kangaroos who were being fed by the workers. The babies were so cute in how they sucked on the over sized bottles.
One of the last things we did before the end of the day was to go back and see the kangaroos. Feeding time in the morning was a time when the kangaroos were very active and sociable. When we went back in the evening the kangaroos were sleepy and just kind of hanging out. Fortunately we snapped a picture of the Jimster in front of this albino kangaroo.
Like all great theme parks Busch Gardens provides nighttime entertainment. The show we went to: which was called Kinetix; was very full but there was still plenty of seating for everyone. We planned all day to see this show and were not disappointed. This Kinetix show was full of energy and marvelous tricks and dances and music. I captured some of the act in this short video. Check it out as you too will be amazed....
in the garden....
Today is Veteran's Day so I think this post and Skeeter's post yesterday come at an opportune time. If you ever get the chance to visit any of the Anheuser Busch Gardens and you are active military be sure to check out the free admittance. Walt Disney also does something like this and perhaps other parks but in my experience none go as far as Anheuser Busch to allow all family members free admittance to their parks. Happy Veterans' Day!
Words and Photos Property of In the Garden Blog Team, In the Garden