Carnival to Canaveral

Trip Start Feb 21, 2010
Trip End Feb 28, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Florida
Wednesday, February 24, 2010

This morning we once again went to the gym. I walked on the treadmill and Keith used the weights. I talked to a retired Army man who was celebrating his 69th wedding anniversary. He said if they make it to 70, they are going through the Panama Canal. While we were exercising, the ship arrived at our first port, Port Canaveral. We had breakfast at the mermaid grille and then got our stuff to disembark.

It was a cloudy day, but not cold. I had reserved a convertible at Budget and we stuck with that even though there was rain in the forecast. The Budget shuttle picked us up right outside the terminal and took us the rental car and we were soon on our way to the Merritt Island National Wildlife Preserve. What we didn’t know was that the causeway that connects the Mainland to the island is under repair. With no detour posted, we had no idea how to get there. I called the Refuge on my cell phone and got new directions,  that added 60 miles roundtrip to our journey. We made it there and got the guide for the Black Point Wildlife Drive, a 7-mile auto tour. Outside the visitor’s center, an alligator was sunning itself in their lagoon .. A helpful volunteer told us about the drive and with our map, we set off.  The Wildlife Preserve was established in 1963 when NASA created the space center. The refuge provides a buffer for space operations while also protecting key habitat such as wetland, hardwood and scrub. It is closed during shuttle launch operations.

We put the top down on the convertible and started on the driving tour. There are twelve stops and each stop has a little blurb about it in the guide. Early in the drive we were looking at salt marshes and noticed a black animal in the water. At the time, we thought it might be an alligator stalking a heron that was on the bank, but we rounded a corner and an otter dashed across the road and into the marsh on the other side. We saw alligators, herons, Roseate Spoonbills, Great Egrets, plovers and lots of ducks. It was a pleasant drive and well worth the extra time it took us to get there. On our way back to Cape Canaveral, we saw an armadillo by the side of the road.

We drove back to Cape Canaveral and found a local pizza place, Papa Vito’s. I had researched online where there was free WiFi and we went there for lunch. We shared an antipasto salad and some garlic rolls and logged on and downloaded our email and I uploaded the blog. Hopefully I will be able to add pictures in Nassau. I didn’t feel as though we should sit there for too long after finishing just so we could use their internet!

After lunch, we drove to Cocoa Beach. We saw no Genies, but saw the beach (it looks like every other beach) and went into Ron Jon’s famous surf shop. We drove around and just looked at the town before we headed back and dropped off the rental car. We arrived back on the ship a little before 4:00.  For dinner, both Keith and I opted for the Spinach Salad and rack of lamb. While the lamb wasn’t hot, it was at least somewhat warm and good. The carrot mash with it was wonderful. I had no dessert, as I was being good after that huge dinner of the night before. We took our books to the ship library/internet place (horrendous charges for internet) and Keith finished his book ( The 10 Books that Screwed Up the World and 5 Others that Didn’t Help) and I continued reading  with my current Michael Jecks mystery. We took a stroll on the deck but cut it short due to the wind and rain. As soon as I am through writing this, I will go finish my book. J Keith is now reading The Leviathan, coincidentally, just so happens to be on the list of the previously mentioned book.
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scott_tri on

Wow, Nancy..., that's a fantastic vacation idea. As usual, you present the details in a way which makes us taste the food, smell the nature, and see the landscape. Almost always enviably by the way. Thanks for taking the time to share. I love reading about your adventures and I'm glad to see that you and your family are so diligent at enjoying the world and one another. Truly a couple I admire and an example to which I aspire. Continued health and safe travels.


WaHa on

Great story and fantastic photos! TMB is right, we need more on the chocolate sampler!
The bird you were not sure of looks like a King Fisher.

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