Sunday, December 8, 2013

Butterfly World with Grandpa and Grandma

After our amazing few days exploring the Florida Keys, Orlando, and then the Bahamas, my parents, Daxton and I were pretty tuckered out!  We ended up spending the last couple days of their visit exploring some of the interesting local sights.  On our drive back from Orlando we saw a few large billboards advertising both Butterfly World and the Lion Country Safari.  After doing a little research we decided we wanted to spend our last day together checking them out.

In the morning we drove 20 minutes north to Tradewinds Park in Coconut Creek, the location of Butterfly World.  Opened in 1988, Butterfly World was created to be a public park, but also a research facility and butterfly farm.  Today it is the largest Butterfly park in the world and houses over 5,000 live butterflies.  It has also expanded to include the largest free flight hummingbird aviary in the United States, a Lorikeet encounter, and several botanical gardens.  With our love for Butterflies and the beautiful reminder they are of our sweet angel, Mara, we were all excited to go.

The second we walked into the first butterfly aviary, we were surrounded by hundreds of colorful, fluttering wings.  I wish the pictures could have captured the magic and movement of it all, but nothing does it's beauty justice!

Some of the gorgeous butterflies... 

Sadly, Mom's knee was only getting worse so we ended up renting a wheel chair for our outing.  It turned out to be great, though, because we forgot Daxton's stroller, so when he wanted to sit, he would simply hop up into Grandma's lap and snuggle.  Daxton LOVED looking at all the different butterflies.  They were everywhere, landing on leaves, branches, side walk, and even us.  His little eyes were so concentrated watching the colorful movement.

Several of the different gardens had flowers located throughout, which made for perfect butterfly attractions.
We had to be very careful about where we were stepping and rolling the wheel chair.  The butterflies were everywhere!

We couldn't help but feel Mara's sweet presence among all the beauty.  She would have loved it there.  We even found this bench with a sweet dedication...our dancing angel.

We also loved exploring all the different botanical gardens.  There was a garden maze covered in all kinds of passion flowers which were so unique.  I loved the interesting designs and shapes they created.

Daxton loved running through the free flight hummingbird aviary, but a few birds got very close to hitting his head at super fast speeds so we didn't stay there too long.

The Lorikeet enclosure was super fun as well.
There were over 30 Lorikeets within the smaller aviary in which you could buy food for a dollar to feed them.  The food looked like some kind of mashed up fruit smoothie in a tiny plastic cup.  We held the cup in between our hands and the Lorikeets would land all over our bodies to eat.  It allowed for the most amazingly beautiful close up observations.

I was so mesmerized by their intricate colored feathers.

I fed the Lorikeets first and one immediately landed on my head!

Daxton was a bit nervous to hold the birds, so he opted to sit on grandma's lap and watch.  Grandma on the other hand, was down right scared.  Mom said that she'd been afraid of all birds since she watched the Hitchcock film "Birds" as a young girl.  It was pretty funny to watch her squirm a bit, but she proved to be very brave in the end.

Grandpa's turn to feed the Lorikeets...

Mom turned out to be very brave while taking her turn feeding.  Several Lorikeets were very fond of her and even had fun climbing on her glasses!

By the time we were finished Daxton had warmed up to them and wanted to stay.  It was cute because there were even a few Lorikeets that hopped on our bag to catch a ride.

Butterfly World turned out to be a super fun place. We were so glad that we made time for it while mom and dad were in town visiting.  We even ended up buying a membership!

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