On this trip we passed west-to-east through Big Cypress National Preserve and Everglades National Park. We saw TONS of wildlife, but didn't take a lot of photos. We must have seen a hundred alligators while driving Loop Road through Big Cypress. And it's hard to tell scale from that photo, but that turtle's shell was easily two feet in diameter.
CRT2023: Gulf Coast Sunset
CRT2023: Florida State Parks
A lot of Florida state parks have trails that are basically boardwalks through the wetlands, which is a great way to get out into that area and see things you might not otherwise see. But a lot of the parks *also* have these signs warning you not to "molest" the alligators. Such an odd choice of words. :P
CRT2023: Universal Studios
When we passed through Orlando we spent a day at Universal Studios. Carter and I both aren't very good with rides (we get motion sick too easily) - we went on a single ride when we first got there, and immediately afterwards decided that we were done with rides for the day. I know, we're a couple of sissies. But who wants to spend a whole day feeling nauseous? Instead we walked around and looked at everything - it's a pretty impressive place! The Harry Potter area was pretty impressive, and we love the Simpsons and really enjoyed that area as well.
CRT2023: Kennedy Space Center
When I was a teenager my family went to Orlando for a vacation, and on the day we were all supposed to go to Kennedy Space Center I was sick and had to stay back at the hotel. I've been upset about it even since. :P I love everything to do with space, and it was great to finally be able to get out to KSC after all these years.
CRT2023: Florida Atlantic Coast Sunrise
CRT2023: Hugh Taylor Birch State Park
CRT2023: Florida Birds
Rolling Toolbox From Bowling Alley Lane
I recently got a chance to get ahold of some slabs from old bowling alley lanes. As a first project just to get familiar with the material, I built this rolling toolbox for the workshop. The top is made of a chunk of the lane, and the drawer fronts are made from cutoffs of ambrosia maple from the bedroom set project. The lane material was interesting to work with - it isn't glued to together, only nailed. So it's a bit more 'wobbly' than you might expect. I ran screws up from the bottom in several places to stiffen it. Also, the old lane finish was very thick and tough as nails - I had to sand it off with a 50 grit belt on a belt sander. But once removed it sanded up nice and took some oil-based polyurethane well. At two and a half inches thick it should be able to stand up to some abuse as well!
This is the last piece of the bedroom set, and man am I happy to be done with that project! Between the bed, nightstands, bookcase, and dresser I think it took almost 5 months start to finish. The dresser is made of solid cherry, and the drawer interiors are made of ambrosia maple - just like the nightstands.