Back to Busch Gardens

Again, I am playing catch up with my photos. When I go someplace and take a lot of photos, I will tell you that term “a lot of photos” usually means over a thousand a day. Usually, I try to wait a few days to go through the photos, so I have a “clean eye” looking at them. I have to cull out the ones that I don’t like and then go through the process a second time when processing them through lightroom. It is an arduous process, but one that I enjoy doing. It is just time consuming. This is why I am always playing catch up. I am blessed to have the pleasure to travel to wonderful places. I try to capture some of that in photos. If there are animals involved or beautiful vistas, I am sucked in and I start clicking away, trying to capture the essence of what I see and feel and put it into a photo.

In mid-March, Rich, Lily, and I flew down to New Port Richey, Florida to spend some time with Rich’s parents and sister. Bonus visitors were there as well: Rich’s Uncle Joe (his mom’s younger brother) and his family, and a family friend from Sarasota. We had a really nice time. Rich and I decided about 2 years ago that we were going to make a concerted effort to spend more time with our parents. His mom has Alzheimer’s, and my dad has dementia. My father is in a memory facility as of the end of January. My mother-in-law is still at home, but it is not about good and bad days now as much as it is good and bad hours. Watching a parent fade away mentally is so very hard. Growing up, you depended on them to raise you to be successful adults. When Joe died, we naturally wanted to turn to our parents for consolation. That is hard to do when your parent doesn’t even understand who has died. Even in our grief, we have tried to visit our parents – to spend time with the parents who are losing their memories, and to give support in however we can for their spouses – the caregivers. Lily had a few days off of school, so we flew down from a Wednesday to a Saturday. On Thursday, the whole big crew of us went to Busch Gardens to spend the day. We didn’t really think about the timing of our trip – it was spring break for a lot of the country, and they were all headed to sunny Florida. Unlike the time when Michelle and I were there in the off season in January, this time it was packed with visitors. We were there all day and I wanted to share a few photos of the day.

I should probably warn you that the next day, Lily and I went to Zoo Tampa. However, there are a lot of animals I had not photographed before that reside there. I am still plodding along in Lightroom working on those. Then the next week, Rich and I flew to California to spend 6 days with Tim. We went to several national parks. No animal photos in there besides a few birds and sealions. However, if you are tired of the zoo animal photos, just remember that I am moving to northwestern Montana in two months or so and there aren’t any zoos up there!

3 thoughts on “Back to Busch Gardens

  1. What a whirlwind of traveling you’ve been doing! And what amazing zoo animal pictures! I LOVE them all! I was going to say, “especially the giraffes,” but the others are fabulous also. You are so good at capturing their personalities! Thank you for sharing!


  2. I never get tired of your photos, and I’m thankful you’re able to travel to see your parents often. Tom and I just have one parent on earth now, my mom, and her memory has started to slip. We’re grateful we always traveled to see parents and grandparents. I used to say, “traveling to see relatives is something you’ll never regret,” even during the bad days or bad hours. Love to you 🤟


  3. I’m so sorry that both you and Rich are dealing with your parents’ memory loss; my dad had dementia and it broke my heart. The last time I saw him and he was lucid, he called me “Betty”. It crushed me, but my dad was everything to me and I was sad for just a minute. Sending many hugs your way!


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