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Title: Florida Trip [2003]
Notes: So you see, my friend Kilian and her family took me with them to Florida one year to see the Drum Corp Finals [which was so incredibly cool!]

This being my first time out of Canada, and knowing what I did about the States, and Florida in particular, I made a list of things I wanted to do while we were there. This is the cue for people to ask 'Ooh, what did you want to do? Go to Disney Land and that, right?'

Well we did go to Disneyland, and Epcot was awesome fun! Especially going to see Canada-land where we got to talk to all the Canadians working there. We learned that apparently Canada has a lot of cabins, rocks, waterfalls and lizards (as per the locale they had recreated), and that I'd been to most of the places across Canada shown in the 360degree movie. And could sing along with the soundtrack for it too... I may not have left the country before this, but my family did a lot of roadtrips cross-Canada when I was a kid.

But yes, as fun as it was that wasn't on my list of three things to do. Instead it was the following:
1. Take a picture of a palm tree [not just any palm tree, the perfect palm tree]
2. See an alligator
3. Catch a lizard.

You read right. And it was ridiculously fun because my attempts (particularly at catching a lizard - those things are fast!) kept the lot of us amused through the whole trip.

1 • The 'perfect' palm tree also turned out to be the last palm tree! I snapped its photo just before we entered the airport on the way back home.

2 • We lucked out and found the alligators at a mini-putt course next to a resteraunt we had dinner at one evening. They were kind of groggy ( I think they get overfed and not enough exercise in the setup they had there) but it still totally counted for the list!

3 • The lizard turned out to be the best. I hunted them unsuccessfully for three or four days. Mostly they liked hanging around on the side of buildings and I could get really close - but then they'd just launch off at your face at the last second! That was a bit unnerving. Finally I spotted a tiny one that had made its way into our hotel room. I managed to corral it into the bathroom and corner it there. Isn't it cute and tiny? It was a triumphant day.

Ruth can be awesome to travel with -- she makes suitcase forts in the airport while waiting for car rentals to be worked out! [Less effective than a gargoyle, more so than a garden gnome, I will protect your luggage! ... or something.] Ahaha... yes I'm silly, and yes, that was totally me in the midst of a suitcase fort making a stupid face in the middle of the ginormous Florida Airport.

I got pictures of lots of other things too, like a dead puffer fish washed up on the beach, but thats the jist of my travel list. The drum corps finals were really incredible to get to see and its always fun travelling with Kilian and her family (it was so nice of them to bring me!). I found a stunning blue-grey conch shell that washed up on the beach in front of me while I was there too. I'd always loved the ones on the shelf at my Grampa's house that came from Florida when my mom was little and was subconsciously really hoping to be able to find one. Its about the size of my fist and in really good condition. I brought it back safely by stowing it in an extra shoe. :D