Mosquitos, Gators … Florida!

posted in: Florida 2010 0

Finally – we’re on vacation!

After a “trip” to Austria this summer and many weekends spent Fun Finder-camping this year, we are now traveling across the USA to spend a week away from everything, doing: nothing. OK … almost nothing. Big plans include: the shuttle launch, a family visit and relaxing. Plus: some more relaxing!

Day 1, Saturday 10/30: A trip across the states!

With a super-early rise to get out of the house at 5:15 am, we are on our way to SFO airport to catch our flight to LAX and FLL (Ft. Lauderdale), where we arrive in the evening. After picking up the rental car we catch dinner & a game … yes, the World Series is on and the San Francisco Giants are playing (game 3, a loss). The Miramar Residence Inn is our home for the night …

Day 2, Sunday 10/31: Happy Halloween! … A fun ride!

Even without the Fun Finder, we’ll find the fun! Down here in Southern Florida, it’s called an Air boat ride, which we go on at the Everglades Alligator Farm just outside Florida City, FL and the Everglades National Park. After having been here 7 years ago, I knew what to expect – and we had even more fun this time, sitting in the first row as the boat is flying across the water, past alligators and other wildlife. The animal shows (snakes, gator feeding, baby gators, etc) are also must-sees.

Wrapping up our first day of real vacation relaxation, we check in to the Marriott Key Largo Bay Resort and spend some time at the Tiki Bar, including watching parts of … yet another baseball game (World Series game #4, Giants win their 3rd).

Day 3, Monday 11/01: Wild … Life!

Today is all about the wildlife at the Everglades National Park. Rain or shine, we walk the trails, check out the visitor centers and sights, and get on the swamp boat to take a tour along the canal through mangroves, across Coot Bay and to Whitewater Bay. We do get to see more bird life than most tours around this time of year, but have to wait until after the ride to see a wild crocodile (salt water!) in the marina. Manatees and dolphins have been spotted in the area recently as well, but despite looking very closely & patiently, we’re not just that lucky.

At the Royal Palms – Anhinga Trail however, we hit the jackpot. Birds (especially in this abundance) are nice, but discovering one gator at the first lookout point, followed by 2 partially hidden gators at the 2nd spot … just to finish it off with 2 alligators in prime viewing location at the last lookout is awesome! Make sure to check out the photo gallery … it’s all real!

How can one top this kind of excitement today? Well, after checking into the Residence Inn Coconut Grove we’re off to dinner … and – yes – watch game 5 of the World Series. The SF Giants will try to finish off the Texas Rangers even though they’re playing at Texas. And yes, they go for it all: winning the World Series for the first time since the 1950’s! Let’s Go Giants!

Check out the Photo Gallery for Days 1-3 for all the great shots from our first days! Enjoy!

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