See ya later, Alligator!

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“See ya later, Alligator!”

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We woke to the sounds of disembarkation instructions being piped into the halls. We pulled into the Port of Miami at 8:00am and were through customs and hailing a cab by 9:00am.

When we booked our return tickets we discovered that leaving Monday was an impossibility, so we booked Tuesday flights instead. Through Groupon we discovered a great deal on a hotel in South Beach. It was located in the Art Deco district of South Beach where the buildings are colorful (and so are the people.) 🙂

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Our taxi took us the Beacon hotel (a charming hotel) where we would spend the night. Because of the early morning hour we couldn’t check in, but the front desk clerk agreed to keep our bags if we wanted to do a little site seeing.

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We began by crossing the street to check out South Beach.

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We thought about going swimming,

but changed our mind when we saw the warning flags posted:

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Orange: moderate riptide.

Purple: Dangerous sea life (aka: Sharks!)

As we were leaving the beach I spotted these dispensers located along the walkways. They looked like the hand sanitizer dispensers we saw all around the cruise ship but these dispensed sun screen…FREE. They were sponsored by the local hospital to encourage the use of sun protection.

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Isn’t that neat?

We then went back to the front desk of our hotel where we booked an Everglades tour. We have always wanted to do an air boat ride through the Everglades and this was our opportunity. A tour bus picked us up and drove us 45 minutes away to the Everglades Safari Park.

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We began the tour with an air boat ride, followed by an alligator show.

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We were warned time and time again not to pet the gators…

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Is that really a frequent problem?!

Our air boat captain was wonderful. He was entertaining and informative. We learned all about the Everglades, the plants and animals that can be found there, and the differences between the Florida alligators we saw that day and the salt water crocodiles you find 2 hours south near the coast.

“The big difference,” he explained, “is this:

If you fall in the water here the alligators would swim away from you.

If you fall in the water an hour south of here the salt water crocodiles would swim toward you.”

A significant difference don’t you think ? 🙂

(We didn’t test his theory.)

On our ride we saw many alligators, no crocodiles.

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The scenery was beautiful and the air boat ride was fun with the wind blowing in our faces.

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We ended the tour with an alligator show where we were able to learn more about these animals, as well as a chance to hold a young alligator named “Snappy.”

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It was a fun final adventure before we headed home.

We boarded the plane the next morning. As we began descending toward the airport I felt the pull of Patchwork Farm calling me home. It was good to be back in Pittsburgh.

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It was an amazing adventure with my best friend,

but it was good to return

to the place I love

with the one I love

to see the treasures I love.

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And what a welcome it was!

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