Miami, Florida: Day 2

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We spent most of Tuesday at Gator Park, which is located in the Florida Everglades.  While it is often described as a swamp, the Everglades is actually a very slow moving river.  It is also a good source of drinking water, because the water percolates through the limestone and the water is pumped below ground. David and I like the fresh water from the tap at the Hilton.

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This is the airboat, with a tour guide standing in the rear.  The motor sometimes gets so loud that some passengers need ear plugs.  However, when the guide speaks, he idles the motor so he can be heard.  The trucks in the background of this photo were removing asphalt from the road and had nothing to do with our tour.

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This is an alligator we saw crossing the stream.

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This sign warned us.

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The guide picked a stalk of Saw Grass.  The white portion is edible by both humans and wildlife.  But beware of the green blades, which can cut your hands.

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Lovely lily pads grew along the way.

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After the airboat ride, we watched a Wildlife Show.  This alligator was one of the wildlife we saw.

Other animals displayed were tropical birds, a huge scorpion, and a scary looking toad, which a tourist kissed.  Alas, the toad didn’t turn into a prince.

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This is the toad that didn’t turn into a prince.

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The guide tapped the alligator with his stick, and the beast opened its mouth.  When a pen was swiftly swiped in and out, the mouth snapped shut suddenly. You can imagine that happening to your hand!

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Here’s a close-up of a baby alligator.  We were told that if the egg is incubated to over 89F, it will become a male.  If the egg is incubated to below 84F, it will be a female.  Interesting facts!

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Here I am with a young alligator.  Yes, its mouth was taped shut.

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Here’s David kissing the alligator.  Ah, heavenly bliss!

What do you think of this tour?  It was guided by the Miami Tour Company.  They even gave us free bottled water on the bus.

TOMORROW:  A city tour of Miami.  David and I are eager to see the American Airlines Arena, home of the Miami Heat, NBA champions.  After the tour, we will have dinner with my friend Ana and her husband.  This will be our first meeting.  Do visit Ana’s blog, listed on my Blogroll. You will love her beautiful watercolor paintings. She is so talented.

16 Responses to “Miami, Florida: Day 2”

  1. Denise Says:

    How long was your boat ride Gigi? It looks like a fun day and I think you are brave holding the baby aligator, even if it was a baby and had it’s mouth taped shut! I found the incubation facts very interesting. Enjoy your tour tomorrow and meeting Ana. I am going to check her blog out right now.

  2. DJan Says:

    Looks like the rain stayed away for your tour, and you had a good time. I think the weather is cooperating with you and David. 🙂

  3. Ana Says:

    Gigi, I love the airboat ride through the Everglades. It is a treat. We are looking forward to meeting you guys tomorrow!! It’s been hot in Florida, real hot 🙂

  4. Christine Says:

    This looks like a fun tour! Interesting alligator facts!

  5. L...w Says:

    I fear alligators as much as sharks. They are so patient and sneaky sometimes stalking their prey for hours before lunging. Yikes I don’t think I could hold them. You are brave.

  6. tokyo5 Says:

    Oh, you’re in the state that I grew up in.

    When I was a kid in Florida, I used to see alligators and rattlesnakes occasionally … sometimes even near my house.

  7. Cathy Says:

    Hello gigi – You certainly packed a lot into the day, thanks for telling us all about it. Holding that baby alligator proved one thing – you’ve got more guts than me!

  8. Jeanie Says:

    It sounds like the tour lived up to your expectations. Great pics, but I especially like the one of the vegetation.

  9. SchmidleysScribbling Says:

    Oh the alligator back from the brink of extinction and now fighting the illegal immigrant pythons for control of the Everglades. Hopefully, you saw no pythons.

    The parrot in your photo is afraid of the trantula, hence the wings spread back. Dianne

  10. LC Says:

    Thank you, Gigi, for inviting us on your interesting tour via photos and descriptions. I would love to visit the Everglades but Hubby’s interest decreases as temperature rises.

    He does have Key West on his wish list, though, so if that trip ever materializes Everglades will be on the itinerary, too. Your airboat pictures strengthened my “want to go” urge!

  11. mageb Says:

    What a wonderful trip you two are taking. Thanks for sharing it with all of us.

  12. Ana Says:

    Gigi, we had such a good time! Thank you so much for the wonderful dinner. I am sorry you were not feeling so well though…. hopefully you will feel better on your way to DC.

  13. Suzanne Says:

    Excellent trip. I had no idea the incubation temperature determined the gender.

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