Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Proud to be a Missourian?

Mo. issues new license plates with error

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- Missouri is issuing its newly-designed license plates, complete with grammatical error and a state bird that flies south for the winter.

Motorists on Monday were issued the first of the newly-designed plates that show a bluebird perched on a branch along the bottom center of the plate. The bluebird migrates south when Missouri weather turns cold.

The state said it would not correct a grammatical error on the plate -- the missing hyphen in the state's nickname, "Show-Me State."

The snafu came to light in April when The Joplin Globe quoted a Missouri Southern State University English professor as saying the rules of grammar require the hyphen.

The Missouri Department of Revenue said that the mistake wouldn't be fixed because that's how the plate looked when it won an online contest last year.

So I thought all 3 designs they had people vote on last year were crappy, and now this comes out....I can't help but laugh! The best part is that they claim it can't be fixed because it's the design that won - well I just searched for news articles from last year and the winning plate design isn't identical to the design above which is from the department of revenue....so it's not the "actual" plate design that won anyway (notice the words "show me state" are vertical on the winning plate to the left, and the word "Missouri" is in a different font). I liked the old plates and I don't get why we had to change anyway.

So rather than have one of these ugly pieces of junk on my car when I renew next month I will likely be investing in one of Missouri's "nearly 200" vanity plate designs...a small sampling is below. Each requires a donation to the sponsoring organization. I am leaning toward the "pet-friendly" plate.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Florida: Day 8

We started our last day out early - 6:30 am to be exact. We got up to watch the sunrise over the bay. I don't know if I'd ever really sat and watched the sunrise before - very quiet in the bay with just the sea and the round orange ball in the sky slowly making its way into the sky. After about 30 minutes we walked across the street and along the gulf shore in search of shells.

After packing up all our stuff, we headed to Tampa to visit the Lowry Park Zoo. It's a really nice zoo - reminded us somewhat of Grant's Farm in St. Louis. We attended the manatee education session where we learned that the Tampa Zoo can care for up to 15 rescued manatees at a time - and when they return them to the wild they release them in the same place they were found - even if that is pretty far away from the zoo. They had 12 manatees there, including a mother and calf.

Next we got to feed sting rays which was really cool. Their mouths kind of felt like suction cups and sponges. You held a piece of shrimp or frozen fish between your fingers sticking up, then place your hand in their tank and they'd swim over your hand and suck the food into their mouths.

In the children's zoo area Tom's shoes got attacked by budgie birds, I fed some goats, and we both fed the lorikeets nectar from a little cup.

I uploaded all the pics from today to my Tampa Zoo album.

Florida: Day 7

We started the day today at the South Florida Museum, home of Snooty, the oldest manatee in captivity, and likely the oldest manatee in the world (he turns 60 on July 21, 2008!). We spent quite a bit of time observing Snooty and learning more about manatees in general. Snooty is a hoot, as he is totally domesticated - he was born in captivity and bottle fed as a calf. He kept swimming up to where his trainer feeds him and would stick his nose up and lean on the pool side to try and get some carrots (one of his favorite treats). I added a ton of pics of the manatees to my Florida Pics - Album 2.

The museum also features a planetarium and tons of historical items - everything from fossils to clocks to old computer parts!

After the museum we went to the other Smugglers Cove Adventure Mini Golf center in the area - Tom insisted on a rematch and he won this time. We also fed the gators once more. Check out the video below of Tom taunting the gators. I also added some new pics to the Florida Pics album.

Monday, June 09, 2008

Florida: Day 6

Today we took a boat ride around the Sarasota bay on LeBarge Tropical Cruises' Dolphin Watch. Attendees were guaranteed to see dolphins or you'd get another cruise free...well as luck would have it, we rode around the bay for 2 hours and finally saw one little dolphin right at the end. It was neat to see the dolphin in the bay, and they gave us coupons for another cruise, but we opted not to spend another 2 hours riding around the bay.

After the cruise we went back to Turtle Beach and spent a couple hours playing and laying in the sun.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

Florida: Day 5

Today we slept in again (big surprise there), then headed to Smugglers Cove Adventure Mini Golf center, where I beat Tom at a round of 18 holes, and even got 2 holes in 1.

After playing mini golf, we opted to feed the baby alligators that they keep at the course (note the photo above of Tom taunting the gators).

After mini golf we went down to Turtle Beach - a little beach a bit past Siesta Beach on Siesta key. It's a less crowded beach, with nice waves. Unfortunately we had a little thunderstorm this afternoon and spent most of the beach time sitting on the shore watching the clouds.

Make sure to check out the pictures I added to the Florida album today - lots of the gators!

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Florida: Day 4

Today we visited the Mote Aquarium. It wasn't the best aquarium for the money, but at least the money was going toward their research - which seems more exciting than the aquarium. We got to see baby seahorse, some small sharks, sea turtles, manatees and dolphins. And of course I came home with "Mr. Manatee", a new stuffed animal (Fipsy will be excited). I added some photos from the aquarium to my Florida Pics album.

We picked up some subway for dinner and ate on the beach while watching the sunset. I added tonights gorgeous sunset photos to my new Florida Sunset album.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Florida: Day 3

Today we ventured south, first to Lido Beach, then to Siesta Key Beach. Lido Beach was alright, but nothing special really. Siesta Key Beach on the other hand was amazing. The Travel Channel ranked it #2 best beach in Florida, because of how soft the sand is - and they weren't kidding!

We returned to the resort and discovered that our sun screen is way past the expired date (we don't get out in the sun much), and we both got a bit sunburned on our shoulders. That prompted a trip to walgreens for a fresh bottle.

We had dinner at a little Italian place and then watched the sunset over the gulf from the private resort beach.

Florida: Day 2

We celebrated our second anniversary by sleeping in late, then visiting our resorts private beach, witnessing a traffic accident on the way back from swimming, then took a dip in the pool, and finally enjoying the sunset from the acclaimed Beach Bistro.

The private beach at the resort is nice, it's shared with another resort owned by the same company, and is just across the main drag from the resort. It's a pretty small beach, but there are no fences or dividers to distinguish the various private beach sections so it looks like you've got the whole area.

The Beach Bistro, where we had dinner, is acclaimed by Zagat’s as the “Best food on the Gulf Coast.” While the food was decent, I wouldn’t go so far as saying it’s the best. I think the Sun House restaurant where we ate the first night was better – and much cheaper too!

Monday, June 02, 2008

Florida: Day 1

We are here in Florida! We got to the resort around 7:15 pm this evening, in time to see our first gulf sunset. Tomorrow we hit the beach.