Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida

Last posting of good camera photos from the Florida trip with Michelle. So we did all things manatee….Harry Potter World and the rest of Universal Studios…but on the last full day, we went to Busch Gardens in Tampa. This was kinda for me. I love to be with animals. If you aren’t familiar with Busch Gardens, it is a huge zoo and with some roller coasters thrown throughout the park. We didn’t ride any roller coasters, but we did have a blast seeing all the animals. Michelle had never seen kangaroos live before. They are weirdly cute little guys (okay, some are not so small). They have long claws….thick tails that they balance on when walking and fighting. We also saw some black swans. I don’t think I had ever seen one in person before. They are just so pretty. There was a black swan couple with a nest with three eggs. We went into an aviary where they had these gorgeous birds called lorikeets. They are a part of the parrot family but are smaller. They were zooming all over the place. One landed on Michelle’s head. To be very honest, I was laughing so hard that I didn’t even get one photo of it. Michelle stayed relatively calm considering there was a very colorful bird sitting on her head. We both decided that Joe was right there laughing with us. We also saw flamingos…so many of them! They were so brightly colored they almost hurt my eyes as they were standing on bright green grass. There was a beautiful pink bird called a Roseate Spoonbill. They almost became extinct at the turn of the century because women wanted their pink feathers for their hats. The color of their feathers are so beautiful….from a blush pink to a hot pink. We saw a few Asian elephants…and got a kick out of one of them who was playing in a spray of water with her trunk. The lion and lionesses were active and putting on a show, which was nice. They had some adorably cute porcupines. Who knew they were so cute and photogenic? Cheetahs….yep…they had them, along with zebras. Michelle and I went on a giraffe safari excursion. It was pretty fun. We had a small group of people and we went out into the acres of their Savannah area standing in the back of an open air truck. We got out there and got swarmed by the giraffes. Evidently we were supposed to calmly hold out our harms away from the truck with lettuce and the giraffes would just simply take them from us. Well, quite quickly we had 5-7 giraffe necks in the back of the truck with us. I had a giraffe neck over my shoulder as he went for the guide’s waist band, where he was holding the lettuce. The guide was relatively calm but kept saying that “This is not how it is supposed to work!” He had to keep holding his hands up in the air with lettuce in them to get the giraffes to lift their heads out of the back of the truck. There was one man who was petrified. There was a grandma (called Nanny by her twenty-something granddaughter) who kept getting the back of her neck nibbled on by a randy giraffe. Some people thought it was a bit much….Michelle and I thought it was a great time with a great story to tell. The guide was a young man who talked with us for quite a while after we got back. He said he has actually gotten a concussion from a giraffe swinging its neck on a tour one time. Michelle told him that was the best “fun fact” story ever! Anyhow, we had a fantastic day. Considering I started out thanking Michelle for suffering through the zoo with me….we both left laughing and she has a lorikeet and giraffe story and got dippin dots (her favorite) – so I think it was a win.

3 thoughts on “Busch Gardens in Tampa, Florida

  1. Fantastic stories and photos-so happy you both got to go! I only been there once, about 35 years ago. Clearly I need to go back.


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