Sunday, January 15, 2006

Airboat Ride and SkyVenture

This morning we drove out to Lake County to tour the Central Florida "Mountains" (Buckhill, Sugarloaf, The Wall) by car, rather than ride them. Part of this was due to logistics: I can't really fit 3 bikes on my carrier, and riding from home would be about 110 or 120 miles. Going that far at this point in training would be quite grueling! A nice benefit of driving was the ease of stopping in at the Yalaha Bakery, a German-styled bakery in Yalaha, FL. They serve up some great pastries and we sampled a variety of them. :)

Francesca surverys her street and post office.

After this we took an airboat ride on Lake Harney. It is a bit cool for gators, but we did see one from a distance, floating along like a log. We also saw a bald eagle and lots of birds during our 30 minute trip. While gators are always around, they hide in the cool weather and from boats. I think the best time to see wild gators is during the summer when they lay their eggs - the airboat captain just has to get near a nest and the female gators will come out of hiding to protect her eggs.

Lake Harney airboat ride

Once back in the car we drove to SkyVenture Orlando for some indoor skydiving. I did this months ago and hadn't been back, so I was really looking forward to another session. Francesca tried it on a previous trip, and Alexandra was excited since it was her first time.

Our group was a mom and several small kids, plus a teenager who had booked 10 minutes of time. The kids were having a tough time so after letting them float for a bit, the instructor just grabbed them and did horizontal loops. The teenager had a cool looking black/red flame jumpsuit, and worked on fancy moves. Meanwhile, I was just happy to float around slowly... it is really fun and hard to explain how exciting it is when you really just kind of float in place.

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