Friday, 17 May 2013

Vacation Highlights

Since the main purpose of my vacation is largely Rest and Recreation I have very little to report but here goes.

We spent most of our time at the poolside but we did venture out to a neighbouring city for a change of scene. The city we chose was St Cloud which is largely residential with a bustling main street and a lakeshore boulevard which is nice to walk around.

On our lakeshore walk we came across a small alligator (2 foot long) swimming along a drainage ditch. We paused to watch while a local girl out walking her dog spoke to us and asked if we'd like to see a bigger one. Yes please we said and she pointed out the location of a "huge alligator, at least 6 foot long, sunning itself on the bank, and it won't be frightened of you".

Being a fearless soul I thrust my wife in the general direction of the "huge" alligator and followed her at a short distance. After walking for nearly 15 minutes finding nothing much we retraced our steps and spotted another 'small' alligator at the waters edge. It was about 4 foot long and obviously cautious in its own right as it swam off. I wonder if that was the 'huge' alligator of the dog walker fame?


I know that some people are prone to exageration but if I was told that the local snails were also "huge" I would have to believe them. We found an empty shell.

We stopped off in a small park just off the bustling main street as it appeared to have some military connected memorials.

There is more information at this link:

Scattered around the park were a number of memorials, a truck, a helicopter and a couple of guns.

This truck, known as the Deuce and a Half came into service in 1951 and as far as I can tell is still in service although this particular model won't be going far.

The chopper is a Bell AH-1 Cobra of Vietnam fame.

I was quite pleased with myself as I declared to my wife that these guns looked awfully like British 6 pounders and I was surprised to see an acknowledgment beside them that their development was indeed from a British design.

We are away up North to Chicago tomorrow so we may be out of touch blogwise for a few days.


  1. Nice weather ! unlike the old U.K. ! - snow in May !

  2. I didn't know you painted your toenails Jim! ;-)

    I don't think I'd gone looking for the alligator (I don't like the look of the snails either!). You're a better man than I am Gunga Din :-)

    1. Yup, I basecoat, topcoat, ink wash and gloss varnish my nails every week :)

      The alligator 'search' was a lot less dangerous than you perceive. There were good lines of sight and withdrawal routes in several directions and I can run faster than the wife!!!

    2. If they don't get you with the first lunge and three strides, they usually give up.

      Although that might be crocs...

    3. Yes, my wife has the same attack strategy!