Big Cat Habitat in Sarasota, Florida

Have you been to the Big Cat Habitat & Gulf Coast Sanctuary in Sarasota, Florida? This large animal rescue organization provides a home for tigers, lions, monkeys and other exotic animals in need. I got a chance to visit this amazing organization with Clayton Rosaire. His mom, Kay, founded the place in 1987 and has been a cat-mom for years, educating the public on conservation and animal care. Now Clayton is leading the charge and it's truly impressive.

Please note that there's a real liger. This animal is rare and probably one of the largest animals I've ever actually seen up close. HOLY HECK he's big. His mom was a tiger and his dad was a lion. They generally are born in captivity because hey, roommates get real close.

We get up close with some of the residents ourselves and really far away from other ones. Watch to see what happens. Also, if you feel like contributing to this amazing organization. Click here. 

Todd McLellan: Things Come Apart!

I wandered through the latest exhibit at the Orange County Regional History Center last week and was amazed by the objects on display from photographer Todd McLellan. He started with one object, a touch tone phone, methodically taking it apart then dropping it from ten feet in the air and photographing it as it fell. Each object's pieces and parts meticulously laid out and a corresponding photograph of the pieces suspended in mid-air. It's fantastic. My favorite: the typewriter

I got to grab a short video the night it opened. Listen in to McLelland's explanation of how he started and why tinkering and taking things apart is now his passion.

The traveling exhibit has been made available through the Smithsonian Institute and will be on site until May 6, 2018. One of the unique displays is the Central Florida wall with the Tiki Bird from Disney World and a rare video of Walt Disney explaining animatronics. There's also the Beefy King sandwich, dissected in all its glory for us to behold. My mouth is watering....and I picked the wrong year to be vegetarian. 

If you're feeling hungry too, FOOD COMES APART will be on Friday, March 23rd and is a culinary adventure of food origin, science, and flavor. Dinner is included! Check out the website for details. 

See you at the History Center.

Looking for a slow-mo video made by Todd McLellan of a piano falling in mid-air? Here ya go:

Leu Gardens: LEGO Bricks and Botanicals in Audubon Park

"Just as LEGO pieces interconnect, everything in nature is interconnected in a delicate balance. Insects and plants have important relationships; different species of animals have connections with their families just like we do."

Leu Gardens has a very special event happening called Nature Connects and it involves over 450,000 LEGO Bricks. Artist Sean Kenney is a self-proclaimed professional kid and he uses LEGO Bricks to create contemporary sculpture. This traveling exhibition has been touring the world since 2012 and truly is an incredible sight to see. 

It's available here in Orlando until April 22, 2018 so be sure to visit before it moves on. Brendan and I took a walk through the garden and saw every single one of Kenney's creatures. Did you know:

  • Over 464,770 LEGO Bricks were used for the exhibit.

  • There are 16 sculptures, so grab a map to find them all.

  • It took Kenney over 4,500 hours to build all the sculptures.



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Be sure to look up! 

Mote Marine Aquarium: Sarasota, Florida

Headed over to the Gulf Coast to visit family in Sarasota and make it a point to visit Mote Marine Aquarium. If you haven't visited, then you're really missing out on a special experience. The manatees, otters, seahorses, and sharks are always my favorite tanks. This time the jellyfish captured my heart. The little umbrella jellyfish looks like a tiny illuminated parasol. 

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For a visit or more information you can click here. Definitely consider a special experience at Mote or even adopt a shark or other sea creature while you're there.