Yesterday we woke up and decided it was a great day to shake things up and go exploring! The Everglades National Park is about 1 hr from Joe’s parents house so we hopped in the car right after lunch and headed south!
Here we are at the top of the Lookout Tower at Shark Valley Center in the Everglades.
The view from the top was extraordinary.
We all agreed that no one has even seen a crocodile or an alligator in the wild so you can image how psyched we were to see them… well at least we got to see American Alligators!
There are very few crocodiles left in the wild – they are an endangered species- but we did end up seeing over a dozen America Alligators.
We jumped on a tram that gave us a 2 hr tour of the Everglades. Best money ever spent.
The tour guide was native to Miami with a minor in environmental conservation Needless to say she knew a lot.
We learned that alligators aren’t green. They’re actually black. And that the Everglades have a lot of alligators and that if you’re not careful they can come right up to where you are (that was Caitlin’s learning). Crocodiles vary from alligators in their color and spout. And we didn’t know that the Everglades is the only place alligator and crocodiles live side my side.
We also learned that Pythons that were once pets get released into the Everglades when owners no longer want them. They actually have facilities that will take your pythons when you no longer want them but not very many know that. So sad but true.
The Everglades is the 3rd largest National Park only topped by Death Valley and Yellowstone. It spans 1.5 million acres. There are over 1 million visitors each year and that native Americans used to live on the land over 2000 years ago.
By the end of the tour we were all ready to head home. It was a long day, at least for us. We’re finding that after a few hours of exploring parks that were satisfied and it’s time to head home.
Grandma surprised me and Sydney with cupcakes so we could celebrate our birthdays happening next week on Dec 2 and 4th. That was fun blowing out the candles with my girl!!
Saturday is a move day and we’re heading to the Keys! I’ve never been there so to say I’m excited is an understatement. It’s also my 45th birthday on Monday which makes it doubly nice!