8:13 PM | Author: Siva
Though I spend most of my time in Georgia nowadays, Florida is still my favorite in U.S. The reason is obvious - weather. So we decided to take a break and travel Florida during the christmas season. A sample of what the state has to offer along with my jottings follow.

The first stop : Universal studios. We have been to the Islands of Adventure and Disney before. So we stopped at Universal studios. We liked it. The rides, shows and regular theme park stuff. Though this is aligned with movies. They also had a holiday parade. Of course what is s parade without Santa. Surprisingly Santa had some cheer leaders too.

The next stop was Kennedy Space center, Cape Canaveral. Frankly, I didn't have lot of expectations due to security restrictions. But the place surprised us with a real saturn v. Built in 70's with the design in paper w/o all the 3-d modelling stuff, it did amaze us. That is me standing next to a saturn v.

The IMAX movie filmed in the international space station(ISS) was also worth watching. The parts that are waiting to be sent to the ISS can also be seen there. They are going to take another 6 years to send all those parts. The Lunar module and a lunar rock was also there. We liked it a lot.

So after a day of fantasy theme parks and real rockets we decided to see the nature in Florida. This time the stop is Ichetucknee Springs State Park.
We just picked it randomly. But again it turned out to be nicer than we thought. After 2 days with bus loads of tourists the deserted trails with its chirping birds and the river with fishes was a totally different experience. We met four other people when we were returning.

The north end is relatively more populated. Though there were only 10-15 other people. The trail was beautiful, with the clear springs, Ichetucknee river flowing without much of a noise. It was refreshing.

The last day was for rest. But as we were fresh we went to the Florida's museum of National History as this place is very close to my house. The main reason to go there was to see the butterfly rain forest. They breed and protect around 2000 butterflies in this place. When you enter the area there are butterflies all around, flying past you, waiting in the path, hiding behind rocks. They are just everywhere. Beautiful place.

The museum also has a mamooth and matodon exhibits.

Somehow the last 3 days were the best in the trip. But the first day was the most expensive :-).
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On 8:27 AM , Seenivasan said...

i wud love to see that butterfly rain forest...that blue one in your pic looks cute.

On 9:45 AM , Siva said...

The blue one and the one on the rock are the same. When it is on a rock with its wings closed it looks normal. When it opens its wings it looks cute. I found that change poetic. That is why the rock picture is there :-)

On 5:50 PM , balraj said...

the butterfly snaps are very good. you have managed to get a good shot at them. they would have been better/brighter with an SLR.

i am really hoping that i get to visit one of the space centers in the US. my fascination for their space programs has grown a lot these days .. mostly driven by their "discovery" success.

on a lighter note
- you should have stood beside the mamooth. It would have met its match ;-) (though your mushy is not that big !!)

On 10:04 PM , Siva said...

a digital SLR would be even better. 1000 $ sigh ...

show me the money bals ..

The space centers are really a must visit. I was surprised to see them not so popular. Also another surprising thing almost 90 % of indians I met there in the space center were tamilians.

- mamooth's match.