Monday, March 7, 2011

Let me show you a few things about alligators...

...throughout this post on my parent's first visit to Florida at the end of last year. It was my goal to make them go until they couldn't go anymore, and I think we accomplished that goal. My parents are not people that know what to do with lots of free-time, so we made sure to book all their time. Plus, it was a reason for us to explore a few parts of Florida we hadn't experienced yet.

To start, we visited the good ol' Lowry Zoo. Riggs and I go to the zoo fairly often, and he enjoyed taking Grandma and Grandpa there, although it was on a chilly day. Good think Grandma brought a beanie with her for Riggs...

Florida flamingos. Very orange.

Riggs loves the giraffes.

When Riggs needs a break, he takes a break, no matter where he is.

Manatees, of course.

We then stopped in Naples so Trevor could take care of a few work things.

We then DID the Everglades. I mean, we went to most parts of this huge, gigantic National Park. The first stop was Shark Valley where we took a tram on an old service road on like a 2 hour loop of the glades. There are gators EVERYWHERE. Everywhere.

Hanging with the gators on the service road.

The big water hole at Shark Valley.

Oh, and this happened on that day too. Dad was NOT happy with his son.

Our next stop was the Anhinga Trail, which is at the southeast entrance of the park. Let me tell you, there are definitely alligators in the Everglades. And 10 million other types of animals

Including vultures.

Lots of birds.

And a few more gators.

Thankfully, most of this trail was built up on a boardwalk type of thing...a little protection I suppose. And provided a beautiful view.

Oh, and excuse my awkward chubbiness. This was at that point in the pregnancy where people wonder if you're letting yourself go or having another kid. I really do love that stage....

Then as we made the trek back around the border of the glades, we hit up an airboat ride. It was very loud. Riggs didn't use his ear plugs.

And mainly just wanted to jump out of the boat.

They also let us hold one of the baby gators.

Lastly, we stopped in Everglades City for our final park destination. This is a TINY town. But charming. We stayed at the Ivy House, which was very charming as well.

Riggs felt right at home at the Ivy House. Either that or he was totally exhausted from never sleeping due to all the snoring that went on at the various hotels.

It was New Year's Eve the night we were in Everglades City, so we hit up a town hot spot. I've forgotten what it was called, but Trevor ate fried gator and frog legs. Let's just say...chewy. The key lime pie was great though, and the bar next door got Riggs to come check out the stuffed gator.

I have to give a quick shout out to Yoder's while I'm posting. This is an Amish restaraunt that was featured on Man vs. Food, so we stopped by. I had the best home-made onion rings EVER. And their home-made pies - to die for. I believe both Trevor and Dad had meatloaf, figures.

Finally, we hit-up an electrical plant on the gulf where all the manatees and other rays, sharks, etc. gather during the winter months because the water stays at a higher temp. Random, but interesting.

Riggs needing another break.

The manatees.

Let me leave you with a few other random pics from the parental units visit. It was a great time.

Our little news reporter.

Grandma trying to give this boy some music lessons.


reggstyl said...

Uh, Lesley. Thanks a lot for your post. *sarcastic voice* You see, just last night I had a really scary dream about crocodiles (although I don't really know the difference between crocs and alligators). And then I wake up this morning to you pictures. Really, thanks a lot :)

Jenny said...

Woa, those are some awesome shots. It makes me really really really want my zoom lens!