I haven’t drown; we didn’t have internet in the Everglades and then we had company stay with us for a week, so my internet time was sparse.
We left the Tampa area and went to Siesta Key Beach, which is said to be the whitest white sand beach in the world. We weren’t the only people with that idea but managed to find parking AND a spot on the beach in the shade of the life guard tower. I should have played the lottery on the way out.
Our next stop was Everglades National Park. In the Everglades, we saw alligators, more species of birds than I knew existed, and tons of turtles. We hoped to see a Florida panther that road signs warned about crossing the street, but we had no such luck and had to be happy enough with the one we saw in captivity a few days prior.
Our visit to the Florida Keys was different than I had expected. I pictured the keys to be a long road of beaches to either side for miles and miles. In reality, there’s beautiful views of the water along the 160 mile drive, but the water front does not necessarily consist of beaches. It’s cute little shore towns, fishing piers, and bridges. We did stop at a couple beaches along the way when we saw them, and of course stopped for key lime pie! Once in Key West, we walked the rooster filled streets for souvenir shopping and made a stop at Mile Marker 0 and the lowest point in the continental United States.
In Miami, we swam with dolphins and did a dorsal fin pull ride across the water, an amazing experience. We spent the evening in South Beach restaurant hopping and walking the busy tourist filled streets. We tried Cuban food for the first time, ordering sample platters so everyone could try a little of everything. The Cuban tacos and tropical drinks were a bigger hit than the yuca which we affectionately renamed yuck.
One of my favorite areas of Florida is Hollywood Beach. If I were to end up spending winters in Florida some day like every other New Yorker, I think Hollywood Beach would be my first choice. I spent some adult time there with people from Rochester walking the boardwalk, the beach, stopping for tropical drinks at beachfront bars, and going out to a very nice dinner with fish caught by one of them that morning in Key West and then prepared by the restaurant overlooking the Intercoastal.
My dad lives in Fort Lauderdale at the top of a high rise with a beautiful view in the front of the ocean and ships coming and going from Port Everglades and a view of the Intercoastal waterway in the back. The kids took turns, three at a time, spending the night with him and being waited on hand and foot. The pool has been a big hit as has the beach which is just through the gate outside the pool, it’s truly paradise. There’s no shortage of amazing restaurants, ice cream, souvenir shops, and entertainment. We’ll be sad to leave tonight when we make our way farther north up the coast of Florida.
*pic- another day in paradise. Fort Lauderdale