Saturday, 11 January 2014

The Everglades and Miami

Today we did something that was completely uncharacteristic. We didn't leave our hotel until 10am! We were afforded this luxury as our drive towards the Everglades today was short. As we drove, there were alligators and birdlife galore everywhere you looked! This kept the children busy. Our airboat operator of choice today was the Everglades Safari Park. This was partly because the smaller operators only took 6 on one airboat and many didn't offer time slots early enough for us.

Egret, many around

This one literally came out of the water seconds before


The everglades, also known as river of grass, is actually a large slow moving river. Our airboat initially moved over a conventional looking waterway and then proceeded to skim over grass itself! We were given ear plugs to protect our ears from the noise of the powerful fans. Once further out, and after skimming around great speeds, the guide stopped the boat and gave us a short information session on the Everglades and its fauna, as well as conservation efforts. Once again, there were birdlife and alligators galore! We cruised slowly so we can spot them in the water. We were also fortunate enough to spot a snapping turtle.

It started out like a normal waterway

Then we were going over grass

Skidding sideways at speed

Hang on to hats!

The powerful fans


Bird of prey

Heron, very large!
Slowing down to spot alligators

There's Daddy

And baby close by!

This big one on land was easy to spot

This one in the water not so!

The alligator show

Short and sweet but interesting

The ride ended all too quickly and we headed back for the alligator show. It was a simple information session on alligators but it enthralled the kids. Young Jonah, was terrified yesterday, was super thrilled today. He was intent on holding the baby alligator. Arghh! Go figure!!! It seemed wrong to eat alligator after being taught all about them and conservation efforts...but we did it anyway! Add it to the rest of our fried meal, fried catfish, fried frog, fried alligatore. You know, us chinese, we eat anything and everything...

We motored on towards Miami. As our hotel room was not ready, we went sightseeing through Little Havana and towards the famed art deco beachside streets. We were hampered by horrendous traffic but once at South Beach and Miami Beach, it was fun people watching. Despite desperately looking for a parking spot so we could get down, there was none. We had to be content ogling from within the car. There were all sorts of funny and flashy things. High end cars, strange cars, beautiful people, people who tried too hard to look name it, we saw it!

Palms trees....a line of cruise ships....we must be in Miami!

One of many large mansions on the water front

South Beach

The art deco buildings

It was hot, it was humid. Why would one wear that?!?!?!
We've been living on day bags so as not have to bring down all the suitcases during the road trip. Tonight, it was time to unload all and repack everything. With the mammoth task ahead of us, we grabbed a simple dinner at the Denny's next door to our hotel and ended our wonderful road trip.

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