The family arrived in the late afternoon and we spent our time visiting and catching up. The plan was to sit outside, which we did for a little bit and then it suddenly poured, as it tends to do here in Florida. This is supposed to be the “dry season”, but we’ve had record humidity and rains lately.
After an early supper the cribbage games began. There’s not a ton of room in an RV for six people to gather, but by pushing some chairs around and using one of my storage cubes for a table, it worked just fine.
The next day we were up early and headed for Shark Valley to enjoy the day. We got tickets for the 11:00 tram tour and spent the time walking around a bit in search of gators and birds.
Just before the tram tour was to begin they brought out a 13’ Burmese python they had captured on one of the earlier tours.
These are an invasive species and have caused many problems with the ecosystem of the Everglades. There are no more small mammals to be found in the park at all. All the raccoons, rabbits, squirrels and the like have been totally eradicated. It’s estimated there are over 10,000 pythons in the Everglades and there is no way to eradicate all of them.
On the tram tour we spotted some alligators, far fewer than normal due to the high water.
Half way through the tour we stopped at an observation deck for viewing and bathroom break.
After we left Shark Valley we headed to Safari Park for lunch and then to ride the airboats. None of us had ever been on an airboat before, so this was a unique shared experience.
Kiersten spotted this brightly colored bird that was walking along on top of the lily pads.
Due to the noise, earplugs were provided and I found the experience very peaceful as we flew over the tall grasses of the glades. I just had to snap this photo to show you Left Brain’s hair flowing in the breeze.
We stopped along the edges to get a photo of these little alligator babies. The driver estimated them to be about two years old.
After the boat ride we were treated to an alligator show. A man was standing in the enclosure with four large gators and demonstrating how their mouths closed, the eyes go into their heads and how muscular the tail was. He’s either very brave or crazy, not sure which.
After the show we had the girls hold the baby gator for these photos.
On the way to the exit they had some caymens and Cuban crocodiles on display.
After being totally gatored out, we called a day with them going back to the hotel and we returned to the RV to do some kitty snuggling and unwind.
Long Live the Queen of Gators