Day Three and the Missing Tampa Photos Mystery Part I

I finally found out what happened to the missing photos I took in Tampa.  My CF card in the camera has finally failed.  I was able to get 90% of the data off the card (using Windows standard copy) but the card then bit the dust.  Windows and the camera won’t even recognize the card any more.  Ironically, the same thing happened to my 1GB SD card in the digital picture frame while we were gone.

Zoo VoucherSo on to Day Three, Wednesday.  On this day, we decided to go to the Lowry Park Zoo first, then to the Florida Aquarium using the tickets I purchased at  Unfortunately, the tickets were laying on my computer desk back home.  After spending 20 minutes finding their secret number, I finally got TicketsAtWork on the phone and Josh saved the day.  He found the tickets and put them in PDF format and sent them in an email right away.  I had them in minutes.  The only problem at this point was how to print them.  I naively thought that I would waltz down to the business center and print them…but there is no business center in the Hyatt!  In fact, you have to email what you want to print to the concierge and have her print it at $1.07 per page!  Anyway, $1.07 per page is better than not having my tickets.

After a hearty breakfast at the hotel lobby, which I originally thought was free but ended up being $25 each (doh!), we got the car and headed out.  The Zoo was not all that far from the Hotel, and the area where the Zoo is is quite scenic.  The Lowry Park Zoo is big – and you really have to follow the map to make sure you see it all.  After switching out my vouchers for real tickets, we entered the Zoo.  The teens darted away on their own agenda, freeing us to walk at a more leisurely pace.  First up was the birds…here is a small representative sample:

Pink bird in Open AviaryAfrican HornbillToucan

I will not bore you with pics of all the animals I saw, but I do want to pepper this blog entry Skyridewith some samples.  The Zoo is really nice – well kept and clean.  There are many rides available for the kids, including a rollercoaster, a water log flume ride and some others, which must be purchased separately…very irritating since the ticket price alone is nearly $30 each just for admission.  Unlimited ride tickets are another $20 each, which can add up for a large family!  We just went a la carte, which was around $4 each for rides.  I took the sky ride across the park, which was worth it.  The teens went on most of the rides…we still ended up saving money over the price of the unlimited rides. 

I enjoyed most of the park, despite the 96 degree heat.  Here are a few more pics of animals we saw as we meandered through the park:

White Tigers Frolicking in the WaterRhino and Baby

Pink Flamingos!Manatee

Turtles on a LogRooster

After a long morning of going through the park, we were all very tired and hungry.  I was a little perturbed at the teens, who seemed lethargic and wanted to sit around texting instead of looking at things…so we kept on top of making sure they actually saw more than the 2″ LCD screen on their phones.  It is amazing how foolish and uncooperative a teen can be, especially when once in a lifetime memories are flying past them on the highway of life.  In the end though, they made it through the park, probably seeing about 40% of what was there, spending the other 60% with their heads in other places.

After the Zoo, we decided to go down the street to the McDonald’s for lunch.  That turned out pretty good – and it was a clean and safe store, unlike most of them in Orlando.  After this, we zig zagged across town to the Aquarium, which I will discuss in the next blog!


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