Alligators, Crocodiles and Manatees!

Today we changed our plans and decided to drive through the bottom half of the Everglades. It’s a long road that you drive down to a dead end and then drive back. On the way there we couldn’t find much to look at and it all looked the same. When we got to the bottom it’s a place called Flamingo. This is where the bottom of the Everglades meets the Atlantic Ocean.

We went into the visitors centre and the park ranger told us we should go straight to the marina because it was high tide and that’s when there’s the best chance of seeing manatees. We walked over there and there were 3 manatees playing in the water and swimming around. They like to stir up all the water to feed but it makes it quite stinky. We were so excited we saw them, it was brilliant watching them.

After this we walked up the river and saw some Crocodiles. The Everglades is the only place in the world where crocodiles and alligators live together. You can tell the difference because alligators have wider snouts to crunch turtle shells and you can’t usually see their teeth when their mouth is closed but with the crocodile it’s a longer, narrower snout and you can see some of their teeth (if you’re close enough).

We drove back through the park and stopped to do some boardwalks. One of the walks was called the Mahogany Hammock and it’s where the biggest mahogany tree in North America grows. We didn’t see much here apart from some little birds, air plants growing in the bigger trees and lots of insects that kept biting me.

Near at the end we saw a really big Alligator so we stopped to take a picture.

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We come home tomorrow so we went for a swim and packed our bags ready for flying home.

P.S. We decided against an airboat ride this time. They don’t allow them in the National Park due to the damage they can cause to the waterways and the protected species that live there. There are lots of places you can do it around the outskirts of the park but we might try it on another holiday somewhere where it does less damage.

Shark teeth and wild alligators!

First we got in our pool then we went for a drive. We went to a special beach called Caspersen Beach. It is special because there are lots of fossilised shark teeth. There were lots of people looking for teeth and fossils with special equipment. We just walked along the coast and found 5 teeth and 3 fossils. The waves were gigantic and I got soaked. On the way back we saw 3 dolphins playing in the waves…….it was epic!!!!!!!!!!!

Next we drove to the Big Cypress National Preserve where we drove past mangrove trees. The trees grow in saltwater. We saw alligators, lots of birds, fish and turtles. We saw vultures eating a turtle, poor turtle 🐢 😢 We took some really cool photographs.

When it got dark we drove to our hotel. Tomorrow we are going on an airboat ride in the Everglades. I can’t wait!

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Orlando Science Center

Today we went to the Orlando Science Center.

It was engineering weekend so there was lots to learn about robots and circuits. There’s lots of different areas for you to learn about different things. We watched experiments and did some ourselves. Our favourite was extracting DNA from a strawberry and watching the Tesla coil show about how electricity works😊 Eliza liked digging for dinosaur bones.

There’s too much to tell you about so look at our pictures to see what we did then you can ask any questions in the comments.  Enjoy! 😃👩🏼‍🏫👩🏼‍🔬👩🏼‍🔧👩🏻‍🚀

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Clearwater beach,swimming and a boat trip!

Today we started with a swim in the pool. We tested out my underwater camera and it was really good fun. Then we drove to Clearwater but the traffic was terrible so we went to the aquarium before the beach. This is where the Winter the dolphin from the film Dolphin Tale lives. She has a prosthetic tail that helps her to swim. We saw lots of animals and I touched a stingray and a sea urchin. It was really cool and the sea urchin felt like the tips of a hairbrush. After that we went on a boat trip to see if we could find dolphins in the wild. We didn’t see any but we saw lots of pelicans and an osprey nest and it was still fun because we got to play games too. We played bingo to find the things we could spot and I won a prize. We went to the beach and we couldn’t find anywhere to park because of all of the traffic. Eliza and I jumped out with Mum and had a play in the beach. We were still on the beach on the dark playing in the sand and it was sooo much fuuuuuun! There was lots going on at the beach when it got dark. There was a street market on the pier and lots of singers. We saw Elivis singing but it wasn’t the real one because Elivis Presley died on the toilet. Epic!

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The space launch

Today we went to the space coast to visit the Kennedy Space Museum. We were supposed to be going somewhere else but Mummy saw on the news that they had just decided to launch a real rocket into space tonight and we wanted to see it.

First we had a look at the nature and technology. We liked looking at the animals and reading about what experiments they did in space helped nature on earth. We walked around lots of rockets 🚀 and got to sit in 3 of them. They were really big. On one of them we got to lie down with our feet up like you were sitting on a chair lying down.

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There was a bus tour so we got on a bus. The bus took us all around the real NASA area. We saw the building where they build the rockets. It was huge and the blue bit of the flag on the side is the size of a basketball court. You can drive a double decker bus down one of the red stripes in the flag! The guide told us the Coluseum in Rome would fit on the roof with room for a car park too.

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We saw the launch pads and where the rocket was going to go from. We got off the bus and there was loads more to do. We went into a big hanger where there were more rockets, real space suits and lots to learn about space.

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There was a bit of rock from the moon that you could touch so I felt it. It felt soft. We went in to watch a film and it was over the real control centre they used to launch the Apollo rockets to the moon. When the rocket blasted off the roof was shaking and it felt like it was really happening.

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We went to watch another film about the space shuttle Atlantis. At the end the screen lifted up and the real Atlantis was there in real life. I went like this 🙀🙊 I can’t believe it. This part was really fun, we climbed through a tunnel to see what it would be like crawling through a space ship and went down a slide like what they use to come out of their space ship. Me and Dad went in a simulator but Eliza was too short. It was like being launched in a real rocket and was really epic.

The Kennedy space centre is amazing and you should definitely go if you ever get a chance. We then had to go and get ready for the launch as time was running about. There is a launch window when they can launch the rocket and it opened at 8:45pm. We tried to get tickets to watch it here but they had all sold out so we went to the beach to watch it instead.

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The rocket was about to launch and there were lots of people with us on the beach to watch it.  We didn’t wait long then it started and the whole sky lit up and we could see the smoke. It looked like a white shooting star from my camera but on mums camera it looked like the sun or a ball of fire. It was very noisy. We watched it getting higher and higher. We could see the tail on it and it was getting smaller and smaller then it disappeared and came back again. This is because it has 2 lots of fuel. When it disappeared the first fuel had run out and that part of the rocket drops off then the second fuel starts and takes the rocket further. It just looked like a star in the sky now then it disappeared for good and Dad said it would be over England soon. The rocket was called Falcon 9 and it had 3 things to deliver on board.

NASA and SpaceX have an amazing video about the launch where there are cameras on the ground much closer than we were and they even have a camera on the rocket! You can watch it here.

We’ve made a video of our day and the launch. We hope you like it!

 

 

 

Gatorland adventures!

Today I went to Gatorland🐊 It was so much fun. First we got to go in a gator’s mouth as we waited in the queue. Next we saw lots of baby alligators and then went to watch a show about alligators. Me and Eliza got to go on the back of a real alligator – it was epic!  We saw Chester, a really big alligator 🐊 who was rescued after he ate lots of dogs near Orlando!

The best thing was going on a zip slide. I said I wanted to do it and Eliza said she did too. Eliza has always been scared of heights and I thought no way will she do it. I was amazed and very proud that she did it. We had to wear a helmet and climbing stuff and then zoomed out over the alligator lake. They looked beautiful. Eliza wanted to go again. Eliza is now a water baby and an adrenaline junkie!

Me and Eliza got to hold an alligator. She had the head because I had a snake round my neck, Super cool.  We also got to go and feed the really large alligators by hand.  We got chunks of meat out of the bucket and I threw them into its mouth.  I was so excited I clapped and Mummy got blood over her top – whoops.

Eliza was much better today so we had lots of fun together.  Bye bye. Hope you’re enjoy the pictures and my blog.

p.s. We have a video of the zip slide but we can’t upload it yet so will do that later x

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UPDATE – Zipwire videos

Steamboat Springs to Denver

Today we left Steamboat Springs and headed for our hotel near the airport in Denver.  It was a long time in the car so Eliza and I watched some films on the iPad.  First we watched Balerina and then Swallows and Amazons and then Inside Out.  Swallows and Amazons was great.  We stopped for a picnic at lunch time but there were lots of insects so we ate it in the car.  The view over the lake was cool and there was a little boat on it.  The road was really high up in the mountains and there was a lot of snow.  (Daddy said the highest point was at Berthoud pass at 11300 feet).

We’re at our hotel now Eliza said she has missed everybody but I want to go back to our hotel in Steamboat Springs and the log cabin in Yellowtone to see some more bears.  I miss everyone too and can’t wait to see Toby and my hamster again.

The best bit of my holiday was seeing the Mummy Grizzly bear with her two cubs.

Steamboat Springs

So we slowed down a little and spent two nights in the beautiful Steamboat Springs.  Unfortunately Martha bumped her head so we needed to take it easy for a while.  A little walk along the river, a visit to a Toy shop where Martha chose a joke kit and Eliza some Tattoos (Not sure what insight that’s gives me to the teenage years!) and a visit to a fabulous library.

I’ve just asked Martha what she wanted to write about Steamboat Springs and she said she loved it and would like to live here.

 

Slush Puppy River

Today we had a lot of driving to do.  There was lots to look at but I went on my iPad a lot too.  It took 7 hours and we didn’t leave until late so we could go for a swim in the pool first.

On our way we saw a really red river and I said it looked like a slush puppy when you mix blue and red slush.  After a little while we saw the slush river (Hoback River) meet a normal one (Granite Creek) and the rivers were 2 different colours next to each other.  I got out of the car with Mummy to have a better look and to take some pictures.  The slush looked epic!

We saw three really long trains.  We couldn’t see the end or the start of 2 of them but we were going next to one and Mummy counted how many carriages there were.  She counted 191 carriages! I’ve never seen a train like that before.

We crossed into Colorado again and all took some funny pictures by the sign.  We are now in a hotel and even though Daddy did all the driving he has gone to get us a Chinese takeaway 🙂

We are now in Steamboat Springs. It’s late so we will explore tomorrow.  Mummy has just read the hotel information and it says there are a lot of bears around the hotel at the moment so we’ll keep our eyes open for them.

Chocolate Moose!

Today we went to explore the Tetons. We took a road through the woods and saw a bear and a moose.  It was amazing!

We went to Jenny Lake but we couldn’t get a canoe because the water is still too cold so we went on a boat trip.  I made a new friend on the boat and she gave me some of her Grizzly bear biscuit.  The boat was cool and I liked it when we went fast.

Then we went to Jackson and had a drink in the Cowboy cafe.  We had a look around and went in some of the shops.  In the middle there are 4 big arches made from real antlers.  Mummy bought me some flip-flops because I’ve been pestering for some for ages and they are really nice.

We had a Chinese for dinner and I used chopsticks.  I ate all of Mummy’s prawns (they call them shrimp here) and lots of Daddy’s beef.  At the end we all got a fortune cookie.

On the way home we went to look for more animals and we found a bald eagle.

 

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