It's about time.

Many of you that can relate to this. Working long hours at your career. Raising your families. Buying a home and paying all the bills related to being homeowners and parents. We're now retired and don't need all that work and expense. Now "It's about time" to follow our dreams.

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Saturday, March 8, 2014

Shark Valley National Park and Miami Flea Market.

Our Location today is Miami, Florida.

Yes we planned on being up early this morning but not before 7:00 again. We’d even gone to the extent of setting an alarm (Taboo) just so we didn’t sleep in. By the time we’d had breakfast, made the bed, and packed our picnic lunch the alarm finally went off. (Oops forgot to shut it off.) The temperature when we stepped outside was only 50 F (10 C). We had our jackets with us but short pants on as we thought it would warm up later. With a cool north breeze blowing all day we didn’t notice that much of a warm up.

Our intention was to be on the road by 8:30 headed for the Shark Valley National Park. We had heard a lot about it and even read a number of RV posts in the last few years where they had visited the park and highly recommended it. Even when Kathy called to reserve the tickets the woman at the other end of the line recommended getting there as early as possible. Following the directions being given by the GPS we were very surprised when we drove by the Gator Park Airboat Tours that we’d visited just the other day. 

Mother watching over her young.
Finally arriving before 9:00 we went to get our tickets we’d purchased for a 10:00 two hour guided tram tour and were informed that the tram was loading and we could take the earlier one with no problem. Our guide and driver made certain that we had plenty of photo opportunities but pointed out that they would not stop each time they saw an alligator or the tour wouldn’t end until next Tuesday. We also saw many visitors simply walking or bicycle riding using the same path as the tram. 

The importance of the Everglades and all the residing species of birds, mammals and reptiles were explained. They talked of the different landforms within the Everglades and the establishment of this area as a National Park. The explained that the development of causeways throughout the lower section of Florida to support the Agricultural Industry was more of a detriment to the Ecological Well Being of the Everglades than the much publicized problem brought about by the Burmese Pythons. 

Stopping at an observation tower we were able to see nature with a bird’s eye view adding a whole new dimension of observing the alligators and birds interacting in a normal way. We were given a special treat when we were shown a North American Crocodile. The guide explained the difference between it and an Alligator and that at this time it is the only one they had come across in the park. Although he said they have about 2,000 give or take a few. Near the end of the fifteen mile route we were also shown a Great Blue Heron feeding its young. Talk about parental abuse the way they actually wrestle their food from the parent almost toppling them out of the tree they are perched in. 
North American Crocodile.
Great Blue Heron feeding its young.
Back at the Information Office building we went back to the truck where surprisingly there were no available parking spots left in the lot. We enjoyed our picnic lunch before walking the short distance back up the path to where the nesting birds were. Of course in doing so you were always fairly close to the Alligators that were out sunning themselves in order to warm up from the still cool temperatures. 
Kathy starting not to be so nervous around the alligators that were everywhere.

When we finally left I had to wiggle the truck in and out of its parking spot before we were able to exit the park because the lot was so full people had taken to parking where they shouldn’t. People were even parked out on the shoulder of the highway and were walking into the park. 

Let's see someone use this fire hydrant.
We had talked of going to a nearby Flea Market so Kathy had set the GPS to take us there. We were slightly surprised when it directed us on and off I-95 for a short run but even more surprised to find ourselves back in the city of Miami. Remember our statement about how clean the city was yesterday. Today we got to see the dirty side of the city and most cities and towns have exactly the same they are called Slums. 

When we arrived at Flea Market USA we noticed a high security presence in the parking lot and at every entry door. Once inside this massive building we walked non-stop for twenty minutes while covering only a tenth of the building before leaving. We had walked past at least twelve barber shops, eight tattoo parlors, ten jewelers and twenty places selling tight fitting clothes that only fashion models could squeeze into and nothing else. Not our kind of Flea Market. 

Leaving there the GPS took us through the better part of Miami until we got back to the trailer. The outside temperature had finally reached 75 F (24 C) by 3:30 but because of the cooler morning air and the early morning starts of the last couple of days we both needed a Snap (short nap) when we got back home. 
Double Decker tour buses in Miami.

Tomorrow we still have things we want to do before we leave for the Keys on Monday. Thanks for following along and feel free to leave a comment. Be Safe and Enjoy!

It’s about time.

Krackers

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2 comments:

  1. Egads...I have never heard of Shark Valley National Park. Looks like a wonderful tour. What a treat to see the Crocodile.

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  2. Shark Valley is actually part of Everglades National Park -- just one of the (I think) 4 major sections of the park . . . Everglades is HUGE! Glad you got there -- we loved it! That's very cool that you got to see a crocodile! Isn't it funny how you get more and more comfortable around those alligators when you are around so many of them!

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