Friday, January 1, 2010

Fun in Florida: Part 2

I've always wanted to take an airboat ride in the Florida Everglades and today my wish came true. At Sawgrass Recreation Park, just 30 minutes from our hotel, we rode on an airboat. The ride was much smoother than I had anticipated, but a bit louder. Thankfully, we were all wearing earplugs! During our boat ride, we came up alongside an alligator.

I happened to be sitting on the side closest to the alligator. Did I mention that Al, the alligator, was 12 feet long?! (Do you like the name I chose for him? It seemed fitting.) And that the alligator's jaws were just two feet from where I was sitting! It was a bit unnerving, I tell you. The boat operator tried to ease my anxiety by explaining that alligators don't like to eat humans.

But not two minutes later as the alligator was staring me down, he shared that alligators love the color pink. Guess who was wearing a bright pink shirt?! You guessed it...yours truly! Luckily, I made it back to shore in one piece.

Not long afterwards, Brian and I had the opportunity to hold a 3-year-old baby alligator. Ali, the baby gator, had very soft skin and because her mouth was taped shut, she didn't dare bite us.

(Oh, and I couldn't resist taking a picture of this caution sign, which we encountered while meandering the trails at Sawgrass.)

After leaving Sawgrass, we ventured out to Hollywood Beach, which was overrun with snowbirds from Canada and the Northeast. It was so crowded that it took us nearly 20 minutes to find a parking space! The weather was beautiful--about 80 degrees with a warm breeze. The water wasn't quite so warm, but plenty of brave souls were swimming.

Later on in the day, we had hamburgers at Lester's Diner and then saw The Blind Side at the world's largest drive-in movie theatre! (Fourteen screens!)

We rang in the New Year with a cup of coffee (for Bri), a cup of tea (for me)--both of which were free courtesy of the hotel--and a pint of Breyer's Snickers ice cream.

Here's to a super sweet 2010!

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