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.
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.
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!
Since our last blog we have moved from our holiday home in Orlando to exploring the coast. First we travelled to Sarasota. We took the scenic route as you can see where I have drawn it on the map.
We stopped at a shopping mall on the way so it was quite late when we got to the hotel. We went for a Chinese and we got to use chopsticks to eat our dinner. It was really fun but it took ages 😂
When we got up we decided to go to the beach but there’s loads of beaches so we picked the first one we came to. There was a sign to tell you about what the different coloured flags mean and if it is safe to swim. The flag was green so it was ok to swim but if it’s blue it means there might be sharks in the water 🦈 It was really fun and wet. I liked body surfing on the waves but it wasn’t deep enough to swim very well. The sand was white with lots of shells and it went on for miles and miles and miles and I thought it went on forever.
Then we went to get a drink because it was getting really hot.
Mum had found somewhere on her phone that was good for spotting Manatee’s so we walked there but we didn’t see any. We went along the coast a bit further to a nature reserve and found a park so Eliza and I had a play.
After this we we went on a walk through the nature reserve. We still didn’t see any manatees but we did see lots of geckos 🦎, some little burrows but we don’t know what lives in them and lots of other cool things like a giant seed or fruit and big tortoise burrows.
Just as as we were getting back to the car we saw 2 cheeky raccoons scavenging in the bins. One was eating a packet of crisps and the other got a Burger King.
Tonight we went for a swim in the pool at the hotel then went to a local restaurant on the beach for dinner. Mum says it’s a fisherman’s shack. There was a sign in the car park to look out for alligators but we didn’t see any. I’m really tired now so goodnight xxx
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
UPDATE – Zipwire videos
We travelled to Florida but it was really long and now we are in Davenport near Orlando.
Today was a brilliant day! We were walking around Celebration and whilst we were walking I saw some people looking at something and one of them said that they saw an alligator or a snake. I had a look and saw an aligator. It was a baby aligator. I went to tell Mummy and Daddy and Eliza. Mummy took a epic picture but there was lots of rubbish in the water ☹️ We carried on around the lake and saw lots of birds, some turtles in the water and there were 3 baby turtles climbing on a log. After our walk we went to the cafe, I had a chocolate chip cookie, Eliza had a chocolate brownie. It tasted a bit sickly. Next we went back by the lake where there is a splash pad. I’ve been pestering to go there all day because I went there last time when I was 4 1/2. I got straight in with my clothes on 🤣 Eliza put her swimming costume on. When I came out I was drenched. On the way home we went to the shops to buy some food which was boring but then we got to go to the toy section. We got some blow up things for our swimming pool. When we got home we went in the pool. It was getting dark and the moon was super bright. Mum said she heard on the news that tonight is the snow moon. It’s the brightest moon on the year here in America.
I reach into my pocket to warm my hands and without fail I stumble upon a collection of pine cones, dutifully collected by my eldest. I notice that I’m smiling to myself and realise that these pine cones are bringing as much joy to me as they do to her. I’m walking a few steps behind my children as they explore a National Trust property. Every couple of steps they’ll drop to the floor or reach to the sky at the next snippet of nature they’ve discovered. Today we’re using the zoom on the camera to look at things up close, it’s a little like a pocket microscope for the field and they are in awe; a leaf, some bracket fungus an old piece of wood all look so different under the zoom. It’s only today that I’ve realised that my eldest has always loved the outdoors and adventure (the nature argument), however it’s coming to the youngest and it’s clear that a love of the outdoors can be nurtured very easily when there is so much to discover.
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.
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.