State University of New York Institute of Technology
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My Winter Break (Part 4)

January 1 - 16

The first part of January I spent in Florida visiting my parents. They moved down in October of 2004 to escape the NY winters. They live in Homosassa, which is about an hour north of Tampa and an hour Northwest of Orlando. Most of my time down there was spent relaxing and hanging out with my mother's cat Smooch, but we did visit a few places.

Smooch lying in her bed

My Parents House

Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park

This is a wildlife park that nurses injured animal back to health. There biggest draw is the manatees. They also have a hippo which was used in movies in the sixties, but now lives happily at the park. There ares numerous birds such as flamingos, ducks, herrons, egrets, but the most beautiful are the two bald eagles at the park. They also have alligators, a black bear, foxes, and a florida panther among others. This was my second trip to the park, I had gone there the last time i visited my parents, but it was just as fun. Below are some pictures from the park.

A volunteer feeding a manatees at the park

Lu the hippo at the park

Some flamingos at the park

One of the bald eagles at the park

Tarpon Springs

The other daytrip we took was to Tarpon Springs. It is a small village that was once the biggest sponge diving location in America. There are some cool shops and historical information available about the sponge diving industry. The highlight of this day was the boat tour out into the Gulf of Mexico. While we were out in the Gulf we saw some dolphins. Below are some pics from Tarpon Springs. The dolphins were hard to photograph because they only surface for a second, the pic I included was the "best" of the 20 or so I tried to take.

A shrimp boat in the marina at Tarpon Springs

My Parents on the boat tour

Dolphins swimming in the Gulf of Mexico

While I was down there I also had a birthday. My parents took me to Cody's Original Roadhouse. It is a chain of steakhouses in western Florida. I had a sirloin and it was the best steak I ever had.

Me enjoying my birthday desert at Cody's

Alas I eventually had to come back to NY. The day I left it was 80° in Orlando and 15° in Syracuse when I landed. Overall it was a good trip and it was nice to escape the cold for a bit.

Me and my parents before heading to the airport to come home.

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